Solar Powered Air Conditioning by Aid of TEC for Mina Tents Application


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Solar Powered Air Conditioning by Aid of TEC for Mina Tents Application

  1. 1. International Journal of Scientific Research in Knowledge (IJSRK), 1(2), pp. 25-33, 2013 Available online at ©2013 IJSRPUB Full Length Research Paper Solar Powered Air Conditioning by Aid of TEC for Mina Tents Application Wael A. Salah1, Soib Taib2, Anwar Al-Mofleh3, Hamza A. Ghulman4 1 Faculty of Engineering, Multimedia University, Jalan Multimedia, 63100 Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia 2 School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Engineering Campus, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Penang, Malaysia 3 Faculty of Engineering Technology, Al-Balqa’ Applied University, Marka Ashamalia, Amman, Jordan 4 College of Engineering and Islamic Architecture, Umm Al-Qura University, Saudia Arabia. * Corresponding author: Email:,; Tel: +603--8312 5508 ext. 5508, Fax: +603-8318 3029 Received 4 January 2013; Accepted 15 February 2013Abstract. This paper provides a review of some thermoelectric cooling (TE) applications in terms of the aspect of cooling atelectronic equipments and some proposed cooling application for the future. A background discussion of thermoelectriccooling is provided in brief citing early history and current developments. In this paper, a review of the traditional coolingtechniques, a highlight on the problems faced by each of the techniques is made and it is compared to the thermoelectriccooling. The aim of this paper is to discuss the possibility of making use of the Thermo Electric Coolers (TEC) for outdoorcooling applications. The utilization of water for cooling aid is discussed. The factors affecting the TE performance isdiscussed as well. The assembling consideration for best performance of TEC and the supply requirements for TEC will bediscussed. Effects of water cooling and the other methods of cooling procedures also is discussed with practical comparisons.Key words: TEC Cooling, TEG, Solar energy, Underwater, Outdoor.1. INTRODUCTION element (n-type) to a lower energy level element (p- type). The n-p elements array is assembled so that it isThe advancements in computer technology have been electrically connected in series and thermallymade possible by the ongoing developments in the connected in parallel, then it affixed to two ceramicpackaging density of electronics. In order to ensure substrates, one on each side of the elements as shownsatisfactory electrical circuit operation, limitation on in Fig.1.the chip temperature is imposed to prevent it to rise One face will be cooled while the opposite moduleabove the ambient coolant temperature (Simons and face is heated simultaneously. At the cold junctionChu, 2010). In many cases, special allocations with heat is absorbed by electrons as they pass from a lowspecific temperature for some electrical equipments energy level in the p-type semiconductor element to ahas been implemented for safe and efficient operation. higher energy level in the n-type semiconductorThe traditional cooling techniques have several element. Heat is absorbed at the cold side of the n-problems such as noises and vibrations, and the usage and p- type elements. The absorbed heat at the coldof cooling gas has disastrous effect on the junction is pumped to the hot junction at a rateenvironment, not to mention the regular services for proportional to current passing through the circuit andcompressors. the number of p-n junctions. With a suitable system A thermoelectric cooler (TEC) is a semiconductor- design, the TEC device will operate as an effectivebased electronic component that functions as a small heating and cooling source (Thermoelectricheat pump. A thermoelectric device is a completely Handbook, 2007; Magaland Technology Inc, 2002)solid-state heat pump that is operated based on Peltier (Figure 1).effect in which electrons carry energy to transfer heat Commercially, the thermoelectric cooling (TEC)from hot to cold junction, the heat will be moved modules are widely available thus making them athrough the module from one side to the other as a potential candidate to be used in the thermallow voltage DC power source applied to a TE module management of electronics applications (Moores et(Lau et al., 1994; The Technology Inc, 2006). al., 1999). The typical cooling technique for The energy required for the electrons movement Electronics systems is by the forced air flow usingthrough the system is provided by the power supply, axial fans or centrifugal blowers. When the heat loadsthis energy is expelled to a heat sink at the hot are small and relatively diffuse, thermal conductionjunction as electrons move from a high energy level through aluminum plates is sufficient to spread the 25
