Conference Year

July 2018


thermoelectric, intelligent wall, local temperature, optimization


We investigated the energy efficiency of controlling steady-state temperature of the building by actively changing the heat flow using thermoelectric device embedded in the building walls. Heat flow is unlikely preferable especially at an extreme climate condition either hot or cold in considering the electrical power economy or primary energy concern. Heat flow through the thermoelectric is controllable in a certain range by simply switching the polarity of the driving current. Although its moderate coefficient-of-performance (COP) due to the limitation of material properties, thermoelectric is low-profile and the plate-like structure helps a lot to be built-in a wall. Based on our generic model based on the fundamental physics of electro-thermal energy transport, the parametric design is performed. The geometrical design optimization is conducted to find the conditions of either the maximum heat transport or maximum COP, which are quite different, or somewhere specific in between. Also, involvement of solar radiation coming into the room through a glass window or a heat flow through a solid wall is a critical factor to consider in controlling the room air temperature. We determine the optimum operation with minimum power consumption based on the analytic model. The model is brought into a code to calculate the operation electrical current to compensate the heat flow with thermoelectric for a couple of model cases. By sensing temperatures, the code could be a transformed to a real-time controller. With that response, the electrical power consumption is minimized wall-by-wall rather than operating a big vapor compression cycle air conditioning. We will discuss further about the advantage and disadvantage of this approach in the paper.