Optimization of an Atmospheric Water Generation System using Peltier Devices and Multiple Heat Transfer Mechanisms




Summers, Mark

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Atmospheric Water Generation (AWG) is the process of extracting liquid water from humid ambient air and can be done using various methods. These methods include the use of condensation plates, desiccants, and biomimicry. At the heart of every AWG system is a mechanism to create a phase change from water vapor to liquid water. Historically, passive fog fences were employed using vertically oriented canvas to capture liquid water from humid air [1]. Most modern AWG systems use some form of condensation or desiccants. Modern condensation-based AWG systems generally employ vapor-compression refrigeration (VCR) to extract liquid water. The AWG methodology proposed in this research is to utilize Peltier (thermoelectric) cooling to achieve optimized AWG rates by maximizing water generation and minimizing power consumption. Peltier cooling is far less efficient than VCR cooling systems, but it has several advantages. These advantages include low-maintenance, high-reliability operation, and the ability to use renewable power resources such as solar. These are all advantageous for regions of the planet that are remotely located and lacking in infrastructure to accommodate higher maintenance and lower reliability VCR systems. Various heat transfer mechanisms, including conduction, convection (natural and forced), and phase change will be evaluated and optimized. A systematic approach using a configurable AWG test platform will be used to characterize and optimize these various cooling techniques. Additionally, computer thermal/fluid analysis will be performed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation.



Peltier, thermoelectric cooler, TEC, AWG, atmospheric water generation, heat transfer, heat pipe, psychrometric, optimization, Solidworks, flow simulation


Summers, M. (2021). Optimization of an atmospheric water generation system using peltier devices and multiple heat transfer mechanisms (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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