  2. 2. Salah et al. Solar Powered Air Conditioning by Aid of TEC for Mina Tents Applicationheat into finned heat sinks for convection from the is used to circulate the fluid in a closed loop. Thefins into the air flow stream (Dubourdieu and Tribou, overall system is integrated using assembly methods1997). Liquid cooling system that can cool single or and materials that enable very low fluid permeationmultiple heat sources is an adoptive solution in some for long life (Kang et al., 2007).current applications. A highly reliable compact pump Fig. 1: TEC module Fig. 2: TEC module with the heat sink Temp Amps Fig. 3: TEC direct measured temperature at cold side2. FEATURES OF TEC MODULES because of no moving parts and are virtually maintenance free due to the useless ofThermoelectric systems are highly reliable provided chlorofluorocarbon gas. They can be operated in anythey are installed and used in an appropriate manner. orientation; also they are ideal for cooling applicationsThermoelectric modules are at steady state and have a that may be sensitive to mechanical vibration. Thehigh mean time between failures (The Technology ability to heat and cool lends to applications whereInc, 2006). Thermoelectric modules are noisy free both heating and cooling is necessary or where precise 26
  3. 3. International Journal of Scientific Research in Knowledge (IJSRK), 1(2), pp. 25-33, 2013temperature control is critical (Optimizing TEC Drive The thermoelectric cooling system is triggered byCurrent, 2006). Although the environmental electricity, thus eliminating the emissions of CFCs.legislation is getting tougher, the usage of Another benefit is that, it needs no refill compared tothermoelectric as cooling system needs not to worry conventional systems (Supercool, 2012; Salah et al.,due to its non-negative impact on the environment. 2010). Fig. 4: Mini Cooler/ heater In addition, the installation of TEC is quite simple cooling applications. Such application with small areaand easy, with the caring of the conduction of TEC is away-connected with the use solar energy as powerwith the cooling object and the conduction of the hot source. The use of TEC in refrigeration applicationside with the heat sink in order to insure the right will be highlighted. The practical application of TECoperation of TEC modules. is presented for potential commercialization. Air-conditioning is an important issue for Mina is the largest membrane project in the worldprovidence of the necessity of human comfort. It is of every year; more than three millions pilgrims performgreat importance and would provide for the Hajj, the pilgrimage to the Holy Mosque inenvironmental comfort to pilgrims during the Hajj Makkah. The Mina Valley is one of the Hajj stationsperformance, especially in times of summer. and hosts the pilgrims for three days and nights.Therefore, there is an essential requirement in the During the 1997 Hajj season, a disastrous firedirection of creating the design that helps increase destroyed tens of thousands of cotton tents. The Saudicooling service to be longer in life and reduce the use Authorities decided to re-build this vast city of tentsof energy consumed. For this purpose, the design is by installing 40,000 durable fireproof tents. The onlydeveloped for this effect by using air conditioner fabric that met these requirements was PTFE coatedaccompanied by bands capture solar energy and use in supply the process of Thermo- Electric Cooler It is obvious that any climate has corresponding(TEC) plate, which provides additional cooling to air-conditioning, in order to deal with theoccupied zone (tent).The essential search will be taken environmental conditions to provide the necessarymore focus in the design of cooling plate that attached human comfort. A high-quality design should bewith TE. required to accomplish this function. The issue of In the last few years, many researchers made effort providing occupied zone (tent) in the Mina, and wallsto find out solution for hot and humid climate. This between Safa and Marwa air conditioning system ofresearch is emphasizing to find out the appropriate air pressing issues is of great importance and wouldcooling develop solution that can work under any provide for environmental comfort to pilgrims duringclimate. Thermoelectric cooling (TEC) is a viable the Hajj performance, especially in times of summer.alternative for today’s traditional cooling techniques Therefore, there is an essential requirement in thewhich have problems such as noise and vibration, direction of creating the design which helps increasemore over the use of cooling gas and effect on the cooling service to be longer in life and reduce the useenvironment, and regular services for compressor. The of energy consumed.aim of this paper is to discuss the possibility ofmaking use of the TEC-Thermo Electric Coolers 27
