Science.gov

Sample records for thermoelectric generator development

  1. Developing instrumentation to characterize thermoelectric generator modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Dawei; Li, Qiming; Peng, Wenbo; Zhu, Lianjun; Gao, Hu; Meng, Qingsen; Jin, A. J.

    2015-03-01

    Based on the law of physics, known as "Seebeck effect," a thermoelectric generator (TEG) produces electricity when the temperature differential is applied across the TEG. This article reports a precision method in characterizing TEG modules. A precision instrument is constructed to study thermoelectric conversion in terms of output power and efficiency of TEG modules. The maximum allowable TEG module size is 150 mm, and the preferred size is from 30 mm to 60 mm. During measurements, the highest hot side temperature is 500 °C and the cold side temperature can be adjusted from room temperature to 100 °C. A mechanical structure is developed to control the pressure and parallelism of the clamping force of the TEG on both its hot and cold sides. A heat flux measurement module is installed at its cold side, and the heat flux through TEGs can be measured in position. Finally, the energy conversion efficiency of TEGs is calculated from experimental data of both an output power and a heat flux.

  2. Design and development of thermoelectric generator

    SciTech Connect

    Prem Kumar, D. S. Mahajan, Ishan Vardhan Anbalagan, R. Mallik, Ramesh Chandra

    2014-04-24

    In this paper we discuss the fabrication, working and characteristics of a thermoelectric generator made up of p and n type semiconductor materials. The device consists of Fe{sub 0.2}Co{sub 3.8}Sb{sub 11.5}Te{sub 0.5} (zT = 1.04 at 818 K) as the n-type and Zn4Sb3 (zT=0.8 at 550 K) as the p-type material synthesized by vacuum hot press method. Carbon paste has been used to join the semiconductor legs to metal (Molybdenum) electrodes to reduce the contact resistance. The multi-couple (4 legs) generator results a maximum output power of 1.083 mW at a temperature difference of 240 K between the hot and cold sides. In this investigation, an I-V characteristic, maximum output power of the thermoelectric module is presented. The efficiency of thermoelectric module is obtained as ? = 0.273 %.

  3. Development and optimization of a stove-powered thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mastbergen, Dan

    Almost a third of the world's population still lacks access to electricity. Most of these people use biomass stoves for cooking which produce significant amounts of wasted thermal energy, but no electricity. Less than 1% of this energy in the form of electricity would be adequate for basic tasks such as lighting and communications. However, an affordable and reliable means of accomplishing this is currently nonexistent. The goal of this work is to develop a thermoelectric generator to convert a small amount of wasted heat into electricity. Although this concept has been around for decades, previous attempts have failed due to insufficient analysis of the system as a whole, leading to ineffective and costly designs. In this work, a complete design process is undertaken including concept generation, prototype testing, field testing, and redesign/optimization. Detailed component models are constructed and integrated to create a full system model. The model encompasses the stove operation, thermoelectric module, heat sinks, charging system and battery. A 3000 cycle endurance test was also conducted to evaluate the effects of operating temperature, module quality, and thermal interface quality on the generator's reliability, lifetime and cost effectiveness. The results from this testing are integrated into the system model to determine the lowest system cost in $/Watt over a five year period. Through this work the concept of a stove-based thermoelectric generator is shown to be technologically and economically feasible. In addition, a methodology is developed for optimizing the system for specific regional stove usage habits.

  4. Thermally cascaded thermoelectric generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flaherty, R.

    1970-01-01

    High efficiency thermoelectric generator utilizes a high-temperature thermoelectric material in thermal series with a low-temperature material. A thermally cascaded generator increases system efficiency.

  5. Advanced Thermoelectric Materials for Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caillat, Thierry; Hunag, C.-K.; Cheng, S.; Chi, S. C.; Gogna, P.; Paik, J.; Ravi, V.; Firdosy, S.; Ewell, R.

    2008-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the progress and processes involved in creating new and advanced thermoelectric materials to be used in the design of new radioiootope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). In a program with Department of Energy, NASA is working to develop the next generation of RTGs, that will provide significant benefits for deep space missions that NASA will perform. These RTG's are planned to be capable of delivering up to 17% system efficiency and over 12 W/kg specific power. The thermoelectric materials being developed are an important step in this process.

  6. Modular Isotopic Thermoelectric Generator

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1981-04-03

    Advanced RTG concepts utilizing improved thermoelectric materials and converter concepts are under study at Fairchild for DOE. The design described here is based on DOE's newly developed radioisotope heat source, and on an improved silicon-germanium material and a multicouple converter module under development at Syncal. Fairchild's assignment was to combine the above into an attractive power system for use in space, and to assess the specific power and other attributes of that design. The resultant design is highly modular, consisting of standard RTG slices, each producing ~24 watts at the desired output voltage of 28 volt. Thus, the design could be adapted to various space missions over a wide range of power levels, with little or no redesign. Each RTG slice consists of a 250-watt heat source module, eight multicouple thermoelectric modules, and standard sections of insulator, housing, radiator fins, and electrical circuit. The design makes it possible to check each thermoelectric module for electrical performance, thermal contact, leaktightness, and performance stability, after the generator is fully assembled; and to replace any deficient modules without disassembling the generator or perturbing the others. The RTG end sections provide the spring-loaded supports required to hold the free-standing heat source stack together during launch vibration. Details analysis indicates that the design offers a substantial improvement in specific power over the present generator of RTGs, using the same heat source modules. There are three copies in the file.

  7. Solar thermoelectric generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    The methods, the findings and the conclusions of a study for the design of a Solar Thermoelectric Generator (STG) intended for use as a power source for a spacecraft orbiting the planet Mercury are discussed. Several state-of-the-art thermoelectric technologies in the intended application were considered. The design of various STG configurations based on the thermoelectric technology selected from among the various technologies was examined in detail and a recommended STG design was derived. The performance characteristics of the selected STG technology and associated design were studied in detail as a function of the orbital characteristics of the STG in Mercury and throughout the orbit of Mercury around the sun.

  8. Superconducting thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Metzger, J.D.; El-Genk, M.S.

    1994-01-01

    Thermoelectricity is produced by applying a temperature differential to dissimilar electrically conducting or semiconducting materials, thereby producing a voltage that is proportional to the temperature difference. Thermoelectric generators use this effect to directly convert heat into electricity; however, presently-known generators have low efficiencies due to the production of high currents which in turn cause large resistive heating losses. Some thermoelectric generators operate at efficiencies between 4% and 7% in the 800{degrees} to 1200{degrees}C range. According to its major aspects and bradly stated, the present invention is an apparatus and method for producing electricity from heat. In particular, the invention is a thermoelectric generator that juxtaposes a superconducting material and a semiconducting material - so that the superconducting and the semiconducting materials touch - to convert heat energy into electrical energy without resistive losses in the temperature range below the critical temperature of the superconducting material. Preferably, an array of superconducting material is encased in one of several possible configurations within a second material having a high thermal conductivity, preferably a semiconductor, to form a thermoelectric generator.

  9. Development of advanced thermoelectric materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    The development of an advanced thermoelectric material for radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) applications is reported. A number of materials were explored. The bulk of the effort, however, was devoted to improving silicon germanium alloys by the addition of gallium phosphide, the synthesis and evaluation of lanthanum chrome sulfide and the formulation of various mixtures of lanthanum sulfide and chrome sulfide. It is found that each of these materials exhibits promise as a thermoelectric material.

  10. Modular Isotopic Thermoelectric Generator

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1981-01-01

    Advanced RTG concepts utilizing improved thermoelectric materials and converter concepts are under study at Fairchild for DOE. The design described here is based on DOE's newly developed radioisotope heat source, and on an improved silicon-germanium material and multicouple converter module under development at Syncal. Fairchild's assignment was to combine the above into an attractive power system for use in space, and to assess the specific power and other attributes of that design.

  11. Superconducting thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Metzger, John D. (Eaton's Neck, NY); El-Genk, Mohamed S. (Albuquerque, NM)

    1998-01-01

    An apparatus and method for producing electricity from heat. The present invention is a thermoelectric generator that uses materials with substantially no electrical resistance, often called superconductors, to efficiently convert heat into electrical energy without resistive losses. Preferably, an array of superconducting elements is encased within a second material with a high thermal conductivity. The second material is preferably a semiconductor. Alternatively, the superconducting material can be doped on a base semiconducting material, or the superconducting material and the semiconducting material can exist as alternating, interleaved layers of waferlike materials. A temperature gradient imposed across the boundary of the two materials establishes an electrical potential related to the magnitude of the temperature gradient. The superconducting material carries the resulting electrical current at zero resistivity, thereby eliminating resistive losses. The elimination of resistive losses significantly increases the conversion efficiency of the thermoelectric device.

  12. Superconducting thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Metzger, J.D.; El-Genk, M.S.

    1998-05-05

    An apparatus and method for producing electricity from heat is disclosed. The present invention is a thermoelectric generator that uses materials with substantially no electrical resistance, often called superconductors, to efficiently convert heat into electrical energy without resistive losses. Preferably, an array of superconducting elements is encased within a second material with a high thermal conductivity. The second material is preferably a semiconductor. Alternatively, the superconducting material can be doped on a base semiconducting material, or the superconducting material and the semiconducting material can exist as alternating, interleaved layers of waferlike materials. A temperature gradient imposed across the boundary of the two materials establishes an electrical potential related to the magnitude of the temperature gradient. The superconducting material carries the resulting electrical current at zero resistivity, thereby eliminating resistive losses. The elimination of resistive losses significantly increases the conversion efficiency of the thermoelectric device. 4 figs.

  13. Superconducting thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Metzger, J.D.; El-Genk, M.S.

    1996-01-01

    An apparatus and method for producing electricity from heat. The present invention is a thermoelectric generator that uses materials with substantially no electrical resistance, often called superconductors, to efficiently convert heat into electrical energy without resistive losses. Preferably, an array of superconducting elements is encased within a second material with a high thermal conductivity. The second material is preferably a semiconductor. Alternatively, the superconducting material can be doped on a base semiconducting material, or the superconducting material and the semiconducting material can exist as alternating, interleaved layers of waferlike materials. A temperature gradient imposed across the boundary of the two materials establishes an electrical potential related to the magnitude of the temperature gradient. The superconducting material carries the resulting electrical current at zero resistivity, thereby eliminating resistive losses. The elimination of resistive losses significantly increases the conversion efficiency of the thermoelectric device.

  14. The Next Generation Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tritt, Terry M.

    1999-11-01

    Recently there been renewed interest in materials for thermoelectric refrigeration and power generation applications.^1, 2 Many new materials and new classes of materials are being investigated for potential thermoelectric applications. An introduction to thermoelectric refrigeration and power generation, the advantages and disadvantages and potential applications will be discussed. An overview of some of the current thermoelectric materials under investigation and the criteria for selection of new materials will be given. To be promising as a thermoelectric material, a material must have a high Seebeck coefficient, ?, high electrical conductivity, ?, and a low thermal conductivity, ?. These parameters go into the material's dimensionless figure of merit ZT = ? ^2?T/?. Our research at Clemson is focused on a number of new materials, quasicrystals and pentatelluride materials, which show promise for thermoelectrics and these systems will be briefly discussed. Demonstrations of thermoelectric devices will be shown and discussed. 1.) Thermoelectric Materials: New Directions and Approaches, MRS Volumes 478 and 545, edited by Terry M. Tritt et. al. 2.) G. Mahan, B. Sales and J. Sharp, Physics Today, March 50, 42, 1997

  15. Thermoelectric Energy Conversion: Future Directions and Technology Development Needs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, Jean-Pierre

    2007-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the process of thermoelectric energy conversion along with key technology needs and challenges. The topics include: 1) The Case for Thermoelectrics; 2) Advances in Thermoelectrics: Investment Needed; 3) Current U.S. Investment (FY07); 4) Increasing Thermoelectric Materials Conversion Efficiency Key Science Needs and Challenges; 5) Developing Advanced TE Components & Systems Key Technology Needs and Challenges; 6) Thermoelectrics; 7) 200W Class Lightweight Portable Thermoelectric Generator; 8) Hybrid Absorption Cooling/TE Power Cogeneration System; 9) Major Opportunities in Energy Industry; 10) Automobile Waste Heat Recovery; 11) Thermoelectrics at JPL; 12) Recent Advances at JPL in Thermoelectric Converter Component Technologies; 13) Thermoelectrics Background on Power Generation and Cooling Operational Modes; 14) Thermoelectric Power Generation; and 15) Thermoelectric Cooling.

  16. Development of high efficiency segmented thermoelectric unicouples

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caillat, T.; Fleurial, J. P.; Snyder, G. J.; Borshchevsky, A.

    2001-01-01

    Highly efficient, segmented thermoelectric unicouple incorporating advanced thermoelectric materials with superior thermoelectric figures of merit are currently being developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  17. Thermoelectric generator for motor vehicle

    DOEpatents

    Bass, John C. (6121 La Pintra Dr., La Jolla, CA 92037)

    1997-04-29

    A thermoelectric generator for producing electric power for a motor vehicle from the heat of the exhaust gasses produced by the engine of the motor vehicle. The exhaust gasses pass through a finned heat transfer support structure which has seat positions on its outside surface for the positioning of thermoelectric modules. A good contact cylinder provides a framework from which a spring force can be applied to the thermoelectric modules to hold them in good contact on their seats on the surface of the heat transfer support structure.

  18. Research and Development for Thermoelectric Generation Technology Using Waste Heat from Steelmaking Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuroki, Takashi; Murai, Ryota; Makino, Kazuya; Nagano, Kouji; Kajihara, Takeshi; Kaibe, Hiromasa; Hachiuma, Hirokuni; Matsuno, Hidetoshi

    2015-06-01

    In Japan, integrated steelworks have greatly lowered their energy use over the past few decades through investment in energy-efficient processes and facilities, maintaining the highest energy efficiency in the world. However, in view of energy security, the steelmaking industry is strongly required to develop new technologies for further energy saving. Waste heat recovery can be one of the key technologies to meet this requirement. To recover waste heat, particularly radiant heat from steel products which has not been used efficiently yet, thermoelectric generation (TEG) is one of the most effective technologies, being able to convert heat directly into electric power. JFE Steel Corporation (JFE) implemented a 10-kW-class grid-connected TEG system for JFE's continuous casting line with KELK Ltd. (KELK), and started verification tests to generate electric power using radiant heat from continuous casting slab at the end of fiscal year 2012. The TEG system has 56 TEG units, each containing 16 TEG modules. This paper describes the performance and durability of the TEG system, which has been investigated under various operating conditions at the continuous casting line.

  19. Thermoelectric Development at Hi-Z Technology

    SciTech Connect

    Kushch, Aleksandr S.; Bass, John C.; Ghamaty, Saeid; Elsner, Norbert B.; Bergstrand, Richard A.; Furrow, David; Melvin, Mike

    2002-08-25

    An improved Thermoelectric Generator (TEG) for the Heavy Duty Class Eight Diesel Trucks is under development at Hi-Z Technology. The current TEG is equipped with the improved HZ-14 Thermoelectric module, which features better mechanical properties as well as higher electric power output. Also, the modules are held in place more securely.

  20. Accurate Electrothermal Modeling of Thermoelectric Generators

    E-print Network

    Pedram, Massoud

    Accurate Electrothermal Modeling of Thermoelectric Generators Mohammad Javad Dousti1 , Antonio Janeiro, Brazil 1 {dousti,pedram}@usc.edu and 2 antonio@pads.ufrj.br Abstract--Thermoelectric generators of thermoelectric generators (TEGs). TEGs work based on the Seebeck effect, which converts a temperature gradient

  1. Development of the data base for a degradation model of a selenide RTG. [Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stapfer, G.; Truscello, V. C.

    1977-01-01

    The paper is concerned with the evaluation of the materials used in a selenide radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). These materials are composed of n-type gadolinium selenide and n-type copper selenide. A three-fold evaluation approach is being used: (1) the study of the rate of change of the thermal conductivity of the material, (2) the investigation of the long-term stability of the material's Seebeck voltage and electrical resistivity under current and temperature gradient conditions, and (3) determination of the physical behavior and compatibility of the material with surrounding insulation at elevated temperatures. Programmatically, the third category of characteristic evaluation is being emphasized.

  2. Fabrication Process for Micro Thermoelectric Generators (?TEGs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelz, U.; Jaklin, J.; Rostek, R.; Thoma, F.; Kröner, M.; Woias, P.

    2015-10-01

    An innovative micro thermoelectric generator (?TEG) fabrication process has been developed. Two selectively dissolvable photoresists and galvanostatic electrodeposition are used to grow p- and n-type thermoelectric materials as well as the upper and lower contacts of the ?TEGs onto a single substrate. Two particular features of the process are the usage of a multilamination technique to create structures for legs and contacts, as well as an industrial pick and placer (P&P), which allows dispensing of a second, selectively dissolvable, photoresist to protect certain areas during material deposition. This allows sequential electrochemical deposition of two different thermoelectric materials on a single substrate, without further costly and time-consuming process steps. The process therefore provides a highly flexible fabrication platform for research and development.

  3. Development of a New Generation of High-Temperature Thermoelectric Unicouples for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caillat, Thierry; Gogna, P.; Sakamoto, J.; Jewell, A.; Cheng, J.; Blair, R.; Fleurial, J. -P.; Ewell, R.

    2006-01-01

    RTG's have enabled surface and deep space missions since 1961: a) 26 flight missions without any RTG failures; and b) Mission durations in excess of 25 years. Future NASA missions require RTG s with high specific power and high efficiency, while retaining long life (> 14 years) and high reliability, (i.e. 6-8 W/kg, 10-15% efficiency). JPL in partnership with NASA-GRC, NASA-MSFC, DOE, Universities and Industry is developing advanced thermoelectric materials and converters to meet future NASA needs.

  4. Thermoelectric materials development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, J. P.; Caillat, T.; Borshchevsky, A.

    1998-01-01

    A systematic search for advanced thermoelectric materials was initiated at JPL several years ago to evaluate candidate materials which includes consideration of the following property attributes: (1) semiconducting properties; (2) large Seebeck coefficient; (3) high carrier mobility and high electrical conductivity; (4) low lattice thermal conductivity; and (5) chemical stability and low vapor pressure. Through this candidate screening process, JPL identified several families of materials as promising candidates for improved thermoelectric materials including the skutterudite family. As part of an ongoing effort to develop skutterudite materials with lower thermal conductivity values, several solid solutions and filled skutterudite materials were investigated under the effort sponsored by DOE. The efforts have primarily focused on: (1) study of existence and properties of solid solutions between the binary compounds CoSb3 and IrSb3, and RuSb2Te, and (2) CeFe(4-x)Sb12 based filled compositions. For the solid solutions, the lattice thermal conductivity reduction was expected to be reduced by the introduction of the Te and Ru atoms while in the case of CeFe(4-x)Ru(x)Sb12 based filled compositions. For the solid solutions, the lattice thermal conductivity reduction was expected to be reduced by the introduction of the Te and Ru atoms while in the case of CeFe(4-x)Ru(x)Sb12 filled compositions, the reduction would be caused by the rattling of Ce atoms located in the empty voids of the skutterudite structure and the substitution of Fe for Ru. The details of the sample preparation and characterization of their thermoelectric properties are reported in this report.

  5. Flat-Plate Solar Thermoelectric Generator

    E-print Network

    Lee, Ho Sung

    Flat-Plate Solar Thermoelectric Generator Dr. HoSung Lee Department of Aerospace and Mechanical.94, a = 0.95, e = 0.05 · q" = 1000 W/m^2, Cth = 299 · Thermoelectric element: 1.35 x 1.35 x 1.65 mm^3 3 #12 Thermoelectric Generator (SPDTEG) #12;Olsen et al. (2014), Energy Procedia 49 Baranowski et al. (2014), JEMS, 43

  6. Alternative Fuel Sources for Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators 

    E-print Network

    Parker, Trevor Drake

    2014-09-18

    colleagues who have recently joined the project; we look forward to working with you. Thanks to Marina for offering her expertise and advice. Thanks to Lane Carasik for his advice and encouragement. Thanks to ORNL for providing the software used... to perform analysis throughout the project. 4 NOMENCLATURE RTG Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator ORNL Oak Ridge National Laboratory OECD Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development NEA Nuclear Energy Agency JANIS Java-based Nuclear...

  7. Development of a radioisotope heat source for the two-watt radioisotope thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Edwin I.; McNeil, Dennis C.; Amos, Wayne R.

    1992-01-01

    Described is a radioisotope heat source for the Two-Watt Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) which is being considered for possible application by the U.S. Navy and for other Department of Defense applications. The heat source thermal energy (75 Wt) is produced from the alpha decay of plutonium-238 which is in the form of high-fired plutonium dioxide. The capsule is non-vented and consists of three domed cylindrical components each closed with a corresponding sealed end cap. Surrounding the fuel is the liner component, which is fabricated from a tantalum-based alloy, T-111. Also fabricated from T-111 is the next component, the strength member, which serves to meet pressure and impact criteria. The outermost component, or clad, is the oxidation- and corrosion-resistant nickel-based alloy, Hastelloy S. This paper defines the design considerations, details the hardware fabrication and welding processes, discusses the addition of yttrium to the fuel to reduce liner embrittlement, and describes the testing that has been conducted or is planned to assure that there is fuel containment not only during the heat source operational life, but also in case of an accident environment.

  8. Development and Demonstration of a Modeling Framework for Assessing the Efficacy of Using Mine Water for Thermoelectric Power Generation

    SciTech Connect

    2010-03-01

    Thermoelectric power plants use large volumes of water for condenser cooling and other plant operations. Traditionally, this water has been withdrawn from the cleanest water available in streams and rivers. However, as demand for electrical power increases it places increasing demands on freshwater resources resulting in conflicts with other off stream water users. In July 2002, NETL and the Governor of Pennsylvania called for the use of water from abandoned mines to replace our reliance on the diminishing and sometimes over allocated surface water resource. In previous studies the National Mine Land Reclamation Center (NMLRC) at West Virginia University has demonstrated that mine water has the potential to reduce the capital cost of acquiring cooling water while at the same time improving the efficiency of the cooling process due to the constant water temperatures associated with deep mine discharges. The objectives of this project were to develop and demonstrate a user-friendly computer based design aid for assessing the costs, technical and regulatory aspects and potential environmental benefits for using mine water for thermoelectric generation. The framework provides a systematic process for evaluating the hydrologic, chemical, engineering and environmental factors to be considered in using mine water as an alternative to traditional freshwater supply. A field investigation and case study was conducted for the proposed 300 MW Beech Hollow Power Plant located in Champion, Pennsylvania. The field study based on previous research conducted by NMLRC identified mine water sources sufficient to reliably supply the 2-3,000gpm water supply requirement of Beech Hollow. A water collection, transportation and treatment system was designed around this facility. Using this case study a computer based design aid applicable to large industrial water users was developed utilizing water collection and handling principals derived in the field investigation and during previous studies of mine water and power plant cooling. Visual basic software was used to create general information/evaluation modules for a range of power plant water needs that were tested/verified against the Beech Hollow project. The program allows for consideration of blending mine water as needed as well as considering potential thermal and environmental benefits that can be derived from using constant temperature mine water. Users input mine water flow, quality, distance to source, elevations to determine collection, transport and treatment system design criteria. The program also evaluates low flow volumes and sustainable yields for various sources. All modules have been integrated into a seamless user friendly computer design aid and user's manual for evaluating the capital and operating costs of mine water use. The framework will facilitate the use of mine water for thermoelectric generation, reduce demand on freshwater resources and result in environmental benefits from reduced emissions and abated mine discharges.

  9. An innovative method of generating current and thermoelectric equipment for its realization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kušnerová, M.; Valí?ek, J.; Harni?árová, M.; Koštial, P.; Jan?íková, Z.

    2015-02-01

    The paper assesses an innovative thermoelectric device used to generate a current by the conversion of thermal energy into electrical energy. The device has been created and verified. Until now, the efficiency of conventional thermoelectric batteries is for technical practice not sufficiently appreciated, because it does not exceed 3 %. A necessary condition needed for the implementation of the Seebeck thermoelectric effect is a sufficient and stable source of heat that provides an optimum temperature difference, but there are two other sufficient conditions for a significant increase in efficiency of thermoelectric batteries. These are concerned with the development of new materials for thermoelectric batteries and with the development of new construction of thermoelectric batteries.

  10. Thermoelectric power generation for hybrid-electric vehicle auxiliary power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Headings, Leon M.; Washington, Gregory N.; Midlam-Mohler, Shawn; Heremans, Joseph P.

    2009-03-01

    The plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle (PHEV) concept allows for a moderate driving range in electric mode but uses an onboard range extender to capitalize on the high energy density of fuels using a combustion-based generator, typically using an internal combustion engine. An alternative being developed here is a combustion-based thermoelectric generator in order to develop systems technologies which capitalize on the high power density and inherent benefits of solid-state thermoelectric power generation. This thermoelectric power unit may find application in many military, industrial, and consumer applications including range extension for PHEVs. In this research, a baseline prototype was constructed using a novel multi-fuel atomizer with diesel fuel, a conventional thermoelectric heat exchange configuration, and a commercially available bismuth telluride module (maximum 225°C). This prototype successfully demonstrated the viability of diesel fuel for thermoelectric power generation, provided a baseline performance for evaluating future improvements, provided the mechanism to develop simulation and analysis tools and methods, and highlighted areas requiring development. The improvements in heat transfer efficiency using catalytic combustion were evaluated, the system was redesigned to operate at temperatures around 500 °C, and the performance of advanced high temperature thermoelectric modules was examined.

  11. Theoretical efficiency of solar thermoelectric energy generators

    E-print Network

    Chen, Gang

    This paper investigates the theoretical efficiency of solar thermoelectric generators (STEGs). A model is established including thermal concentration in addition to optical concentration. Based on the model, the maximum ...

  12. Solar thermoelectrics for small scale power generation

    E-print Network

    Amatya, Reja

    2012-01-01

    In the past two decades, there has been a surge in the research of new thermoelectric (TE) materials, driven party by the need for clean and sustainable power generation technology. Utilizing the Seebeck effect, the ...

  13. Thermoelectric generator cooling system and method of control

    DOEpatents

    Prior, Gregory P; Meisner, Gregory P; Glassford, Daniel B

    2012-10-16

    An apparatus is provided that includes a thermoelectric generator and an exhaust gas system operatively connected to the thermoelectric generator to heat a portion of the thermoelectric generator with exhaust gas flow through the thermoelectric generator. A coolant system is operatively connected to the thermoelectric generator to cool another portion of the thermoelectric generator with coolant flow through the thermoelectric generator. At least one valve is controllable to cause the coolant flow through the thermoelectric generator in a direction that opposes a direction of the exhaust gas flow under a first set of operating conditions and to cause the coolant flow through the thermoelectric generator in the direction of exhaust gas flow under a second set of operating conditions.

  14. Computer modeling of thermoelectric generator performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chmielewski, A. B.; Shields, V.

    1982-01-01

    Features of the DEGRA 2 computer code for simulating the operations of a spacecraft thermoelectric generator are described. The code models the physical processes occurring during operation. Input variables include the thermoelectric couple geometry and composition, the thermoelectric materials' properties, interfaces and insulation in the thermopile, the heat source characteristics, mission trajectory, and generator electrical requirements. Time steps can be specified and sublimation of the leg and hot shoe is accounted for, as are shorts between legs. Calculations are performed for conduction, Peltier, Thomson, and Joule heating, the cold junction can be adjusted for solar radition, and the legs of the thermoelectric couple are segmented to enhance the approximation accuracy. A trial run covering 18 couple modules yielded data with 0.3% accuracy with regard to test data. The model has been successful with selenide materials, SiGe, and SiN4, with output of all critical operational variables.

  15. Heat Management in Thermoelectric Power Generators

    E-print Network

    Zebarjadi, Mona

    2015-01-01

    Thermoelectric power generators are used to convert heat into electricity. Like any other heat engine, the performance of a thermoelectric generator increases as the temperature difference on the sides increases. It is generally assumed that as more heat is forced through the thermoelectric legs, their performance increases. Therefore, insulations are typically used to minimize the heat losses and to confine the heat transport through the thermoelectric legs. In this paper we show that to some extend it is beneficial to purposely open heat loss channels in order to establish a larger temperature gradient and therefore to increase the overall efficiency and achieve larger electric power output. We define a modified Biot number (Bi) as an indicator of requirements for sidewall insulation. We show that if Bi1, it lowers the conversion efficiency.

  16. Thermoelectric Fabrics: Toward Power Generating Clothing

    PubMed Central

    Du, Yong; Cai, Kefeng; Chen, Song; Wang, Hongxia; Shen, Shirley Z.; Donelson, Richard; Lin, Tong

    2015-01-01

    Herein, we demonstrate that a flexible, air-permeable, thermoelectric (TE) power generator can be prepared by applying a TE polymer (e.g. poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(4-styrenesulfonate)) coated commercial fabric and subsequently by linking the coated strips with a conductive connection (e.g. using fine metal wires). The poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(4-styrenesulfonate) coated fabric shows very stable TE properties from 300?K to 390?K. The fabric device can generate a TE voltage output (V) of 4.3?mV at a temperature difference (?T) of 75.2?K. The potential for using fabric TE devices to harvest body temperature energy has been discussed. Fabric-based TE devices may be useful for the development of new power generating clothing and self-powered wearable electronics. PMID:25804132

  17. Thermoelectric Fabrics: Toward Power Generating Clothing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Yong; Cai, Kefeng; Chen, Song; Wang, Hongxia; Shen, Shirley Z.; Donelson, Richard; Lin, Tong

    2015-03-01

    Herein, we demonstrate that a flexible, air-permeable, thermoelectric (TE) power generator can be prepared by applying a TE polymer (e.g. poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(4-styrenesulfonate)) coated commercial fabric and subsequently by linking the coated strips with a conductive connection (e.g. using fine metal wires). The poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(4-styrenesulfonate) coated fabric shows very stable TE properties from 300 K to 390 K. The fabric device can generate a TE voltage output (V) of 4.3 mV at a temperature difference (?T) of 75.2 K. The potential for using fabric TE devices to harvest body temperature energy has been discussed. Fabric-based TE devices may be useful for the development of new power generating clothing and self-powered wearable electronics.

  18. Thermoelectric fabrics: toward power generating clothing.

    PubMed

    Du, Yong; Cai, Kefeng; Chen, Song; Wang, Hongxia; Shen, Shirley Z; Donelson, Richard; Lin, Tong

    2015-01-01

    Herein, we demonstrate that a flexible, air-permeable, thermoelectric (TE) power generator can be prepared by applying a TE polymer (e.g. poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(4-styrenesulfonate)) coated commercial fabric and subsequently by linking the coated strips with a conductive connection (e.g. using fine metal wires). The poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(4-styrenesulfonate) coated fabric shows very stable TE properties from 300?K to 390?K. The fabric device can generate a TE voltage output (V) of 4.3?mV at a temperature difference (?T) of 75.2?K. The potential for using fabric TE devices to harvest body temperature energy has been discussed. Fabric-based TE devices may be useful for the development of new power generating clothing and self-powered wearable electronics. PMID:25804132

  19. Compatibility of segmented thermoelectric generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, J.; Ursell, T.

    2002-01-01

    It is well known that power generation efficiency improves when materials with appropriate properties are combined either in a cascaded or segmented fashion across a temperature gradient. Past methods for determining materials used in segmentation weremainly concerned with materials that have the highest figure of merit in the temperature range. However, the example of SiGe segmented with Bi2Te3 and/or various skutterudites shows a marked decline in device efficiency even though SiGe has the highest figure of merit in the temperature range. The origin of the incompatibility of SiGe with other thermoelectric materials leads to a general definition of compatibility and intrinsic efficiency. The compatibility factor derived as = (Jl+zr - 1) a is a function of only intrinsic material properties and temperature, which is represented by a ratio of current to conduction heat. For maximum efficiency the compatibility factor should not change with temperature both within a single material, and in the segmented leg as a whole. This leads to a measure of compatibility not only between segments, but also within a segment. General temperature trends show that materials are more self compatible at higher temperatures, and segmentation is more difficult across a larger -T. The compatibility factor can be used as a quantitative guide for deciding whether a material is better suited for segmentation orcascading. Analysis of compatibility factors and intrinsic efficiency for optimal segmentation are discussed, with intent to predict optimal material properties, temperature interfaces, and/or currentheat ratios.

  20. Thermoelectric power generator with intermediate loop

    DOEpatents

    Bel,; Lon E. (Altadena, CA); Crane, Douglas Todd (Pasadena, CA)

    2009-10-27

    A thermoelectric power generator is disclosed for use to generate electrical power from heat, typically waste heat. An intermediate heat transfer loop forms a part of the system to permit added control and adjustability in the system. This allows the thermoelectric power generator to more effectively and efficiently generate power in the face of dynamically varying temperatures and heat flux conditions, such as where the heat source is the exhaust of an automobile, or any other heat source with dynamic temperature and heat flux conditions.

