The purpose of this paper is to study using thermoelectric module to harvest the waste heat from spindle units of machine tools and drive wireless sensors stable, thermal structure design and optimization of the thermoelectric module.
In this paper, mesh-free-based method, rather than the standard finite element method, is used to analyze the thermal behavior of the thermoelectric modules with different structure. After that, experiments are done to obtain the real power output performance of those modules and evaluate the performance of driving a wireless sensor with those modules.
The paper provides that the difference in geometry structure can cause apparent change in surface temperature of heat-conducting plate, and the optimized thermoelectric module could increase the output voltage by about 7 per cent compared with the one without optimization.
It is found that the structure changing of the thermoelectric module is not the only way to increase the harvesting power, so a high efficiency power manage system is needed to be studied in the future.
The paper includes implications for the development of self-powered wireless sensors in the spindle unit for machine tool monitoring.
The paper develops models of thermoelectric modules with different structures on a rotating spindle, and tests the performance of driving wireless sensors with those thermoelectric modules.
This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51105336).
Yao, X., Li, S. and Fu, J. (2015), "Heat exchanger design for a thermoelectric module to drive wireless sensors in spindle monitoring", Sensor Review, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 51-61. https://doi.org/10.1108/SR-08-2013-720
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