  4. 4. Salah et al. Solar Powered Air Conditioning by Aid of TEC for Mina Tents Application3. TEC COOLING DESIGN element geometry, number of couples, and material properties (Thermoelectric Handbook, 2007).The heat pumping capacity of a module isproportional to the current and is dependent on the Fig. 5: TEC attached to heatsink drown in water Fig. 6: TEC performance Fig. 7: Concept of TEC application for air cooling system3.1. TEC Proper Fit Consideration although good thermal isolation between heat and cold side will give better performance. Figure 3 showsThe proper fit between the heat side of TEC and the the temperature measured directly from TEC coldheat sink affect the performance of TEC. Good side, this shows two states of measurements, onethermal conduction will lead to better performance, shows the data measured good thermal conduction of 28
  5. 5. International Journal of Scientific Research in Knowledge (IJSRK), 1(2), pp. 25-33, 2013heat sink and hot side of TEC and the other one with capable of functioning in both cooling and heatingbad thermal conduction. operation. The unit takes about 30 min to reach the Figure 2 shows a single TEC module with the heat minimum temperature of 180C within theside attached to a heat sink and the cool side is free to compartment (Figure 4).air. The proper fit of TEC will improve itsperformance, especially when heat sink compound is 4.2. Water and Thermoelectric Coolingadded. The efficient cooling system uses service water to3.2. Thermal Isolation cool the modules, a feature contributing to the converter’s compact design. An air-to-water heatTo ensure the best performance to be achieved from exchanger is included, which cools the internalTEC module the importance of good thermal isolation enclosure and is connected to the same cooling circuitbetween hot and cold sides are huge due to its as the power parts (ABB Schweiz AG, 2006; Melcor,sensitivity and the distance between the two sides is 2000).so small. To overcome such problem the attached heat Fig.5 shows the TEC module attached to heat-sink,sink is extended which it increases the distance from instead of attaching a fan, the heat-sink is been drownthe heat sink plate to the cold sink plate. This allows in the water. From this technique it has been observedfor thicker insulation and longer assembly bolts. As a that the performance of TEC cooling system improvedresult, heat conducting from the heat sink plate back by an average of 3oC, this effect is shown in Fig.6. Ifto the cold sink plate is reduced (Figures 2 and 3). the supply is connected to solar module then the Appropriate air cooling solution that can work cooling system produces zero CO2 emission.under any climate is a solution for hot and humid As the trend towards higher power dissipation andclimate. For this purpose, by using air conditioner more concentrated heat sources continues, a moreaccompanied by bands capture solar energy and use in attractive solution is to use closed liquid cooling loopsto supply the process of Thermo- Electric Cooler to efficiently spread heat to finned surfaces that can be(TEC) plate, this provides additional cooling to the situated almost anywhere within the electronicstent. The aim is to determine the optimum operating system. These closed loops may be two-phaseparameters by the meaning if the comfort parameters capillary pumped systems such as loop heat pipes orin the occupied zone were within the range of single or two-phase mechanically pumped systems.acceptable comfort standards, and also to investigate The closed loop cooling systems function only asthe range of temperatures under varying space load efficient heat spreaders internally within theconditions which was ranged between (23- 25°C) for electronics system enclosure by the closed loop liquidthe purpose of predicting and studying its effects in cooling systems, the need for high speed fans isthe functioning as well as its performance. mitigated and the noise levels can be significantly lowered (ABB Schweiz AG, 2006; Tellurex4. APPLICATIONS Corporation, 2001) (Figures 5 and 6). For under water application, the water coolingTEC size and simplicity make it easy to be applied for arrangements will be much easier as it will be opencooling application where size and simplicity are loop cooling, so there will be elimination of the heatrequired. One main application that can be under exchanger and also the need for high speed fan isconsideration is the cooling of away connected mitigated.electronics, such as in the telecommunicationcabinets. This cooling arrangement can be easily 4.3. Underwater Thermoelectric Generatorsupplied from a PV panel with a DC converter. Thermoelectric refrigeration is thought to be one of Thermoelectric Generation could be done whenthe alternative technologies that would help to reduce thermoelectric modules are placed between hot andthe rate of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants cold plates, then voltage and power could be obtainedemission to the atmosphere, as this do not employ (Optimizing TEC Drive Current, 2006). Proposedworking fluids that are harmful to the environment. application could utilize the underwater environment(Lertsatitthanakorn, 2003). that is, the use of Thermoelectric Generator where the water will present the cold side, and the heat4.1. Solar Fridge generated by power components will present the hot side. This prospective application is expected toA sample of fridge prototype unit is developed using 4 utilize the cold temperature of water and the heatTEC as shown in Fig.4. The prototype with a 12 in x 8 generated by power x 6 dimension using solar module of 70 W is 29