  1. Thermoelectric power generator with intermediate loop

    DOEpatents

    Bell, Lon E; Crane, Douglas Todd

    2013-05-21

    A thermoelectric power generator is disclosed for use to generate electrical power from heat, typically waste heat. An intermediate heat transfer loop forms a part of the system to permit added control and adjustability in the system. This allows the thermoelectric power generator to more effectively and efficiently generate power in the face of dynamically varying temperatures and heat flux conditions, such as where the heat source is the exhaust of an automobile, or any other heat source with dynamic temperature and heat flux conditions.

  2. General-purpose heat source: Research and development program. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator impact tests: RTG-1 and RTG-2

    SciTech Connect

    Reimus, M.A.H.; Hinckley, J.E.; George, T.G.

    1996-07-01

    The General-Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) provides power for space missions by transmitting the heat of {sup 238}Pu decay to an array of thermoelectric elements in a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). Because the potential for a launch abort or return from orbit exists for any space mission, the heat source response to credible accident scenarios is being evaluated. The first two RTG Impact Tests were designed to provide information on the response of a fully loaded RTG to end-on impact against a concrete target. The results of these tests indicated that at impact velocities up to 57 m/s the converter shell and internal components protect the GPHS capsules from excessive deformation. At higher velocities, some of the internal components of the RTG interact with the GPHS capsules to cause excessive localized deformation and failure.

  3. General-purpose heat source: Research and development program, radioisotope thermoelectric generator/thin fragment impact test

    SciTech Connect

    Reimus, M.A.H.; Hinckley, J.E.

    1996-11-01

    The general-purpose heat source provides power for space missions by transmitting the heat of {sup 238}Pu decay to an array of thermoelectric elements in a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). Because the potential for a launch abort or return from orbit exists for any space mission, the heat source response to credible accident scenarios is being evaluated. This test was designed to provide information on the response of a loaded RTG to impact by a fragment similar to the type of fragment produced by breakup of the spacecraft propulsion module system. The results of this test indicated that impact by a thin aluminum fragment traveling at 306 m/s may result in significant damage to the converter housing, failure of one fueled clad, and release of a small quantity of fuel.

  4. Development of segmented thermoelectric multicouple converter technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Johnson, Kenneth; Sakamoto, Jeff; Huang, Chen-Kuo; Snyder, Jeff; Mondt, Jack; Blair, Richard; Frye, Patrick; Stapfer, Gerhard; Caillat, Thierry; Determan, William; Heshmatpour, Ben; Brooks, Michael; Tuttle, Karen

    2006-01-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, and Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc., have teamed together under JPL leadership to develop the next generation of advanced thermoelectric space reactor power conversion systems. The program goals are to develop the technologies needed to achieve a space nuclear power system specific mass goal of less than 30 kg/kW at the 100 kW power level with a greater than 15 year lifetime.

  5. Modeling of solar thermal selective surfaces and thermoelectric generators

    E-print Network

    McEnaney, Kenneth

    2010-01-01

    A thermoelectric generator is a solid-state device that converts a heat flux into electrical power via the Seebeck effect. When a thermoelectric generator is inserted between a solar-absorbing surface and a heat sink, a ...

  6. Modular Isotopic Thermoelectric Generator (MITG) Design and Development, Part A-E. Original was presented at 1983 Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference (IECEC)

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, A.

    1983-04-29

    Advanced RTG concepts utilizing improved thermoelectric materials and converter concepts are under study at Fairchild for DOE. The design described here is based on DOE's newly developed radioisotope heat source, and on an improved silicon-germanium material and a multicouple converter module under development at Syncal. Fairchild's assignment was to combine the above into an attractive power system for use in space, and to assess the specific power and other attributes of that design. The resultant design is highly modular, consisting of standard RTG slices, each producing 24 watts at the desired output voltage of 28 volt. Thus, the design could be adapted to various space missions over a wide range of power levels, with little or no redesign. Each RTG slice consists of a 250-watt heat source module, eight multicouple thermoelectric modules, and standard sections of insulator, housing, radiator fins, and electrical circuit. The design makes it possible to check each thermoelectric module for electrical performance, thermal contact, leaktightness, and performance stability, after the generator is fully assembled; and to replace any deficient modules without disassembling the generator or perturbing the others. The RTG end sections provide the spring-loaded supports required to hold the free-standing heat source stack together during launch vibration. Detailed analysis indicates that the present generation of RTGs, using the same heat source modules. There is a duplicate copy of this document. OSTI has a copy of this paper.

  7. Method of operating a thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Reynolds, Michael G; Cowgill, Joshua D

    2013-11-05

    A method for operating a thermoelectric generator supplying a variable-load component includes commanding the variable-load component to operate at a first output and determining a first load current and a first load voltage to the variable-load component while operating at the commanded first output. The method also includes commanding the variable-load component to operate at a second output and determining a second load current and a second load voltage to the variable-load component while operating at the commanded second output. The method includes calculating a maximum power output of the thermoelectric generator from the determined first load current and voltage and the determined second load current and voltage, and commanding the variable-load component to operate at a third output. The commanded third output is configured to draw the calculated maximum power output from the thermoelectric generator.

  8. Microfabricated thermoelectric power-generation devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, Jean-Pierre (Inventor); Ryan, Margaret A. (Inventor); Borshchevsky, Alex (Inventor); Phillips, Wayne (Inventor); Kolawa, Elizabeth A. (Inventor); Snyder, G. Jeffrey (Inventor); Caillat, Thierry (Inventor); Kascich, Thorsten (Inventor); Mueller, Peter (Inventor)

    2004-01-01

    A device for generating power to run an electronic component. The device includes a heat-conducting substrate (composed, e.g., of diamond or another high thermal conductivity material) disposed in thermal contact with a high temperature region. During operation, heat flows from the high temperature region into the heat-conducting substrate, from which the heat flows into the electrical power generator. A thermoelectric material (e.g., a BiTe alloy-based film or other thermoelectric material) is placed in thermal contact with the heat-conducting substrate. A low temperature region is located on the side of the thermoelectric material opposite that of the high temperature region. The thermal gradient generates electrical power and drives an electrical component.

  9. Microfabricated thermoelectric power-generation devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, Jean-Pierre (Inventor); Ryan, Margaret A. (Inventor); Borshchevsky, Alex (Inventor); Phillips, Wayne (Inventor); Kolawa, Elizabeth A. (Inventor); Snyder, G. Jeffrey (Inventor); Caillat, Thierry (Inventor); Kascich, Thorsten (Inventor); Mueller, Peter (Inventor)

    2002-01-01

    A device for generating power to run an electronic component. The device includes a heat-conducting substrate (composed, e.g., of diamond or another high thermal conductivity material) disposed in thermal contact with a high temperature region. During operation, heat flows from the high temperature region into the heat-conducting substrate, from which the heat flows into the electrical power generator. A thermoelectric material (e.g., a BiTe alloy-based film or other thermoelectric material) is placed in thermal contact with the heat-conducting substrate. A low temperature region is located on the side of the thermoelectric material opposite that of the high temperature region. The thermal gradient generates electrical power and drives an electrical component.

  10. Validation, Optimization and Simulation of Solar Thermoelectric Generator Model

    E-print Network

    Lee, Ho Sung

    1 Validation, Optimization and Simulation of Solar Thermoelectric Generator Model By Ali Hamil to environmental problems such as climate change, acid rain and gases emissions. Thermoelectric generator In this project, a model of solar thermoelectric generator (STEG) is analyzed based on the concept of converting

  11. MoS2 Nanoribbons Thermoelectric Generators

    E-print Network

    Arab, Abbas

    2015-01-01

    In this work, we have designed and simulated new thermoelectric generator based on monolayer and few-layer MoS2 nanoribbons. The proposed thermoelectric generator is composed of thermocouples made of both n-type and p-type MoS2 nanoribbon legs. Density Functional Tight-Binding Non-Equilibrium Green's Function (DFTB-NEGF) method has been used to calculate the transmission spectrum of MoS2 armchair and zigzag nanoribbons. Phonon transmission spectrum are calculated based on parameterization of Stillinger-Weber potential. Thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, is calculated using these electronic and phonon transmission spectrum. Monolayer and bilayer MoS2 armchair nanoribbons are found to have the highest ZT value for p-type and n-type legs, repectively. Moreover, we have compared the thermoelectric current of doped monolayer MoS2 armchair nanoribbons and SZi thin films. Results indicate that thermoelectric current of MoS2 monolayer nanoribbons is several orders of magnitude higher than that of Si thin films.

  12. Compatibility of Segments of Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, G. Jeffrey; Ursell, Tristan

    2009-01-01

    A method of calculating (usually for the purpose of maximizing) the power-conversion efficiency of a segmented thermoelectric generator is based on equations derived from the fundamental equations of thermoelectricity. Because it is directly traceable to first principles, the method provides physical explanations in addition to predictions of phenomena involved in segmentation. In comparison with the finite-element method used heretofore to predict (without being able to explain) the behavior of a segmented thermoelectric generator, this method is much simpler to implement in practice: in particular, the efficiency of a segmented thermoelectric generator can be estimated by evaluating equations using only hand-held calculator with this method. In addition, the method provides for determination of cascading ratios. The concept of cascading is illustrated in the figure and the definition of the cascading ratio is defined in the figure caption. An important aspect of the method is its approach to the issue of compatibility among segments, in combination with introduction of the concept of compatibility within a segment. Prior approaches involved the use of only averaged material properties. Two materials in direct contact could be examined for compatibility with each other, but there was no general framework for analysis of compatibility. The present method establishes such a framework. The mathematical derivation of the method begins with the definition of reduced efficiency of a thermoelectric generator as the ratio between (1) its thermal-to-electric power-conversion efficiency and (2) its Carnot efficiency (the maximum efficiency theoretically attainable, given its hot- and cold-side temperatures). The derivation involves calculation of the reduced efficiency of a model thermoelectric generator for which the hot-side temperature is only infinitesimally greater than the cold-side temperature. The derivation includes consideration of the ratio (u) between the electric current and heat-conduction power and leads to the concept of compatibility factor (s) for a given thermoelectric material, defined as the value of u that maximizes the reduced efficiency of the aforementioned model thermoelectric generator.

  13. Thermoelectric Generators used as Cryogenic Heat Engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, D. E.; Ordonez, C. A.

    1997-03-01

    A future experiment is being planned at the University of North Texas to design, build, and test a cryogenic heat engine(C. A. Ordonez, Am. J. Phys. 64), 479 (1996). suitable as an electric-vehicle power system. The power system shall then be installed in a demonstration vehicle. This will be a next-generation vehicle following the current project described in the accompanying poster, ``Experimental Car Which Uses Liquid Nitrogen as Its Fuel" by M. E. Parker et al. The cryogenic heat engine electric vehicle power system will incorporate both a thermoelectric generator and an ambient-temperature turbine or pneumatic-motor/generator. The thermoelectric generator shall use liquid nitrogen (under pressure) as its cold reservoir. Energy is produced with the thermoelectric generator by using the liquid/gas phase change to absorb heat. At the present time a study is being carried out to determine the efficiency of thermoelectric devices which are used as cryogenic heat engines. Initial data is being taken using frozen H_2O and CO2 as cold reservoirs. The results of the study shall be presented.

  14. Thermoelectric Power Generation Allison Duh and Joel Dungan

    E-print Network

    Lavaei, Javad

    Thermoelectric Power Generation Allison Duh and Joel Dungan May 15, 2013 #12;Introduction A thermoelectric generator (TEG) is a device that converts heat energy directly into electrical energy. Thermoelectric systems capitalize on semiconductor charge carriers excited by a temperature difference to convert

  15. Thermoelectric unicouple used for power generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caillat, Thierry (Inventor); Zoltan, Andrew (Inventor); Zoltan, Leslie (Inventor); Snyder, Jeffrey (Inventor)

    2004-01-01

    A high-efficiency thermoelectric unicouple is used for power generation. The unicouple is formed with a plurality of legs, each leg formed of a plurality of segments. The legs are formed in a way that equalizes certain aspects of the different segments. Different materials are also described.

  16. Molybdenum oxide electrodes for thermoelectric generators

    DOEpatents

    Schmatz, Duane J. (Dearborn Heights, MI)

    1989-01-01

    The invention is directed to a composite article suitable for use in thermoelectric generators. The article comprises a thin film comprising molybdenum oxide as an electrode deposited by physical deposition techniques onto solid electrolyte. The invention is also directed to the method of making same.

  17. Detailed Modeling and Irreversible Transfer Process Analysis of a Multi-Element Thermoelectric Generator System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Heng; Gou, Xiaolong; Yang, Suwen

    2011-05-01

    Thermoelectric (TE) power generation technology, due to its several advantages, is becoming a noteworthy research direction. Many researchers conduct their performance analysis and optimization of TE devices and related applications based on the generalized thermoelectric energy balance equations. These generalized TE equations involve the internal irreversibility of Joule heating inside the thermoelectric device and heat leakage through the thermoelectric couple leg. However, it is assumed that the thermoelectric generator (TEG) is thermally isolated from the surroundings except for the heat flows at the cold and hot junctions. Since the thermoelectric generator is a multi-element device in practice, being composed of many fundamental TE couple legs, the effect of heat transfer between the TE couple leg and the ambient environment is not negligible. In this paper, based on basic theories of thermoelectric power generation and thermal science, detailed modeling of a thermoelectric generator taking account of the phenomenon of energy loss from the TE couple leg is reported. The revised generalized thermoelectric energy balance equations considering the effect of heat transfer between the TE couple leg and the ambient environment have been derived. Furthermore, characteristics of a multi-element thermoelectric generator with irreversibility have been investigated on the basis of the new derived TE equations. In the present investigation, second-law-based thermodynamic analysis (exergy analysis) has been applied to the irreversible heat transfer process in particular. It is found that the existence of the irreversible heat convection process causes a large loss of heat exergy in the TEG system, and using thermoelectric generators for low-grade waste heat recovery has promising potential. The results of irreversibility analysis, especially irreversible effects on generator system performance, based on the system model established in detail have guiding significance for the development and application of thermoelectric generators, particularly for the design and optimization of TE modules.

  18. Solar thermoelectric power generation for Mercury orbiter missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swerdling, M.; Raag, V.

    1979-01-01

    Mercury orbiter mission study results have shown that conventional silicon solar cell array technology is not adequate to produce power because of expected temperatures which range from -90 C to +285 C in about 50 minutes for 16 sun eclipses/day. The solar thermoelectric generator (STG), which requires relatively high temperatures, is being developed as a replacement power source. Several thermoelectric technologies (i.e., lead telluride alloys, bismuth telluride, selenide, and silicon-germanium alloys have been examined for their suitability. Solar concentrator configurations (i.e., flat plate, Fresnel lens, mini-cone, and Cassegrain types) were also studied as candidates for increasing incident radiation during Mercury orbital operations. Detailed results are presented, and show that an STG design based on the use of silicon-germanium alloy thermoelectric material and using high-voltage thermopiles with individual miniconical concentrators presents the optimum combination of technology and configuration for minimizing power source mass.

  19. Solar Thermoelectric Generators (STEG) Dr. HoSung Lee

    E-print Network

    Lee, Ho Sung

    Solar Thermoelectric Generators (STEG) Dr. HoSung Lee Western Michigan University Mechanical;#12;· Kraemer et al. (2011) · 1 sun · t = 0.94, a = 0.95, e = 0.05 · q" = 1000 W/m^2, Cth = 299 · Thermoelectric;Baranowski, Snyder, Tober (2012) #12;Baranowski, Snyder, Tober (2012) Reduced current density Thermoelectric

  20. Multiphysics Simulation in the Development of Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesarajah, Marco; Frey, Georg

    2015-09-01

    This contribution presents a model-based development process for thermoelectric energy harvesting systems. Such systems convert thermal energy into electrical energy and produce enough energy to supply low-power devices. Realizations require three main challenges to be solved: to guarantee optimal thermal connection of the thermoelectric generators, to find a good design for the energy harvesting system, and to find an optimal electrical connection. Therefore, a development process is presented here. The process is divided into different steps and supports the developer in finding an optimal thermoelectric energy harvesting system for a given heat source and given objectives (technical and economical). During the process, several steps are supported by simulation models. Based on developed model libraries in Modelica®/Dymola®, thermal, thermoelectrical, electrical, and control components can be modeled, integrated into different variants, and verified step by step before the system is physically built and finally validated. The process is illustrated by an example through all the steps.

  1. Self-Contained Thermoelectric Generator for Cell Phones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anatychuk, L. I.; Mykhailovsky, V. Ya.; Strutynska, L. T.

    2011-05-01

    Results of research and development of a 1 W thermoelectric generator for cell phones are presented. A physical model of the generator with catalytic combustion of gas fuel is proposed. A computer simulation method is used to determine the optimal parameters of the thermopile, catalytic heat source, and microgenerator heat rejection system whereby the efficiency of gas combustion heat conversion into electrical energy is a factor of two higher compared with existing analogs. The generator design is described, and results of experimental research on its parameters and the charging rate of cell phone batteries with capacity of 900 mA h to 1600 mA h are given. In the self-contained operating mode of various low-power devices, the elaborated thermoelectric generator with a catalytic heat source is an alternative to traditional sources of chemical energy.

  2. Thermoelectric materials development. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Fleurial, J.P.; Caillat, T.; Borshchevsky, A.

    1998-09-01

    A systematic search for advanced thermoelectric materials was initiated at JPL several years ago to evaluate candidate materials which includes consideration of the following property attributes: (1) semiconducting properties; (2) large Seebeck coefficient; (3) high carrier mobility and high electrical conductivity; (4) low lattice thermal conductivity; and (5) chemical stability and low vapor pressure. Through this candidate screening process, JPL identified several families of materials as promising candidates for improved thermoelectric materials including the skutterudite family. There are several programs supporting various phases of the effort on these materials. As part of an ongoing effort to develop skutterudite materials with lower thermal conductivity values, several solid solutions and filled skutterudite materials were investigated under the effort sponsored by DOE. The efforts have primarily focused on: (1) study of existence and properties of solid solutions between the binary compounds CoSb{sub 3} and IrSb{sub 3}, and RuSb{sub 2}Te, and (2) CeFe{sub 4{minus}x}Sb{sub 12} based filled compositions. For the solid solutions, the lattice thermal conductivity reduction was expected to be reduced by the introduction of the Te and Ru atoms while in the case of CeFe{sub 4{minus}x}Ru{sub x}Sb{sub 12} based filled compositions. For the solid solutions, the lattice thermal conductivity reduction was expected to be reduced by the introduction of the Te and Ru atoms while in the case of CeFe{sub 4{minus}x}Ru{sub x}Sb{sub 12} filled compositions, the reduction would be caused by the rattling of Ce atoms located in the empty voids of the skutterudite structure and the substitution of Fe for Ru. The details of the sample preparation and characterization of their thermoelectric properties are reported in this report.

  3. Milliwatt thermoelectric generator for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, Daniel T.; Bass, John C.; Elsner, Norbert B.; Ghamaty, Saeid; Morris, Charles C.

    2000-01-01

    A small thermoelectric generator is being developed for general use in space, and in particular for any of several proposed Mars atmospheric probes and surface landers that may be launched in the 2003 to 2006 time period. The design is based on using an existing 1 watt radioisotope heater unit as the generator heat source. That is the Light-Weight Radioisotope Heater Unit (RHU) which has already been used to provide heating alone on numerous spacecraft, including the 1997 Pathfinder/Sojourner Mars lander. Important technical issues that need to be addressed in the detailed design are the mechanical integrity of the overall power supply in consideration of the impact of landing on Mars and the subsequent performance of the thermal insulation around the heat source, which is critical to delivering the output power. The power supply is intended to meet a 20-year operational lifetime. Hi-Z is developing milliwatt modules that make use of micro fabrication techniques. For this generator modules are being fabricated that produce approximately 40 milliwatts at a T-hot of 250 °C and a T-cold of 25 °C. The module is composed of an 18×18 array of 0.38 mm (0.015'') square×22.9 mm(0.900'') long N and P elements. The modules use bismuth-telluride based alloys that are fine grain metallurgy prepared materials that can endure the demanding fabrication techniques. The paper describes the design status to date, and it presents the analytical approach, the testing program plan and a manufacturing schedule that is needed to meet the launch dates being considered. Electrical performance and life test data for the modules is also presented. .

  4. Power flattening techniques for radioisotopic thermoelectric generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eastman, G. Y.

    1984-03-01

    The objective of this program is the investigation of a novel means of reducing the potential ecologic hazards that may be associated with radioisotopic thermoelectric generators (RTG's). A number of short lived isotopes have lower toxicities and are more ecologically acceptable than the Plutonium 238 used at present. In addition, the shorter half lives significantly reduce the time period during which isotope encapsulation must be assured (approx. 10 half lives). The technical approach involves the use of a gas controlled heat pipe to maintain a nearly constant heat input to the thermoelectric converter in spite of the decay profile of a short live heat pipe-RTG system is expected to operate over at least two isotope half lives (4:1 turndown ratio), supplying a thermoelectric module with the heat required to generate one watt of electricity. The end product of the program is a proof of principle heat pipe demonstrating the desired heat transport and turndown capability. The program has three items of work: Survey of Technology Base; Design of Proof of Principle Heat Pipe; Heat Pipe Fabrication and Test.

  5. CFD modeling of thermoelectric generators in automotive EGR-coolers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Högblom, Olle; Andersson, Ronnie

    2012-06-01

    A large amount of the waste heat in the exhaust gases from diesel engines is removed in the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler. Introducing a thermoelectric generator (TEG) in an EGR cooler requires a completely new design of the heat exchanger. To accomplish that a model of the TEG-EGR system is required. In this work, a transient 3D CFD model for simulation of gas flow, heat transfer and power generation has been developed. This model allows critical design parameters in the TEG-EGR to be identified and design requirements for the systems to be specified. Besides the prediction of Seebeck, Peltier, Thomson and Joule effects, the simulations also give detailed insight to the temperature gradients in the gas-phase and inside the thermoelectric (TE) elements. The model is a very valuable tool to identify bottlenecks, improve design, select optimal TE materials and operating conditions. The results show that the greatest heat transfer resistance is located in the gas phase and it is critical to reduce this in order to achieve a large temperature difference over the thermoelectric elements without compromising on the maximum allowable pressure drop in the system. Further results from an investigation of the thermoelectric performance during a vehicle test cycle is presented.

  6. Fabrication of Advanced Thermoelectric Materials by Hierarchical Nanovoid Generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choi, Sang Hyouk (Inventor); Park, Yeonjoon (Inventor); Chu, Sang-Hyon (Inventor); Elliott, James R. (Inventor); King, Glen C. (Inventor); Kim, Jae-Woo (Inventor); Lillehei, Peter T. (Inventor); Stoakley, Diane M. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    A novel method to prepare an advanced thermoelectric material has hierarchical structures embedded with nanometer-sized voids which are key to enhancement of the thermoelectric performance. Solution-based thin film deposition technique enables preparation of stable film of thermoelectric material and void generator (voigen). A subsequent thermal process creates hierarchical nanovoid structure inside the thermoelectric material. Potential application areas of this advanced thermoelectric material with nanovoid structure are commercial applications (electronics cooling), medical and scientific applications (biological analysis device, medical imaging systems), telecommunications, and defense and military applications (night vision equipments).

  7. Modeling of concentrating solar thermoelectric generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McEnaney, Kenneth; Kraemer, Daniel; Ren, Zhifeng; Chen, Gang

    2011-10-01

    The conversion of solar power into electricity is dominated by non-concentrating photovoltaics and concentrating solar thermal systems. Recently, it has been shown that solar thermoelectric generators (STEGs) are a viable alternative in the non-concentrating regime. This paper addresses the possibility of STEGs being used as the power block in concentrating solar power systems. STEG power blocks have no moving parts, they are scalable, and they eliminate the need for an external traditional thermomechanical generator, such as a steam turbine or Stirling engine. Using existing skutterudite and bismuth telluride materials, concentrating STEGs can have efficiencies exceeding 10% based on a geometric optical concentration ratio of 45.

  8. Prototype Combined Heater/Thermoelectric Power Generator for Remote Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Champier, D.; Favarel, C.; Bédécarrats, J. P.; Kousksou, T.; Rozis, J. F.

    2013-07-01

    This study presents a prototype thermoelectric generator (TEG) developed for remote applications in villages that are not connected to the electrical power grid. For ecological and economic reasons, there is growing interest in harvesting waste heat from biomass stoves to produce some electricity. Because regular maintenance is not required, TEGs are an attractive choice for small-scale power generation in inaccessible areas. The prototype developed in our laboratory is especially designed to be implemented in stoves that are also used for domestic hot water heating. The aim of this system is to provide a few watts to householders, so they have the ability to charge cellular phones and radios, and to get some light at night. A complete prototype TEG using commercial (bismuth telluride) thermoelectric modules has been built, including system integration with an electric DC/DC converter. The DC/DC converter has a maximum power point tracker (MPPT) driven by an MC9SO8 microcontroller, which optimizes the electrical energy stored in a valve-regulated lead-acid battery. Physical models were used to study the behavior of the thermoelectric system and to optimize the performance of the MPPT. Experiments using a hot gas generator to simulate the exhaust of the combustion chamber of a stove are used to evaluate the system. Additionally, potential uses of such generators are presented.

  9. Development of Thermoelectric Fibers for Miniature Thermoelectric Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Fei; Menchhofer, Paul; Kiggans, James; Wang, Hsin

    2015-09-01

    Miniature thermoelectric (TE) devices may be used in a variety of applications such as power sources of small sensors, temperature regulation of precision electronics, etc. Reducing the size of TE elements may also enable design of novel devices with unique form factor and higher device efficiency. Current industrial practice of fabricating TE devices usually involves mechanical removal processes that not only lead to material loss but also limit the geometry of the TE elements. In this project, we explored a powder-processing method for the fabrication of TE fibers with large length-to-area ratio, which could be potentially used for miniature TE devices. Powders were milled from Bi2Te3-based bulk materials and then mixed with a thermoplastic resin dissolved in an organic solvent. Through an extrusion process, flexible, continuous fibers with sub-millimeter diameters were formed. The polymer phase was then removed by sintering. Sintered fibers exhibited similar Seebeck coefficients to the bulk materials. However, their electrical resistivity was much higher, which might be related to the residual porosity and grain boundary contamination. Prototype miniature uni-couples fabricated from these fibers showed a linear I-V behavior and could generate millivolt voltages and output power in the nano-watt range. Further development of these TE fibers requires improvement in their electrical conductivities, which needs a better understanding of the causes that lead to the low conductivity in the sintered fibers.

  10. Increasing Thermoelectric Generation Water Use

    E-print Network

    Keller, Arturo A.

    ;8© 2007 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved. Steam Generation Plant #12;9© 2007 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved. Water Consumption by Plant Type Water Cogeneration Station #12;16© 2007 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserve

  11. Aalborg Universitet Individual Module Maximum Power Point Tracking for a Thermoelectric Generator

    E-print Network

    Schaltz, Erik

    Aalborg Universitet Individual Module Maximum Power Point Tracking for a Thermoelectric Generator Tracking for a Thermoelectric Generator Systems. Poster session presented at The 31st International & 10th European Conference on Thermoelectrics, Aalborg, Denmark. General rights Copyright and moral rights

  12. Microscreen radiation shield for thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Hunt, Thomas K. (Ann Arbor, MI); Novak, Robert F. (Farmington Hills, MI); McBride, James R. (Ypsilanti, MI)

    1990-01-01

    The present invention provides a microscreen radiation shield which reduces radiative heat losses in thermoelectric generators such as sodium heat engines without reducing the efficiency of operation of such devices. The radiation shield is adapted to be interposed between a reaction zone and a means for condensing an alkali metal vapor in a thermoelectric generator for converting heat energy directly to electrical energy. The radiation shield acts to reflect infrared radiation emanating from the reaction zone back toward the reaction zone while permitting the passage of the alkali metal vapor to the condensing means. The radiation shield includes a woven wire mesh screen or a metal foil having a plurality of orifices formed therein. The orifices in the foil and the spacing between the wires in the mesh is such that radiant heat is reflected back toward the reaction zone in the interior of the generator, while the much smaller diameter alkali metal atoms such as sodium pass directly through the orifices or along the metal surfaces of the shield and through the orifices with little or no impedance.

  13. Sintered Bismuth Telluride Alloys for Thermoelectric Generators.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Situmorang, Marhaposan

    A new technique has been developed for promoting texture in cold-pressed sintered bismuth telluride alloys, since it is known that the figure of merit of sintered samples with completely random orientation has a lower value than in single crystals. The technique includes the arrangement of the plate-like shaped powders in a dielectric liquid in a controlled manner using an electrodispersion technique. The plate-like shaped powders were obtained from well aligned directionally frozen ingots which were crushed by turning on a lathe. Partly oriented sintered samples were produced which are suitable for a use in thermoelectric generators that operate between room temperature and up to 200^circC. Suitable dopants were also selected to give a good figure of merit in that temperature range of operation. The degree of orientation in the partly oriented samples was determined using an X-ray diffraction method and also by measuring the Seebeck coefficient in the intrinsic region of conduction. The results from the two methods are found to be consistent with one another if one assumes a structural model that is intermediate between those of the thin disc and the long bar. The figure of merit of the partly oriented samples was found to be lower than the expected value, the degradation being more pronounced in the n-type samples. It was, therefore, considered that the lack of orientation is not the only factor that reduces the figure of merit, especially in the n-type samples. Other problems such as oxidation effects, inter-grain boundary contacts and the effect of inhomogeneity are also likely to reduce the figure of merit. Attempts were made to minimize these effects by reducing the time lapse between grinding and pressing, by repressing and resintering of the samples after initial pressing and sintering, prolonged the sintering time, etc. Various samples with different values of figure of merit were obtained according to their composition and their processing techniques. The samples with a high figure of merit were selected to be used in a generator. The efficiency of the generator was determined in vacuum up to a temperature difference of 147^circC. The efficiency at this temperature difference was 5.6%, which was close to the theoretical prediction.

  14. End-on radioisotope thermoelectric generator impact tests

    SciTech Connect

    Reimus, M.A.H.; Hhinckley, J.E.

    1997-01-01

    The General-Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) provides power for space missions by transmitting the heat of [sup 238]Pu decay to an array of thermoelectric elements in a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). The modular GPHS design was developed to address both survivability during launch abort and return from orbit. The first two RTG Impact Tests were designed to provide information on the response of a fully loaded RTG to end-on impact against a concrete target. The results of these tests indicated that at impact velocities up to 57 m/s the converter shell and internal components protect the GPHS capsules from excessive deformation. At higher velocities, some of the internal components of the RTG interact with the GPHS capsules to cause excessive localized deformation and failure.

  15. New Technology for Microfabrication and Testing of a Thermoelectric Device for Generating Mobile Electrical Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prasad, Narasimha S.; Taylor, Patrick J.; Trivedi, Sudhir B.; Kutcher, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Thermoelectric (TE) power generation is an increasingly important power generation technology. Major advantages include: no moving parts, low-weight, modularity, covertness/silence, high power density, low amortized cost, and long service life with minimum or no required maintenance. Despite low efficiency of power generation, there are many specialized needs for electrical power that TE technologies can uniquely and successfully address. Recent advances in thermoelectric materials technology have rekindled acute interest in thermoelectric power generation. We have developed single crystalline n- and p- type PbTe crystals and are also, developing PbTe bulk nanocomposites using PbTe nano powders and emerging filed assisted sintering technology (FAST). We will discuss the materials requirements for efficient thermoelectric power generation using waste heat at intermediate temperature range (6500 to 8500 K). We will present our recent results on production of n- and p- type PbTe crystals and their thermoelectric characterization. Relative characteristics and performance of PbTe bulk single crystals and nano composites for thermoelectric power generation will be discussed.

  16. A power conditioning system for radioisotope thermoelectric generator energy sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gillis, J. A., Jr.

    1974-01-01

    The use of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) as the primary source of energy in unmanned spacecraft is discussed. RTG output control, power conditioning system requirements, the electrical design, and circuit performance are also discussed.

  17. Fiber optic signal amplifier using thermoelectric power generation

    DOEpatents

    Hart, M.M.

    1995-04-18

    A remote fiber optic signal amplifier for use as a repeater/amplifier, such as in transoceanic communications, powered by a Pu{sub 238} or Sr{sub 90} thermoelectric generator. The amplifier comprises a unit with connections on the receiving and sending sides of the communications system, and an erbium-doped fiber amplifier connecting each sending fiber to each receiving fiber. The thermoelectric generator, preferably a Pu{sub 238} or Sr{sub 90} thermoelectric generator delivers power to the amplifiers through a regulator. The heat exchange surfaces of the thermoelectric generator are made of materials resistant to corrosion and biological growth and are directly exposed to the outside, such as the ocean water in transoceanic communications. 2 figs.

