RePower: Harvesting waste heat generated by computer heat.
Joseph Soo
David Thompson Secondary
Floor Location : M 086 N

This project’s purpose is to reduce the electricity consumption used by computers by utilizing Peltier tiles and converting the originally wasted heat back into electricity. The first part of the project focused on placing Peltier tiles on the outside of a computer case and insulating the computer. The insulation was crucial because Peltier tiles have a high thermal resistance, so heat will simply go around the tiles and dissipate. The insulation was used to increase efficiency by insulating the heat wherever the tiles cannot be placed, making the design much more efficient. Through this design, a maximum amount of 0.1558w was generated.
As the project continued, it was observed that even though the original design was relatively efficient, there was still room for improvement. Hence, the second part of the project, which used a laptop in place of the computer began. A laptop has limited amounts of power from the battery, whereas in a desktop, one has seemingly unlimited amounts of electricity coming out from an outlet. An important improvement is heat transfer by conduction rather than heat transfer through convection. In the original design, a fan was used to circulate the heat, so a burned-out processor does not occur. In the new design, which used conduction by wiring the processor directly to the Peltier tiles, not only was there no need for a fan, but there was also no need to for an insulator. Through this new design, a maximum of 0.727w was generated.