Date of Award

8-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Committee Member

Dr. Oliver Myers, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Suyi Li

Committee Member

External Honorary Committee Member: Dr. Scott Thompson, Auburn State University

Abstract

Energy harvesting is a powerful process that deals with exploring different possible ways of converting energy dispersed in the environment into useful form of energy, essentially electrical energy. Piezoelectric materials are known for their ability of transferring mechanical energy into electrical energy or vice versa. This work takes an advantage of piezoelectric material's properties to covert thermal energy into electrical energy in an oscillating heat pipe. Specific interest in an oscillating heat pipe has relevance to energy harvesting for low power generation suitable for remote electronics operation as well as low-power heat reclamation for electronic packaging. The aim of this research is to develop a multi-physics numerical analysis model that aids in predicting electrical power generation inherent to an oscillating heat pipe. The experimental design consists of a piezoelectric patch with fixed configuration, attached inside an oscillating heat pipe and its behavior when subjected to the oscillating fluid pressure was observed. Numerical analysis of the model depicting the similar behavior was developed using COMSOL multi physics FEA software. The numerical model consists of a three-way physics interaction that takes into account thermo-hydrodynamic interaction, fluid-structure interaction, and piezoelectric effect. Results obtained from 3D numerical analysis are compared with experimental recordings to validate the numerical model.

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