  18. Fiber optic signal amplifier using thermoelectric power generation

    DOEpatents

    Hart, Mark M. (Aiken, SC)

    1995-01-01

    A remote fiber optic signal amplifier for use as a repeater/amplifier, such as in transoceanic communications, powered by a Pu.sub.238 or Sr.sub.90 thermoelectric generator. The amplifier comprises a unit with connections on the receiving and sending sides of the communications system, and an erbium-doped fiber amplifier connecting each sending fiber to each receiving fiber. The thermoelectric generator, preferably a Pu.sub.238 or Sr.sub.90 thermoelectric generator delivers power to the amplifiers through a regulator. The heat exchange surfaces of the thermoelectric generator are made of materials resistant to corrosion and biological growth and are directly exposed to the outside, such as the ocean water in transoceanic communications.

  19. Fiber optic signal amplifier using thermoelectric power generation

    DOEpatents

    Hart, M.M.

    1993-01-01

    A remote fiber optic signal amplifier for use as a repeater/amplifier, such as in transoceanic communication, powered by a Pu{sub 238} or Sr{sub 90} thermoelectric generator. The amplifier comprises a unit with connections on the receiving and sending sides of the communications system, and an erbium-doped fiber amplifier connecting each sending fiber to each receiving fiber. The thermoelectric generator, preferably a Pu{sub 238} or Sr{sub 90} thermoelectric generator delivers power to the amplifiers through a regulator. The heat exchange surfaces of the thermoelectric generator are made of material resistant to corrosion and biological growth and are directly exposed to the outside, such as the ocean water in transoceanic communications.

  20. Modeling of thin-film solar thermoelectric generators

    E-print Network

    Weinstein, Lee Adragon

    Recent advances in solar thermoelectric generator (STEG) performance have raised their prospect as a potential technology to convert solar energy into electricity. This paper presents an analysis of thin-film STEGs. ...

  1. High-density thermoelectric power generation and nanoscale thermal metrology

    E-print Network

    Mayer, Peter (Peter Matthew), 1978-

    2007-01-01

    Thermoelectric power generation has been around for over 50 years but has seen very little large scale implementation due to the inherently low efficiencies and powers available from known materials. Recent material advances ...

  2. Recent Developments in Semiconductor Thermoelectric Physics and Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Shakouri, Ali

    2011-08-04

    Recent advances in semiconductor thermoelectric physics and materials are reviewed. A key requirement to improve the energy conversion efficiency is to increase the Seebeck coefficient (S) and the electrical conductivity (?) while reducing the electronic and lattice contributions to thermal conductivity (?e + ?L). Some new physical concepts and nanostructures make it possible to modify the trade-offs between the bulk material properties through changes in the density of states, scattering rates, and interface effects on electron and phonon transport. We review recent experimental and theoretical results on nanostructured materials of various dimensions: superlattices, nanowires, nanodots, and solid-state thermionic power generation devices. Most of the recent success has been in the reduction of lattice thermal conductivity with the concurrent maintenance of good electrical conductivity. Several theoretical and experimental results to improve the thermoelectric power factor (S²?) and to reduce the Lorenz number (?/?e) are presented. We briefly describe recent developments in nonlinear thermoelectrics, as well as the generalization of the Bergman theorem for composite materials. Although the material thermoelectric figure of merit Z [=S²?/(?e + ?L)] is a key parameter to optimize, one has to consider the whole system in an energy conversion application. A rarely discussed but important efficiency/cost trade-off for thermoelectric power generation is briefly reviewed, and research directions for the development of low-cost thermoelectric materials are identified. Finally, we highlight the importance of the figure of merit, Z, beyond macroscale energy conversion applications in describing the microscopic coupling between charge and energy transport in materials.

  3. Thermoelectric generator and method for the fabrication thereof

    DOEpatents

    Benson, D.K.; Tracy, C.E.

    1984-08-01

    A thermoelectric generator using semiconductor elements for responding to a temperature gradient to produce electrical energy with all of the semiconductor elements being of the same type is disclosed. A continuous process for forming substrates on which the semiconductor elements and superstrates are deposited and a process for forming the semiconductor elements on the substrates are also disclosed. The substrates with the semiconductor elements thereon are combined with superstrates to form modules for use as thermoelectric generators.

  4. An overview of the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Transporation System Program

    SciTech Connect

    McCoy, J.C.

    1995-10-01

    Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG) convert the heat generated by radioactive decay to electricity using thermocouples. RTGs have a long operating life, are reasonably lightweight, and require little or no maintenance once assembled and tested. These factors make RTGs particularly attractive for use in spacecraft However, because RTGs contain significant quantities of radioactive materials, normally plutonium-238 and its decay products, they must be transported in packages built in accordance with Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 71. The US Department of Energy assigned the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Transportation System (RTGTS) Program to Westinghouse Hanford Company in 1988 to develop a system meeting the regulatory requirements. The program objective was to develop a transportation system that would fully comply with 10 CFR 71 while protecting RTGs from adverse environmental conditions during normal conditions of transport (e.g., shock and heat). The RTGTS is scheduled for completion in December 1996 and will be available to support the National Aeronautics and Space Administrations Cassini mission to Saturn in October 1997. This paper provides an overview of the RTGTS and discusses the hardware being produced. Additionally, various program management innovations mandated by recent ma or changes in the US Department of Energy structure and resources will be outlined.

  5. Experimental Investigation on Effect of Adhesives on Thermoelectric Generator Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Baljit; Remeli, Muhammad Fairuz; Chet, Ding Lai; Oberoi, Amandeep; Date, Abhijit; Akbarzadeh, Aliakbar

    2015-06-01

    Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) convert heat energy into electricity. Currently, these devices are attached to heat exchangers by means of mechanical devices such as clamps or fixtures with nuts and bolts. These mechanical devices are not suitable for use in harsh environments due to problems with rusting and maintenance. To eliminate the need for such mechanical devices, various kinds of adhesives used to attach thermoelectric generators to heat exchangers are investigated experimentally in this work. These adhesives have been selected based on their thermal properties and also their stability to work in harsh environments to avoid damage to the integrity of the attachment over long periods of time. Stainless-steel plates were attached to a thermoelectric generator using the adhesives. The introduction of the adhesive as a means of attachment for thermoelectric generators contributes to increase the thermal resistance to heat transfer across the TEG. The adhesive layers increased the thermal resistance of the thermoelectric generator by 16% to 109%. This work examines the effect of the adhesives on the thermal performance and power output of a single thermoelectric generator for various heat inputs.

  6. Optimized Characterization of Thermoelectric Generators for Automotive Application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tatarinov, Dimitri; Wallig, Daniel; Bastian, Georg

    2012-06-01

    New developments in the field of thermoelectric materials bring the prospect of consumer devices for recovery of some of the waste heat from internal combustion engines closer to reality. Efficiency improvements are expected due to the development of high-temperature thermoelectric generators (TEG). In contrast to already established radioisotope thermoelectric generators, the temperature difference in automotive systems is not constant, and this imposes a set of specific requirements on the TEG system components. In particular, the behavior of the TEGs and interface materials used to link the heat flow from the heat source through the TEG to the heat sink must be examined. Due to the usage patterns of automobiles, the TEG will be subject to cyclic thermal loads, which leads to module degradation. Additionally, the automotive TEG will be exposed to an inhomogeneous temperature distribution, leading to inhomogeneous mechanical loads and reduced system efficiency. Therefore, a characterization rig is required to allow determination of the electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties of such high-temperature TEG systems. This paper describes a measurement setup using controlled adjustment of cold-side and warm-side temperatures as well as controlled feed-in of electrical power for evaluation of TEGs for application in vehicles with combustion engines. The temperature profile in the setup can be varied to simulate any vehicle usage pattern, such as the European standard driving cycle, allowing the power yield of the TEGs to be evaluated for the chosen cycle. The spatially resolved temperature distribution of a TEG system can be examined by thermal imaging. Hotspots or cracks on thermocouples of the TEGs and the thermal resistance of thermal interface materials can also be examined using this technology. The construction of the setup is briefly explained, followed by detailed discussion of the experimental results.

  7. Thermoelectric power generator for variable thermal power source

    DOEpatents

    Bell, Lon E; Crane, Douglas Todd

    2015-04-14

    Traditional power generation systems using thermoelectric power generators are designed to operate most efficiently for a single operating condition. The present invention provides a power generation system in which the characteristics of the thermoelectrics, the flow of the thermal power, and the operational characteristics of the power generator are monitored and controlled such that higher operation efficiencies and/or higher output powers can be maintained with variably thermal power input. Such a system is particularly beneficial in variable thermal power source systems, such as recovering power from the waste heat generated in the exhaust of combustion engines.

  8. Simulations for the Development of Thermoelectric Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zabrocki, Knud; Ziolkowski, Pawel; Dasgupta, Titas; de Boor, Johannes; Müller, Eckhard

    2013-07-01

    In thermoelectricity, continuum theoretical equations are usually used for the calculation of the characteristics and performance of thermoelectric elements, modules or devices as a function of external parameters (material, geometry, temperatures, current, flow, load, etc.). An increasing number of commercial software packages aimed at applications, such as COMSOL and ANSYS, contain vkernels using direct thermoelectric coupling. Application of these numerical tools also allows analysis of physical measurement conditions and can lead to specifically adapted methods for developing special test equipment required for the determination of TE material and module properties. System-theoretical and simulation-based considerations of favorable geometries are taken into account to create draft sketches in the development of such measurement systems. Particular consideration is given to the development of transient measurement methods, which have great advantages compared with the conventional static methods in terms of the measurement duration required. In this paper the benefits of using numerical tools in designing measurement facilities are shown using two examples. The first is the determination of geometric correction factors in four-point probe measurement of electrical conductivity, whereas the second example is focused on the so-called combined thermoelectric measurement (CTEM) system, where all thermoelectric material properties (Seebeck coefficient, electrical and thermal conductivity, and Harman measurement of zT) are measured in a combined way. Here, we want to highlight especially the measurement of thermal conductivity in a transient mode. Factors influencing the measurement results such as coupling to the environment due to radiation, heat losses via the mounting of the probe head, as well as contact resistance between the sample and sample holder are illustrated, analyzed, and discussed. By employing the results of the simulations, we have developed an improved sample head that allows for measurements over a larger temperature interval with enhanced accuracy.

  9. High-Temperature High-Efficiency Solar Thermoelectric Generators

    SciTech Connect

    Baranowski, LL; Warren, EL; Toberer, ES

    2014-03-01

    Inspired by recent high-efficiency thermoelectric modules, we consider thermoelectrics for terrestrial applications in concentrated solar thermoelectric generators (STEGs). The STEG is modeled as two subsystems: a TEG, and a solar absorber that efficiently captures the concentrated sunlight and limits radiative losses from the system. The TEG subsystem is modeled using thermoelectric compatibility theory; this model does not constrain the material properties to be constant with temperature. Considering a three-stage TEG based on current record modules, this model suggests that 18% efficiency could be experimentally expected with a temperature gradient of 1000A degrees C to 100A degrees C. Achieving 15% overall STEG efficiency thus requires an absorber efficiency above 85%, and we consider two methods to achieve this: solar-selective absorbers and thermally insulating cavities. When the TEG and absorber subsystem models are combined, we expect that the STEG modeled here could achieve 15% efficiency with optical concentration between 250 and 300 suns.

  10. Clean Diesel Engine Component Improvement Program Diesel Truck Thermoelectric Generator

    SciTech Connect

    N.B. Elsner; J.C. Bass; S. Ghamaty; D. Krommenhoek; A. Kushch; D. Snowden; S. Marchetti

    2005-03-31

    Hi-Z Technology, Inc. (Hi-Z) is currently developing four different auxiliary generator designs that are used to convert a portion (5 to 20%) of the waste heat from vehicle engines exhaust directly to electricity. The four designs range from 200 Watts to 10 kW. The furthest along is the 1 kW Diesel Truck Thermoelectric Generator (DTTEG) for heavy duty Class 8 Diesel trucks, which, under this program, has been subjected to 543,000 equivalent miles of bouncing and jarring on PACCARâ??s test track. Test experience on an earlier version of the DTTEG on the same track showed the need for design modifications incorporated in DTTEG Mod 2, such as a heavy duty shock mounting system and reinforcement of the electrical leads mounting system, the thermocouple mounting system and the thermoelectric module restraints. The conclusion of the 543,000 mile test also pointed the way for an upgrading to heavy duty hose or flex connections for the internal coolant connections for the TEG, and consideration of a separate lower temperature cooling loop with its own radiator. Fuel savings of up to $750 per year and a three to five year payback are believed to be possible with the 5 % efficiency modules. The economics are expected to improve considerably to approach a two year payback when the 5 kW to 10 kW generators make it to the market in a few years with a higher efficiency (20%) thermoelectric module system called Quantum Wells, which are currently under development by Hi-Z. Ultimately, as automation takes over to reduce material and labor costs in the high volume production of QW modules, a one year payback for the 5 kW to10 kW generator appears possible. This was one of the stated goals at the beginning of the project. At some future point in time, with the DTTEG becoming standard equipment on all trucks and automobiles, fuel savings from the 25% conversion of exhaust heat to useable electricity nationwide equates to a 10% reduction in the 12 to 15 million barrels per day of imported oil, that much less air pollution, and an equivalent reduction in the trade deficit, which is expected to lower the inflation rate.

  11. Integrating Phase-Change Materials into Automotive Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein Altstedde, Mirko; Rinderknecht, Frank; Friedrich, Horst

    2014-06-01

    Because the heat emitted by conventional combustion-engine vehicles during operation has highly transient properties, automotive thermoelectric generators (TEG) are intended for a particular operating state (design point). This, however, leads to two problems. First, whenever the combustion engine runs at low load, the maximum operating temperature cannot be properly utilised; second, a combustion engine at high load requires partial diversion of exhaust gas away from the TEG to protect the thermoelectric modules. An attractive means of stabilising dynamic exhaust behaviour (thereby keeping the TEG operating status at the design point for as long as possible) is use of latent heat storage, also known as phase-change materials (PCM). By positioning PCM between module and exhaust heat conduit, and choosing a material with a phase-change temperature matching the module's optimum operating temperature, it can be used as heat storage. This paper presents results obtained during examination of the effect of integration of latent heat storage on the potential of automotive TEG to convert exhaust heat. The research resulted in the development of a concept based on the initial integration idea, followed by proof of concept by use of a specially created prototype. In addition, the potential amount of energy obtained by use of a PCM-equipped TEG was calculated. The simulations indicated a significant increase in electrical energy was obtained in the selected test cycle.

  12. Interferometric Analysis of Thermomechanical Deformations in Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morschel, Marlis; Bastian, Georg

    2013-07-01

    In thermoelectric applications, optimized thermal contacts are essential to enable efficient and homogeneous flow of heat currents. Thermomechanical stresses may lead to surface deformation, which alters the thermal contact. As a result, the heat current density is reduced and no longer homogeneous. Also an undesired temperature gradient perpendicular to the heat flow develops, and hence this temperature gradient again causes thermomechanical stresses. The described thermomechanical problems are particularly important in applications where high operating temperatures and hence large temperature differences are used. Also, system durability is a crucial aspect, especially in applications where thermal cycles occur (i.e., in the field of waste heat regeneration of car combustion engines). We describe a measuring technique to detect and evaluate the influence of these deformations. To analyze the surface and external points of contact of a thermoelectric generator (TEG), a measurement setup based on speckle interferometry is used. Temperature gradients as well as small surface deflections in the ?m range have to be measured simultaneously. Therefore, an optical as well as a thermography camera are used to create a holistic image of the deformation and to analyze the influence of this deformation on the TEG structure.

  13. Optimization of the Heat Exchangers of a Thermoelectric Generation System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez, A.; Vián, J. G.; Astrain, D.; Rodríguez, A.; Berrio, I.

    2010-09-01

    The thermal resistances of the heat exchangers have a strong influence on the electric power produced by a thermoelectric generator. In this work, the heat exchangers of a thermoelectric generator have been optimized in order to maximize the electric power generated. This thermoelectric generator harnesses heat from the exhaust gas of a domestic gas boiler. Statistical design of experiments was used to assess the influence of five factors on both the electric power generated and the pressure drop in the chimney: height of the generator, number of modules per meter of generator height, length of the fins of the hot-side heat exchanger (HSHE), length of the gap between fins of the HSHE, and base thickness of the HSHE. The electric power has been calculated using a computational model, whereas Fluent computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been used to obtain the thermal resistances of the heat exchangers and the pressure drop. Finally, the thermoelectric generator has been optimized, taking into account the restrictions on the pressure drop.

  14. Emitted radiation characteristics of plutonium dioxide radioisotope thermoelectric generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gingo, P. J.; Steyn, J. J.

    1971-01-01

    The nuclear and emitted radiation characteristics of the radioisotope elements and impurities in commercial grade plutonium dioxide are presented in detail. The development of the methods of analysis are presented. Radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) of 1575, 3468 and 5679 thermal watts are characterized with respect to neutron and gamma photon source strength as well as spatial and number flux distribution. The results are presented as a function of detector position and light element contamination concentration for fuel age ranging from 'fresh' to 18 years. The data may be used to obtain results for given O-18 and Pu-236 concentrations. The neutron and gamma photon flux and dose calculations compare favorably with reported experimental values for SNAP-27.

  15. A microprocessor-based controller for a thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glenn, G. Douglas

    The design of the microprocessor-based electronic controller that is being developed for the 100-W portable G-78/G thermoelectric generator (TEG) is described. The central processing unit of the controller is capable of exercising control over most of the TEG's hardware functions, as well as receiving performance data for evaluating and adjusting the TEG operation. During all operating phases of the software (the turn-on, the ignition and warm-up sequences, the power-keeping and load-management phases, and the turn-off) the controller is constantly monitoring the status of the TEG. The controller performance can be altered by editing the program, rather than changing hardware design.

  16. Modeling a Thermoelectric Generator Applied to Diesel Automotive Heat Recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espinosa, N.; Lazard, M.; Aixala, L.; Scherrer, H.

    2010-09-01

    Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are outstanding devices for automotive waste heat recovery. Their packaging, lack of moving parts, and direct heat to electrical conversion are the main benefits. Usually, TEGs are modeled with a constant hot-source temperature. However, energy in exhaust gases is limited, thus leading to a temperature decrease as heat is recovered. Therefore thermoelectric properties change along the TEG, affecting performance. A thermoelectric generator composed of Mg2Si/Zn4Sb3 for high temperatures followed by Bi2Te3 for low temperatures has been modeled using engineering equation solver (EES) software. The model uses the finite-difference method with a strip-fins convective heat transfer coefficient. It has been validated on a commercial module with well-known properties. The thermoelectric connection and the number of thermoelements have been addressed as well as the optimum proportion of high-temperature material for a given thermoelectric heat exchanger. TEG output power has been estimated for a typical commercial vehicle at 90°C coolant temperature.

  17. A prototype micro-thermoelectric power generator for micro-electromechanical systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadav, Shambhoo; Sharma, Pooja; Yamasani, Prathima; Minaev, S.; Kumar, Sudarshan

    2014-03-01

    A prototype micro-thermoelectric power generator (micro-TEG) system based on micro-combustion concept has been developed and presented here. The system consists of Bismuth-Telluride based thermoelectric modules mounted on a 0.5 cm3 volume microcombustor. The hot combustion gases from the microcombustor are allowed to flow in reverse direction through a heating cup to maximize the heat transfer from hot combustion products to thermoelectric modules. The system delivers a maximum power of 2.35 W with a fuel (propane) flow rate of 3.98 g/h. Maximum power is achieved at a voltage of 4.34 V, current 0.54 A with a maximum conversion efficiency of 4.58%. The system generates electric power with an improvement of over 83% in energy conversion efficiency over existing micro-TEG systems.

  18. Increasing the Efficiency of the Multi-mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holgate, Tim C.; Bennett, Russell; Hammel, Tom; Caillat, Thierry; Keyser, Steve; Sievers, Bob

    2015-06-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Mars Science Laboratory terrestrial rover, Curiosity, has recently completed its first Martian year (687 Earth days) during which it has provided a wealth of information and insight into the red planet's atmosphere and geology. The success of this mission was made possible in part by the reliable electrical power provided by its onboard thermoelectric power source—the multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG). In an effort to increase the output power and efficiency of these generators, a newly designed enhanced MMRTG (eMMRTG) that will utilize the more efficient skutterudite-based thermoelectric materials has been conceptualized and modeled, and is now being developed. A discussion of the motivations, modeling results and key design factors are presented and discussed.

  19. Thin Thermoelectric Generator System for Body Energy KRISHNA T. SETTALURI,1

    E-print Network

    Ram, Rajeev J.

    Thin Thermoelectric Generator System for Body Energy Harvesting KRISHNA T. SETTALURI,1 HSINYI LO,1, MA 02139, USA. 2.--e-mail: katey@mit.edu Wearable thermoelectric generators (TEGs) harvest thermal transfer system as part of the overall thermoelectric (TE) system. In particular, the small heat transfer

  20. Molybdenum-platinum-oxide electrodes for thermoelectric generators

    DOEpatents

    Schmatz, Duane J. (Dearborn Heights, MI)

    1990-01-01

    The invention is directed to a composite article suitable for use in thermoelectric generators. The article comprises a solid electrolyte carrying a thin film comprising molybdenum-platinum-oxide as an electrode deposited by physical deposition techniques. The invention is also directed to the method of making same.

  1. Pyroshock Testing of the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woerner, David; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Bennett, Russell; Hammel, Tom; Otting, William

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, or MMRTG, was developed by the Department Of Energy to a set of requirements from multiple NASA mission concepts. Those concepts included deep space missions to the outer planets as well as missions to Mars. The synthesis of that diverse set of requirements addressed functional as well as environmental requirements.

  2. Progress in the Development of Segmented Thermoelectric Unicouples at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caillat, T.; Fleurial, J-P.; Snyder, G.; Borshchevsky, A.

    2000-01-01

    A new verison of a segmented thermoelectric unicouple incorporating advanced thermoelectric materials with superior thermoelectric figures of merit has been recetly proposed and is currently under development at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

  3. Optimization of Cooling Unit Design for Automotive Exhaust-Based Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, C. Q.; Xu, M.; Wang, W. S.; Deng, Y. D.; Liu, X.; Tang, Z. B.

    2015-06-01

    Integrating a thermoelectric cooler (TEC) into the engine cooling system has various advantages including reducing additional mechanical parts, and saving energy and space for automotive applications. Based on performance parameters of the engine and thermoelectric modules, three different TEC configurations called plate-shape, stripe-shape, and diamond-shape are constructed with development of simulations of the different TECs and the performance of the circulating coolant. Based on these simulations, the velocity, pressure, and temperature fields of the coolant are obtained for further research. Besides, the temperature of the TEC and the output power of the thermoelectric generator (TEG) are acquired experimentally. Comparing the working performance of the different TECs, the simulation and experimental results show that the TEG using the diamond-shaped TEC achieves a relatively ideal performance. Finally, some measures are proposed to improve the cooling system, providing guidelines for future research.

  4. The potential impacts of climate-change policy on freshwater use in thermoelectric power generation

    E-print Network

    Jackson, Robert B.

    The potential impacts of climate-change policy on freshwater use in thermoelectric power generation System and water-use factors for thermoelectric power plants derived from electric utility data compiled The greatest use of water withdrawals in the United States is for thermoelectric power plants. The U

  5. Integration of dye-sensitized solar cells, thermoelectric modules and electrical storage loop system to constitute a novel photothermoelectric generator.

    PubMed

    Chang, Ho; Yu, Zhi-Rong

    2012-08-01

    This study self-develops a novel type of photothermoelectric power generation modules. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) serve as the photoelectric conversion system and a copper (Cu) heat-transfer nanofilm coating on both sides of the thermoelectric generator (TEG) acts as a thermoelectric conversion system. Thus module assembly absorbs light and generates electricity by DSSCs, and also recycles waste heat and generates power by the TEG. In addition, a set of pulsating heat pipes (PHP) filled with Cu nanofluid is placed on the cooling side to increase cooling effects and enhance the power generation efficiency. Results show that when the heat source of thermoelectric modules reaches 90 degrees C, TEG power output is increased by 85.7%. Besides, after thermoelectric modules are heated by additional heat source at 80 degrees C, the electrical energy generated by them can let a NiMH cell (1.25 V) be sufficiently charged in about 30 minutes. When photothermoelectric modules is illumined by simulated light, the temperature difference of two sides of TEG can reach 7 degrees C and the thermoelectric conversion efficiency is 2.17%. Furthermore, the power output of the thermoelectric modules is 11.48 mW/cm2, enhancing 1.4 % compared to merely using DSSCs module. PMID:22962827

  6. Thermoelectric Generator Used in Fire-Alarm Temperature Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Wenchang; Du, Zhengliang; Cui, Jiaolin; Shi, Zhongtao; Deng, Yuan

    2015-06-01

    Here we present a thermoelectric (TE) generator used in fire-alarm temperature sensing. The TE module, a core component of this generator, has a sandwich-like structure consisting of a Cu/Sn95Ag5/coated Ni/sprayed Ni/TE/sprayed Ni/coated Ni/Sn95Ag5/Cu multilayer that exhibits a low internal resistance of 5.5 ? to 5.9 ? and a contact resistance of 0.51 ? to 0.91 ? at room temperature (RT), enabling the TE generator to attain an open-circuit voltage ( V op) of 1.50 V at RT and 2.97 V at ~90°C. Moreover, its maximum output power ( p max) was estimated to be 11.6 mW and 428.7 mW, respectively, for a temperature difference (? T) of 9.3°C and 52.9°C. These values are comparable to those for the bulk TE generator developed by Thermonamic. According to these figures, we obtain corresponding power densities of ~7.25 × 103 nW/mm2 and 2.68 × 105 nW/mm2, respectively. Although there is still much room to improve the performance of the generator when the source temperature rises above 90°C, the output voltages and maximum output powers attained in the current testing conditions are large enough to drive small electronic devices such as fire-alarm systems etc. Therefore, it is believed that the fabrication technology and designed structure of the generator are appropriate for such applications.

  7. Design concepts of solar thermoelectric generators in space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raag, V.; Hankins, L.; Swerdling, M.

    1978-01-01

    Several thermoelectric technologies have been examined as to their suitability for use in a solar thermoelectric generator (STG) as a nonpropulsive power source for space applications. The results show that of all the presently available thermoelectric technologies, i.e., lead telluride, bismuth telluride, selenide, and silicon-germanium alloys, the latter type provides the optimum STG. Detailed results are presented on the performance and configurational characteristics of various silicon-germanium alloy STGs, including the performance of such STGs as a function of time in a Mercury orbit and the orbit of Mercury around the sun. It is shown that an STG design based on the use of silicon germanium alloy thermoelectric material, using multiple high voltage thermopiles with individual solar concentrators, presents the optimum combination of technology and configuration for minimizing power source mass. Additional concepts studied and discussed are the flat plate individual thermopile type and single concentrator compact thermopile type. The STG possesses an attractive potential for this application and represents a useful addition to the family of power sources for consideration in various space applications.

  8. Design and Numerical Simulation of a Symbiotic Thermoelectric Power Generation System Fed by a Low-Grade Heat Source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faraji, Amir Yadollah; Singh, Randeep; Mochizuki, Masataka; Akbarzadeh, Aliakbar

    2014-06-01

    All liquid heating systems, including solar thermal collectors and fossil-fueled heaters, are designed to convert low-temperature liquid to high-temperature liquid. In the presence of low- and high-temperature fluids, temperature differences can be created across thermoelectric devices to produce electricity so that the heat dissipated from the hot side of a thermoelectric device will be absorbed by the cold liquid and this preheated liquid enters the heating cycle and increases the efficiency of the heater. Consequently, because of the avoidance of waste heat on the thermoelectric hot side, the efficiency of heat-to-electricity conversion with this configuration is better than that of conventional thermoelectric power generation systems. This research aims to design and analyze a thermoelectric power generation system based on the concept described above and using a low-grade heat source. This system may be used to generate electricity either in direct conjunction with any renewable energy source which produces hot water (solar thermal collectors) or using waste hot water from industry. The concept of this system is designated "ELEGANT," an acronym from "Efficient Liquid-based Electricity Generation Apparatus iNside Thermoelectrics." The first design of ELEGANT comprised three rectangular aluminum channels, used to conduct warm and cold fluids over the surfaces of several commercially available thermoelectric generator (TEG) modules sandwiched between the channels. In this study, an ELEGANT with 24 TEG modules, referred to as ELEGANT-24, has been designed. Twenty-four modules was the best match to the specific geometry of the proposed ELEGANT. The thermoelectric modules in ELEGANT-24 were electrically connected in series, and the maximum output power was modeled. A numerical model has been developed, which provides steady-state forecasts of the electrical output of ELEGANT-24 for different inlet fluid temperatures.

  9. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator/thin fragment impact test

    SciTech Connect

    Reimus, M.A.H.; Hinckley, J.E.

    1998-12-31

    The General-Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) provides power for space missions by transmitting the heat of {sup 238}Pu decay to an array of thermoelectric elements in a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). Because the potential for a launch abort or return from orbit exists for any space mission, the heat source response to credible accident scenarios is being evaluated. This test was designed to provide information on the response of a loaded RTG to impact by a fragment similar to the type of fragment produced by breakup of the spacecraft propulsion module system (PMS). The results of this test indicated that impact of the RTG by a thin aluminum fragment traveling at 306 m/s may result in significant damage to the convertor housing, failure of one fueled clad, and release of a small quantity of fuel.

  10. High-efficiency photovoltaic technology including thermoelectric generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisac, Miguel; Villasevil, Francesc X.; López, Antonio M.

    2014-04-01

    Nowadays, photovoltaic solar energy is a clean and reliable source for producing electric power. Most photovoltaic systems have been designed and built up for use in applications with low power requirements. The efficiency of solar cells is quite low, obtaining best results in monocrystalline silicon structures, with an efficiency of about 18%. When temperature rises, photovoltaic cell efficiency decreases, given that the short-circuit current is slightly increased, and the open-circuit voltage, fill factor and power output are reduced. To ensure that this does not affect performance, this paper describes how to interconnect photovoltaic and thermoelectric technology into a single structure. The temperature gradient in the solar panel is used to supply thermoelectric cells, which generate electricity, achieving a positive contribution to the total balance of the complete system.

  11. Anisotropic thermoelectric behavior in armchair and zigzag mono- and fewlayer MoS2 in thermoelectric generator applications

    PubMed Central

    Arab, Abbas; Li, Qiliang

    2015-01-01

    In this work, we have studied thermoelectric properties of monolayer and fewlayer MoS2 in both armchair and zigzag orientations. Density functional theory (DFT) using non-equilibrium Green’s function (NEGF) method has been implemented to calculate the transmission spectra of mono- and fewlayer MoS2 in armchair and zigzag directions. Phonon transmission spectra are calculated based on parameterization of Stillinger-Weber potential. Thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, is calculated using these electronic and phonon transmission spectra. In general, a thermoelectric generator is composed of thermocouples made of both n-type and p-type legs. Based on our calculations, monolayer MoS2 in armchair orientation is found to have the highest ZT value for both p-type and n-type legs compared to all other armchair and zigzag structures. We have proposed a thermoelectric generator based on monolayer MoS2 in armchair orientation. Moreover, we have studied the effect of various dopant species on thermoelectric current of our proposed generator. Further, we have compared output current of our proposed generator with those of Silicon thin films. Results indicate that thermoelectric current of MoS2 armchair monolayer is several orders of magnitude higher than that of Silicon thin films. PMID:26333948

  12. Anisotropic thermoelectric behavior in armchair and zigzag mono- and fewlayer MoS2 in thermoelectric generator applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arab, Abbas; Li, Qiliang

    2015-09-01

    In this work, we have studied thermoelectric properties of monolayer and fewlayer MoS2 in both armchair and zigzag orientations. Density functional theory (DFT) using non-equilibrium Green’s function (NEGF) method has been implemented to calculate the transmission spectra of mono- and fewlayer MoS2 in armchair and zigzag directions. Phonon transmission spectra are calculated based on parameterization of Stillinger-Weber potential. Thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, is calculated using these electronic and phonon transmission spectra. In general, a thermoelectric generator is composed of thermocouples made of both n-type and p-type legs. Based on our calculations, monolayer MoS2 in armchair orientation is found to have the highest ZT value for both p-type and n-type legs compared to all other armchair and zigzag structures. We have proposed a thermoelectric generator based on monolayer MoS2 in armchair orientation. Moreover, we have studied the effect of various dopant species on thermoelectric current of our proposed generator. Further, we have compared output current of our proposed generator with those of Silicon thin films. Results indicate that thermoelectric current of MoS2 armchair monolayer is several orders of magnitude higher than that of Silicon thin films.

  13. Anisotropic thermoelectric behavior in armchair and zigzag mono- and fewlayer MoS2 in thermoelectric generator applications.

