COOLSPOT - Interfacial COOLing Strategies for high POwer dissipation conversion Technologies was recently selected by FCT in the IC&DT Projects Call in all Scientific Domains. It was a very competitive call, with 237 projects submitted in the scientific field of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Systems, of which 147 were eligible and 13 were recommended for funding.
COOLSPOT follows the work developed at the Laboratory of Interfacial plus Microscale Transport Phenomena in advanced cooling technologies for high energy density systems. The project is coordinated by António Luís Moreira and Ana Moita from IN+ / Técnico Lisboa, in a partnership with MEtRICs and CMEMS from University of Minho.
The autonomy of electric vehicles strongly depends on the cooling capacity of their electrical systems and power components. Up to 30% of the power can be dissipated due to heating related issues. Propulsion systems based on internal combustion engines also need a lot to improve their efficiency and to reduce the emissions, as they will remain in the market for some more years. Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are viable and economical alternatives, as they allow a considerable heat recovery from the thermal energy dissipated in the exhaust gases, but their low efficiency requires working at very high temperatures and demands an efficient cooling system.
COOLSPOT will provide an efficient cooling system for TEGs, integrating energy recovering strategies. During a period of three years and a budget of 250K Euros, the project will develop a comparative model of the main cooling systems for the thermal management of high heat loads, determine their efficiency in an industrial environment, and deliver a cooling system for the automotive industry. Nevertheless, main conclusions and design directives can be extrapolated to other cooling applications.