The goal of this research is to develop a framework for replacing conventional heating and cooling systems with distributed, continuously and electrically controlled, building-integrated thermoelectric (BITE) heat pumps. The coefficient of performance of thermoelectric heat pumps increases as the temperature difference across them decreases and as the amplitude of temperature oscillations decreases. As a result, this research examines how thermal insulation and mass elements can be integrated with thermoelectrics as part of active multi-layer structures in order to minimize net energy consumption. In order to develop BITE systems, an explicit finite volume model was developed to model the dynamic thermal response of active multi-layer wall structures subjected to arbitrary boundary conditions (interior and exterior temperatures and interior heat loads) and control algorithms. Using this numerical model, the effects of wall construction on net system performance were examined. These simulation results provide direction for the ongoing development of BITE systems.

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