    PubMed

    Arab, Abbas; Li, Qiliang

    2015-01-01

    In this work, we have studied thermoelectric properties of monolayer and fewlayer MoS2 in both armchair and zigzag orientations. Density functional theory (DFT) using non-equilibrium Green's function (NEGF) method has been implemented to calculate the transmission spectra of mono- and fewlayer MoS2 in armchair and zigzag directions. Phonon transmission spectra are calculated based on parameterization of Stillinger-Weber potential. Thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, is calculated using these electronic and phonon transmission spectra. In general, a thermoelectric generator is composed of thermocouples made of both n-type and p-type legs. Based on our calculations, monolayer MoS2 in armchair orientation is found to have the highest ZT value for both p-type and n-type legs compared to all other armchair and zigzag structures. We have proposed a thermoelectric generator based on monolayer MoS2 in armchair orientation. Moreover, we have studied the effect of various dopant species on thermoelectric current of our proposed generator. Further, we have compared output current of our proposed generator with those of Silicon thin films. Results indicate that thermoelectric current of MoS2 armchair monolayer is several orders of magnitude higher than that of Silicon thin films. PMID:26333948

  14. Temporal Evolution of Water Use for Thermoelectric Generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reedy, R. C.; Scanlon, B. R.

    2013-12-01

    The long lifespan of power plants (30 - 50 yr) results in the current power plant fleet representing a legacy of past variations in fuel availability and costs, water availability and water rights, and advances in technologies, such as combined cycle plants, which impact trends in water consumption. The objective of this study was to reconstruct past water consumption and withdrawal of thermoelectric generation based on data on controls, including fuel types, generator technologies, and cooling systems, using Texas as a case study and comparing with the US. Fuel sources in Texas varied over time, from predominantly natural gas in the 1960s and early 1970s to coal and nuclear sources following the 1973 oil embargo and more recently to large increases in natural gas generation (85% increase 1998 - 2004) in response to hydraulic fracturing and low natural gas prices. The dominant generator technology in Texas was steam turbines until the early 1990s; however, combined cycle plants markedly increased in the late 1990s (400% increase 1998 - 2004). Proliferation of cooling ponds in Texas, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s (340% increase) reflects availability of large quantities of unappropriated surface water and increases in water rights permitting during this time and lower cost and higher cooling efficiency of ponds relative to wet cooling towers. Water consumption for thermoelectricity in Texas in 2010 totaled ~0.53 km3 (0.43 million acre feet, maf), accounting for ~4% of total state water consumption. High water withdrawals (32.3 km3, 26.2 maf) mostly reflect circulation between cooling ponds and power plants. About a third of the water withdrawals is not required for cooling and reflects circulation by idling plants being used as peaking plants. Controls on water consumption include (1) generator technology/thermal efficiency and (2) cooling system resulting in statewide consumption for natural gas combined cycle generators with mostly cooling towers being 60% lower than that of traditional coal, nuclear, or natural gas steam turbine generators with mostly cooling ponds. The primary control on water withdrawals is cooling system, with ~ two orders of magnitude lower withdrawals for cooling towers relative to once-through ponds statewide. Increases in natural gas combined cycle plants with cooling towers in response to high production of low-cost natural gas has greatly reduced water demand for thermoelectric cooling since 2000. A similar approach will be applied to thermoelectric generation throughout the US using information on fuel sources, generator technologies and cooling systems to better understand current water use for thermoelectric generation based on the legacy of past drivers and long lifespans of power plants. Understanding the historical evolution of water needs for thermoelectricity should allow us to better project future water needs.

  15. System and method to improve the power output and longetivity of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Mowery, Jr., Alfred L. (Potomac, MD)

    1993-01-01

    By using the helium generated by the alpha emissions of a thermoelectric generator during space travel for cooling, the thermal degradation of the thermoelectric generator can be slowed. Slowing degradation allows missions to be longer with little additional expense or payload.

  16. System and method to improve the power output and longetivity of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator

    SciTech Connect

    Mowery, A.L. Jr.

    1992-12-31

    By using the helium generated by the alpha emissions of a thermoelectric generator during space travel for cooling the thermal degradation of the thermoelectric generator can be slowed. Slowing degradation allows missions to be longer with little additional expense or payload.

  17. Modular Analysis of Automobile Exhaust Thermoelectric Power Generation System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Y. D.; Zhang, Y.; Su, C. Q.

    2015-06-01

    In this paper, an automobile exhaust thermoelectric power generation system is packaged into a model with its own operating principles. The inputs are the engine speed and power, and the output is the power generated by the system. The model is divided into two submodels. One is the inlet temperature submodel, and the other is the power generation submodel. An experimental data modeling method is adopted to construct the inlet temperature submodel, and a theoretical modeling method is adopted to construct the power generation submodel. After modeling, simulation is conducted under various engine operating conditions to determine the variation of the power generated by the system. Finally, the model is embedded into a Honda Insight vehicle model to explore the energy-saving effect of the system on the vehicle under Economic Commission for Europe and cyc-constant_60 driving cycles.

  18. Voltage-Current Curves to Characterize Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCarty, Robin; Piper, Robert

    2015-06-01

    There are many ways to experimentally characterize thermoelectric generator (TEG) performance, but most methods provide an incomplete picture. The authors propose using voltage-current ( V- I) curves generated at two different thermal conditions to provide an estimation of maximum power, optimum efficiency, ZT of the device, and thermal resistance due to ceramics and thermal interface materials on the outside of the thermoelectric material (HSR). The two thermal conditions are both steady state, electrically open in one case and electrically shorted in the other, and the heat flow into the device is adjusted to keep the hot-side and cold-side temperatures of the exterior of the module the same in both thermal conditions. The V- I curves are generated from four data points by instantaneously changing the external electrical load such that the TEG does not have time to respond thermally. After these two V- I curves are generated, the performance at any electrical condition can be predicted for the given hot-side and cold-side device temperatures. The authors present experimental data for a bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) device as verification of this characterization method.

  19. Preliminary characterization of ST2G: Solar thermionic-thermoelectric generator for concentrating systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellucci, Alessandro; Calvani, Paolo; Cappelli, Emilia; Orlando, Stefano; Sciti, Diletta; Yogev, Ronen; Kribus, Abraham; Trucchi, Daniele M.

    2015-06-01

    An innovative conversion module (CM) for concentrating solar power applications, named ST2G (Solar Thermionic-Thermoelectric Generator), has been developed and fabricated. The new technology is based on a solid-state converter that works at temperatures up to 1000 °C and exploits a double conversion stage: a thermionic stage and a thermoelectric one, connected thermally in series. Potentially, the CM could reach a combined solar energy-to-electrical efficiency larger than 30%, producing also additional thermal energy to be exploited as a co-generation. Different prototypes have been fabricated and the discussion on the technological key-points has been reported, relating them to the physical requirements necessary for an efficient conversion mechanism. The preliminary results obtained at a lab-level are here discussed, indicating low electrical power output, but also how to increase the performance by solving the identified issues.

  20. Procurement of a fully licensed radioisotope thermoelectric generator transportation system

    SciTech Connect

    Adkins, H.E.; Bearden, T.E.

    1990-10-01

    A fully licensed transportation system for Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators and Light-Weight Radioisotope Heater Units is currently being designed and built. The system will comply with all applicable US Department of Transportation regulations without the use of a DOE Alternative.'' The US Department of Transportation has special double containment'' requirements for plutonium. The system packaging uses a doubly contained bell jar'' concept. A refrigerated trailer is used for cooling the high-heat payloads. The same packaging is used for both high- and low-heat payloads. The system is scheduled to be available for use by mid-1992. 4 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  1. Solar Thermoelectric Generator for Micropower Applications R. AMATYA1,2

    E-print Network

    Ram, Rajeev J.

    efficiency for the generator. With solar concentration of 669 suns, a system efficiency of 3% was measured for a STG at 1209 suns. Key words: Thermoelectric, solar, power generation INTRODUCTION Historically, the highest measured efficiency for solar thermoelectrics is 3.35%, using a unicouple with ZT = 0.4 and solar

  2. Preliminary design of a miniature thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bass, John C.

    1994-04-01

    The U.S. Marine Corps has need for power sources in the 500 Watt area. These sources should be highly reliable, small, lightweight, signal suppressed, and be able to use liquid fuels, preferably Diesel, as the energy source. The desire to burn Diesel stems from the Armed Services desire to use Diesel as their main fuel source. Other fuels such as gasoline create a logistic problem and therefore, is to be avoided if at all possible. There are currently no known power supplies of this type commercially available on the open market. The Diesel motor generator sets that are available have higher power outputs and typically have a rather low mean-time before failure (MTBF). Earlier contact with Army personnel indicate that the MTBF of small portable Diesel motor/generator sets were about 175 hours. Similar experience has been reported by the U.S. Coast Guard in both their Major Aids to Navigation, Major ATON, and their Weather Data Buoys.

  3. Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) for Lunar Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woerner, D. F.

    2014-10-01

    A Multi-Mission RTG (MMRTG) is powering the Curiosity rover and was designed as a compact, rugged power source capable of landing on other bodies. NASA is considering development of an enhanced MMRTG and Advanced RTG. More info presented here.

  4. Thermoelectric energy converter for generation of electricity from low-grade heat

    DOEpatents

    Jayadev, T.S.; Benson, D.K.

    1980-05-27

    A thermoelectric energy conversion device which includes a plurality of thermoelectric elements is described. A hot liquid is supplied to one side of each element and a cold liquid is supplied to the other side of each element. The thermoelectric generator may be utilized to produce power from low-grade heat sources such as ocean thermal gradients, solar ponds, and low-grade geothermal resources. (WHK)

  5. Influence of nonlinear effects on the efficiency of a thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogolino, P.; Sellitto, A.; Cimmelli, V. A.

    2015-10-01

    We propose a nonlinear model for thermoelectric coupling which is based on the thermomass theory for heat conduction. We show that in this model, the second Kelvin relation and the classical Onsager relations are no longer satisfied simultaneously, namely, if one holds, then the other one breaks down, and viceversa. As a function of the different breaking, we evaluate the efficiency of a thermoelectric generator. The influence of the electric-charge gradient on the efficiency of thermoelectric coupling is investigated as well.

  6. Progress towards an Optimization Methodology for Combustion-Driven Portable Thermoelectric Power Generation Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Krishnan, Shankar; Karri, Naveen K.; Gogna, Pawan K.; Chase, Jordan R.; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Hendricks, Terry J.

    2012-03-13

    Enormous military and commercial interests exist in developing quiet, lightweight, and compact thermoelectric (TE) power generation systems. This paper investigates design integration and analysis of an advanced TE power generation system implementing JP-8 fueled combustion and thermal recuperation. Design and development of a portable TE power system using a JP-8 combustor as a high temperature heat source and optimal process flows depend on efficient heat generation, transfer, and recovery within the system are explored. Design optimization of the system required considering the combustion system efficiency and TE conversion efficiency simultaneously. The combustor performance and TE sub-system performance were coupled directly through exhaust temperatures, fuel and air mass flow rates, heat exchanger performance, subsequent hot-side temperatures, and cold-side cooling techniques and temperatures. Systematic investigation of this system relied on accurate thermodynamic modeling of complex, high-temperature combustion processes concomitantly with detailed thermoelectric converter thermal/mechanical modeling. To this end, this work reports on design integration of systemlevel process flow simulations using commercial software CHEMCADTM with in-house thermoelectric converter and module optimization, and heat exchanger analyses using COMSOLTM software. High-performance, high-temperature TE materials and segmented TE element designs are incorporated in coupled design analyses to achieve predicted TE subsystem level conversion efficiencies exceeding 10%. These TE advances are integrated with a high performance microtechnology combustion reactor based on recent advances at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Predictions from this coupled simulation established a basis for optimal selection of fuel and air flow rates, thermoelectric module design and operating conditions, and microtechnology heat-exchanger design criteria. This paper will discuss this simulation process that leads directly to system efficiency power maps defining potentially available optimal system operating conditions and regimes. This coupled simulation approach enables pathways for integrated use of high-performance combustor components, high performance TE devices, and microtechnologies to produce a compact, lightweight, combustion driven TE power system prototype that operates on common fuels.

  7. A Thermoelectric Generator Using Porous Si Thermal Isolation

    PubMed Central

    Hourdakis, Emmanouel; Nassiopoulou, Androula G.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we report on a thermoelectric generator (TEG) using thermal isolation provided by a thick porous Si layer locally formed on the Si wafer and thermocouples composed of p-doped polycrystalline Si/Al. The “hot” contacts of the thermocouples lie on the porous Si layer, while the “cold” contacts lie on bulk crystalline Si. A housing was also designed and fabricated in order to transfer any external temperature change on the “hot” contacts of the thermocouples, the “cold” contacts being isolated from the “hot” contacts by a thick resist layer. The fabrication of the sensing element (Si die) is fully compatible with batch Si processing. The output power of the thermoelectric generator depends on the porous Si isolation layer thickness, porosity, structure and morphology. For a mesoporous Si layer of 60% porosity and a macroscopic temperature differential of 10 K, an output power of 0.39 ?W/cm2 was measured for a 50 ?m thick porous Si layer. PMID:24152923

  8. Optimized working conditions for a thermoelectric generator as a topping cycle for gas turbines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brady Knowles, C.; Lee, Hohyun

    2012-10-01

    This paper presents a model for a theoretical maximum efficiency of a thermoelectric generator integrated with a Brayton-cycle engine. The thermoelectric cycle is presented in two configurations as a topping cycle and a preheating topping cycle. For the topping cycle configuration, the thermoelectric generator receives heat from a high-temperature heat source and produces electrical work before rejecting heat to a Brayton cycle. For the preheating topping cycle, the rejected heat from the thermoelectric generator partially heats the compressed working fluid of the Brayton cycle before a secondary heater delivers heat to the working fluid directly from the heat source. The thermoelectric topping cycle efficiency increases as the temperature difference between the hot- and cold-side increases; however, this limits the heat transfer possible to the Brayton cycle, which in turn reduces power generation from the Brayton cycle. This model identifies the optimum operating parameters of the thermoelectric and Brayton cycles to obtain the maximum thermal efficiency of the combined cycle. In both configurations, efficiency gains are larger at low-temperature Brayton cycles. Although a thermoelectric generator (TEG) topping cycle enhances efficiency for a low temperature turbine, efficiency cannot exceed a high temperature gas turbine. Using a TEG topping cycle is limited to cases when space or price for a high temperature turbine cannot be justified. A design to achieve the preheating thermoelectric topping cycle is also presented.

  9. Production of alloys of bismuth telluride for solar thermoelectric generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durst, T.; Goldsmid, H. J.; Harris, L. B.

    1981-08-01

    A simple and inexpensive method is described for the preparation of sintered thermoelements for use up to about 200 C, i.e., within the temperature range that is accessible using nontracking solar collectors. The method involves selecting the raw materials, weighing the constituents and melting the ingots, grinding and grading the powders, cold-pressing the thermoelements, sintering, and evaluating the thermoelectric properties. It is shown that p-type Bi(0.5)Sb(1.5)Te(3) containing 0.05% atomic Pb, and n-type B(2)Te(2.7)Se(0.3) containing 0.2% atomic S are most suitable for operation between 30 and 170 C (i.e., at a mean temperature of 100 C). The Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, and figure of merit are measured between 15 and 200 C using apparatus based on Harman's technique (1958), account being taken of radiation losses. It is shown that even though the thermoelements are porous, their thermoelectric figures of merit compare well with the values obtained with hot-pressed material of higher density. Thermoelements prepared by the method described have been fitted into a solar generator which has been operated for six months without any signs of aging.

  10. A portable thermoelectric-power-generating module composed of oxide devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funahashi, R.; Mikami, M.; Mihara, T.; Urata, S.; Ando, N.

    2006-03-01

    High power density is a strong point of thermoelectric generation. Exploitation of this salient characteristic would make thermoelectric modules promising candidates for mobile power applications. Here we show how power can be generated using a small thermoelectric module composed of 140 pairs of oxide thermoelectric unicouples. The module weighs 19.8 g and its dimensions are 53 mm long, 32 mm wide, and 5.0 mm thick. The hot-pressed thermoelectric oxide bulk materials used were connected with a Ag paste, incorporating oxide powder, and Ag electrodes. The module's open circuit voltage increases with increasing hot-side temperature (TH) and reaches 4.5 V at a TH of 1072 K in air. No deterioration in output power was seen when power generation was carried out ten times at a TH of 723 K with intermediate cooling to room temperature. The module was successfully used to charge a lithium-ion battery in a mobile phone.

  11. Heat-Pipe-Associated Localized Thermoelectric Power Generation System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Pan-Jo; Rhi, Seok-Ho; Lee, Kye-Bock; Hwang, Hyun-Chang; Lee, Ji-Su; Jang, Ju-Chan; Lee, Wook-Hyun; Lee, Ki-Woo

    2014-06-01

    The present study focused on how to improve the maximum power output of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) system and move heat to any suitable space using a TEG associated with a loop thermosyphon (loop-type heat pipe). An experimental study was carried out to investigate the power output, the temperature difference of the thermoelectric module (TEM), and the heat transfer performance associated with the characteristic of the researched heat pipe. Currently, internal combustion engines lose more than 35% of their fuel energy as recyclable heat in the exhaust gas, but it is not easy to recycle waste heat using TEGs because of the limited space in vehicles. There are various advantages to use of TEGs over other power sources, such as the absence of moving parts, a long lifetime, and a compact system configuration. The present study presents a novel TEG concept to transfer heat from the heat source to the sink. This technology can transfer waste heat to any location. This simple and novel design for a TEG can be applied to future hybrid cars. The present TEG system with a heat pipe can transfer heat and generate power of around 1.8 V with T TEM = 58°C. The heat transfer performance of a loop-type heat pipe with various working fluids was investigated, with water at high heat flux (90 W) and 0.05% TiO2 nanofluid at low heat flux (30 W to 70 W) showing the best performance in terms of power generation. The heat pipe can transfer the heat to any location where the TEM is installed.

  12. Thermoelectric Alloys and Devices for Radioisotope Space Power Systems: State of the Art and Current Developments

    SciTech Connect

    Barnett, W.; Dick, P.; Beaudry, B.; Gorsuch, P.; Skrabek, E.

    1989-01-01

    Lead telluride and silicon germanium type alloys have served over the past several decades as the preferred thermoelectric conversion materials for U. S. radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) power systems for planetary deep space exploration missions. The Pioneer missions to Jupiter and Jupiter/Saturn and the Viking Mars Lander missions employed TAGS-2N (lead and germanium telluride derivatives) power conversion devices. Since 1976, silicon germanium (SiGe) alloys, incorporated into the unicouple device, have evolved as the thermoelectric materials of choice for U. S. RTG powered space missions. These include the U. S. Air Force Lincoln Experimental Satellites 8 & 9 for communications, in 1976, followed in 1977 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Voyager 1 and 2 planetary missions. In 1989, advanced SiGe RTGs were used to power the Galileo exploration of Jupiter and, in 1990, will be used to power the Ulysses investigation of the Sun. In addition, SiGe technology has been chosen to provide RTG power for the 1995 Comet Rendezvous and Asteroid Flyby mission and the 1996 Cassini Saturn orbiter mission. Summaries of the flight performance data for these systems are presented.; Current U. S. Department of Energy thermoelectric development activities include (1) the development of conversion devices based on hi-density, close packed couple arrays and (2) the development of improved performance silicon germanium type thermoelectric materials. The silicon germanium type "multicouple", being developed in conjunction with the Modular RTG program, is discussed in a companion paper. A lead telluride type close-packed module, discussed herein, offers the promise of withstanding high velocity impacts and, thus, is a candidate for a Mars Penetrator application.; Recent projects sponsored by the U. S. Department of Energy, including the Improved Thermoelectric Materials and Modular Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator programs, have shown that improvements in silicon germanium thermoelectric energy conversion capabilities of at least 50 percent can be achieved by tailoring the characteristics of the silicon germanium alloy materials and devices. This paper compares the properties and characteristics of the SiGe alloys now being developed with those used in the operational space power system.

  13. Study of a thermoelectric system equipped with a maximum power point tracker for stand-alone electric generation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favarel, C.; Champier, D.; Bédécarrats, J. P.; Kousksou, T.; Strub, F.

    2012-06-01

    According to the International Energy Agency, 1.4 billion people are without electricity in the poorest countries and 2.5 billion people rely on biomass to meet their energy needs for cooking in developing countries. The use of cooking stoves equipped with small thermoelectric generator to provide electricity for basic needs (LED, cell phone and radio charging device) is probably a solution for houses far from the power grid. The cost of connecting every house with a landline is a lot higher than dropping thermoelectric generator in each house. Thermoelectric generators have very low efficiency but for isolated houses, they might become really competitive. Our laboratory works in collaboration with plane`te-bois (a non governmental organization) which has developed energy-efficient multifunction (cooking and hot water) stoves based on traditional stoves designs. A prototype of a thermoelectric generator (Bismuth Telluride) has been designed to convert a small part of the energy heating the sanitary water into electricity. This generator can produce up to 10 watts on an adapted load. Storing this energy in a battery is necessary as the cooking stove only works a few hours each day. As the working point of the stove varies a lot during the use it is also necessary to regulate the electrical power. An electric DC DC converter has been developed with a maximum power point tracker (MPPT) in order to have a good efficiency of the electronic part of the thermoelectric generator. The theoretical efficiency of the MMPT converter is discussed. First results obtained with a hot gas generator simulating the exhaust of the combustion chamber of a cooking stove are presented in the paper.

  14. Nonequilibrium Thermoelectrics: Low-Cost, High-Performance Materials for Cooling and Power Generation

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Q.

    2011-05-18

    Thermoelectric materials can be made into coolers (TECs) that use electricity to develop a temperature difference, cooling something, or generators (TEGs) that convert heat directly to electricity. One application of TEGs is to place them in a waste heat stream to recuperate some of the power being lost and putting it to use more profitably. To be effective thermoelectrics, however, materials must have both high electrical conductivity and low thermal conductivity, a combination rarely found in nature. Materials selection and processing has led to the development of several systems with a figure of merit, ZT, of nearly unity. By using non-equilibrium techniques, we have fabricated higher efficiency thermoelectric materials. The process involves creating an amorphous material through melt spinning and then sintering it with either spark plasma or a hot press for as little as two minutes. This results in a 100% dense material with an extremely fine grain structure. The grain boundaries appear to retard phonons resulting in a reduced thermal conductivity while the electrons move through the material relatively unchecked. The techniques used are low-cost and scaleable to support industrial manufacturing.

  15. Engineering Scoping Study of Thermoelectric Generator Systems for Industrial Waste Heat Recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Hendricks, Terry; Choate, William T.

    2006-11-01

    This report evaluates thermoelectric generator (TEG) systems with the intent to: 1) examine industrial processes in order to identify and quantify industrial waste heat sources that could potentially use TEGs; 2) describe the operating environment that a TEG would encounter in selected industrial processes and quantify the anticipated TEG system performance; 3) identify cost, design and/or engineering performance requirements that will be needed for TEGs to operate in the selected industrial processes; and 4) identify the research, development and deployment needed to overcome the limitations that discourage the development and use of TEGs for recovery of industrial waste heat.

  16. Oligoyne Molecular Junctions for Efficient Room Temperature Thermoelectric Power Generation.

    PubMed

    Sadeghi, Hatef; Sangtarash, Sara; Lambert, Colin J

    2015-11-11

    Understanding phonon transport at a molecular scale is fundamental to the development of high-performance thermoelectric materials for the conversion of waste heat into electricity. We have studied phonon and electron transport in alkane and oligoyne chains of various lengths and find that, due to the more rigid nature of the latter, the phonon thermal conductances of oligoynes are counterintuitively lower than that of the corresponding alkanes. The thermal conductance of oligoynes decreases monotonically with increasing length, whereas the thermal conductance of alkanes initially increases with length and then decreases. This difference in behavior arises from phonon filtering by the gold electrodes and disappears when higher-Debye-frequency electrodes are used. Consequently a molecule that better transmits higher-frequency phonon modes, combined with a low-Debye-frequency electrode that filters high-energy phonons is a viable strategy for suppressing phonon transmission through the molecular junctions. The low thermal conductance of oligoynes, combined with their higher thermopower and higher electrical conductance lead to a maximum thermoelectric figure of merit of ZT = 1.4, which is several orders of magnitude higher than that of alkanes. PMID:26458053

  17. Oligoyne Molecular Junctions for Efficient Room Temperature Thermoelectric Power Generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadeghi, Hatef; Sangtarash, Sara; Lambert, Colin J.

    2015-11-01

    Understanding phonon transport at a molecular scale is fundamental to the development of high-performance thermoelectric materials for the conversion of waste heat into electricity. We have studied phonon and electron transport in alkane and oligoyne chains of various lengths and find that due to the more rigid nature of the latter, the phonon thermal conductances of oligoynes are counter intuitively lower than that of the corresponding alkanes. The thermal conductance of oligoynes decreases monotonically with increasing length, whereas the thermal conductance of alkanes initially increases with length and then decreases. This difference in behaviour arises from phonon filtering by the gold electrodes and disappears when higher-Debye-frequency electrodes are used. Consequently a molecule that better transmits higher-frequency phonon modes, combined with a low-Debye-frequency electrode that filters high-energy phonons is a viable strategy for suppressing phonon transmission through the molecular junctions. The low thermal conductance of oligoynes, combined with their higher thermopower and higher electrical conductance lead to yield a maximum thermoelectric figure of merit of ZT = 1.4, which is several orders of magnitude higher than for alkanes.

  18. On the Placement of Thermoelectric Generators in Automobiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korzhuev, M. A.; Katin, I. V.

    2010-09-01

    The placement of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) in vehicles is analyzed, taking into account the interaction of the TEG with the internal combustion engine (ICE). Alternative locations of the TEG directly in the ICE, on the exhaust pipe, and on the cooling system are considered. In all three cases there is a conflict between the two thermal machines, which reduces the total efficiency of the thermodynamic (ICE + TEG) system. It is shown that the cause of the conflict is the low efficiency of the TEG ( ? TEG < 0.05) compared with that of the ICE ( ? TEG < 0.4); this conflict increases with the net power W e and decreases with increasing ? TEG. For this reason, attainable values of W e, as well as waste heat recovery in cars by the TEG, are significantly limited. Also, some problems of finding materials for automotive TEGs and ways to suppress the parasitic Thomson effect in TEG legs are discussed.

  19. Thermoelectric generators as self-oscillating heat engines

    E-print Network

    Robert Alicki

    2015-05-30

    In the previous paper of Alicki et.al. a model of a solar cell has been proposed in which the non-periodic source of energy - photon flux - drives the collective periodic motion of electrons in a form of plasma oscillations. Subsequently, plasma oscillations are rectified by the p-n junction diode into the direct current (work). This approach makes a solar cell similar to standard macroscopic heat motors or turbines which always contain two heat baths, the working medium and the periodically moving piston or rotor. Here, a very similar model is proposed in order to describe the operation principles of thermoelectric generators based either on bimetallic or semiconductor p-n junctions. Again plasma oscillation corresponds to a piston and sunlight is replaced by a hot bath. The mathematical formalism is based on the Markovian master equations which can be derived in a rigorous way from the underlying Hamiltonian models and are consistent with the laws of thermodynamics.

  20. Fabrication and Characterization of CMOS-MEMS Thermoelectric Micro Generators

    PubMed Central

    Kao, Pin-Hsu; Shih, Po-Jen; Dai, Ching-Liang; Liu, Mao-Chen

    2010-01-01

    This work presents a thermoelectric micro generator fabricated by the commercial 0.35 ?m complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process and the post-CMOS process. The micro generator is composed of 24 thermocouples in series. Each thermocouple is constructed by p-type and n-type polysilicon strips. The output power of the generator depends on the temperature difference between the hot and cold parts in the thermocouples. In order to prevent heat-receiving in the cold part in the thermocouples, the cold part is covered with a silicon dioxide layer with low thermal conductivity to insulate the heat source. The hot part of the thermocouples is suspended and connected to an aluminum plate, to increases the heat-receiving area in the hot part. The generator requires a post-CMOS process to release the suspended structures. The post-CMOS process uses an anisotropic dry etching to remove the oxide sacrificial layer and an isotropic dry etching to etch the silicon substrate. Experimental results show that the micro generator has an output voltage of 67 ?V at the temperature difference of 1 K. PMID:22205869

  1. Fabrication and characterization of CMOS-MEMS thermoelectric micro generators.

    PubMed

    Kao, Pin-Hsu; Shih, Po-Jen; Dai, Ching-Liang; Liu, Mao-Chen

    2010-01-01

    This work presents a thermoelectric micro generator fabricated by the commercial 0.35 ?m complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process and the post-CMOS process. The micro generator is composed of 24 thermocouples in series. Each thermocouple is constructed by p-type and n-type polysilicon strips. The output power of the generator depends on the temperature difference between the hot and cold parts in the thermocouples. In order to prevent heat-receiving in the cold part in the thermocouples, the cold part is covered with a silicon dioxide layer with low thermal conductivity to insulate the heat source. The hot part of the thermocouples is suspended and connected to an aluminum plate, to increases the heat-receiving area in the hot part. The generator requires a post-CMOS process to release the suspended structures. The post-CMOS process uses an anisotropic dry etching to remove the oxide sacrificial layer and an isotropic dry etching to etch the silicon substrate. Experimental results show that the micro generator has an output voltage of 67 ?V at the temperature difference of 1 K. PMID:22205869

  2. Thermoelectric Generators for the Integration into Automotive Exhaust Systems for Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frobenius, Fabian; Gaiser, Gerd; Rusche, Ulrich; Weller, Bernd

    2015-09-01

    A special thermoelectric generator system design and the setup of a thermoelectric generator for the integration into the exhaust line of combustion engine-driven vehicles are described. A prototype setup for passenger cars and the effects on the measured power output are shown. Measurement results using this setup show the potential and the limitations of a setup based on thermoelectric modules commercially available today. In a second step, a short outline of the detailed mathematical modeling of the thermoelectric generator and simulation studies based on this model are presented. By this means, it can be shown by which measures an improvement of the system power output can be achieved—even if today's modules are used. Furthermore, simulation studies show how the exhaust gas conditions of diesel- and Otto-engines significantly affect the requirements on thermoelectric materials as well as the potential and the design of the thermoelectric generator. In a further step, the design and the setup of a thermoelectric generator for an application in a commercial vehicle are presented. This thermoelectric generator is designed to be integrated into the exhaust aftertreatment box of the vehicle. Experimental results with this setup are performed and presented. The results show that thermoelectric generators can become an interesting technology for exhaust waste heat recovery due to the fact that they comprise non-moving parts. However, the efficiency of the modules commercially available today is still far from what is required. Hence, modules made of new materials known from laboratory samples are urgently required. With regard to future CO2 regulations, a large market opportunity for modules with a high efficiency can be expected.

  3. High efficiency thermoelectric power generation using Zintl-type materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, G. Jeffrey (Inventor); Gascoin, Franck (Inventor); Brown, Shawna (Inventor); Kauzlarich, Susan (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    The invention disclosed herein relates to thermoelectrically-active p-type Zintl phase materials as well as devices utilizing such compounds. Such thermoelectric materials and devices may be used to convert thermal energy into electrical energy, or use electrical energy to produce heat or refrigeration. Embodiments of the invention relate to p-type thermoelectric materials related to the compound Yb.sub.14MnSb.sub.11.

  4. Thermoelectric Contact Resistances Professor HoSung Lee

    E-print Network

    Lee, Ho Sung

    Thermoelectric Contact Resistances Professor HoSung Lee Contents Thermoelectrics....................................................................................................................1 Ideal Formulas for Thermoelectric generators.................................................................1 Realistic Formulas for Thermoelectric generators

  5. High-Performance Thermoelectric Semiconductors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Caillat, Thierry; Borshchevsky, Alexander

    1994-01-01

    Figures of merit almost double current state-of-art thermoelectric materials. IrSb3 is semiconductor found to exhibit exceptional thermoelectric properties. CoSb3 and RhSb3 have same skutterudite crystallographic structure as IrSb3, and exhibit exceptional transport properties expected to contribute to high thermoelectric performance. These three compounds form solid solutions. Combination of properties offers potential for development of new high-performance thermoelectric materials for more efficient thermoelectric power generators, coolers, and detectors.

  6. Heat exchanger design for thermoelectric electricity generation from low temperature flue gas streams

    E-print Network

    Latcham, Jacob G. (Jacob Greco)

    2009-01-01

    An air-to-oil heat exchanger was modeled and optimized for use in a system utilizing a thermoelectric generator to convert low grade waste heat in flue gas streams to electricity. The NTU-effectiveness method, exergy, and ...

  7. A Power And Thermal System with Thermoelectric Generators At 930 C For Solar Probe Inside 0.1 AU

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choi, Michael K.; Powers, Edward I. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The Power System for Solar Probe is required to provide an electrical power of 100 W to 200 W over a wide range of radial distances from the Sun. The distance varies from 5.2 AU (i.e., Jupiter gravity assist orbit) and 4 solar radii. The solar intensity varies by nearly 5 orders of magnitude. Radioactive Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) is one way to meet the power requirement. However, the use of an RTG presents a politically expensive risk for the mission. An alternative is a totally non-nuclear and intrinsically conservative method, which uses mostly developed technologies. This paper presents an innovative concept, which uses thermoelectric generators with a high temperature cooling system to meet the power requirement inside 0. 1 AU. In this concept, Silicon Germanium (SiGe)/Gallium Phosphorus (GaP) thermoelectric generators use the infrared radiation from the spacecraft primary heat shield as an energy source, and a liquid sodium high temperature cooling system to maintain the SiGe/GaP thermoelectric generators at 1200 K. It allows a routine access by interplanetary probes to the innermost regions of the heliosphere, which is prudent to the scientific community.

