Experimental Characterization of Thermoelectric Module-Variable Conductance Heat Pipe Assemblies for Reduced Power Precision Temperature Control.
Thermoelectric modules (TEMs) are used to precisely maintain the specified operating
temperature of photonics components which generate variable heat loads while being
subjected to a wide range of ambient temperatures. This setpoint temperature of a
photonics component is maintained by mounting it onto the controlled side of a TEM.
Normally, a conventional heat sink (CHS), of fixed ... read morethermal resistance, is mounted to the
uncontrolled side of a TEM. To minimize TEM power consumption, a CHS is replaced by a
variable conductance heat pipe (VCHP) which offers the ability to passively decrease its
thermal resistance as ambient temperature and/or heat load increase and vice versa. This
thesis presents detailed fabrication techniques for an as-built TEM-VCHP assembly, which
covers heat pipe wick construction, cleaning, leak testing and charging. Furthermore, a
means of interfacing a TEM to a heat pipe through an evaporator stackup is provided.
Next, specific details are provided for an experimental apparatus setup which allows
representative conditions of a photonics component application to be simulated (i.e.,
heat loads varying from 2 W to 7 W and ambient temperatures ranging from -5°C to
65°C). Finally, experimental results for a TEM-VCHP subjected to these conditions
are provided to demonstrate achievable power savings. TEM power consumption is shown to
be reduced by 38% on average across all examined conditions and up to 98% in one case
when compared to a TEM-constant conductance heat pipe
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2012.
Submitted to the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Advisor: Marc Hodes.
Committee: Vincent Manno, and Martin Cleary.
Keywords: Mechanical engineering, Energy, and Engineering.read less