Date Approved

1-22-2019

Embargo Period

1-28-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. Mechanical Engineering

Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering

College

Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering

First Advisor

Bakrania, Smitesh D.

Second Advisor

Haas, Francis M.

Third Advisor

Xue, Wei

Subject(s)

Thermoelectric apparatus and appliances

Disciplines

Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

The essential need for portable and dense power sources has been greatly increased with the prevalence of portable electronic devices in the past decade. Catalytic combustion of hydrocarbon and oxygenated fuels has the potential to provide an alternative power source for portable electronic devices by replacing relatively today's heavy battery technology. A successful self-ignition and sustainable catalyst combustion for a variety of fuels using Platinum (Pt)-impregnated substrate was demonstrated in our previous work.

Present work explores the performance of a microcombustion thermoelectric coupled (MTC) device with improved reactor configuration design. Chemically synthesized platinum nanoparticles with particle diameters of approx. 8 nm are deposited on rectangular cordierite substrates, with 800 µm wide square channels acting as a catalyst cartridge. A copper-aluminium reactor is used to host the catalytic combustion. Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are coupled with heat sinks to establish a constant temperature difference. This work also presents a custom fuel-delivery system designed to achieve a self-contained portable MTC unit. Material characterization and analytical models accompany the experiments to establish the performance parameters. The experiments involving near a stoichiometric mixture of methanol-air at 8000 mL/min of airflow yielded 62 degrees C temperature difference for the TEGs. A most recent design generated actual electrical power output of 493 mW and estimated theoretical power output of 1406 mW with a fuel conversion efficiency of 90% and estimated power density of 74.3 W/m^3 . The outcomes guide future development of such portable combustion-based power sources.

Share

COinS