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Title: A volatile fluid assisted thermo-pneumatic liquid metal energy harvester

A close-cycle self-driving thermal energy harvester using liquid metal as energy carrier fluid has been proposed. The driving force that pushes the liquid metal against flow resistance and gravity is provided by a resistively heated volatile fluid based on thermo-pneumatic principle. The tested harvester prototype demonstrated its capability to extract thermal energy between small temperature gradient, at a scale of 10 °C. During a 5-h operation, it further demonstrated robust liquid metal recirculating performance at a time-average volume flow rate of 14 ml/min with a 12.25 W heating load. The prototype also managed to self-adjust to variable working conditions which indicated the reliability of this method. Advantages of this method include simple-structural design, rigid-motion free operation, and low-temperature actuation. These advantages make it uniquely suited for solar energy and low-grade heat harvesting, high heat flux electronics cooling, as well as autonomous machines actuating.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Key Laboratory of Cryogenics, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190 (China)
  2. (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22489306
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 108; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; CARRIERS; COOLING; DESIGN; FLOW RATE; HEAT; HEAT FLUX; HEATING LOAD; HYDROGEN 5; LIQUID METALS; OPERATION; RELIABILITY; SOLAR ENERGY; TEMPERATURE GRADIENTS; VOLATILITY; WORKING CONDITIONS