PhD Candidate/ Graduate Researcher, UCLA


This project focuses on investigating different mechanisms of power dissipation in piezoelectric fan

Consider a large building or industrial work place. Every year, a large amount of energy is consumed and eventually wasted to cool down the entire area. Normally, the air temperature is lowered to a value less than comfort temperature of the body to remove its humidity. Finally the air is heated and humidified to reach a controlled condition.

This process is very inefficient because first, it cools down the entire area (the whole air in a room, for instance). Secondly, it does not provide personalized conditioning; all the people in a room must experience the same condition, regardless of their personal preference. A Practical solution to this problem, is developing localized wearable air conditioning devices. A potentially effective area for this purpose is a person's feet, since recent researches have proven that the temperature of the feet has a great influence on the quality of the comfort that someone might experience.

Implementing a miniaturized cooling device in a shoe, requires low-power fans. Conventional rotary fans are difficult to scale down and are power inefficient when miniaturized. A novel type of fans, piezoelectric fans, are a promising alternative because of their simpler structures, less noise, and more importantly, their lower power consumption.

We report a combined experimental and modeling study to help elucidate power dissipation mechanisms in piezoelectric fans.

The present work helps improve our understanding of power consumption mechanisms in piezoelectric fans and provide a guideline in optimal fan operating conditions. The result of this work can be utilized to design and manufacture wearable air conditioning devices, which in turn have great impacts on lowering the energy consumption in large buildings.