  8. Power-Generation Performance and Durability of a Skutterudite Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ochi, T.; Nie, G.; Suzuki, S.; Kikuchi, M.; Ito, S.; Guo, J. Q.

    2014-06-01

    By using a p-type (La, Ba, Ga, Ti)1(Fe, Co)4Sb12 skutterudite with a dimensionless figure of merit, ZT, = 0.75 at 500°C and an n-type (Yb, Ca, Al, Ga, In)0.7(Co, Fe)4Sb12 skutterudite with ZT = 1.0 at 500°C, we fabricated a thermoelectric power-generation module capable of working at high temperatures (up to 600°C). When its hot and cold sides were at 600°C and 30°C, respectively, the power output of a 50 mm × 50 mm × 7.6 mm skutterudite module was 34 W and its thermoelectric conversion efficiency was 8%. In a durability test with the module's hot and cold sides continuously maintained at 600°C and 80°C, respectively, for 8000 h, power generation first decreased by approximately 6% in the initial 300 h then remained constant.

  9. Exploring packaging strategies of nano-embedded thermoelectric generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singha, Aniket; Mahanti, Subhendra D.; Muralidharan, Bhaskaran

    2015-10-01

    Embedding nanostructures within a bulk matrix is an important practical approach towards the electronic engineering of high performance thermoelectric systems. For power generation applications, it ideally combines the efficiency benefit offered by low dimensional systems along with the high power output advantage offered by bulk systems. In this work, we uncover a few crucial details about how to embed nanowires and nanoflakes in a bulk matrix so that an overall advantage over pure bulk may be achieved. First and foremost, we point out that a performance degradation with respect to bulk is inevitable as the nanostructure transitions to a multi moded one. It is then shown that a nano embedded system of suitable cross-section offers a power density advantage over a wide range of efficiencies at higher packing fractions, and this range gradually narrows down to the high efficiency regime, as the packing fraction is reduced. Finally, we introduce a metric - the advantage factor, to elucidate quantitatively, the enhancement in the power density offered via nano-embedding at a given efficiency. In the end, we explore the maximum effective width of nano-embedding which serves as a reference in designing generators in the efficiency range of interest.

  10. Electrical performance analysis and economic evaluation of combined biomass cook stove thermoelectric (BITE) generator.

    PubMed

    Lertsatitthanakorn, C

    2007-05-01

    The use of biomass cook stoves is widespread in the domestic sector of developing countries, but the stoves are not efficient. To advance the versatility of the cook stove, we investigated the feasibility of adding a commercial thermoelectric (TE) module made of bismuth-telluride based materials to the stove's side wall, thereby creating a thermoelectric generator system that utilizes a proportion of the stove's waste heat. The system, a biomass cook stove thermoelectric generator (BITE), consists of a commercial TE module (Taihuaxing model TEP1-1264-3.4), a metal sheet wall which acts as one side of the stove's structure and serves as the hot side of the TE module, and a rectangular fin heat sink at the cold side of the TE module. An experimental set-up was built to evaluate the conversion efficiency at various temperature ranges. The experimental set-up revealed that the electrical power output and the conversion efficiency depended on the temperature difference between the cold and hot sides of the TE module. At a temperature difference of approximately 150 degrees C, the unit achieved a power output of 2.4W. The conversion efficiency of 3.2% was enough to drive a low power incandescent light bulb or a small portable radio. A theoretical model approximated the power output at low temperature ranges. An economic analysis indicated that the payback period tends to be very short when compared with the cost of the same power supplied by batteries. Therefore, the generator design formulated here could be used in the domestic sector. The system is not intended to compete with primary power sources but serves adequately as an emergency or backup source of power. PMID:16904888

  11. High-performance flat-panel solar thermoelectric generators with high thermal concentration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraemer, Daniel; Poudel, Bed; Feng, Hsien-Ping; Caylor, J. Christopher; Yu, Bo; Yan, Xiao; Ma, Yi; Wang, Xiaowei; Wang, Dezhi; Muto, Andrew; McEnaney, Kenneth; Chiesa, Matteo; Ren, Zhifeng; Chen, Gang

    2011-07-01

    The conversion of sunlight into electricity has been dominated by photovoltaic and solar thermal power generation. Photovoltaic cells are deployed widely, mostly as flat panels, whereas solar thermal electricity generation relying on optical concentrators and mechanical heat engines is only seen in large-scale power plants. Here we demonstrate a promising flat-panel solar thermal to electric power conversion technology based on the Seebeck effect and high thermal concentration, thus enabling wider applications. The developed solar thermoelectric generators (STEGs) achieved a peak efficiency of 4.6% under AM1.5G (1?kW?m-2) conditions. The efficiency is 7-8 times higher than the previously reported best value for a flat-panel STEG, and is enabled by the use of high-performance nanostructured thermoelectric materials and spectrally-selective solar absorbers in an innovative design that exploits high thermal concentration in an evacuated environment. Our work opens up a promising new approach which has the potential to achieve cost-effective conversion of solar energy into electricity.

  12. High-performance flat-panel solar thermoelectric generators with high thermal concentration.

    PubMed

    Kraemer, Daniel; Poudel, Bed; Feng, Hsien-Ping; Caylor, J Christopher; Yu, Bo; Yan, Xiao; Ma, Yi; Wang, Xiaowei; Wang, Dezhi; Muto, Andrew; McEnaney, Kenneth; Chiesa, Matteo; Ren, Zhifeng; Chen, Gang

    2011-07-01

    The conversion of sunlight into electricity has been dominated by photovoltaic and solar thermal power generation. Photovoltaic cells are deployed widely, mostly as flat panels, whereas solar thermal electricity generation relying on optical concentrators and mechanical heat engines is only seen in large-scale power plants. Here we demonstrate a promising flat-panel solar thermal to electric power conversion technology based on the Seebeck effect and high thermal concentration, thus enabling wider applications. The developed solar thermoelectric generators (STEGs) achieved a peak efficiency of 4.6% under AM1.5G (1 kW m(-2)) conditions. The efficiency is 7-8 times higher than the previously reported best value for a flat-panel STEG, and is enabled by the use of high-performance nanostructured thermoelectric materials and spectrally-selective solar absorbers in an innovative design that exploits high thermal concentration in an evacuated environment. Our work opens up a promising new approach which has the potential to achieve cost-effective conversion of solar energy into electricity. PMID:21532584

  13. Truck co-generation system based on combustion heated thermoelectric conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Meleta, Ye.A.; Yarygin, V.I.; Klepikov, V.V.; Wolff, L.R.

    1997-12-31

    Among the micro-co-generation systems using direct conversion of combustion heat into electricity (thermionic, thermoelectric converters) and fuel cells with an electric power of up to several kW, only the thermoelectric co-generation systems have a demonstrated life-time of up to 10 years. This is one of the most important factors making these systems a more likely commercialization candidate. The report deals with a conceptual design of a combustion heated thermoelectric cogeneration system to be applied in vehicles (truck, trailer, yacht, etc.). The authors named these systems the Thermoelectric Transport Co-generation Systems (TTCS). The report is concerned with one example of these systems--the Thermoelectric Truck Co-generation System (TT-kCS) designed to support the lives of both the driver and the car, when operating in the northern regions. In particular, the TT-kCS should provide the start-up of the cold engine of a truck at an ambient temperature of down to 50 C below zero and create comfortable conditions for a driver during the long-term halts and in emergency situations. The estimates made for a standard truck with an engine of 210 HP employed in Russia showed that the TT-kCS should generate {approximately}600 W of electrical power and {approximately}18 kW of heat. The report deals with two options for the thermoelectric converter design: one of them using the planar geometry of thermoelectric batteries, and the other one using a radial-cylindrical thermoelectric battery configuration. The economic feasibility of the TT-kCS application is based on a considerable reduction in fuel consumption of the TT-kCS equipped truck as compared to that of a conventional truck when the engine is idling. Another advantage is the prolongation of the engine`s service life.

  14. Object-Oriented Modeling of an Energy Harvesting System Based on Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesarajah, Marco; Frey, Georg

    This paper deals with the modeling of an energy harvesting system based on thermoelectric generators (TEG), and the validation of the model by means of a test bench. TEGs are capable to improve the overall energy efficiency of energy systems, e.g. combustion engines or heating systems, by using the remaining waste heat to generate electrical power. Previously, a component-oriented model of the TEG itself was developed in Modelica® language. With this model any TEG can be described and simulated given the material properties and the physical dimension. Now, this model was extended by the surrounding components to a complete model of a thermoelectric energy harvesting system. In addition to the TEG, the model contains the cooling system, the heat source, and the power electronics. To validate the simulation model, a test bench was built and installed on an oil-fired household heating system. The paper reports results of the measurements and discusses the validity of the developed simulation models. Furthermore, the efficiency of the proposed energy harvesting system is derived and possible improvements based on design variations tested in the simulation model are proposed.

  15. Oxide based thermoelectric materials for large scale power generation

    E-print Network

    Song, Yang, M. Eng. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    2008-01-01

    The thermoelectric (TE) devices are based on the Seebeck and Peltier effects, which describe the conversion between temperature gradient and electricity. The effectiveness of the material performance can be described by ...

  16. Thermal vacuum life test facility for radioisotope thermoelectric generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deaton, R. L.; Goebel, C. J.; Amos, W. R.

    In the late 1970's, the Department of Energy (DOE) assigned Monsanto Research Corporation, Mound Facility, now operated by EG and G Mound Applied Technologies, the responsibility for assembling and testing General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). Assembled and tested were five RTGs, which included four flight units and one non-flight qualification unit. Figure 1 shows the RTG, which was designed by General Electric AstroSpace Division (GE/ASD) to produce 285 W of electrical power. A detailed description of the processes for RTG assembly and testing is presented by Amos and Goebel (1989). The RTG performance data are described by Bennett, et al., (1986). The flight units will provide electrical power for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Galileo mission to Jupiter (two RTGs) and the joint NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) Ulysses mission to study the polar regions of the sun (one RTG). The remaining flight unit will serve as the spare for both missions, and a non-flight qualification unit was assembled and tested to ensure that performance criteria were adequately met.

  17. Residential Solar Combined Heat and Power Generation using Solar Thermoelectric Generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohara, B.; Wagner, M.; Kunkle, C.; Watson, P.; Williams, R.; Donohoe, R.; Ugarte, K.; Wilmoth, R.; Chong, M. Zachary; Lee, H.

    2015-06-01

    Recent reports on improved efficiencies of solar thermoelectric generation (STEG) systems have generated interest in STEGs as a competitive power generation system. In this paper, the design of a combined cooling and power utilizing concentrated solar power is discussed. Solar radiation is concentrated into a receiver connected to thermoelectric modules, which are used as a topping cycle to generate power and high grade heat necessary to run an absorption chiller. Modeling of the overall system is discussed with experimental data to validate modeling results. A numerical modeling approach is presented which considers temperature variation of the source and sink temperatures and is used to maximize combined efficiency. A system is built with a demonstrated combined efficiency of 32% in actual working conditions with power generation of 3.1 W. Modeling results fell within 3% of the experimental results verifying the approach. An optimization study is performed on the mirror concentration ration and number of modules for thermal load matching and is shown to improve power generation to 26.8 W.

  18. Thermoelectric generators incorporating phase-change materials for waste heat recovery from engine exhaust

    DOEpatents

    Meisner, Gregory P; Yang, Jihui

    2014-02-11

    Thermoelectric devices, intended for placement in the exhaust of a hydrocarbon fuelled combustion device and particularly suited for use in the exhaust gas stream of an internal combustion engine propelling a vehicle, are described. Exhaust gas passing through the device is in thermal communication with one side of a thermoelectric module while the other side of the thermoelectric module is in thermal communication with a lower temperature environment. The heat extracted from the exhaust gasses is converted to electrical energy by the thermoelectric module. The performance of the generator is enhanced by thermally coupling the hot and cold junctions of the thermoelectric modules to phase-change materials which transform at a temperature compatible with the preferred operating temperatures of the thermoelectric modules. In a second embodiment, a plurality of thermoelectric modules, each with a preferred operating temperature and each with a uniquely-matched phase-change material may be used to compensate for the progressive lowering of the exhaust gas temperature as it traverses the length of the exhaust pipe.

  19. Micro/nanofabricated solid-state thermoelectric generator devices for integrated high voltage power sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, J. P.; Snyder, G. J.; Patel, J.; Huang, C. K.; Ryan, M. A.; Averback, R.; Chen, G.; Hill, C.

    2002-01-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been actively pursuing the development of thermoelectric micro/nanodevices that can be fabricated using a combination of electrochemical deposition and integrated circuit processing techniques.

  20. Performance testing of thermoelectric generators including Voyager and LES 8/9 flight results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvey, L.; Stapfer, G.

    1979-01-01

    Several thermoelectric generators ranging in output power from 0.5 to 155 W have been completed or are undergoing testing at JPL. These generators represent a wide range of technologies, using Bi2Te3, PbTe and SiGe thermoelectric materials. Several of these generators are of a developmental type, such as HPG S/N2, and others are representative of Transit and Multi-Hundred Watt (MHW) Technology. Representative flight performance data of LES 8/9 and Voyager RTG's are presented and compared with the DEGRA computer program based on the data observed from tests of SiGe couples, modules and MHW generators.

  1. Maximum Power Point Tracking with Dichotomy and Gradient Method for Automobile Exhaust Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, W.; Quan, S. H.; Xie, C. J.; Tang, X. F.; Wang, L. L.; Huang, L.

    2015-11-01

    In this study, a direct-current/direct-current (DC/DC) converter with maximum power point tracking (MPPT) is developed to down-convert the high voltage DC output from a thermoelectric generator to the lower voltage required to charge batteries. To improve the tracking accuracy and speed of the converter, a novel MPPT control scheme characterized by an aggregated dichotomy and gradient (ADG) method is proposed. In the first stage, the dichotomy algorithm is used as a fast search method to find the approximate region of the maximum power point. The gradient method is then applied for rapid and accurate tracking of the maximum power point. To validate the proposed MPPT method, a test bench composed of an automobile exhaust thermoelectric generator was constructed for harvesting the automotive exhaust heat energy. Steady-state and transient tracking experiments under five different load conditions were carried out using a DC/DC converter with the proposed ADG and with three traditional methods. The experimental results show that the ADG method can track the maximum power within 140 ms with a 1.1% error rate when the engine operates at 3300 rpm@71 NM, which is superior to the performance of the single dichotomy method, the single gradient method and the perturbation and observation method from the viewpoint of improved tracking accuracy and speed.

  2. Development of Thick-Film Thermoelectric Microcoolers Using Electrochemical Deposition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, J.-P.; Borshchevsky, A.; Ryan, M. A.; Phillips, W. M.; Snyder, J. G.; Caillat, T.; Kolawa, E. A.; Herman, J. A.; Mueller, P.; Nicolet, M.

    2000-01-01

    Advanced thermoelectric microdevices integrated into thermal management packages and low power, electrical source systems are of interest for a variety of space and terrestrial applications. By shrinking the size of the thermoelements, or legs, of these devices, it becomes possible to handle much higher heat fluxes, as well as operate at much lower currents and higher voltages that are more compatible with electronic components. The miniaturization of state-of-the-art thermoelectric module technology based on Bi2Te3 alloys is limited due to mechanical and manufacturing constraints for both leg dimensions (100-200 gm thick minimum) and the number of legs (100-200 legs maximum). We are investigating the development of novel microdevices combining high thermal conductivity substrate materials such as diamond, thin film metallization and patterning technology, and electrochemical deposition of thick thermoelectric films. It is anticipated that thermoelectric microcoolers with thousands of thermocouples and capable of pumping more than 200 W/sq cm over a 30 to 60 K temperature difference can be fabricated. In this paper, we report on our progress in developing an electrochemical deposition process for obtaining 10-50 microns thick films of Bi2Te3 and its solid solutions. Results presented here indicate that good quality n-type Bi2Te3, n-type Bi2Te(2.95)Se(0.05) and p-type Bi(0.5)Sb(1.5)Te3 thick films can be deposited by this technique. Some details about the fabrication of the miniature thermoelements are also described.

  3. Unileg Thermoelectric Generator Design for Oxide Thermoelectrics and Generalization of the Unileg Design Using an Idealized Metal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wijesekara, Waruna; Rosendahl, Lasse; Brown, David R.; Snyder, G. Jeffrey

    2015-06-01

    The unileg thermoelectric generator (U-TEG) is an increasingly popular concept in the design of thermoelectric generators (TEGs). In this study, an oxide U-TEG design for high-temperature applications is introduced. For the unicouple TEG design, Ca3Co4O9 and Al-doped ZnO are used as the p- and n-leg thermoelectric materials, respectively. For the U-TEG design, constantan and Ca3Co4O9 are employed as conductor and semiconductor, respectively. The reduced current approach (RCA) technique is used to design the unicouple TEG and U-TEG in order to obtain the optimal area ratio. When both the unicouple TEG and U-TEG were subjected to a heat flux of 20 W/cm2, the volumetric power density was 0.18 W/cm3 and 0.44 W/cm3, respectively. Thermal shorting between the hot and cold sides of the generator through the highly thermally conducting conductor, which is one of the major drawbacks of the U-TEG, is overcome by using the optimal area ratio for conductor and semiconductor given by the RCA. The results are further confirmed by finite-element analysis using COMSOL Multiphysics software. Furthermore, the U-TEG design is generalized by using an idealized metal with zero Seebeck coefficient. Even though the idealized metal has no impact on the power output of the U-TEG and all the power in the system is generated by the semiconductor, the U-TEG design succeeded in producing a higher volumetric power density than the unicouple TEG design.

  4. Optimal Design of Thermoelectric Devices with Dimensional Analysis Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Western Michigan University,

    E-print Network

    Lee, Ho Sung

    1 Optimal Design of Thermoelectric Devices with Dimensional Analysis HoSung Lee Mechanical of thermoelectric devices (thermoelectric generator and cooler) in connection with heat sinks was developed using of the thermoelectric devices. Particularly, use of the convection conductance of a fluid in the denominators

  5. From Modules to a Generator: An Integrated Heat Exchanger Concept for Car Applications of a Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosch, Henry

    2015-10-01

    A heat exchanger concept for a thermoelectric generator with integrated planar modules for passenger car applications is introduced. The module housings, made of deep drawn stainless steel sheet metal, are brazed onto the exhaust gas channel to achieve an optimal heat transfer on the hot side of the modules. The cooling side consists of winding fluid channels, which are mounted directly onto the cold side of the modules. Only a thin foil separates the cooling media from the modules for an almost direct heat contact on the cooling side. Thermoelectric generators with up to 20 modules made of PbTe and Bi2Te3, respectively, are manufactured and tested on a hot gas generator to investigate electrical power output and performance of the thermoelectric generator. The proof of concept of the light weight heat exchanger design made of sheet metal with integrated modules is positively accomplished.

  6. Thermoelectricity Generation and Electron-Magnon Scattering in a Natural Chalcopyrite Mineral from a Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent.

    PubMed

    Ang, Ran; Khan, Atta Ullah; Tsujii, Naohito; Takai, Ken; Nakamura, Ryuhei; Mori, Takao

    2015-10-26

    Current high-performance thermoelectric materials require elaborate doping and synthesis procedures, particularly in regard to the artificial structure, and the underlying thermoelectric mechanisms are still poorly understood. Here, we report that a natural chalcopyrite mineral, Cu1+x Fe1-x S2 , obtained from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent can directly generate thermoelectricity. The resistivity displayed an excellent semiconducting character, and a large thermoelectric power and high power factor were found in the low x region. Notably, electron-magnon scattering and a large effective mass was detected in this region, thus suggesting that the strong coupling of doped carriers and antiferromagnetic spins resulted in the natural enhancement of thermoelectric properties during mineralization reactions. The present findings demonstrate the feasibility of thermoelectric energy generation and electron/hole carrier modulation with natural materials that are abundant in the Earth's crust. PMID:26332260

  7. A compendium of the radioisotope thermoelectric generator transportation system and recent programmatic changes

    SciTech Connect

    Becker, D.L.; McCoy, J.C.

    1996-03-01

    Because RTGs contain significant quantities of radioactive materials, usually plutonium-238 and its decay products, they must be transported in packages built in accordance with 10 CFR 71 (1994). To meet these regulatory requirements, US DOE commissioned Westinghouse Hanford Co. in 1988 to develop a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Transportation System (RTGTS) that would fully comply while protecting RTGs from adverse environmental conditions during normal transport conditions (eg, mainly shock and heat). RTGTS is scheduled for completion Dec. 1996 and will be available to support NASA`s Cassini mission to Saturn in Oct. 1997. This paper provides an overview of the RTGTS project, discusses the hardware being produced, and summarizes various programmatic and management innovations required by recent changes at DOE.

  8. Certification testing of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Heat Source/Radioisotopic Thermoelectric Generator shipping container

    SciTech Connect

    Bronowski, D.R.; Madsen, M.M.

    1991-09-01

    The Heat Source/Radioisotopic Thermoelectric Generator shipping counter is a Type B packaging currently under development by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Type B packaging for transporting radioactive material is required to maintain containment and shielding after being exposed to normal and hypothetical accident environments defined in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 71. A combination of testing and analysis is used to verify the adequacy of this packaging design. This report documents the testing portion of the design verification. Six tests were conducted on a prototype package: a water spray test, a 4-foot normal conditions drop test, a 30-foot drop test, a 40-inch puncture test, a 30-minute thermal test, and an 8-hour immersion test.

  9. Structural testing of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Heat Source/Radioisotopic Thermoelectric Generator shipping container

    SciTech Connect

    Bronowski, D.R.; Madsen, M.M.

    1991-06-01

    The Heat Source/Radioisotopic Thermoelectric Generator shipping container is a Type B packaging design currently under development by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Type B packaging for transporting radioactive material is required to maintain containment and shielding after being exposed to the normal and hypothetical accident environments defined in Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations Part 71. A combination of testing and analysis is used to verify the adequacy of this package design. This report documents the test program portion of the design verification, using several prototype packages. Four types of testing were performed: 30-foot hypothetical accident condition drop tests in three orientations, 40-inch hypothetical accident condition puncture tests in five orientations, a 21 psi external overpressure test, and a normal conditions of transport test consisting of a water spray and a 4 foot drop test. 18 refs., 104 figs., 13 tabs.

  10. Design, Modeling, Fabrication, and Evaluation of Thermoelectric Generators with Hot-Wire Chemical Vapor Deposited Polysilicon as Thermoelement Material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Leon, Maria Theresa; Tarazona, Antulio; Chong, Harold; Kraft, Michael

    2014-11-01

    This paper presents the design, modeling, fabrication, and evaluation of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) with p-type polysilicon deposited by hot-wire chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD) as thermoelement material. A thermal model is developed based on energy balance and heat transfer equations using lumped thermal conductances. Several test structures were fabricated to allow characterization of the boron-doped polysilicon material deposited by HWCVD. The film was found to be electrically active without any post-deposition annealing. Based on the tests performed on the test structures, it is determined that the Seebeck coefficient, thermal conductivity, and electrical resistivity of the HWCVD polysilicon are 113 ?V/K, 126 W/mK, and 3.58 × 10-5 ? m, respectively. Results from laser tests performed on the fabricated TEG are in good agreement with the thermal model. The temperature values derived from the thermal model are within 2.8% of the measured temperature values. For a 1-W laser input, an open-circuit voltage and output power of 247 mV and 347 nW, respectively, were generated. This translates to a temperature difference of 63°C across the thermoelements. This paper demonstrates that HWCVD, which is a cost-effective way of producing solar cells, can also be applied in the production of TEGs. By establishing that HWCVD polysilicon can be an effective thermoelectric material, further work on developing photovoltaic-thermoelectric (PV-TE) hybrid microsystems that are cost-effective and better performing can be explored.

  11. Model of Heat Exchangers for Waste Heat Recovery from Diesel Engine Exhaust for Thermoelectric Power Generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, Chad; Vuppuluri, Prem; Shi, Li; Hall, Matthew

    2012-06-01

    The performance and operating characteristics of a hypothetical thermoelectric generator system designed to extract waste heat from the exhaust of a medium-duty turbocharged diesel engine were modeled. The finite-difference model consisted of two integrated submodels: a heat exchanger model and a thermoelectric device model. The heat exchanger model specified a rectangular cross-sectional geometry with liquid coolant on the cold side, and accounted for the difference between the heat transfer rate from the exhaust and that to the coolant. With the spatial variation of the thermoelectric properties accounted for, the thermoelectric device model calculated the hot-side and cold-side heat flux for the temperature boundary conditions given for the thermoelectric elements, iterating until temperature and heat flux boundary conditions satisfied the convection conditions for both exhaust and coolant, and heat transfer in the thermoelectric device. A downhill simplex method was used to optimize the parameters that affected the electrical power output, including the thermoelectric leg height, thermoelectric n-type to p-type leg area ratio, thermoelectric leg area to void area ratio, load electrical resistance, exhaust duct height, coolant duct height, fin spacing in the exhaust duct, location in the engine exhaust system, and number of flow paths within the constrained package volume. The calculation results showed that the configuration with 32 straight fins was optimal across the 30-cm-wide duct for the case of a single duct with total height of 5.5 cm. In addition, three counterflow parallel ducts or flow paths were found to be an optimum number for the given size constraint of 5.5 cm total height, and parallel ducts with counterflow were a better configuration than serpentine flow. Based on the reported thermoelectric properties of MnSi1.75 and Mg2Si0.5Sn0.5, the maximum net electrical power achieved for the three parallel flow paths in a counterflow arrangement was 1.06 kW for package volume of 16.5 L and exhaust flow enthalpy flux of 122 kW.

  12. Controls on water use for thermoelectric generation: case study Texas, US.

    PubMed

    Scanlon, Bridget R; Reedy, Robert C; Duncan, Ian; Mullican, William F; Young, Michael

    2013-10-01

    Large-scale U.S. dependence on thermoelectric (steam electric) generation requiring water for cooling underscores the need to understand controls on this water use. The study objective was to quantify water consumption and withdrawal for thermoelectric generation, identifying controls, using Texas as a case study. Water consumption for thermoelectricity in Texas in 2010 totaled ?0.43 million acre feet (maf; 0.53 km(3)), accounting for ?4% of total state water consumption. High water withdrawals (26.2 maf, 32.3 km(3)) mostly reflect circulation between ponds and power plants, with only two-thirds of this water required for cooling. Controls on water consumption include (1) generator technology/thermal efficiency and (2) cooling system, resulting in statewide consumption intensity for natural gas combined cycle generators with mostly cooling towers (0.19 gal/kWh) being 63% lower than that of traditional coal, nuclear, or natural gas steam turbine generators with mostly cooling ponds (0.52 gal/kWh). The primary control on water withdrawals is cooling system, with ?2 orders of magnitude lower withdrawals for cooling towers relative to once-through ponds statewide. Increases in natural gas combined cycle plants with cooling towers in response to high production of low-cost natural gas has greatly reduced water demand for thermoelectric cooling since 2000. PMID:23937226

  13. Controls on Water Use for Thermoelectric Generation: Case Study Texas, U.S.

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Large-scale U.S. dependence on thermoelectric (steam electric) generation requiring water for cooling underscores the need to understand controls on this water use. The study objective was to quantify water consumption and withdrawal for thermoelectric generation, identifying controls, using Texas as a case study. Water consumption for thermoelectricity in Texas in 2010 totaled ?0.43 million acre feet (maf; 0.53 km3), accounting for ?4% of total state water consumption. High water withdrawals (26.2 maf, 32.3 km3) mostly reflect circulation between ponds and power plants, with only two-thirds of this water required for cooling. Controls on water consumption include (1) generator technology/thermal efficiency and (2) cooling system, resulting in statewide consumption intensity for natural gas combined cycle generators with mostly cooling towers (0.19 gal/kWh) being 63% lower than that of traditional coal, nuclear, or natural gas steam turbine generators with mostly cooling ponds (0.52 gal/kWh). The primary control on water withdrawals is cooling system, with ?2 orders of magnitude lower withdrawals for cooling towers relative to once-through ponds statewide. Increases in natural gas combined cycle plants with cooling towers in response to high production of low-cost natural gas has greatly reduced water demand for thermoelectric cooling since 2000. PMID:23937226

  14. Exhaust gas bypass valve control for thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Reynolds, Michael G; Yang, Jihui; Meisner, Greogry P.; Stabler, Francis R.; De Bock, Hendrik Pieter (Peter) Jacobus; Anderson, Todd Alan

    2012-09-04

    A method of controlling engine exhaust flow through at least one of an exhaust bypass and a thermoelectric device via a bypass valve is provided. The method includes: determining a mass flow of exhaust exiting an engine; determining a desired exhaust pressure based on the mass flow of exhaust; comparing the desired exhaust pressure to a determined exhaust pressure; and determining a bypass valve control value based on the comparing, wherein the bypass valve control value is used to control the bypass valve.

  15. Experimental Investigation of a Temperature-Controlled Car Seat Powered by an Exhaust Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, H.; Wang, Y. P.; Yuan, X. H.; Deng, Y. D.; Su, C. Q.

    2015-10-01

    To improve the riding comfort and rational utilization of the electrical energy captured by an automotive thermoelectric generator (ATEG), a temperature-controlled car seat was constructed to adjust the temperature of the car seat surface. Powered by the ATEG and the battery, the seat-embedded air conditioner can improve the riding comfort using a thermoelectric device to adjust the surface temperature of the seat, with an air duct to regulate the cold side and hot side of the thermoelectric device. The performance of the thermoelectric cooler (TEC) and theoretical analysis on the optimum state of the TEC device are put forward. To verify the rationality of the air duct design and to ensure sufficient air supply, the velocity field of the air duct system was obtained by means of the finite element method. To validate the reliability of the numerical simulation, the air velocity around the thermoelectric device was measured by a wind speed transmitter. The performance of the temperature-controlled car seat has been validated and is in good agreement with bench tests and real vehicle tests.

  16. Development of n-type cobaltocene-encapsulated carbon nanotubes with remarkable thermoelectric property.

    PubMed

    Fukumaru, Takahiro; Fujigaya, Tsuyohiko; Nakashima, Naotoshi

    2015-01-01

    Direct conversion from heat to electricity is one of the important technologies for a sustainable society since large quantities of energy are wasted as heat. We report the development of a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT)-based high conversion efficiency, air-stable and flexible thermoelectric material. We prepared cobaltocene-encapsulated SWNTs (denoted CoCp2@SWNTs) and revealed that the material showed a negative-type (n-type) semiconducting behaviour (Seebeck coefficient: -41.8??V K(-1) at 320?K). The CoCp2@SWNT film was found to show a high electrical conductivity (43,200?S m(-1) at 320?K) and large power factor (75.4??W m(-1) K(-2)) and the performance was remarkably stable under atmospheric conditions over a wide range of temperatures. The thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) value of the CoCp2@SWNT film (0.157 at 320?K) was highest among the reported n-type organic thermoelectric materials due to the large power factor and low thermal conductivity (0.15?W m(-1) K(-1)). These characteristics of the n-type CoCp2@SWNTs allowed us to fabricate a p-n type thermoelectric device by combination with an empty SWNT-based p-type film. The fabricated device exhibited a highly efficient power generation close to the calculated values even without any air-protective coating due to the high stability of the SWNT-based materials under atmospheric conditions. PMID:25608478

  17. Development of n-type cobaltocene-encapsulated carbon nanotubes with remarkable thermoelectric property

    PubMed Central

    Fukumaru, Takahiro; Fujigaya, Tsuyohiko; Nakashima, Naotoshi

    2015-01-01

    Direct conversion from heat to electricity is one of the important technologies for a sustainable society since large quantities of energy are wasted as heat. We report the development of a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT)-based high conversion efficiency, air-stable and flexible thermoelectric material. We prepared cobaltocene-encapsulated SWNTs (denoted CoCp2@SWNTs) and revealed that the material showed a negative-type (n-type) semiconducting behaviour (Seebeck coefficient: ?41.8??V K?1 at 320?K). The CoCp2@SWNT film was found to show a high electrical conductivity (43,200?S m?1 at 320?K) and large power factor (75.4??W m?1 K?2) and the performance was remarkably stable under atmospheric conditions over a wide range of temperatures. The thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) value of the CoCp2@SWNT film (0.157 at 320?K) was highest among the reported n-type organic thermoelectric materials due to the large power factor and low thermal conductivity (0.15?W m?1 K?1). These characteristics of the n-type CoCp2@SWNTs allowed us to fabricate a p-n type thermoelectric device by combination with an empty SWNT-based p-type film. The fabricated device exhibited a highly efficient power generation close to the calculated values even without any air-protective coating due to the high stability of the SWNT-based materials under atmospheric conditions. PMID:25608478

  18. Development of n-type cobaltocene-encapsulated carbon nanotubes with remarkable thermoelectric property

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukumaru, Takahiro; Fujigaya, Tsuyohiko; Nakashima, Naotoshi

    2015-01-01

    Direct conversion from heat to electricity is one of the important technologies for a sustainable society since large quantities of energy are wasted as heat. We report the development of a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT)-based high conversion efficiency, air-stable and flexible thermoelectric material. We prepared cobaltocene-encapsulated SWNTs (denoted CoCp2@SWNTs) and revealed that the material showed a negative-type (n-type) semiconducting behaviour (Seebeck coefficient: -41.8 ?V K-1 at 320 K). The CoCp2@SWNT film was found to show a high electrical conductivity (43,200 S m-1 at 320 K) and large power factor (75.4 ?W m-1 K-2) and the performance was remarkably stable under atmospheric conditions over a wide range of temperatures. The thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) value of the CoCp2@SWNT film (0.157 at 320 K) was highest among the reported n-type organic thermoelectric materials due to the large power factor and low thermal conductivity (0.15 W m-1 K-1). These characteristics of the n-type CoCp2@SWNTs allowed us to fabricate a p-n type thermoelectric device by combination with an empty SWNT-based p-type film. The fabricated device exhibited a highly efficient power generation close to the calculated values even without any air-protective coating due to the high stability of the SWNT-based materials under atmospheric conditions.

