Dynamic study for performance improvements of a thermo-mechanically bistable heat engine

Abstract : This paper focuses on a thermal study of a thermal energy harvester based on the coupling of a bimetallic strip heat engine with a piezoelectric membrane for wasted heat scavenging. Such a harvester is dedicated to power autonomous systems such as wireless sensor nodes. For a better understanding of the working principle of the system, it is compulsory to have a good understanding of the thermal specificities and phenomenon taking place inside the harvester. Attention is consequently focused on the thermal modeling of the harvester in static mode using the equivalence between the electrical and thermal quantities. This first modeling step allowed the improvement of the thermal properties inside the system by increasing the thermal gradient across it. However, the bimetal being the active part of the system has not been taken into account in this model and shadow zones persisted regarding the bimetal operation windows as a function of its snapping temperatures and hysteresis. To overcome this, a dynamic model is proposed in this paper taking into account the bimetal as a switched capacitance alternatively in contact with the hot source and the cold surface. This last model completed the static one by predicting the bimetal’s operation windows in function of its intrinsic properties and the operation range evolution in function of the snapping temperature first and then in function of the bimetal thermal hysteresis. Moreover, experimental measurements enable to validate the proposed model and to point out the most powerful bimetals for scavenging higher amounts of power.
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Conference papers
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Submitted on : Monday, December 14, 2015 - 5:32:34 PM
Last modification on : Monday, February 4, 2019 - 3:54:10 PM

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Jihane Boughaleb, Arthur Arnaud, Stephane Monfray, Pierre-Jean Cottinet, Sébastien Quénard, et al.. Dynamic study for performance improvements of a thermo-mechanically bistable heat engine. PowerMEMS 2015, The 15th International Conference on Micro- and Nano-Technology for Power Generation and Energy Conversion Applications, Dec 2015, Boston, United States. ⟨hal-01243275⟩

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