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Effect of finite heat input on the power performance of micro heat engines

By Khu Khu, Liudi Jiang and Tom Markvart


Micro heat engines have attracted considerable interest in recent years for their potential exploitation as<br/>micro power sources in microsystems and portable devices. Thermodynamic modeling can predict the<br/>theoretical performance that can be potentially achieved by micro heat engine designs. An appropriate<br/>model can not only provide key information at the design stage but also indicate the potential room for<br/>improvement in existing micro heat engines. However, there are few models reported to date which are<br/>suitable for evaluating the power performance of micro heat engines. This paper presents a new thermodynamic<br/>model for determining the theoretical limit of power performance of micro heat engines<br/>with consideration to finite heat input and heat leakage. By matching the model components to those of<br/>a representative heat engine layout, the theoretical power, power density, and thermal efficiency<br/>achievable for a micro heat engine can be obtained for a given set of design parameters. The effects of key<br/>design parameters such as length and thermal conductivity of the engine material on these theoretical<br/>outputs are also investigated. Possible trade-offs among these performance objectives are discussed.<br/>Performance results derived from the developed model are compared with those of a working micro heat<br/>engine (P3) as an example

Topics: QC, TA
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:
Provided by: e-Prints Soton
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