Procedure for site discovery, system design, and optimization of power harvesting systems is developed with an emphasis on application to air compressors. Limitations for the usage of infrared pyrometers is evaluated. A system of governing equations for thermoelectric generators is developed. A solution method for solving the system of equations is created in order to predict power output from the device. Payback analysis is proposed for determining economic viability. A genetic algorithm is used to optimize the power harvesting system payback with changing quantities and varieties of thermoelectric generators, as well as the back work put into cooling the thermoelectric generators. Experimental data is taken for laboratory simulation of a power harvesting system under varying resistive load and thermal conductances in order to confirm the working model. A power harvester is designed for and installed on a consumer grade portable air compressor. Experimental data is compared against the model's prediction. As a case study, a system is designed for a water-cooled power harvesting system. Thermoelectric generator power harvesters are found to be economically infeasible for typical installations at current energy prices. Changes in parameters which would increase economic feasibility of the power harvesting system are discussed.
College and Department
Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Sadler, Zachary James, "Design and Analysis of Compressed Air Power Harvesting Systems" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 7052.
heat transfer, power harvesting, thermoelectric generators, optimization, genetic algorithm