Research Papers

Exergo-Thermo-Volumes: An Approach for Environmentally Sustainable Thermal Management of Energy Conversion Devices

[+] Author and Article Information
Amip J. Shah

 Hewlett Packard Laboratories, 1501 Page Mill Road, M/S 1183 Palo Alto, CA 94304amip.shah@hp.com

Chandrakant D. Patel

 Hewlett Packard Laboratories, 1501 Page Mill Road, M/S 1183 Palo Alto, CA 94304chandrakant.patel@hp.com

J. Energy Resour. Technol 132(2), 021002 (May 17, 2010) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001569 History: Received March 01, 2009; Revised March 25, 2010; Published May 17, 2010; Online May 17, 2010

The design of cooling solutions is an important consideration for the efficient management of different types of energy technologies. In the present work, we adapt the method of thermo-volumes—which has been used for nearly a decade in the design of electronic cooling solutions—for purposes of expeditiously understanding the thermal resistance of a given solution (in terms of cooling performance) along with its flow resistance (an indicator of the pumping power or energy consumption, which will be required by the thermal solution). Furthermore, we expand on thermo-volumes by including the lifetime exergy cost as a means to enable the consideration of resource consumption (and thus the environmental sustainability) of the cooling solution. We apply this framework for evaluation of thermal management solutions in terms of the heat removal capacity per unit lifetime exergy consumption. This paper concludes by illustrating applicability of the method to the design of a fuel cell thermal management solution.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Thermo-volume curves for a hypothetical system

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Figure 2

Pareto chart of the system components as a function of life-cycle

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Figure 3

Thermo-volume curves of hypothetical fuel cell cooling solution considered in case study

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Figure 4

System lifetime exergy loss as a function of flowrate using the exergo-thermo-volume method

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Figure 5

Exergo-thermo-volume analysis of the hypothetical cooling solutions in Table 2, at full load

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Figure 6

Dependence of exergo-thermo-volume performance as a function of fuel cell loads

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Figure 7

Impact of scaling cooling solution on exergo-thermo-volume performance for a 165 kW fuel cell being cooled by option D



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