  19. Novel thermoelectric materials development, existing and potential applications, and commercialization routes

    E-print Network

    Bertreau, Philippe

    2006-01-01

    Thermoelectrics (TE) are devices which can convert heat in the form of a temperature gradient into electricity, or alternatively generate and absorb heat when an electrical current is run through them. It was established ...

  20. Thermoelectric Power Generation Utilizing the Waste Heat from a Biomass Boiler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazdil, Marian; Pospisil, Jiri

    2013-07-01

    The objective of the presented work is to test the possibility of using thermoelectric power to convert flue gas waste heat from a small-scale domestic pellet boiler, and to assess the influence of a thermoelectric generator on its function. A prototype of the generator, able to be connected to an existing device, was designed, constructed, and tested. The performance of the generator as well as the impact of the generator on the operation of the boiler was investigated under various operating conditions. The boiler gained auxiliary power and could become a combined heat and power unit allowing self-sufficient operation. The created unit represents an independent source of electricity with effective use of fuel.

  1. Studies on Effective Utilization of SOFC Exhaust Heat Using Thermoelectric Power Generation Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terayama, Takeshi; Nagata, Susumu; Tanaka, Yohei; Momma, Akihiko; Kato, Tohru; Kunii, Masaru; Yamamoto, Atsushi

    2013-07-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are being researched around the world. In Japan, a compact SOFC system with rated alternative current (AC) power of 700 W has become available on the market, since the base load electricity demand for a standard home is said to be less than 700 W AC. To improve the generating efficiency of SOFC systems in the 700-W class, we focused on thermoelectric generation (TEG) technology, since there are a lot of temperature gradients in the system. Analysis based on simulations indicated the possibility of introducing thermoelectric generation at the air preheater, steam generator, and exhaust outlet. Among these options, incorporating a TEG heat exchanger comprising multiple CoSb3/SiGe-based TEG modules into the air preheater had potential to produce additional output of 37.5 W and an improvement in generating efficiency from 46% to 48.5%. Furthermore, by introducing thermoelectric generation at the other two locations, an increase in maximum output of more than 50 W and generating efficiency of 50% can be anticipated.

  2. Printed Se-Doped MA n-Type Bi2Te3 Thick-Film Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madan, Deepa; Chen, Alic; Wright, Paul K.; Evans, James W.

    2012-06-01

    In this work, we highlight new materials processing developments and fabrication techniques for dispenser-printed thick-film single-element thermoelectric generators (TEG). Printed deposition techniques allow for low-cost and scalable manufacturing of microscale energy devices. This work focuses on synthesis of unique composite thermoelectric systems optimized for low-temperature applications. We also demonstrate device fabrication techniques for high-density arrays of high-aspect-ratio planar single-element TEGs. Mechanical alloyed (MA) n-type Bi2Te3 powders were prepared by taking pure elemental Bi and Te in 36:64 molar ratio and using Se as an additive. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques were used to characterize the as-milled powders to confirm the Bi2Te3 phase formation and particle size below 50 ?m. Thermoelectric properties of the composites were measured from room temperature to 100°C. We achieved a dimensionless figure of merit ( ZT) of 0.17 at 300 K for MA n-type Bi2Te3-epoxy composites with 2 wt.% Se additive. A 20 single-leg TEG prototype with 5 mm × 400 ?m × 120 ?m printed element dimensions was fabricated on a polyimide substrate with evaporated gold contacts. The prototype device produced a power output of 1.6 ?W at 40 ?A and 40 mV voltage for a temperature difference of 20°C.

  3. Modeling of a Thermoelectric Generator for Thermal Energy Regeneration in Automobiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tatarinov, Dimitri; Koppers, M.; Bastian, G.; Schramm, D.

    2013-07-01

    In the field of passenger transportation a reduction of the consumption of fossil fuels has to be achieved by any measures. Advanced designs of internal combustion engine have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions, but still suffer from low efficiencies in the range from 33% to 44%. Recuperation of waste heat can be achieved with thermoelectric generators (TEGs) that convert heat directly into electric energy, thus offering a less complicated setup as compared with thermodynamic cycle processes. During a specific driving cycle of a car, the heat currents and temperature levels of the exhaust gas are dynamic quantities. To optimize a thermoelectric recuperation system fully, various parameters have to be tested, for example, the electric and thermal conductivities of the TEG and consequently the heat absorbed and rejected from the system, the generated electrical power, and the system efficiency. A Simulink model consisting of a package for dynamic calculation of energy management in a vehicle, coupled with a model of the thermoelectric generator system placed on the exhaust system, determines the drive-cycle-dependent efficiency of the heat recovery system, thus calculating the efficiency gain of the vehicle. The simulation also shows the temperature drop at the heat exchanger along the direction of the exhaust flow and hence the variation of the voltage drop of consecutively arranged TEG modules. The connection between the temperature distribution and the optimal electrical circuitry of the TEG modules constituting the entire thermoelectric recuperation system can then be examined. The simulation results are compared with data obtained from laboratory experiments. We discuss error bars and the accuracy of the simulation results for practical thermoelectric systems embedded in cars.

  4. Complex oxides useful for thermoelectric energy conversion

    DOEpatents

    Majumdar, Arunava (Orinda, CA); Ramesh, Ramamoorthy (Moraga, CA); Yu, Choongho (College Station, TX); Scullin, Matthew L. (Berkeley, CA); Huijben, Mark (Enschede, NL)

    2012-07-17

    The invention provides for a thermoelectric system comprising a substrate comprising a first complex oxide, wherein the substrate is optionally embedded with a second complex oxide. The thermoelectric system can be used for thermoelectric power generation or thermoelectric cooling.

  5. Magnesium and Manganese Silicides For Efficient And Low Cost Thermo-Electric Power Generation

    SciTech Connect

    Trivedi, Sudhir B.; Kutcher, Susan W.; Rosemeier, Cory A.; Mayers, David; Singh, Jogender

    2013-12-02

    Thermoelectric Power Generation (TEPG) is the most efficient and commercially deployable power generation technology for harvesting wasted heat from such things as automobile exhausts, industrial furnaces, and incinerators, and converting it into usable electrical power. We investigated the materials magnesium silicide (Mg2Si) and manganese silicide (MnSi) for TEG. MgSi2 and MnSi are environmentally friendly, have constituent elements that are abundant in the earth's crust, non-toxic, lighter and cheaper. In Phase I, we successfully produced Mg2Si and MnSi material with good TE properties. We developed a novel technique to synthesize Mg2Si with good crystalline quality, which is normally very difficult due to high Mg vapor pressure and its corrosive nature. We produced n-type Mg2Si and p-type MnSi nanocomposite pellets using FAST. Measurements of resistivity and voltage under a temperature gradient indicated a Seebeck coefficient of roughly 120 V/K on average per leg, which is quite respectable. Results indicated however, that issues related to bonding resulted in high resistivity contacts. Determining a bonding process and bonding material that can provide ohmic contact from room temperature to the operating temperature is an essential part of successful device fabrication. Work continues in the development of a process for reproducibly obtaining low resistance electrical contacts.

  6. Thermoelectric Devices Cool, Power Electronics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2009-01-01

    Nextreme Thermal Solutions Inc., based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, licensed thermoelectric technology from NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This has allowed the company to develop cutting edge, thin-film thermoelectric coolers that effective remove heat generated by increasingly powerful and tightly packed microchip components. These solid-state coolers are ideal solutions for applications like microprocessors, laser diodes, LEDs, and even potentially for cooling the human body. Nextreme s NASA technology has also enabled the invention of thermoelectric generators capable of powering technologies like medical implants and wireless sensor networks.

  7. Three-Dimensional Finite-Element Simulation for a Thermoelectric Generator Module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiaokai; Takazawa, Hiroyuki; Nagase, Kazuo; Ohta, Michihiro; Yamamoto, Atsushi

    2015-10-01

    A three-dimensional closed-circuit numerical model of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) module has been constructed with COMSOL® Multiphysics to verify a module test system. The Seebeck, Peltier, and Thomson effects and Joule heating are included in the thermoelectric conversion model. The TEG model is employed to simulate the operation of a 16-leg TEG module based on bismuth telluride with temperature-dependent material properties. The module is mounted on a test platform, and simulated by combining the heat conduction process and thermoelectric conversion process. Simulation results are obtained for the terminal voltage, output power, heat flow, and efficiency as functions of the electric current; the results are compared with measurement data. The Joule and Thomson heats in all the thermoelectric legs, as functions of the electric current, are calculated by finite-element volume integration over the entire legs. The Peltier heat being pumped at the hot side and released at the cold side of the module are also presented in relation to the electric current. The energy balance relations between heat and electricity are verified to support the simulation.

  8. Over-the-road shock and vibration testing of the radioisotope thermoelectric generator transportation system

    SciTech Connect

    Becker, D.L.

    1997-05-01

    Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG) convert heat generated by radioactive decay into electricity through the use of thermocouples. The RTGs have a long operating life, are reasonably lightweight, and require little or no maintenance, which make them particularly attractive for use in spacecraft. However, because RTGs contain significant quantities of radioactive materials, normally plutonium-238 and its decay products, they must be transported in packages built in accordance with Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 71 (10 CFR 71). To meet these regulations, a RTG Transportation System (RTGTS) that fully complies with 10 CFR 71 has been developed, which protects RTGs from adverse environmental conditions during normal conditions of transport (e.g., shock, vibration, and heat). To ensure the protection of RTGs from shock and vibration loadings during transport, extensive over-the-road testing was conducted on the RTG`S to obtain real-time recordings of accelerations of the air-ride suspension system trailer floor, packaging, and support structure. This paper provides an overview of the RTG`S, a discussion of the shock and vibration testing, and a comparison of the test results to the specified shock response spectra and power spectral density acceleration criteria.

  9. Freshwater Availability and Constraints on Thermoelectric Power Generation in the Southeast U.S.

    SciTech Connect

    David Feldman; Amanda Slough; Gary Garrett

    2008-06-01

    There is a myriad of uses to which our country's freshwater supply is currently committed. Together with increasing quantities of consumption, there are growing constraints on water availability. In our future there will be two elements of consumption at the forefront of concern: availability and efficiency. Availability of freshwater is the most important of these and is the subject of this report. To use water efficiently, we must first have it. Efficiency is key to ensuring availability for future needs. As population grows and economic and technology demands increase - especially for thermoelectric power - needs for freshwater will also increase. Thus, using our limited supplies of freshwater must be done as efficiently as possible. Thermoelectric generating industry is the largest user of our nation's water resources, including fresh, surface, ground, and saline water. Saline water use accounts for approximately 30% of thermoelectric use, while the remaining 70% is from freshwater sources. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that thermoelectric generation accounts for roughly 136,000 million gallons per day (MGD), or 39% of freshwater withdrawals. This ranks slightly behind agricultural irrigation as the top source of freshwater withdrawals in the U.S. in 2000. For Americans to preserve their standard of living and maintain a thriving economy it is essential that greater attention be paid to freshwater availability in efforts to meet energy demands - particularly for electric power. According to projections by the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook 2006 (AEO 2006) anticipated growth of thermoelectric generating capacity will be 22% between 2005 and 2030. In the 2007 Report, EIA estimates that capacity to grow from approximately 709 GW in 2005 to 862 GW in 20303. These large increases in generating capacity will result in increased water demands by thermoelectric power plants and greater competition over water between the energy sector and domestic, commercial, agricultural, industrial, and instream use sectors. The implications of these increased demands have not been adequately researched. This report is a preliminary effort to explore these implications. In addition, since this report was completed in draft form in 2007, there have been several updates and important issues brought to bear on water for energy that should be mentioned. Uncertainties include drought and climate change impacts. Policies such as commitments to Coal-to-Liquids (CTL) quotas; Ethanol production requirements; Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) mandates; increasing nuclear power plant construction; valuing carbon and carbon dioxide emissions all have significant implications on water use and on the need for water in the power sector by 2025.

  10. Advanced Soldier Thermoelectric Power System for Power Generation from Battlefield Heat Sources

    SciTech Connect

    Hendricks, Terry J.; Hogan, Tim; Case, Eldon D.; Cauchy, Charles J.

    2010-09-01

    The U.S. military uses large amounts of fuel during deployments and battlefield operations. This project sought to develop a lightweight, small form-factor, soldier-portable advanced thermoelectric (TE) system prototype to recover and convert waste heat from various deployed military equipment (i.e., diesel generators/engines, incinerators, vehicles, and potentially mobile kitchens), with the ultimate purpose of producing power for soldier battery charging, advanced capacitor charging, and other battlefield power applications. The technical approach employed microchannel technology, a unique “power panel” approach to heat exchange/TE system integration, and newly-characterized LAST (lead-antimony-silver-telluride) and LASTT (lead-antimony-silver-tin-telluride) TE materials segmented with bismuth telluride TE materials in designing a segmented-element TE power module and system. This project researched never-before-addressed system integration challenges (thermal expansion, thermal diffusion, electrical interconnection, thermal and electrical interfaces) of designing thin “power panels” consisting of alternating layers of thin, microchannel heat exchangers (hot and cold) sandwiching thin, segmented-element TE power generators. The TE properties, structurally properties, and thermal fatigue behavior of LAST and LASTT materials were developed and characterized such that the first segmented-element TE modules using LAST / LASTT materials were fabricated and tested at hot-side temperatures = 400 °C and cold-side temperatures = 40 °C. LAST / LASTT materials were successfully segmented with bismuth telluride and electrically interconnected with diffusion barrier materials and copper strapping within the module electrical circuit. A TE system design was developed to produce 1.5-1.6 kW of electrical energy using these new TE modules from the exhaust waste heat of 60-kW Tactical Quiet Generators as demonstration vehicles.

  11. Conflict between internal combustion engine and thermoelectric generator during waste heat recovery in cars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korzhuev, M. A.

    2011-02-01

    It is shown that an internal combustion engine and a thermoelectric generator (TEG) arranged on the exhaust pipe of this engine come into the conflict of thermal machines that is related to using the same energy resource. The conflict grows with increasing useful electric power W e of the TEG, which leads to the limitation of both the maximum TEG output power ( W {e/max}) and the possibility of waste heat recovery in cars.

  12. Development of a Thermoelectric Module Suitable for Vehicles and Based on CoSb3 Manufactured Close to Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein Altstedde, Mirko; Sottong, Reinhard; Freitag, Oliver; Kober, Martin; Dreißigacker, Volker; Zabrocki, Knud; Szabo, Patric

    2015-06-01

    Despite the ongoing electrification of vehicle propulsion systems, vehicles with combustion engines will continue to bear the brunt of passenger services worldwide for the next few decades. As a result, the German Aerospace Center Institute of Vehicle Concepts, the Institute of Materials Research and the Institute of Technical Thermodynamics have focused on utilising the exhaust heat of internal combustion engines by means of thermoelectric generators (TEGs). Their primary goal is the development of cost-efficient TEGs with long-term stability and maximised energy yield. In addition to the overall TEG system design, the development of long-term stable, efficient thermoelectric modules (TEMs) for high-temperature applications is a great challenge. This paper presents the results of internal development work and reveals an expedient module design for use in TEGs suitable for vehicles. The TEM requirements identified, which were obtained by means of experiments on the test vehicle and test bench, are described first. Doped semiconductor materials were produced and characterised by production methods capable of being scaled up in order to represent series application. The results in terms of thermoelectric properties (Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity) were used for the simulative design of a thermoelectric module using a constant-property model and with the aid of FEM calculations. Thermomechanical calculations of material stability were carried out in addition to the TEM's thermodynamic and thermoelectric design. The film sequence within the module represented a special challenge. Multilayer films facilitated adaptation of the thermal and mechanical properties of plasma-sprayed films. A joint which dispenses with solder additives was also possible using multilayer films. The research resulted in a functionally-optimised module design, which was enhanced for use in motor vehicles using process flexibility and close-to-production manufacturing methods.

  13. New Technology for Microfabrication and Testing of a Thermoelectric Device for Generating Mobile Electrical Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prasad, Narashimha S.; Taylor, Patrick J.; Trivedi, Sudhir B.; Kutcher, Susan

    2010-01-01

    We report the results of fabrication and testing of a thermoelectric power generation module. The module was fabricated using a new "flip-chip" module assembly technique that is scalable and modular. This technique results in a low value of contact resistivity ( < or = 10(exp 5) Ohms-sq cm). It can be used to leverage new advances in thin-film and nanostructured materials for the fabrication of new miniature thermoelectric devices. It may also enable monolithic integration of large devices or tandem arrays of devices on flexible or curved surfaces. Under mild testing, a power of 22 mW/sq cm was obtained from small (<100 K) temperature differences. At higher, more realistic temperature differences, approx.500 K, where the efficiency of these materials greatly improves, this power density would scale to between 0.5 and 1 Watt/cm2. These results highlight the excellent potential for the generation and scavenging of electrical power of practical and usable magnitude for remote applications using thermoelectric power generation technologies.

  14. New technology for microfabrication and testing of a thermoelectric device for generating mobile electrical power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prasad, Narasimha S.; Taylor, Patrick J.; Trivedi, Sudhir B.; Kutcher, Susan W.

    2010-08-01

    We report the results of fabrication and testing of a thermoelectric power generation module. The module was fabricated using a new "flip-chip" module assembly technique that is scalable and modular. This technique results in a low value of contact resistivity ( <= 105 ?-cm2 ). It can be used to leverage new advances in thin-film and nanostructured materials for the fabrication of new miniature thermoelectric devices. It may also enable monolithic integration of large devices or tandem arrays of devices on flexible or curved surfaces. Under mild testing, a power of 22 mW/cm2 was obtained from small (<100 K) temperature differences. At higher, more realistic temperature differences, ~500 K, where the efficiency of these materials greatly improves, this power density would scale to between 0.5 and 1 Watt/cm2. These results highlight the excellent potential for the generation and scavenging of electrical power of practical and usable magnitude for remote applications using thermoelectric power generation technologies.

  15. Progress Towards an Optimization Methodology for Combustion-Driven Portable Thermoelectric Power Generation Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishnan, Shankar; Karri, Naveen K.; Gogna, Pawan K.; Chase, Jordan R.; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Hendricks, Terry J.

    2012-06-01

    There is enormous military and commercial interest in developing quiet, lightweight, and compact thermoelectric (TE) power generation systems. This paper investigates design integration and analysis of an advanced TE power generation system implementing JP-8 fueled combustion and thermal recuperation. In the design and development of this portable TE power system using a JP-8 combustor as a high-temperature heat source, optimal process flows depend on efficient heat generation, transfer, and recovery within the system. The combustor performance and TE subsystem performance were coupled directly through combustor exhaust temperatures, fuel and air mass flow rates, heat exchanger performance, subsequent hot-side temperatures, and cold-side cooling techniques and temperatures. Systematic investigation and design optimization of this TE power system relied on accurate thermodynamic modeling of complex, high-temperature combustion processes concomitantly with detailed TE converter thermal/mechanical modeling. To this end, this paper reports integration of system-level process flow simulations using CHEMCAD™ commercial software with in-house TE converter and module optimization, and heat exchanger analyses using COMSOL™ software. High-performance, high-temperature TE materials and segmented TE element designs are incorporated in coupled design analyses to achieve predicted TE subsystem-level conversion efficiencies exceeding 10%. These TE advances are integrated with a high-performance microtechnology combustion reactor based on recent advances at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Predictions from this coupled simulation approach lead directly to system efficiency-power maps defining potentially available optimal system operating conditions and regimes. Further, it is shown that, for a given fuel flow rate, there exists a combination of recuperative effectiveness and hot-side heat exchanger effectiveness that provides a higher specific power output from the TE modules. This coupled simulation approach enables pathways for integrated use of high-performance combustor components, high-performance TE devices, and microtechnologies to produce a compact, lightweight, combustion-driven TE power system prototype that operates on common fuels.

  16. Design of a Compact, Portable Test System for Thermoelectric Power Generator Modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faraji, Amir Yadollah; Akbarzadeh, Aliakbar

    2013-07-01

    Measurement of fundamental parameters of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) module, including efficiency, internal electrical resistance, thermal resistance, power output, Seebeck coefficient, and figure of merit ( Z), is necessary in order to design a thermoelectric-based power generation system. This paper presents a new design for a compact, standalone, portable test system that enables measurement of the main parameters of a TEG over a wide range of temperature differences and compression pressures for a 40 mm × 40 mm specimen. The Seebeck coefficient and figure of merit can also be calculated from the information obtained. In the proposed system, the temperature of each side of the TEG can be set at the desired temperature—the hot side as high as 380°C and the cold side as low as 5°C, with 0.5°C accuracy—utilizing an electrical heating system and a thermoelectric-based compact chilling system. Heating and cooling procedures are under control of two proportional-integral-derivative (PID) temperature controllers. Using a monitored pressure mechanism, the TEG specimen is compressed between a pair of hot and cold aluminum cubes, which maintain the temperature difference across the two sides of the TEG. The compressive load can be varied from 0 kPa to 800 kPa. External electrical loading is applied in the form of a direct-current (DC) electronic load. Data collection and processing are through an Agilent 34972A data logger, a computer, and BenchLink software, with results available as computer output. The input power comes from a 240-V general-purpose power point, and the only sound-generating component is a 4-W cooling fan. Total calculated uncertainty in results is approximately 7%. Comparison between experimental data and the manufacturer's published datasheet for a commercially available specimen shows good agreement. These results obtained from a preliminary experimental setup serve as a good guide for the design of a fully automatic portable test system for operational thermoelectric modules.

  17. Engineering assessment of TEG and TEG/FC technology growth potential. Phase I. Engineering assessment of existing thermoelectric generator technology. Final report Jun-Sep 81

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, W.D.; Long, R.G.

    1981-09-01

    An analysis of the likely conformance of current thermoelectric generators to the Army SLEEP ROC is provided. A feasibility analysis of the thermoelectric generator as a means of providing electricity, heating and cooling to a typical mobile teletype terminal is given. Findings relative to the thermoelectric generator as a candidate for the SLEEP ROC and as a primary energy source for a teletype terminal are given.

  18. Performance of Thermoelectric Generation System using 200°C Fluid Heat Source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hori, Yasuhiko; Ito, Tetsuo; Izumi, Kunikazu

    This paper describes the electrical performance of a thermoelectric generating experimental equipment using a 200°C class fluid heat source. The experimental equipment is intended to use the waste heat of the phosphoric acid fuel cells for the hot side heat source. A thermoelectric generating equipment using a 200°C class fluid heat source was experimentally manufactured, and the influence of the pressure applied to the modules on electric performance was examined. The result is that the output power density tended to increase and the thermal contact resistance tended to decrease with the increase of the pressure applied to thermoelectric modules up to 0.5MPa. But the rate of increase in the power density tended to be saturated with the increase of pressure over 0.5MPa. At a pressure on modules of 1MPa, about 1.6kW/m2 was obtained and the thermal contact resistance of one contact part was 2.5 × 10-4 (m2K/W).

  19. Unified theory for inhomogeneous thermoelectric generators and coolers including multistage devices.

    PubMed

    Gerstenmaier, York Christian; Wachutka, Gerhard

    2012-11-01

    A novel generalized Lagrange multiplier method for functional optimization with inclusion of subsidiary conditions is presented and applied to the optimization of material distributions in thermoelectric converters. Multistaged devices are considered within the same formalism by inclusion of position-dependent electric current in the legs leading to a modified thermoelectric equation. Previous analytical solutions for maximized efficiencies for generators and coolers obtained by Sherman [J. Appl. Phys. 31, 1 (1960)], Snyder [Phys. Rev. B 86, 045202 (2012)], and Seifert et al. [Phys. Status Solidi A 207, 760 (2010)] by a method of local optimization of reduced efficiencies are recovered by independent proof. The outstanding maximization problems for generated electric power and cooling power can be solved swiftly numerically by solution of a differential equation-system obtained within the new formalism. As far as suitable materials are available, the inhomogeneous TE converters can have increased performance by use of purely temperature-dependent material properties in the thermoelectric legs or by use of purely spatial variation of material properties or by a combination of both. It turns out that the optimization domain is larger for the second kind of device which can, thus, outperform the first kind of device. PMID:23214902

  20. Implementation of Thermoelectric Generators in Airliners for Powering Battery-Free Wireless Sensor Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dilhac, Jean-Marie; Monthéard, Romain; Bafleur, Marise; Boitier, Vincent; Durand-Estèbe, Paul; Tounsi, Patrick

    2014-06-01

    In recent years, wireless sensor networks (WSN) have been considered for various aeronautical applications to perform sensing, data processing and wireless transmission of information, without the need to add extra wiring. However, each node of these networks needs to be self-powered. Considering the critical drawbacks associated with the use of electrochemical energy sources such as narrow operating temperature range and limited lifetime, environmental energy capture allows an alternative solution for long-term, deploy and forget, WSN. In this context, thermoelectricity is a method of choice considering the implementation context. In this paper, we present hands-on experience related to on-going implementations of thermoelectric generators (TEG) in airliners. In a first part, we will explain the reasons justifying the choice of ambient energy capture to power WSN in an aircraft. Then, we will derive the general requirements applying to the functional use of TEG. Finally, in the last section, we will illustrate the above issues through practical implementations.

  1. Thermal Optimization of the Heat Exchanger in an Automotive Exhaust-Based Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Y. D.; Liu, X.; Chen, S.; Tong, N. Q.

    2013-07-01

    Recent advances in thermoelectric technologies have made exhaust-based thermoelectric generators (TEGs) promising to recover waste heat. The thermal performance of the heat exchanger in exhaust-based TEGs is studied in this work. In terms of interface temperature and thermal uniformity, the thermal characteristics of heat exchangers with different internal structures, lengths, and materials are discussed. Following computational fluid dynamics simulations, infrared experiments are carried out on a high-performance production engine with a dynamometer. Simulation and experimental results show that a plate-shaped heat exchanger made of brass with fishbone-shaped internal structure and length of 600 mm achieves a relatively ideal thermal performance, which is practically helpful to enhance the thermal performance of the TEG.

  2. Thermal Optimization of the Heat Exchanger in the Vehicular Waste-Heat Thermoelectric Generations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, C. Q.; Zhan, W. W.; Shen, S.

    2012-06-01

    The potential for vehicular exhaust-based thermoelectric generations (ETEGs) has been increasing with recent advances in the efficiency of thermoelectric materials. This study analyzes the thermal performance of the exhaust gas tanks in ETEGs. The thermal characteristics of the exhaust gas tanks with different internal structures and thicknesses are discussed in terms of the interface temperature and the thermal uniformity. The methods of computational fluid dynamics simulations and infrared experiments on a high- performance production engine with a dynamometer are carried out. Results indicate that the exhaust gas tank, the internal structure of which is the "fishbone" shape and the interior thickness of which is 12 mm, obtains a relatively optimal thermal performance, which can really help improve the overall efficiency of the ETEGs.

  3. Flexible screen printed thick film thermoelectric generator with reduced material resistivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Z.; Koukharenko, E.; Torah, R. N.; Tudor, J.; Beeby, S. P.

    2014-11-01

    This work presents a flexible thick-film Bismuth Tellurium/Antimony Tellurium (BiTe/SbTe) thermoelectric generator (TEG) with reduced material resistivity fabricated by screen printing technology. Cold isostatic pressing (CIP) was introduced to lower the resistivity of the printed thermoelectric materials. The Seebeck coefficient (?) and the resistivity (?) of printed materials were measured as a function of applied pressure. A prototype TEG with 8 thermocouples was fabricated on flexible polyimide substrate. The dimension of a single printed element was 20 mm × 2 mm × 78.4 pm. The coiled-up prototype produced a voltage of 36.4 mV and a maximum power of 40.3 nW from a temperature gradient of 20 °C.

  4. Study on the Characteristics of an Alkali-Metal Thermoelectric Power Generation System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Wook-Hyun; Hwang, Hyun-Chang; Lee, Ji-Su; Kim, Pan-Jo; Lim, Sang-Hyuk; Rhi, Seok-Ho; Lee, Kye-Bock; Lee, Ki-Woo

    2015-10-01

    In the present study, a numerical simulation and experimental studies of an alkali-metal thermoelectric energy converter (AMTEC) system were carried out. The present, unique AMTEC model consists of an evaporator, a ?-alumina solid electrolyte (BASE) tube, a condenser, and an artery cable wick. The key points for operation of the present AMTEC were 1100 K in the evaporator and 600 K in the condenser. A numerical model based on sodium-saturated porous wicks was developed and shown to be able to simulate the AMTEC system. The simulation results show that the AMTEC system can generate up to 100 W with a given design. The AMTEC system developed in the present work and used in the practical investigations could generate an electromotive force of 7 V. Artery wick and evaporator wick structures were simulated for the optimum design. Both sodium-saturated wicks were affected by numerous variables, such as the input heat power, cooling temperature, sodium mass flow rate, and capillary-driven fluid flow. Based on an effective thermal conductivity model, the presented simulation could successfully predict the system performance. Based on the numerical simulation, the AMTEC system operates with efficiency near 10% to 15%. In the case of an improved BASE design, the system could reach efficiency of over 30%. The system was designed for 0.6 V power, 25 A current, and 100 W power input. In addition, in this study, the temperature effects in each part of the AMTEC system were analyzed using a heat transfer model in porous media to apply to the computational fluid dynamics at a predetermined temperature condition for the design of a 100-W AMTEC prototype. It was found that a current density of 0.5 A/cm2 to 0.9 A/cm2 for the BASE is suitable when the temperatures of the evaporator section and condenser section are 1100 K and 600 K, respectively.

  5. Radiation Environments and Exposure Considerations for the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator

    SciTech Connect

    Kelly, William M.; Low, Nora M.; Zillmer, Andrew; Johnson, Gregory A.; Normand, Eugene

    2006-01-20

    The Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) is the next generation (RTG) being developed by DOE to provide reliable, long-life electric power for NASA's planetary exploration programs. The MMRTG is being developed by Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne and Teledyne Energy Systems Incorporated (TESI) for use on currently planned and projected flyby, orbital and planet landing missions. This is a significant departure from the design philosophy of the past which was to match specific mission requirements to RTG design capabilities. Undefined mission requirements provide a challenge to system designers by forcing them to put a design envelope around 'all possible missions'. These multi-mission requirements include internal and external radiation sources. Internal sources include the particles ejected by decaying Pu-238 and its daughters plus particles resulting from the interaction of these particles with other MMRTG materials. External sources include the full spectrum of charged particle radiation surrounding planets with magnetic fields and the surfaces of extraterrestrial objects not shielded by magnetic fields. The paper presents the results of investigations into the environments outlined above and the impact of radiation exposure on potential materials to be used on MMRTG and ground support personnel. Mission requirements were also reviewed to evaluate total integrated dose and to project potential shielding requirements for materials. Much of the information on mission shielding requirements was provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The primary result is an ionizing radiation design curve which indicates the limits to which a particular mission can take the MMRTG in terms of ionizing radiation exposure. Estimates of personnel radiation exposure during ground handling are also provided.

  6. Development of High-efficiency Thermoelectric Materials for Vehicle Waste Heat Utililization

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Qiang

    2009-04-30

    The goals of this . CRADA are: 1) Investigation of atomistic structure and nucleation of nanoprecipitates in (PbTe){sub I-x}(AgSbTe2){sub x} (LAST) system; and 2) Development of non-equilibrium synthesis of thermoelectric materials for waste heat recovery. We have made significant accomplishment in both areas. We studied the structure of LAST materials using high resolution imaging, nanoelectron diffraction, energy dispersive spectrum, arid electron energy loss spectrum, and observed a range of nanoparticles The results, published in J. of Applied Physics, provide quantitative structure information about nanoparticles, that is essential for the understanding of the origin of the high thermoelectric performance in this class of materials. We coordinated non-equilibrium synthesis and characterization of thermoelectric materials for waste heat recovery application. Our results, published in J. of Electronic Materials, show enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit and robust mechanical properties in bulk . filled skutterudites.

