Elastocaloric cooling uses solid-state NiTi-based shape memory alloy (SMA) as a non-volatile cooling medium and enables a novel environment-friendly cooling technology. Due to the high specific latent heats activated by mechanical loading/unloading, substantial temperature changes are generated in the material. Accompanied by a small required work input, a high coefficient of performance is achievable.
Recently, a fully-functional and illustrative continuous operating elastocaloric air cooling system based on SMA was developed and realized. To assist the design process of an optimized device with given performance and efficiency requirements, a fully coupled thermo-mechanical system-level model of the multi-wire cooling unit was developed and implemented in MATLAB. The resulting compact simulation tool is qualified for massively parallel computation on modern multi-core computers, which allows fast and comprehensive parameter scans.
The comparison of first measurements and simulation results showed differences in the system performance. As the airflow rate influences the thermal power and the outlet temperature significantly, the demonstrator is extended with a spatial airflow measurement system to analyze the crossflow between the hot and cold side. Following, the fluid transport model is advanced by the effect of cross-flow losses, and first modeling results with the variation of airflow rate and rotation frequency are presented.