  6. 6. Salah et al. Solar Powered Air Conditioning by Aid of TEC for Mina Tents Application4.4. Air Cooling Medium for Various Applications side to produce lower temperature. Thus, for this reason, a 12-Volt fan is attached at the heat sink endThe nature of TEC is exploited by sticking the cold to provide greater heat dissipation.side to material which the air is to be flowed against. Heat transfer mechanisms of conduction andInsulation between hot and cold side is very important radiation are practiced for this type of application.than ever, in order for both; a) heat transfer Figure 7 is a related diagram that further explains themechanism to work well, and (b) TEC cooling concept of air cooling system and cooler performancemechanism working to maximum effect. It has been for high power electronic packages.known that dissipation of heat will ensure the cold Fig. 8: Mina Tent Campus Fig. 9: Proposed design of TEC tent The thermoelectric cooler (TEC) performance conductor is gold, the material is very expensive incould be conducted for high power electronic cost and also unpractical in mass productions. Copperpackages such as processors. In (Zhang et al., 2012; represent a much logical and practical option and isBierschen and Gilley, 2006; Hasan and Kok Chuan, rated second behind gold. In short, for such2007), two cooling scenarios, the processor test and application to reach maximum potential, a good heatthe processor cooling under end-user conditions, are transferable material is essential so that the heatanalyzed based on the present analysis models for two transfer mechanism occur effortlessly.commercial TECs with high cooling power capacitiesnominal. The analytical results show that significant 4.5. Air Conditioning by Aid of TEC for Tentsthermal enhancements are achievable based on Cooling Applicationoptimized currents and cooling configurations (Figure7). It is obvious that climate has corresponding air- The material to be used for heat transfer needs a conditioning, in order to deal with the environmentalvery thorough examination. While the best heat conditions to provide the necessary human comfort. 30
  7. 7. International Journal of Scientific Research in Knowledge (IJSRK), 1(2), pp. 25-33, 2013Air-conditioning is an important issue to provide Bierschenk J, Gilley M (2006). Assessment of TECcomfortable condition for human. TEC application Thermal and Reliability Requirements forwill enable adequate solutions for temporary usage of Thermoelectrically Enhanced Heat Sinks formobile tents where for example during the summer in CPU Cooling Applications. in Thermoelectrics,the most Middle East countries, the heat is almost ICT 06. 25th International Conference.unbearable. An obvious applicable example is The Dubourdieu P, Tribou G (1997). ThermoelectricMina Valley which is one of the Hajj stations and generator for underwater wellhead. The 16thhosts the pilgrims for three days and nights as shown International Conference on Fig.8. Implementation of TEC on traditional Hasan MH, Kok Chuan T (2007). Optimization of acooling system is absolutely important in order to Thermoelectric Cooler-Heat Sink Combinationconserve energy and the fact that TEC utilizes natural for Active Processor Cooling. in Electronicssource of solar, any system with the aid of TEC will Packaging Technology Conference, EPTC. working fine at anywhere as the sunlight permits Jin W, Ke Z, Friend J (2009). Minimum power loss(Figure 8). control thermoelectric technology in power The essential required in the direction of creating electronics cooling. in Energy Conversionthe design helps increase cooling service to be longer Congress and Exposition, ECCE 2009. life and reduce the use of energy consumed. An Kang S, Miller D, Cennamo J (2007). Closed Loopappropriate air cooling solution that can work under Liquid Cooling For High Performanceany climate is a solution for hot and humid climate. Computer Systems Proceedings of IPACK2007,For this purpose, by using air conditioner ASME Inter PACK, Vancouver, CANADA.accompanied by bands capture solar energy and use in Lau PG, Ritzer TM, Buist RJ (1994). Thermodynamicto supply the process of