  7. Thermoelectric Now and Then

    E-print Network

    Lee, Ho Sung

    Thermoelectric Now and Then HoSung Lee August 17, 2015 #12;A. F. Ioffe, Semiconductor Thermoelements and Thermoelectric Cooling, 1956, U.S.S.R. #12;Nature Materials, 8, Feb. 2009 (Vining) #12;Energy radioisotope heat source into a PbTe-based thermoelectric generator. The generator produced 73 watts of power

  8. Titanium Disilicide as High-Temperature Contact Material for Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Assion, F.; Schönhoff, M.; Hilleringmann, U.

    2013-07-01

    Thermoelectric devices can be used to capture electric power from waste heat in a variety of applications. The theoretical efficiency rises with the temperature difference across the thermoelectric generator (TEG). Therefore, we have investigated contact materials to maximize the thermal stability of a TEG. A promising candidate is titanium disilicide (TiSi2), which has been well known as a contact material in silicon technology for some time, having low resistivity and thermal stability up to 1150 K. A demonstrator using highly doped silicon as the thermoelectric material has been integrated. A p- and an n-type wafer were oxidized and bonded. After cutting the wafer into pieces, a 200-nm-thick titanium layer was sputtered onto the edges. After a 750°C rapid thermal annealing step, the TEG legs were connected by a highly conductive TiSi2 layer. A TEG with 12 thermal couples was integrated, and its joint resistance was found to be 4.2 ?. Hence, we have successfully demonstrated a functional high-temperature contact for TEGs up to at least 900 K. Nevertheless, the actual thermal stability will be even higher. The process could be transfered to other substrates by using amorphous silicon deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition.

  9. Nanocomposites as thermoelectric materials

    E-print Network

    Hao, Qing

    2010-01-01

    Thermoelectric materials have attractive applications in electric power generation and solid-state cooling. The performance of a thermoelectric device depends on the dimensionless figure of merit (ZT) of the material, ...

  10. Consideration of Thermoelectric Power Generation by Using Hot Spring Thermal Energy or Industrial Waste Heat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasaki, Keiichi; Horikawa, Daisuke; Goto, Koichi

    2015-01-01

    Today, we face some significant environmental and energy problems such as global warming, urban heat island, and the precarious balance of world oil supply and demand. However, we have not yet found a satisfactory solution to these problems. Waste heat recovery is considered to be one of the best solutions because it can improve energy efficiency by converting heat exhausted from plants and machinery to electric power. This technology would also prevent atmospheric temperature increases caused by waste heat, and decrease fossil fuel consumption by recovering heat energy, thus also reducing CO2 emissions. The system proposed in this research generates electric power by providing waste heat or unharnessed thermal energy to built-in thermoelectric modules that can convert heat into electric power. Waste heat can be recovered from many places, including machinery in industrial plants, piping in electric power plants, waste incineration plants, and so on. Some natural heat sources such as hot springs and solar heat can also be used for this thermoelectric generation system. The generated power is expected to be supplied to auxiliary machinery around the heat source, stored as an emergency power supply, and so on. The attributes of this system are (1) direct power generation using hot springs or waste heat; (2) 24-h stable power generation; (3) stand-alone power system with no noise and no vibration; and (4) easy maintenance attributed to its simple structure with no moving parts. In order to maximize energy use efficiency, the temperature difference between both sides of the thermoelectric (TE) modules built into the system need to be kept as large as possible. This means it is important to reduce thermal resistance between TE modules and heat source. Moreover, the system's efficiency greatly depends on the base temperature of the heat sources and the material of the system's TE modules. Therefore, in order to make this system practical and efficient, it is necessary to choose the heat source first and then design the most appropriate structure for the source by applying analytical methods. This report describes how to design a prototype of a thermoelectric power generator using the analytical approach and the results of performance evaluation tests carried out in the field.

  11. Optimization Strategies for a Portable Thermoelectric Vaccine Refrigeration System in Developing Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohara, B.; Sitar, R.; Soares, J.; Novisoff, P.; Nunez-Perez, A.; Lee, H.

    2015-06-01

    The traditional approach to determine an optimum current for thermoelectric cooling assumes that a refrigeration chamber is insulated and has no thermal resistance to a thermoelectric module. As a result, minimum temperature occurs when Peltier cooling matches with parasitic heat transfer and Joule heating. In practical application, minimum temperature happens when heat addition from the environment is matched with heat extracted by a thermoelectric module, and the optimum current differs from that anticipated by the traditional approach. Hence, consideration for insulation and thermal resistances via thermoelectric module should be made to achieve desirable cooling performance/refrigeration temperature. This paper presents a modeling approach to determine the optimum current as well as the optimum geometry to power a small thermoelectric vaccine delivery system for developing communities under the World Health Organization requirements. The model is derived from three energy conservation equations for temperatures at both ends of the thermoelectric materials within a module, as well as the refrigeration chamber temperature. A prototype was built and demonstrated a minimum temperature of 3.4°C. With optimized module geometry, the system is estimated to reduce power consumption by over 50% while achieving twice the temperature difference.

  12. Energy Harvesting Thermoelectric Generators Manufactured Using the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor Process

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ming-Zhi; Wu, Chyan-Chyi; Dai, Ching-Liang; Tsai, Wen-Jung

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the fabrication and characterization of energy harvesting thermoelectric micro generators using the commercial complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process. The micro generator consists of 33 thermocouples in series. Thermocouple materials are p-type and n-type polysilicon since they have a large Seebeck coefficient difference. The output power of the micro generator depends on the temperature difference in the hot and cold parts of the thermocouples. In order to increase this temperature difference, the hot part of the thermocouples is suspended to reduce heat-sinking. The micro generator needs a post-CMOS process to release the suspended structures of hot part, which the post-process includes an anisotropic dry etching to etch the sacrificial oxide layer and an isotropic dry etching to remove the silicon substrate. Experiments show that the output power of the micro generator is 9.4 ?W at a temperature difference of 15 K. PMID:23396193

  13. Energy harvesting thermoelectric generators manufactured using the complementary metal oxide semiconductor process.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ming-Zhi; Wu, Chyan-Chyi; Dai, Ching-Liang; Tsai, Wen-Jung

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the fabrication and characterization of energy harvesting thermoelectric micro generators using the commercial complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process. The micro generator consists of 33 thermocouples in series. Thermocouple materials are p-type and n-type polysilicon since they have a large Seebeck coefficient difference. The output power of the micro generator depends on the temperature difference in the hot and cold parts of the thermocouples. In order to increase this temperature difference, the hot part of the thermocouples is suspended to reduce heat-sinking. The micro generator needs a post-CMOS process to release the suspended structures of hot part, which the post-process includes an anisotropic dry etching to etch the sacrificial oxide layer and an isotropic dry etching to remove the silicon substrate. Experiments show that the output power of the micro generator is 9.4 mW at a temperature difference of 15 K. PMID:23396193

  14. Program Final Report - Develop Thermoelectric Technology for Automotive Waste Heat Recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Gregory Meisner

    2011-08-31

    We conducted a vehicle analysis to assess the feasibility of thermoelectric technology for waste heat recovery and conversion to useful electrical power and found that eliminating the 500 W of electrical power generated by the alternator corresponded to about a 7% increase in fuel economy (FE) for a small car and about 6% for a full size truck. Electric power targets of 300 W were established for city and highway driving cycles for this project. We obtained critical vehicle level information for these driving cycles that enabled a high-level design and performance analysis of radiator and exhaust gas thermoelectric subsystems for several potential vehicle platforms, and we identified the location and geometric envelopes of the radiator and exhaust gas thermoelectric subsystems. Based on this analysis, we selected the Chevrolet Suburban as the most suitable demonstration vehicle for this project. Our modeling and thermal analysis assessment of a radiator-based thermoelectric generator (TEG), however, revealed severe practical limitations. Specifically the small temperature difference of 100°C or less between the engine coolant and ambient air results in a low Carnot conversion efficiency, and thermal resistance associated with air convection would reduce this conversion efficiency even further. We therefore decided not to pursue a radiator-based waste heat recovery system and focused only on the exhaust gas. Our overall approach was to combine science and engineering: (1) existing and newly developed TE materials were carefully selected and characterized by the material researcher members of our team, and most of the material property results were validated by our research partners, and (2) system engineers worked closely with vehicle engineers to ensure that accurate vehicle-level information was used for developing subsystem models and designs, and the subsystem output was analyzed for potential fuel economy gains. We incorporated material, module, subsystem, and integration costs into the material selection criteria in order to balance various materials, module and subsystem design, and vehicle integration options. Our work on advanced TE materials development and on TEG system design, assembly, vehicle integration, and testing proceeded in parallel efforts. Results from our two preliminary prototype TEGs using only Bi-Te TE modules allowed us to solve various mechanical challenges and to finalize and fine tune aspects of the design and implementation. Our materials research effort led us to quickly abandon work on PbTe and focus on the skutterudite materials due to their superior mechanical performance and suitability at automotive exhaust gas operating temperatures. We synthesized a sufficiently large quantity of skutterudite material for module fabrication for our third and final prototype. Our TEG#3 is the first of its kind to contain state-of-the-art skutterudite-based TE modules to be installed and tested on a production vehicle. The design, which consisted of 24 skutterudite modules and 18 Bi-Te modules, attempted to optimize electrical power generation by using these two kinds of TE modules that have their peak performance temperatures matched to the actual temperature profile of the TEG during operation. The performance of TEG#3 was limited by the maximum temperature allowable for the Bi-Te TE modules located in the colder end of the TEG, resulting in the operating temperature for the skutterudite modules to be considerably below optimum. We measured the power output for (1) the complete TEG (25 Watts) and (2) an individual TE module series string (1/3 of the TEG) operated at a 60°C higher temperature (19 Watts). We estimate that under optimum operating temperature conditions, TEG#3 will generate about 235 Watts. With additional improvements in thermal and electrical interfaces, temperature homogeneity, and power conditioning, we estimate TEG#3 could deliver a power output of about 425 Watts.

  15. Influence of an Optimized Thermoelectric Generator on the Back Pressure of the Subsequent Exhaust Gas System of a Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kühn, Roland; Koeppen, Olaf; Kitte, Jens

    2014-06-01

    Numerous research projects in automotive engineering focus on the industrialization of the thermoelectric generator (TEG). The development and the implementation of thermoelectric systems into the vehicle environment are commonly supported by virtual design activities. In this paper a customized simulation architecture is presented that includes almost all vehicle parts which are influenced by the TEG (overall system simulation) but is nevertheless capable of real-time use. Moreover, an optimized planar TEG with minimum nominal power output of about 580 W and pressure loss at nominal conditions of 10 mbar, synthesized using the overall system simulation, and the overall system simulation itself are used to answer a generally neglected question: What influence does the position of a TEG have on the back pressure of the subsequent exhaust gas system of the vehicle? It is found that the influence of the TEG on the muffler is low, but the catalytic converter is strongly influenced. It is shown that the TEG can reduce the back pressure of an exhaust gas system so much that its overall back pressure is less than the back pressure of a standard exhaust gas system.

  16. System Modeling and Validation of a Thermoelectric Fluidic Power Source: Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell and Thermoelectric Generator (PEMFC-TEG)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Min; Andreasen, Søren Juhl; Rosendahl, Lasse; Kær, Søren Knudsen; Condra, Thomas

    2010-09-01

    To facilitate the co-design and co-optimization of fluid or combustion systems and thermoelectric devices, a three-dimensional (3D) thermoelectric generator (TEG) model has been proposed and implemented in a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation environment. The model includes all temperature-dependent characteristics of the materials and nonlinear fluid-thermal- electric multiphysics coupled effects. In this paper, the device-level model is first extended to the module level by taking a general geometry, identifying regions such as positive and negative thermoelements, and assigning properties to them. The system-level model is then demonstrated by coupling the module-level model with a fluidic-thermal system model in a single CFD simulator to predict the generation performance based on the thermal equilibrium that is achieved. The linked models are validated experimentally at the system level using data from three real thermoelectric modules installed on the surface of an exhaust pipe-like rig, where the temperature profile as well as the electricity generated can be measured and compared with the simulation results. The rig is intended not only to verify the proposed system model but also to mimic a practical exhaust recovery apparatus for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Based on the data obtained from the system-level test rig, a novel low-temperature low-cost application for auxiliary electric power appliances based on the waste heat of the PEMFC can be envisaged. Within the common simulator, it is shown that the thermoelectric model can be connected to various continuum-domain CFD models of the fuel cell itself, thus enabling further possibilities to optimize system efficiency and performance.

  17. Numerical Modeling of Year-Round Performance of a Solar Parabolic Dish Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muthu, G.; Shanmugam, S.; Veerappan, AR.

    2015-08-01

    This paper presents the year-round performance of a solar parabolic dish thermoelectric generator under different values of operating parameters such as ambient temperature, wind velocity, direct normal irradiation, and water inlet temperature to the heat sink. The solar thermoelectric generator (TEG) is examined for an Indian location of Tiruchirappalli. The electrical power output and TEG efficiency are maximum during the months of April and August, while they are minimum during the month of December. It is found that the monthly average hot-side temperature of the TEG varies from 556.53 K to 592.68 K and the cold-side temperature of the TEG varies from 413.21 K to 438.91 K. When the hot-side temperature reaches the optimum value, the conversion efficiency is reduced, although the power increases. A TEG model is useful to find the temperature of the junctions for different operating parameter values and predict the performance of the TEG at any time. A small standalone power-generating system using this technology is a promising option.

  18. Modular Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) Program. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-31

    Section 2.0 of this report summarizes the MOD-RTG reference flight design, and Section 3.0 discusses the Ground Demonstration System design. Multicouple technology development is discussed in Section 4.0, and Section 5.0 lists all published technical papers prepared during the course of the contract.

  19. Development of Thermoelectric and Permanent Magnet Nanoparticles for Clean Energy Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Phi-Khanh

    The global trend towards energy efficiency and environmental sustainability has generated a strong demand for clean energy technologies. Among the many energy solutions, the work in this dissertation contributes to two strategic goals: the reduction of fuel consumption in the transportation sector, and the increase of domestic wind power capacity. The key barriers to achieving these goals are materials challenges. Automobiles can be made more efficient by thermoelectric conversion of waste heat from the engine into electricity that can be used to power electrical components in the vehicle. Vehicles can forego petroleum fuel altogether by using electric or hybrid motors. Unfortunately, the conversion efficiency of current thermoelectric technology is too low to be considered economically feasible, and the permanent magnets used in electric vehicle motors and wind turbine generators require critical rare-earth elements that are economically unstable (often referred to as the "rare-earth crisis"). In order to combat these challenges, a "spark erosion" technique was utilized for producing nanoparticles that improve thermoelectric efficiency and contribute to the development of electromotors that do not require rare-earths. In Chapter 2 of this dissertation, I describe the utilization of spark erosion for producing high-quality thermoelectric nanoparticles at a remarkably high rate and with enhanced thermoelectric properties. The technique was employed to synthesize p-type bismuth-antimony telluride (BST) and n-type skutterudite nanoparticles, using a relatively small laboratory apparatus, with low energy consumption. The compacted BST nanocomposite samples made from these nanoparticles exhibit a well-defined, 20--50 nm size nanograin microstructure, and show an enhanced Figure of merit, ZT, of 1.36 at 360 K due to a reduction in lattice thermal conductivity. The skutterudite nanocomposites also show reduced thermal conductivity but still require enhancement in the thermoelectric power factor. Such a technique is essential for providing inexpensive, oxidation-free nanoparticles required for fabricating high performance thermoelectric devices for power generation from waste heat, and for refrigeration. We have investigated the spark erosion of MnBi, a promising rare-earth-free permanent magnet, and have determined that spark erosion provides the best approach for producing MnBi particles. The low-temperature phase of MnBi (LTP-MnBi) is an attractive rare-earth free permanent magnet material due it its high uniaxial magnetocrystalline anisotropy, which produces an unusually high coercivity at the elevated temperatures required for motor and generators. However, due to the peritectic Mn-Bi phase diagram and the slow interdiffusion of Mn and Bi below the 350°C phase change temperature, bulk samples of LTP-MnBi with high saturation magnetization (MS) have been difficult to achieve. In Chapter 3, we describe the successful formation of high-purity bulk LTP-MnBi ingots and spark erosion of this material to produce single-domain particles of MnBi at an unprecedented rate. The bulk ingots have MS > 90 wt % of LTP-MnBi, and are formed by chill-casting and by vacuum-annealing of arc-melted ingots. The as-prepared powder then consists of amorphous, crystalline, and superparamagnetic particles, mostly as porous aggregates. The major fraction of the powder consists of 20--30 nm particles. A short anneal crystallizes the amorphous particles producing a high moment, albeit with HC of only a few kOe. If lightly milled, the agglomerates are broken up and yield an HC of 1 T and a maximum energy product of 3.0 MGOe. The particles can be further engineered through milling, annealing, and/or solution processing in order to produce unique properties that hold promise to achieving the first bulk permanent magnet that utilizes the exchange-spring principle. In addition, we have found that due to the amorphous component of the spark-eroded powder, a cold compact can be magnetically oriented by crystallizing in a magnetic field

  20. Potential improvements in SiGe radioisotope thermoelectric generator performance

    SciTech Connect

    Mowery, A.L.

    1999-01-01

    In accordance with NASA{close_quote}s slogan: {open_quotes}Better, Cheaper, Faster,{close_quotes} this paper will address potential improvements to SiGe RTG technology to make them Better. RTGs are doubtless cheaper than {open_quotes}paper designs{close_quotes} which are better and cheaper until development, performance and safety test costs are considered. RTGs have the advantage of being fully developed and tested in the rigors of space for over twenty years. Further, unless a new system can be accelerated tested, as were the RTGs, they cannot be deployed reliably unless a number of systems have succeeded for test periods exceeding the mission lifetime. Two potential developments are discussed that can improve the basic RTG performance by 10 to 40{sup +}{percent} depending on the mission profile. These improvements could be demonstrated in years. Accelerated testing could also be performed in this period to preserve existing RTG reliability. Data from a qualification tested RTG will be displayed, while not definitive, to support the conclusions. Finally, it is anticipated that other investigators will be encouraged to suggest further modifications to the basic RTG design to improve its performance. {copyright} {ital 1999 American Institute of Physics.}

  1. The Influence of a Dispersion Cone on the Temperature Distribution in the Heat Exchanger of a Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musia?, M.; Borcuch, M.; Wojciechowski, K.

    2015-10-01

    This paper presents the results of a numerical simulation of heat distribution in the heat exchanger of a prototype thermoelectric generator constructed and examined in the Thermoelectric Research Laboratory in AGH University, Cracow, Poland. The area of interest was to prepare a numerical model and determine the influence of a dispersion cone on the temperature distribution along the heat exchanger. The role of a dispersion element is to mix the air stream to improve the flow between the internal heat exchanger's fins in order to enhance heat exchange. The estimation of power output parameters and exchanger efficiency has been performed in order to assess the cone impact for three selected air inlet temperatures. The results show that the presence of the cone increases the efficiency of the thermoelectric generator by at least 25%.

  2. Effect of the Sequence of the Thermoelectric Generator and the Three-Way Catalytic Converter on Exhaust Gas Conversion Efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Chuqi; Tong, Naiqiang; Xu, Yuman; Chen, Shan; Liu, Xun

    2013-07-01

    The potential for thermoelectric exhaust heat recovery in vehicles has increased with recent improvements in the efficiency of thermoelectric generators (TEGs). The problem with using thermoelectric generators for vehicle applications is whether the device is compatible with the original vehicle exhaust system, which determines the quality of the exhaust gas treatment and the realization of energy conservation and emission reduction. Based on ANSYS CFX simulation analysis of the impact of two positional relationships between the TEG and three-way catalytic converter in the exhaust system on the working efficiency of both elements, it is concluded that the layout with the front three-way catalytic converter has an advantage over the other layout mode under current conditions. New ideas for an improvement program are proposed to provide the basis for further research.

  3. Heat Pipe-Assisted Thermoelectric Power Generation Technology for Waste Heat Recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jang, Ju-Chan; Chi, Ri-Guang; Rhi, Seok-Ho; Lee, Kye-Bock; Hwang, Hyun-Chang; Lee, Ji-Su; Lee, Wook-Hyun

    2015-06-01

    Currently, large amounts of thermal energy dissipated from automobiles are emitted through hot exhaust pipes. This has resulted in the need for a new efficient recycling method to recover energy from waste hot exhaust gas. The present experimental study investigated how to improve the power output of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) system assisted by a wickless loop heat pipe (loop thermosyphon) under the limited space of the exhaust gas pipeline. The present study shows a novel loop-type heat pipe-assisted TEG concept to be applied to hybrid vehicles. The operating temperature of a TEG's hot side surface should be as high as possible to maximize the Seebeck effect. The present study shows a novel TEG concept of transferring heat from the source to the sink. This technology can transfer waste heat to any local place with a loop-type heat pipe. The present TEG system with a heat pipe can transfer heat and generate an electromotive force power of around 1.3 V in the case of 170°C hot exhaust gas. Two thermoelectric modules (TEMs) for a conductive block model and four Bi2Te3 TEMs with a heat pipe-assisted model were installed in the condenser section. Heat flows to the condenser section from the evaporator section connected to the exhaust pipe. This novel TEG system with a heat pipe can be placed in any location on an automobile.

  4. Thermoelectric Power Generation System for Future Hybrid Vehicles Using Hot Exhaust Gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sun-Kook; Won, Byeong-Cheol; Rhi, Seok-Ho; Kim, Shi-Ho; Yoo, Jeong-Ho; Jang, Ju-Chan

    2011-05-01

    The present experimental and computational study investigates a new exhaust gas waste heat recovery system for hybrid vehicles, using a thermoelectric module (TEM) and heat pipes to produce electric power. It proposes a new thermoelectric generation (TEG) system, working with heat pipes to produce electricity from a limited hot surface area. The current TEG system is directly connected to the exhaust pipe, and the amount of electricity generated by the TEMs is directly proportional to their heated area. Current exhaust pipes fail to offer a sufficiently large hot surface area for the high-efficiency waste heat recovery required. To overcome this, a new TEG system has been designed to have an enlarged hot surface area by the addition of ten heat pipes, which act as highly efficient heat transfer devices and can transmit the heat to many TEMs. As designed, this new waste heat recovery system produces a maximum 350 W when the hot exhaust gas heats the evaporator surface of the heat pipe to 170°C; this promises great possibilities for application of this technology in future energy-efficient hybrid vehicles.

  5. Recovering Industrial Waste Heat by the Means of Thermoelectricity

    E-print Network

    Kjelstrup, Signe

    Recovering Industrial Waste Heat by the Means of Thermoelectricity Spring 2010 Department available thermoelectric modules and to build a thermoelectric power generator demonstration unit. An experimental set up has been constructed to test the performance of a thermoelectric module operating

  6. Development and Testing of an Integrated Sandia Cooler Thermoelectric Device (SCTD).

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Terry A.; Staats, Wayne Lawrence,; Leick, Michael Thomas; Zimmerman, Mark D.; Radermacher, Reinhard; Martin, Cara; Nasuta, Dennis; Kalinowski, Paul; Hoffman, William

    2014-12-01

    This report describes a FY14 effort to develop an integrated Sandia Cooler T hermoelectric D evice (SCTD) . The project included a review of feasible thermoelectric (TE) cooling applications, baseline performance testing of an existing TE device, analysis and design development of an integrated SCTD assembly, and performance measurement and validation of the integrated SCTD prototype.

  7. Combination of PVA with Graphene to Improve the Seebeck Coefficient for Thermoelectric Generator Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahmoud, L.; Abdul Samad, Y.; Alhawari, M.; Mohammad, B.; Liao, K.; Ismail, M.

    2015-01-01

    Ultrasensitive thermoelectric (TE) materials are essential for the next generation of self-powered electronic devices. In this work, a graphene-based TE generator was fabricated. For 50 to 1000 graphene layers the average Seebeck coefficient was 90 ?V/K. We also report improvement of the Seebeck coefficient by use of a hybrid material containing 10% poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and 90% graphene oxide prepared and tested under the same conditions. The results show that the Seebeck coefficient is improved by an average of 30% compared with graphene alone. Because the fabrication process is facile, scalable, and cost effective, it could also be applicable to other fields of science and engineering.

  8. Device for use in a furnace exhaust stream for thermoelectric generation

    DOEpatents

    Polcyn, Adam D.

    2013-06-11

    A device for generating voltage or electrical current includes an inner elongated member mounted in an outer elongated member, and a plurality of thermoelectric modules mounted in the space between the inner and the outer members. The outer and/or inner elongated members each include a plurality of passages to move a temperature altering medium through the members so that the device can be used in high temperature environments, e.g. the exhaust system of an oxygen fired glass melting furnace. The modules are designed to include a biasing member and/or other arrangements to compensate for differences in thermal expansion between the first and the second members. In this manner, the modules remain in contact with the first and second members. The voltage generated by the modules can be used to power electrical loads.

  9. Synthetic thermoelectric materials comprising phononic crystals

    DOEpatents

    El-Kady, Ihab F; Olsson, Roy H; Hopkins, Patrick; Reinke, Charles; Kim, Bongsang

    2013-08-13

    Synthetic thermoelectric materials comprising phononic crystals can simultaneously have a large Seebeck coefficient, high electrical conductivity, and low thermal conductivity. Such synthetic thermoelectric materials can enable improved thermoelectric devices, such as thermoelectric generators and coolers, with improved performance. Such synthetic thermoelectric materials and devices can be fabricated using techniques that are compatible with standard microelectronics.

  10. Highly Efficient Multilayer Thermoelectric Devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boufelfel, Ali

    2006-01-01

    Multilayer thermoelectric devices now at the prototype stage of development exhibit a combination of desirable characteristics, including high figures of merit and high performance/cost ratios. These devices are capable of producing temperature differences of the order of 50 K in operation at or near room temperature. A solvent-free batch process for mass production of these state-of-the-art thermoelectric devices has also been developed. Like prior thermoelectric devices, the present ones have commercial potential mainly by virtue of their utility as means of controlled cooling (and/or, in some cases, heating) of sensors, integrated circuits, and temperature-critical components of scientific instruments. The advantages of thermoelectric devices for such uses include no need for circulating working fluids through or within the devices, generation of little if any noise, and high reliability. The disadvantages of prior thermoelectric devices include high power consumption and relatively low coefficients of performance. The present development program was undertaken in the hope of reducing the magnitudes of the aforementioned disadvantages and, especially, obtaining higher figures of merit for operation at and near room temperature. Accomplishments of the program thus far include development of an algorithm to estimate the heat extracted by, and the maximum temperature drop produced by, a thermoelectric device; solution of the problem of exchange of heat between a thermoelectric cooler and a water-cooled copper block; retrofitting of a vacuum chamber for depositing materials by sputtering; design of masks; and fabrication of multilayer thermoelectric devices of two different designs, denoted I and II. For both the I and II designs, the thicknesses of layers are of the order of nanometers. In devices of design I, nonconsecutive semiconductor layers are electrically connected in series. Devices of design II contain superlattices comprising alternating electron-acceptor (p)-doped and electron-donor (n)-doped, nanometer- thick semiconductor layers.

  11. Development of a prototype thermoelectric space cooling system using phase change material to improve the performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Dongliang

    The thermoelectric cooling system has advantages over conventional vapor compression cooling devices, including compact in size, light in weight, high reliability, no mechanical moving parts, no refrigerant, being powered by direct current, and easily switching between cooling and heating modes. However, it has been long suffering from its relatively high cost and low energy efficiency, which has restricted its usage to niche applications, such as space missions, portable cooling devices, scientific and medical equipment, where coefficient of performance (COP) is not as important as reliability, energy availability, and quiet operation environment. Enhancement of thermoelectric cooling system performance generally relies on two methods: improving thermoelectric material efficiency and through thermoelectric cooling system thermal design. This research has been focused on the latter one. A prototype thermoelectric cooling system integrated with phase change material (PCM) thermal energy storage unit for space cooling has been developed. The PCM thermal storage unit used for cold storage at night, functions as the thermoelectric cooling system's heat sink during daytime's cooling period and provides relatively lower hot side temperature for the thermoelectric cooling system. The experimental test of the prototype system in a reduced-scale chamber has realized an average cooling COP of 0.87, with the maximum value of 1.22. Another comparison test for efficacy of PCM thermal storage unit shows that 35.3% electrical energy has been saved from using PCM for the thermoelectric cooling system. In general, PCM faces difficulty of poor thermal conductivity at both solid and liquid phases. This system implemented a finned inner tube to increase heat transfer during PCM charging (melting) process that directly impacts thermoelectric system's performance. A simulation tool for the entire system has been developed including mathematical models for a single thermoelectric module, for the thermoelectric cooling unit, for the PCM thermal storage unit, and for the outdoor air-water heat exchanger. When modeling PCM thermal storage unit, the enthalpy method has been adopted. Since natural convection has been observed in experiments playing a key effect on heat transfer in PCM, a staged effective thermal conductivity (ke) concept and modified Rayleigh (Ra) number formula have been developed to better capture natural convection's variable effects during the PCM charging process. Therefore, a modeling-based design procedure for thermoelectric cooling system integrating with PCM has been proposed. A case study has been completed for a model office room to demonstrate the qualitative and quantitative evaluations to the major system components. Results of this research can be extended to other applications in relevant areas. For instance, the proposed PCM thermal storage unit can be applied to integration with water-cooled conventional air-conditioning devices. Instead of using water cooling, a case study of using the proposed PCM unit for a water-cooled air-conditioner shows a COP increase of more than 25.6%.

  12. The universal influence of contact resistance on the efficiency of a thermoelectric generator

    E-print Network

    Bjørk, R

    2015-01-01

    The influence of electrical and thermal contact resistance on the efficiency of a segmented thermoelectric generator is investigated. We consider 12 different segmented $p$-legs and 12 different segmented $n$-legs, using 8 different $p$-type and 8 different $n$-type thermoelectric materials. For all systems a universal influence of both the electrical and thermal contact resistance is observed on the leg's efficiency, when the systems are analyzed in terms of the contribution of the contact resistance to the total resistance of the leg. The results are compared with the analytical model of Min and Rowe (1992). In order for the efficiency not to decrease more than 20%, the contact electrical resistance should be less than 30% of the total leg resistance for zero thermal contact resistance, while the thermal contact resistance should be less than 20% for zero electrical contact resistance. The universal behavior also allowed the maximum tolerable contact resistance for a segmented system to be found, i.e. the r...

  13. Thermoelectric Power Generation from Lanthanum Strontium Titanium Oxide at Room Temperature through the Addition of Graphene.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yue; Norman, Colin; Srivastava, Deepanshu; Azough, Feridoon; Wang, Li; Robbins, Mark; Simpson, Kevin; Freer, Robert; Kinloch, Ian A

    2015-07-29

    The applications of strontium titanium oxide based thermoelectric materials are currently limited by their high operating temperatures of >700 °C. Herein, we show that the thermal operating window of lanthanum strontium titanium oxide (LSTO) can be reduced to room temperature by the addition of a small amount of graphene. This increase in operating performance will enable future applications such as generators in vehicles and other sectors. The LSTO composites incorporated one percent or less of graphene and were sintered under an argon/hydrogen atmosphere. The resultant materials were reduced and possessed a multiphase structure with nanosized grains. The thermal conductivity of the nanocomposites decreased upon the addition of graphene, whereas the electrical conductivity and power factor both increased significantly. These factors, together with a moderate Seebeck coefficient, meant that a high power factor of ?2500 ?Wm(-1)K(-2) was reached at room temperature at a loading of 0.6 wt % graphene. The highest thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) was achieved when 0.6 wt % graphene was added (ZT = 0.42 at room temperature and 0.36 at 750 °C), with >280% enhancement compared to that of pure LSTO. A preliminary 7-couple device was produced using bismuth strontium cobalt oxide/graphene-LSTO pucks. This device had a Seebeck coefficient of ?1500 ?V/K and an open voltage of 600 mV at a mean temperature of 219 °C. PMID:26095083

  14. Infrared and thermoelectric power generation in thin atomic layer deposited Nb-doped TiO{sub 2} films

    SciTech Connect

    Mann, Harkirat S.; Lang, Brian N.; Schwab, Yosyp; Scarel, Giovanna; Niemelä, Janne-Petteri; Karppinen, Maarit

    2015-01-15

    Infrared radiation is used to radiatively transfer heat to a nanometric power generator (NPG) device with a thermoelectric Nb-doped TiO{sub 2} film deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD) as the active element, onto a borosilicate glass substrate. The linear rise of the produced voltage with respect to the temperature difference between the “hot” and “cold” junctions, typical of the Seebeck effect, is missing. The discovery of the violation of the Seebeck effect in NPG devices combined with the ability of ALD to tune thermoelectric thin film properties could be exploited to increase the efficiency of these devices for energy harvesting purposes.

  15. On the Use of Thermoelectric (TE) Applications Based on Commercial Modules: The Case of TE Generator and TE Cooler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zorbas, K.; Hatzikraniotis, E.; Paraskevopoulos, K. M.; Kyratsi, Th.

