An innovated method to monitor the health condition of the thermoelectric cooling system using nanocomposite‐based CNTs
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Many crucial applications use the thermoelectric coolers (TECs) system because they have some desirable properties, including durability, reliability, simple structure, and quietness. However, the performance of TECs is sensitive to any form of change and needs to be monitored constantly to ensure that they are working at their optimal. This paper proposes a novel approach for condition monitoring. This novel approach, unlike other attempts, does not need additional sensors but is directly carried out through the exploitation of the multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) piezoresistive property. For the suggested approach, a polyurethane (PU) resin was altered using various MWCNTs concentrations with the aim of constructing self-sensing nanocomposites sensors whose electrical conductivity is high. To investigate the electrical properties and microstructure of the constructed sensor, electrical resistance measurement, and scanning electron microscopy were used. From the results, it can be concluded that as the thickness increased, conductivity exhibited a monotonic increase. The peak electrical conductivity was 2.55 S.cm−1 for the 3.1 mm-thick MWCNTs sensors. This is approximately 5.1 above that of the 0.6 mm-thick MWCNTs sensors. Added to this, the MWCNT/PU sensors exhibited a high-temperature sensitivity with a negative temperature coefficient of resistance. The normalised resistance obtained from the sensor with the uppermost MWCNTs concentration is lower in comparison to the sensors with lower concentrations of MWCNTs. Additionally, the TEC cooling temperature influence on the tunnelling distance between MWCNTs was analytically estimated. This study's numerical results indicate that there is a potential correlation between TEC cooling generated temperature and the variations noted in the tunnelling distance between MWCNTs with an explicit impact on the general nanocomposite sensors changes in electric resistance when the TEC system is in service.
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