Thermo- Electric Cooler Optimization of Heat/Cold Sink Extenders in(TEC) plate, this provides additional cooling to the Thermoelectric Cooling Assemblies. TEtent. A future application of the system can be applied Technology Inc., Michigan, tents as shown in (Figure 9). Lertsatitthanakorn C (2003). Cooling Performance of Thermoelectric Water Cooler. Naresuan5. CONCLUSION University Journal, 11(2): 1-9. Magaland Technology Inc (2012). ThermoelectricThe TEC cooling technique is found to be free of Cooling Modules Application Note. Availablesome problems attached to traditional cooling at: such as noise, size and vibration. In Melcor (2000). Avilable at:, it has no side effect on the environment Moores KA, Joshi YK, Miller G (1999). Performancewhere there is zero emission of CO2 gas. With their assessment of thermoelectric coolers for use insmall size, efficiency, reliability, and environmental high temperature electronics applications. 18thfriendliness, TECs are becoming widely accepted as International Conference on Thermoelectrics,the most effective cooling source for many 31- 34.applications. The paper had discussed the use of the Optimizing TEC Drive Current (2006). ApplicationTEC-Thermo Electric Coolers in cooling away Note. Available at: applications with the use of solar energy as Salah W, Taib S, Al-Mofleh A (2010). Developmentpower source. The prototype TEC fridge has the of Multistage Converter for Outdoor Thermalpotential for commercialization. Cooling system uses Electric Cooling (TEC) Applications. Jordanservice water to cool the converter modules Journal of Mechanical and Industrialcontributing to compact an efficient design. The TEC Engineering (JJMIE), 4(1): 15 – 20.system had improved the temperature by an average Simons RE, Chu RC (2000). Application ofof 3oC when water is used for direct cooling, therefore Thermoelectric Cooling to Electronicthis technique become an alternative solution for Equipment: A Review and Analysis. Sixteenthunderwater cooling. TEC could be an effective IEEE SEMI-THERM Symposium,heating and cooling source with a proper design of TE Poughkcepsie, NY, USA.system. An additional cooling to the tent could be Supercool AB (2012) Available at:supplied by the Thermo- Electric Cooler (TEC) plate, will leads to more comfortable condition. Tellurex Corporation (2001). Introduction to Thermoelectrics, International Drive, Michigan.REFERENCES Avilable at: TE Technology Inc (2006). Available at:ABB Schweiz AG (2006). Avilable at: 31
  8. 8. Salah et al. Solar Powered Air Conditioning by Aid of TEC for Mina Tents ApplicationThermoelectric Handbook (2007). Available at: power electronic packages. Applied Thermal Engineering. In Press, Corrected Proof.Zhang HY, Mui YC, Tarin M (2012). Analysis of thermoelectric cooler performance for high 32
  9. 9. International Journal of Scientific Research in Knowledge (IJSRK), 1(2), pp. 25-33, 2013 Wael A Y Salah was born in Hebron, Palestine in 1978. He received his B.Eng in Industrial Automation Engineering (IAE) from Palestine Polytechnic University (PPU) in 2001. Awarded with M.Sc and Ph.D degrees from University Science Malaysia (USM) in 2007 and 2012 respectively. Attached to the Faculty of Engineering, Multimedia University - Malaysia since 2012. Research interest in Power Electronic and Drives, Energy Management Power Control and Management, Renewable Energy System, Energy Efficiency. Soib Bin Taib recieved his B.Sc from University Sains Malaysia in 1984. Works as system Engineer at PERNAS NEC in 1985. Awarded with M.Sc and Ph.D degrees from Bradford University UK in 1986 and 1990 respectively. Attached to the department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering USM since 1990. Appointed as the Head of Power Program from 1997 until 2005. From 2004 appointed as the R&D Task Manager for Centre for Education of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (CETREE) USM. Research interest in Power Electronic and Drives, Experts Systems and currently involved in the development of Renewable Energy System Published more than 150 papers in Local and International journal and Proceeding. Anwar al-Mofleh was born in Mahes, Jordan in 1969.recived his B.Sc and MSc from Byelorussian Polytechnic academy in 1993. He is currently working as lecturer in Al-Balqa Applied University in Jordan. Research interest in Power and Energy Systems, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. Hamza A. Ghulman received his BSc from University King Abdulaziz in 1988 in Saudia Arabia and MSc in 1993. Awarded with another MSc and PhD degrees from Ohio University in USA in 1996 and 2001 respectively. He is currently Professor at University Umm Al-Qura and involve in researches (during Hajj seasons) with the Pilgrimage Researches Center in Makkah. Published more than 25 publications worldwide and two books. Member in ASME, SME, IIE, ASNT, and others. 33