Harvesting waste heat with a thermomagnetic generator
Thesis in external company Thesis abroad
Reference persons MATTEO FASANO
External reference persons Dr. Jonathan Hey
Research Groups Multi-Scale Modeling Laboratory – SMaLL (www.polito.it/small)
Thesis type INTERNSHIP+THESIS, MODELING AND EXPERIMENTAL
Description Thermomagnetic generators have been used as thermal energy harvesting devices but its implementation is limited to powering miniature electronic devices such as remote sensors. The typical power output from such generators are up to hundreds of mili Watts. The limited power density is perplexing as thermomagnetic materials exhibit one of the greatest changes in physical properties at relatively small temperature variations. This represents a high potential for thermomagnetic material to convert thermal into magnetic and electrical energy. It is reported in the literature that some thermomagnetic material has theoretical efficiency limits of up to 70% based on an idealized Carnot cycle. However, the practical realization of thermomagnetic generator leads to a significant drop in efficiency at the device level to around 5-20% of the theoretical limit. This represents a significant gap in performance between the practical device and the theoretical limit which becomes the focus of this work.
Currently, thermomagnetic generators in the more common linear configuration leads to energy loss in the moving mass and unwanted parasitic heat loss. This research is targeted at overcoming the limited power output from a conventional thermomagnetic generator by minimizing these losses. In this research, we aim to prove that the efficiency of a thermomagnetic generator can approach the theoretical limit of an idealized Carnot cycle through the realization of a practical device with a new rotary magnetic topology and a novel heat delivery system. The significance of this research is measured by the amount of useful energy that the device can recover from a waste heat source. The impact on the industrial energy efficiency is significant due to the prevalence of waste heat by-product from many industrial applications. The success of this research could potentially yield a source of renewable energy by harvesting a portion of industrial waste heat.
See also project information sheet.pdf
Required skills Thermodynamics, heat and mass trnasfer, computational fluid dynamics
Notes The thesis will involve a 4-6 months paid internship at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology.
Deadline 04/04/2024 PROPONI LA TUA CANDIDATURA