Control of a Thermoelectric Cooling System for Vehicle Payloads

Dr. Joshua Finn, a mechanical engineer in MERC’s Rotary Wing Division, and John R. Wagner, Ph.D., PE  from Clemson University, published a thermoelectric cooling systems article in the March 2017 edition of SAE International Journal of Passenger Cars – Electronic and Electrical Systems.

The paper entitled “Control of a Thermoelectric Cooling System for Vehicle Payloads – Theory and Test” has been presented at the 2017 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in Detroit, MI.

Dr. Finn’s paper presented control system algorithms for precise temperature control of sensitive electronics and vehicle payloads using thermoelectric devices. Thermoelectric cooling(TEC) and thermoelectric power generation (TEG) devices present the unique advantage of solid state components which can be scaled to extremely small sizes.

Using automotive heat recovery from exhaust gas, the potential exists for a 3-6% improvement in vehicle fuel economy when employing TEG.  This improved vehicle efficiency and potential fuel savings should be explored for the DoD within deployed Support Equipment and Vehicle Assets.


About Mercer Engineering Research Center

Mercer Engineering Research Center (MERC) is the research and applied engineering arm of Mercer University, a private university founded in 1833. For over 175 years the University has served Georgia as a highly-respected educational institution. In 1984, the School of Engineering was established at the Macon, Georgia campus, with the charter class beginning studies in 1985.

Two years later, in 1987, the Mercer Engineering Research Center was established under the School of Engineering to provide locally available engineering and scientific services and critical specialized technical skills. Today, MERC functions as a non-profit operating unit of the University, with the Executive Director, Dr. David Barwick, reporting directly to the University president, Mr. William D. Underwood.

To learn more, please visit MERC's website at