Degree Granting Department
Nathan Crane, Ph.D.
Frank Pyrtle, Ph.D.
Kyle Reed, Ph.D.
ansys, three-dimensional FEA, peltier effect, energy conversion, thermal grill illusion
Micro-scale self assembly is an attractive method for manufacturing sub-millimeter sized thermoelectric device parts. Challenges controlling assembly yield rates, however, have caused research to find novel ways to implement the process while still resulting in a working device. While a typical system uses single n-type and p-type material elements in series, one method used to increase the probability of a working device involves adding redundant parallel elements in clusters. The drawback to this technique is that thermal performance is affected in clusters which have missing elements. While one-dimensional modeling sufficiently describes overall performance in terms of average junction temperatures and net heat flux, it fails when a detailed thermal profile is needed for a non-homogeneous system. For this reason, a three-dimensional model was created to describe thermal performance using Ansys v12.1. From the results, local and net performance can be described to help in designing an acceptable self-assembled device.
In addition, a haptic thermal display was designed using thermoelectric elements with the intention of testing the thermal grill illusion. The display consists of 5 electrically independent rows of thermoelectric elements which are controlled using pulse width modulating direct current motor controllers.
Scholar Commons Citation
McKnight, Patrick T., "Finite Element Analysis of Thermoelectric Systems with Applications in Self Assembly and Haptics" (2010). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.