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MESOSCOPIC ENERGY SYSTEMS

DOI: 10.1615/AnnualRevHeatTransfer.v14.270
pages 475-509

Louis C. Chow
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816-2450, USA

Jayanta S. Kapat
University of Central Florida, Miniature Engineering Systems Group, Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering, Orlando, FL 32816-2450, USA

Krishna Kota
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Dept., New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, USA

Resumo

Recent advances in a variety of microfabrication and precision machining techniques and development of new materials are opening up a huge commercial and military market for miniature energy systems. Compact power sources, lightweight cooling/heating systems for individuals functioning in extreme conditions, and reliable cryocoolers for medical and space applications are three examples. When macroscopic power, cooling, or heating is needed, mesoscopic-scale design could actually lead to the most optimal system. Though transport processes are significantly enhanced at the mesoscopic scale, and reliability is improved through redundancy with a distributed system, there are very challenging problems in tribology and thermal management that must be overcome. This article points out the changes in design paradigm brought about by miniaturization. Design issues and scaling laws associated with common miniature components such as compressor, heat exchanger, motor and generator, and turbo expanders used in refrigeration, cryocooling, and power generation systems are described. System integration consideration must also be given at every component design level to ensure a final overall compact, lightweight, efficient, and reliable miniature energy system. After assessing the current development status of miniature energy systems and their components, a list of topics is given where additional fundamental research is still needed.

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