    2010-01-01

    In recent years, thermoelectricity sees rapidly increasing usages in applications like portable refrigerators, beverage coolers, electronic component coolers etc. when used as Thermoelectric Cooler (TEC), and Thermoelectric Generators (TEG) which make use of the Seebeck effect in semiconductors for the direct conversion of heat into electrical energy and is of particular interest for systems of highest reliability or for waste heat recovery. In this work, we examine the performance of commercially available TEC and TEG. A prototype TEC-refrigerator has been designed, modeled and constructed for in-car applications. Additionally, a TEG was made, in order to measure the gained power and efficiency. Furthermore, a TEG module was tested on a small size car (Toyota Starlet, 1300 cc), in order to measure the gained power and efficiency for various engine loads. With the use of a modeling approach, we evaluated the thermal contact resistances and their influence on the final device efficiency.

  16. Effective thermal conductivity in thermoelectric materials

    SciTech Connect

    Baranowski, LL; Snyder, GJ; Toberer, ES

    2013-05-28

    Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are solid state heat engines that generate electricity from a temperature gradient. Optimizing these devices for maximum power production can be difficult due to the many heat transport mechanisms occurring simultaneously within the TEG. In this paper, we develop a model for heat transport in thermoelectric materials in which an "effective thermal conductivity" (kappa(eff)) encompasses both the one dimensional steady-state Fourier conduction and the heat generation/consumption due to secondary thermoelectric effects. This model is especially powerful in that the value of kappa(eff) does not depend upon the operating conditions of the TEG but rather on the transport properties of the TE materials themselves. We analyze a variety of thermoelectric materials and generator designs using this concept and demonstrate that kappa(eff) predicts the heat fluxes within these devices to 5% of the exact value. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

  17. Thermoelectric Devices: Solid-State Refrigerators and Electrical Generators in the Classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winder, Edmund J.; Ellis, Arthur B.; Lisensky, George C.

    1996-10-01

    Thermoelectric devices are solid-state devices that convert thermal energy from a temperature gradient into electrical energy (the Seebeck effect) or convert electrical energy into a temperature gradient (the Peltier effect). The first application is used most notably in spacecraft power generation systems (for example, in Voyager I and II) and in thermocouples for temperature measurement, while the second application is largely used in specialized cooling applications. Both applications can be demonstrated in the lecture hall to illustrate thermodynamic principles in a compelling manner. They also provide insight into the workings of a high-tech system that is achieving more widespread consumer use. The most visible consumer use of thermoelectric devices utilizing the Peltier effect is in portable electric food coolers/warmers that plug into an automobile cigarette lighter. Conventional cooling systems such as those used in refrigerators utilize a compressor and a working fluid to transfer heat. Thermal energy is absorbed and released as the working fluid undergoes expansion and compression and changes phase from liquid to vapor and back, respectively (1). Semiconductor thermoelectric coolers (also known as Peltier coolers) offer several advantages over conventional systems. They are entirely solid-state devices, with no moving parts; this makes them rugged, reliable, and quiet. They use no ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons, potentially offering a more environmentally responsible alternative to conventional refrigeration. They can be extremely compact, much more so than compressor-based systems. Precise temperature control (< ±0.1 °C) can be achieved with Peltier coolers. However, their efficiency is low compared to conventional refrigerators. Thus, they are used in niche applications where their unique advantages outweigh their low efficiency. Although some large-scale applications have been considered (on submarines and surface vessels), Peltier coolers are generally used in applications where small size is needed and the cooling demands are not too great, such as for cooling electronic components. Apparatus Acquiring and Preparing a Thermoelectric Module A thermoelectric cooling module can be obtained by purchasing and disassembling a portable food cooler, (e.g., Coleman or Igloo brands). These are available at many department stores. If several model sizes are available, buy the least expensive: all contain thermoelectric modules that are suitable for demonstration purposes. Portable food coolers can be bought for less than 90. These will probably include the cooler and a power cord, fitted with a cigarette lighter adapter for 12-V automotive use. For classroom demonstrations a power supply will be needed; these can usually be purchased at the same place as the portable food cooler for about 30. Disassembling an Igloo KoolMate series Kool Rider 6-quart Thermoelectric Roadster reveals that the cooling system is entirely contained in the cooler lid. A number of screws have to be removed to access the thermoelectric module. The module comes equipped with finned aluminum heat sinks attached to both sides; one of these has to be detached in order to remove the module from the lid. The heat sink is then reattached to the module, as shown in Figure 1. Figure 1. Thermoelectric module with attached heat sinks, from a disassembled portable food cooler. The smaller heat sink provides cooling to the cooler's interior in normal operation. A small fan is used to circulate air over the heat sinks. Note that the module itself is very small compared to the attached hardware. The module itself is approximately 3 cm by 3 cm and a few millimeters thick. Electrical connections for the module are simply a red and a black wire. The lid also contains a small fan used to circulate air over the heat sinks for more efficient heat transfer. This module runs on 12 volts dc and draws from 3.0 to 4.2 amps. Power can be provided from a car battery or from a suitable ac-to-dc converter, such as the Igloo KoolMate ac/dc converter. The conver

  18. Thermoelectric Outer Planets Spacecraft (TOPS) electronic packaging and cabling development summary report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dawe, R. H.; Arnett, J. C.

    1974-01-01

    Electronic packaging and cabling activities performed in support of the Thermoelectric Outer Planets Spacecraft (TOPS) Advanced Systems Technology (AST) project are detailed. It describes new electronic compartment, electronic assembly, and module concepts, and a new high-density, planar interconnection technique called discrete multilayer (DML). Development and qualification of high density cabling techniques, using small gage wire and microminiature connectors, are also reported.

  19. Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Heat Exchangers for the Mars Science Laboratory Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mastropietro, A. J.; Beatty, John S.; Kelly, Frank P.; Bhandari, Pradeep; Bame, David P.; Liu, Yuanming; Birux, Gajanana C.; Miller, Jennifer R.; Pauken, Michael T.; Illsley, Peter M.

    2012-01-01

    The addition of the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) to the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover requires an advanced thermal control system that is able to both recover and reject the waste heat from the MMRTG as needed in order to maintain the onboard electronics at benign temperatures despite the extreme and widely varying environmental conditions experienced both on the way to Mars and on the Martian surface. Based on the previously successful Mars landed mission thermal control schemes, a mechanically pumped fluid loop (MPFL) architecture was selected as the most robust and efficient means for meeting the MSL thermal requirements. The MSL heat recovery and rejection system (HRS) is comprised of two Freon (CFC-11) MPFLs that interact closely with one another to provide comprehensive thermal management throughout all mission phases. The first loop, called the Rover HRS (RHRS), consists of a set of pumps, thermal control valves, and heat exchangers (HXs) that enables the transport of heat from the MMRTG to the rover electronics during cold conditions or from the electronics straight to the environment for immediate heat rejection during warm conditions. The second loop, called the Cruise HRS (CHRS), is thermally coupled to the RHRS during the cruise to Mars, and provides a means for dissipating the waste heat more directly from the MMRTG as well as from both the cruise stage and rover avionics by promoting circulation to the cruise stage radiators. A multifunctional structure was developed that is capable of both collecting waste heat from the MMRTG and rejecting the waste heat to the surrounding environment. It consists of a pair of honeycomb core sandwich panels with HRS tubes bonded to both sides. Two similar HX assemblies were designed to surround the MMRTG on the aft end of the rover. Heat acquisition is accomplished on the interior (MMRTG facing) surface of each HX while heat rejection is accomplished on the exterior surface of each HX. Since these two surfaces need to be at very different temperatures in order for the fluid loops to perform efficiently, they need to be thermally isolated from one another. The HXs were therefore designed for high in-plane thermal conductivity and extremely low through-thickness thermal conductivity by using aluminum facesheets and aerogel as insulation inside a composite honeycomb core. Complex assemblies of hand-welded and uniquely bent aluminum tubes are bonded onto each side of the HX panels, and are specifically designed to be easily mated and demated to the rest of the RHRS in order to ease the integration effort.

  20. Method of controlling temperature of a thermoelectric generator in an exhaust system

    DOEpatents

    Prior, Gregory P; Reynolds, Michael G; Cowgill, Joshua D

    2013-05-21

    A method of controlling the temperature of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) in an exhaust system of an engine is provided. The method includes determining the temperature of the heated side of the TEG, determining exhaust gas flow rate through the TEG, and determining the exhaust gas temperature through the TEG. A rate of change in temperature of the heated side of the TEG is predicted based on the determined temperature, the determined exhaust gas flow rate, and the determined exhaust gas temperature through the TEG. Using the predicted rate of change of temperature of the heated side, exhaust gas flow rate through the TEG is calculated that will result in a maximum temperature of the heated side of the TEG less than a predetermined critical temperature given the predicted rate of change in temperature of the heated side of the TEG. A corresponding apparatus is provided.

  1. Spin-on-doping for output power improvement of silicon nanowire array based thermoelectric power generators

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, B. Fobelets, K.

    2014-06-07

    The output power of a silicon nanowire array (NWA)-bulk thermoelectric power generator (TEG) with Cu contacts is improved by spin-on-doping (SOD). The Si NWAs used in this work are fabricated via metal assisted chemical etching (MACE) of 0.01–0.02 ? cm resistivity n- and p-type bulk, converting ~4% of the bulk thickness into NWs. The MACE process is adapted to ensure crystalline NWs. Current-voltage and Seebeck voltage-temperature measurements show that while SOD mainly influences the contact resistance in bulk, it influences both contact resistance and power factor in NWA-bulk based TEGs. According to our experiments, using Si NWAs in combination with SOD increases the output power by an order of 3 under the same heating power due to an increased power factor, decreased thermal conductivity of the NWA and reduced Si-Cu contact resistance.

  2. The performance of a combined solar photovoltaic (PV) and thermoelectric generator (TEG) system

    E-print Network

    Bjørk, R

    2015-01-01

    The performance of a combined solar photovoltaic (PV) and thermoelectric generator (TEG) system is examined using an analytical model for four different types of commercial PVs and a commercial bismuth telluride TEG. The TEG is applied directly on the back of the PV, so that the two devices have the same temperature. The PVs considered are crystalline Si (c-Si), amorphous Si (a-Si), copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) and cadmium telluride (CdTe) cells. The degradation of PV performance with temperature is shown to dominate the increase in power produced by the TEG, due to the low efficiency of the TEG. For c-Si, CIGS and CdTe PV cells the combined system produces a lower power and has a lower efficiency than the PV alone, whereas for an a-Si cell the total system performance may be slightly increased by the TEG.

  3. Variable cooling circuit for thermoelectric generator and engine and method of control

    DOEpatents

    Prior, Gregory P

    2012-10-30

    An apparatus is provided that includes an engine, an exhaust system, and a thermoelectric generator (TEG) operatively connected to the exhaust system and configured to allow exhaust gas flow therethrough. A first radiator is operatively connected to the engine. An openable and closable engine valve is configured to open to permit coolant to circulate through the engine and the first radiator when coolant temperature is greater than a predetermined minimum coolant temperature. A first and a second valve are controllable to route cooling fluid from the TEG to the engine through coolant passages under a first set of operating conditions to establish a first cooling circuit, and from the TEG to a second radiator through at least some other coolant passages under a second set of operating conditions to establish a second cooling circuit. A method of controlling a cooling circuit is also provided.

  4. Cycle analyses of thermoelectric power generation and heat pumps using the ??-alumina electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Onda, Kazuo; Masuda, Toshihisa; Nagata, Susumu; Nozaki, Ken

    Cycle analyses of the alkali-metal thermoelectric conversion (AMTEC) and the high-temperature heat pump using the ??-alumina electrolyte was performed. It is shown that the isothermal expansion or compression of the sodium ion flow through the electrolyte coincides with the expansion or compression process in the Ericsson cycle, respectively, when the internal losses by thin electrolyte and electrodes are small. The isothermal compression approximation in the heat-pump cycle is more consistent with the isothermal expansion in the AMTEC cycle than the adiabatic compression discussed in an earlier report. Typical voltage-current characteristics and thermal efficiencies for both the AMTEC and the heat pump are presented including not only the saturated liquid case, but also the superheated vapour case of sodium at the high temperature side. The operation in superheated vapour shows a decrease in the power-generation efficiency for the AMTEC and an increase in the coefficient of performance for the heat pump.

  5. Quality Assurance Plan for Heat Source/Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Programs

    SciTech Connect

    Gabriel, D. M.; Miller, G. D.; Bohne, W. A.

    1995-03-16

    The purpose of this document is to serve as the Quality Assurance Plan for Heat Source/Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (HS/RTG) programs performed at EG&G Mound Applied Technologies. As such, it identifies and describes the systems and activities in place to support the requirements contained in DOE Order 5700.6C as reflected in MD-10334, Mound Quality Policy and Responsibilities and the DOE/RPSD supplement, OSA/PQAR-1, Programmatic Quality Assurance Requirements for Space and Terrestrial Nuclear Power Systems. Unique program requirements, including additions, modifications, and exceptions to these quality requirements, are contained in the appendices of this plan. Additional appendices will be added as new programs and activities are added to Mound's HS/RTG mission assignment.

  6. Waste Heat Recovery from a Marine Waste Incinerator Using a Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kristiansen, N. R.; Snyder, G. J.; Nielsen, H. K.; Rosendahl, L.

    2012-06-01

    A marine waste incinerator has been evaluated for waste heat harvesting using thermoelectric generators (TEG). The application has been evaluated using mathematical modeling to optimize the heat exchanger and some vital design parameters of the TEG. The calculation shows that it is possible to extract 58 kWel at a price of 6.6 US/W from an 850-kWth incinerator when optimizing for maximum power. However, minimizing the cost, it is possible to get 25 kWel at a price of 2.5 US/W. A trade-off between the two targets leads to a combination that gives 38 kWel at a price of 2.7 US/W.

  7. The performance of a combined solar photovoltaic (PV) and thermoelectric generator (TEG) system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bjørk, R.; Nielsen, K. K.

    2015-10-01

    The performance of a combined solar photovoltaic (PV) and thermoelectric generator (TEG) system is examined using an analytical model for four different types of commercial PVs and a commercial bismuth telluride TEG. The TEG is applied directly on the back of the PV, so that the two devices have the same temperature. The PVs considered are crystalline Si (c-Si), amorphous Si (a-Si), copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) and cadmium telluride (CdTe) cells. The degradation of PV performance with temperature is shown to dominate the increase in power produced by the TEG, due to the low efficiency of the TEG. For c-Si, CIGS and CdTe PV cells the combined system produces a lower power and has a lower efficiency than the PV alone, whereas for an a-Si cell the total system performance may be slightly increased by the TEG.

  8. Semiconducting large bandgap oxides as potential thermoelectric materials for high-temperature power generation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Backhaus-Ricoult, M.; Rustad, J.; Moore, L.; Smith, C.; Brown, J.

    2014-08-01

    Semiconducting large bandgap oxides are considered as interesting candidates for high-temperature thermoelectric power generation (700-1,200 °C) due to their stability, lack of toxicity and low cost, but so far they have not reached sufficient performance for extended application. In this review, we summarize recent progress on thermoelectric oxides, analyze concepts for tuning semiconductor thermoelectric properties with view of their applicability to oxides and determine key drivers and limitations for electrical and thermal transport properties in oxides based on our own experimental work and literature results. For our experimental assessment, we have selected representative multicomponent oxides that range from materials with highly symmetric crystal structure (SrTiO3 perovskite) over oxides with large densities of planar crystallographic defects (Ti n O2 n-1 Magnéli phases with a single type of shear plane, NbO x block structures with intersecting shear planes and WO3- x with more defective block and channel structures) to layered superstructures (Ca3Co4O9 and double perovskites) and also include a wide range of their composites with a variety of second phases. Crystallographic or microstructural features of these oxides are in 0.3-2 nm size range, so that oxide phonons can efficiently interact with them. We explore in our experiments the effects of doping, grain size, crystallographic defects, superstructures, second phases, texturing and (to a limited extend) processing on electric conductivity, Seebeck coefficient, thermal conductivity and figure of merit. Jonker and lattice-versus-electrical conductivity plots are used to compare specific materials and material families and extract levers for future improvement of oxide thermoelectrics. We show in our work that oxygen vacancy doping (reduction) is a more powerful driver for improving the power factor for SrTiO3, TiO2 and NbO x than heterovalent doping. Based on our Seebeck-conductivity plots, we derived a set of highest achievable power factors. We met these best values in our own experiments for our titanium oxide- and niobium oxide-based materials. For strontium titanate-based materials, the estimated highest power factor was not reached; further material improvement is possible and can be reached for materials with higher carrier densities. Our results show that periodic crystallographic defects and superstructures are most efficient in reducing the lattice thermal conductivity in oxides, followed by hetero- and homovalent doping. Due to the small phonon mean free path in oxides, grain boundary scattering in nanoceramics or materials with nanodispersions is much less efficient. We investigated the impact of texturing in Ca3Co4O9 ceramics on thermoelectric performance; we did not find any improvement in the overall in-plane performance of a textured ceramic compared to the corresponding random ceramic.

  9. Near-term thermoelectric nuclear power options for SEI missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, Jerry R.

    1992-01-01

    Three different types of thermoelectric nuclear space power systems are discussed. First, the general purpose heat source Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG), which was qualified and flown on Galileo/Ulysses and is in development for Cassini, is discussed. Second, the modular RTG, which is undergoing life verification, is discussed. Finally, the SP-100 is discussed. The information is presented in viewgraph form.

  10. Mo(3)Sb(7-x)Te(x) for Thermoelectric Power Generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, G. Jeffrey; Gascoin, Frank S.; Rasmussen, Julia

    2009-01-01

    Compounds having compositions of Mo(3)Sb(7-x)Te(x) (where x = 1.5 or 1.6) have been investigated as candidate thermoelectric materials. These compounds are members of a class of semiconductors that includes previously known thermoelectric materials. All of these compounds have complex crystalline and electronic structures. Through selection of chemical compositions and processing conditions, it may be possible to alter the structures to enhance or optimize thermoelectric properties.

  11. Test cells for the development of the Alkali Metal Thermoelectric Converter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bossmann, H.-P.; Fang, Q.; Knoedler, R.; Harbach, F.

    The Alkali Metal Thermoelectric Converter (AMTEC) is an electrochemical generator, which converts each kind of high temperature heat into electricity. The effects on the AMTEC performance of varying temperature, electrode thickness and size, and cell design are reported. For this purpose, two different designs for test cells were used. For characterizing the AMTEC, the fictitious temperature TNernst was introduced. TNernst can be used as a collective number for losses instead of the condenser temperature.

  12. Nanowire Thermoelectric Devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borshchevsky, Alexander; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Herman, Jennifer; Ryan, Margaret

    2005-01-01

    Nanowire thermoelectric devices, now under development, are intended to take miniaturization a step beyond the prior state of the art to exploit the potential advantages afforded by shrinking some device features to approximately molecular dimensions (of the order of 10 nm). The development of nanowire-based thermoelectric devices could lead to novel power-generating, cooling, and sensing devices that operate at relatively low currents and high voltages. Recent work on the theory of thermoelectric devices has led to the expectation that the performance of such a device could be enhanced if the diameter of the wires could be reduced to a point where quantum confinement effects increase charge-carrier mobility (thereby increasing the Seebeck coefficient) and reduce thermal conductivity. In addition, even in the absence of these effects, the large aspect ratios (length of the order of tens of microns diameter of the order of tens of nanometers) of nanowires would be conducive to the maintenance of large temperature differences at small heat fluxes. The predicted net effect of reducing diameters to the order of tens of nanometers would be to increase its efficiency by a factor of .3. Nanowires made of thermoelectric materials and devices that comprise arrays of such nanowires can be fabricated by electrochemical growth of the thermoelectric materials in templates that contain suitably dimensioned pores (10 to 100 nm in diameter and 1 to 100 microns long). The nanowires can then be contacted in bundles to form devices that look similar to conventional thermoelectric devices, except that a production version may contain nearly a billion elements (wires) per square centimeter, instead of fewer than a hundred as in a conventional bulk thermoelectric device or fewer than 100,000 as in a microdevice. It is not yet possible to form contacts with individual nanowires. Therefore, in fabricating a nanowire thermoelectric device, one forms contacts on nanowires in bundles of the order of 10-microns wide. The fill factor for the cross-section of a typical bundle is about 1/2. Nanowires have been grown in alumina templates with pore diameters of 100 and 40 nm.

  13. Drought Vulnerability of Thermoelectric Generation using Texas as a Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scanlon, B. R.; Duncan, I.; Reedy, R. C.

    2013-12-01

    Increasing extent, frequency, and intensity of droughts raises concerns about the vulnerability of thermoelectricity generation to water-shortages. In this study we evaluated the impact of the 2011 flash drought in Texas on electricity demand and water supply for power plants. The impacts of the drought were greater in sub-humid east Texas than in semiarid west Texas because most power plants are pre-adapted to low water availability in west Texas. This comparison between sub-humid and semiarid regions in Texas serves as a proxy for climatic differences between the eastern and western US. High temperatures with ?100 days of triple digit temperatures raised annual electricity demands/generation by 6% and peak demands in August by 4% relative to 2010. The corresponding water demands/consumption for 2011 for thermoelectric generation was increased by ~10% relative to 2010. While electricity demand only increased slightly during the drought, water supply decreased markedly with statewide reservoir storage at record lows (58% of capacity). Reductions in reservoir storage would suggest that power plants should be vulnerable to water shortages; however, data show that power plants subjected to water shortages were flexible enough to adapt by switching to less water-intensive technologies. Some power plants switched from once-through cooling to cooling towers with more than an order of magnitude reduction in water withdrawals whereas others switched from steam turbines to combustion turbines (no cooling water requirements) when both were available. Recent increases in natural gas production by an order of magnitude and use in combined cycle plants enhances the robustness of the power-plant fleet to drought by reducing water consumption (~1/3rd of that for steam turbines), allowing plants to operate with (combined cycle generator) or without (combustion turbine generator) water, and as base-load or peaking plants to complement increasing wind generation. Drought vulnerability of the power plant fleet can be further enhanced by reducing demand and/or increasing supplies of water (e.g. use of nontraditional water sources: municipal waste water or brackish water) and increasing supplies of electricity. Our ability to cope with projected increases in droughts would be greatly improved by joint management of water and electricity.

  14. Techno-Economic Feasibility of Highly Efficient Cost-Effective Thermoelectric-SOFC Hybrid Power Generation Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Jifeng Zhang; Jean Yamanis

    2007-09-30

    Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems have the potential to generate exhaust gas streams of high temperature, ranging from 400 to 800 C. These high temperature gas streams can be used for additional power generation with bottoming cycle technologies to achieve higher system power efficiency. One of the potential candidate bottoming cycles is power generation by means of thermoelectric (TE) devices, which have the inherent advantages of low noise, low maintenance and long life. This study was to analyze the feasibility of combining coal gas based SOFC and TE through system performance and cost techno-economic modeling in the context of multi-MW power plants, with 200 kW SOFC-TE module as building blocks. System and component concepts were generated for combining SOFC and TE covering electro-thermo-chemical system integration, power conditioning system (PCS) and component designs. SOFC cost and performance models previously developed at United Technologies Research Center were modified and used in overall system analysis. The TE model was validated and provided by BSST. The optimum system in terms of energy conversion efficiency was found to be a pressurized SOFC-TE, with system efficiency of 65.3% and cost of $390/kW of manufacturing cost. The pressurization ratio was approximately 4 and the assumed ZT of the TE was 2.5. System and component specifications were generated based on the modeling study. The major technology and cost barriers for maturing the system include pressurized SOFC stack using coal gas, the high temperature recycle blowers, and system control design. Finally, a 4-step development roadmap is proposed for future technology development, the first step being a 1 kW proof-of-concept demonstration unit.

  15. Development of a portable power system with meso-scale vortex combustor and thermo-electric device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimokuri, D.; Hara, T.; Ishizuka, S.

    2014-11-01

    In this study, a small scale power generation system with a meso-scale vortex combustor has been developed. The system was consisted of a couple of thermo-electric device and a heat medium. The medium was made of duralumin, 40 × 40 × 20 mm and 52 g weight, and the vortex combustion chamber of 7 mm inner diameter was embedded in it. It was found that a stable flame could be established in the narrow 7 mm channel even the mean axial velocity reached 1.2 m/s. And furthermore, the vortex flow significantly enhanced the heat transfer from the burned gas to combustion chamber, and as a result, the medium was heated to 300°C quickly (within 5 minutes) by the combustion of propane / air mixture for 145W input energy. The system could successfully generate 1.98 W (4.3 V and 0.46 A), which corresponded to the energy conversion rate of 0.7 % per unit thermo-electric device.

  16. A miniaturized mW thermoelectric generator for nw objectives: continuous, autonomous, reliable power for decades.

    SciTech Connect

    Aselage, Terrence Lee; Siegal, Michael P.; Whalen, Scott; Frederick, Scott K.; Apblett, Christopher Alan; Moorman, Matthew Wallace

    2006-10-01

    We have built and tested a miniaturized, thermoelectric power source that can provide in excess of 450 {micro}W of power in a system size of 4.3cc, for a power density of 107 {micro}W/cc, which is denser than any system of this size previously reported. The system operates on 150mW of thermal input, which for this system was simulated with a resistive heater, but in application would be provided by a 0.4g source of {sup 238}Pu located at the center of the device. Output power from this device, while optimized for efficiency, was not optimized for form of the power output, and so the maximum power was delivered at only 41mV. An upconverter to 2.7V was developed concurrently with the power source to bring the voltage up to a usable level for microelectronics.

  17. Power Generation Characteristics of Mg2Si Uni-Leg Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nemoto, T.; Iida, T.; Sato, J.; Sakamoto, T.; Nakajima, T.; Takanashi, Y.

    2012-06-01

    Mg2Si thermoelectric (TE) elements were fabricated by a plasma-activated sintering method using a commercial polycrystalline n-type Mg2Si source produced by the Union Material Co., Ltd. This material typically has a ZT value of ˜0.6. A monobloc plasma-activated sintering technique was used to form Ni electrodes on the TE elements. The dimensions of a single element were 4.0 mm × 4.0 mm × 10 mm, and these were used to construct a TE module comprising nine elements connected in series. To reduce the electrical and thermal contact resistance of the module, each part of the module, i.e., the elements, terminals, and insulating plates, was joined using a Ag-based brazing alloy. In addition, to maintain the temperature difference between the top and bottom of the module, a thermal insulation board was installed in it. The observed values of open-circuit voltage ( V OC) and output power ( P) of a uni-leg structure module were 594 mV and 543 mW, respectively, at a maximum ? T = 500 K.

  18. Measurements and Standards for Thermoelectric Materials

    E-print Network

    Measurements and Standards for Thermoelectric Materials CERAMICS Our goal is to develop standard, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity) for thin film and bulk thermoelectric materials to enable approach will facilitate comparison of thermoelectric data between leading laboratories, and accelerate

  19. Power Generation and Peltier Refrigeration by a Tubular ?-Type Thermoelectric Module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakai, Akihiro; Kanno, Tsutomu; Takahashi, Kouhei; Tamaki, Hiromasa; Yamada, Yuka

    2015-11-01

    A tubular configuration is a practical form of thermoelectric (TE) device to generate electric power from fluid heat sources as well as to control the temperature of fluid media by Peltier effect. Here, we report the realization of a tubular ?-type TE module which enables both power generation and Peltier refrigeration. The tubular module was obtained by stacking ring-shaped constituents in the axial direction, followed by simultaneous spark plasma sintering and joining processes. The experimentally-observed maximum power-density and efficiency are 0.9 kW/m2 and 2.2%, respectively, when a small temperature difference (? T) of 85 K was maintained using hot and cold water. Peltier refrigeration of the tube outer surface is also demonstrated. The obtained maximum ? T and the cooling power density are ? T = 49 K and 32.6 kW/m2, respectively. The present results indicate the high feasibility of this tube as a fluid-mediated practical TE module.

  20. Polymer composites for thermoelectric applications.

    PubMed

    McGrail, Brendan T; Sehirlioglu, Alp; Pentzer, Emily

    2015-02-01

    This review covers recently reported polymer composites that show a thermoelectric (TE) effect and thus have potential application as thermoelectric generators and Peltier coolers. The growing need for CO2-minimizing energy sources and thermal management systems makes the development of new TE materials a key challenge for researchers across many fields, particularly in light of the scarcity or toxicity of traditional inorganic TE materials based on Te and Pb. Recent reports of composites with inorganic and organic additives in conjugated and insulating polymer matrices are covered, as well as the techniques needed to fully characterize their TE properties. PMID:25537227

  1. Disposition of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators Currently Located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory - 12232

    SciTech Connect

    Glenn, J.; Patterson, J.; DeRoos, K.; Patterson, J.E.; Mitchell, K.G.

    2012-07-01

    Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded SEC Federal Services Corporation (SEC) a 34-building demolition and disposal (D and D) project at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that included the disposition of six Strontium (Sr-90) powered Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) stored outside of ORNL Building 3517. Disposition of the RTGs is very complex both in terms of complying with disposal facility waste acceptance criteria (WAC) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements for packaging and transportation in commerce. Two of the RTGs contain elemental mercury which requires them to be Land Disposal Restrictions (LDR) compliant prior to disposal. In addition, all of the RTGs exceed the Class C waste concentration limits under Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Waste Classification Guidelines. In order to meet the LDR requirements and Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) WAC, a site specific treatability variance for mercury was submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow macro-encapsulation to be an acceptable treatment standard for elemental mercury. By identifying and confirming the design configuration of the mercury containing RTGs, the SEC team proved that the current configuration met the macro-encapsulation standard of 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 268.45. The SEC Team also worked with NNSS to demonstrate that all radioisotope considerations are compliant with the NNSS low-level waste (LLW) disposal facility performance assessment and WAC. Lastly, the SEC team determined that the GE2000 Type B cask met the necessary size, weight, and thermal loading requirements for five of the six RTGs. The sixth RTG (BUP-500) required a one-time DOT shipment exemption request due to the RTG's large size. The DOT exemption justification for the BUP-500 relies on the inherent robust construction and material make-up of the BUP- 500 RTG. DOE-ORO, SEC, and the entire SEC RTG team are nearing the conclusion of the Sr-90 RTG disposition challenge - a legacy now 50 years in the making. Over 600,000 Ci of Sr-90 waste await disposal and its removal from ORNL will mark an historical moment in the clean-up of the cold-war legacy in the ORNL central industrial area. Elimination (i.e., removal) of the RTGs will reduce security risks at ORNL and disposal will permanently eliminate security risks. The RTGs will eventually decay to benign levels within a reasonable timeframe relative to radiological risks posed by long-lived isotopes. The safety authorization basis at ORNL Building 3517 will be reduced enabling greater operational flexibility in future clean-out and D and D campaigns. Upon disposition the Department of Energy will realize reduced direct and indirect surveillance and maintenance costs that can be reapplied to accelerated and enhanced clean-up of the Oak Ridge Reservation. At present, waste profiles for the RTGs are developed and under review by NNSS RWAP staff and approval authorities. Disposition schedule is driven by the availability of compliant shipping casks necessary to safely transport the RTGs from ORNL to NNSS. The first disposal of the RCA RTG is expected in April 2012 and the remaining RTGs disposed in 2012 and 2013. (authors)

  2. Research on a power management system for thermoelectric generators to drive wireless sensors on a spindle unit.

    PubMed

    Li, Sheng; Yao, Xinhua; Fu, Jianzhong

    2014-01-01

    Thermoelectric energy harvesting is emerging as a promising alternative energy source to drive wireless sensors in mechanical systems. Typically, the waste heat from spindle units in machine tools creates potential for thermoelectric generation. However, the problem of low and fluctuant ambient temperature differences in spindle units limits the application of thermoelectric generation to drive a wireless sensor. This study is devoted to presenting a transformer-based power management system and its associated control strategy to make the wireless sensor work stably at different speeds of the spindle. The charging/discharging time of capacitors is optimized through this energy-harvesting strategy. A rotating spindle platform is set up to test the performance of the power management system at different speeds. The experimental results show that a longer sampling cycle time will increase the stability of the wireless sensor. The experiments also prove that utilizing the optimal time can make the power management system work more effectively compared with other systems using the same sample cycle. PMID:25033189

  3. Research on a Power Management System for Thermoelectric Generators to Drive Wireless Sensors on a Spindle Unit

    PubMed Central

    Li, Sheng; Yao, Xinhua; Fu, Jianzhong

    2014-01-01

    Thermoelectric energy harvesting is emerging as a promising alternative energy source to drive wireless sensors in mechanical systems. Typically, the waste heat from spindle units in machine tools creates potential for thermoelectric generation. However, the problem of low and fluctuant ambient temperature differences in spindle units limits the application of thermoelectric generation to drive a wireless sensor. This study is devoted to presenting a transformer-based power management system and its associated control strategy to make the wireless sensor work stably at different speeds of the spindle. The charging/discharging time of capacitors is optimized through this energy-harvesting strategy. A rotating spindle platform is set up to test the performance of the power management system at different speeds. The experimental results show that a longer sampling cycle time will increase the stability of the wireless sensor. The experiments also prove that utilizing the optimal time can make the power management system work more effectively compared with other systems using the same sample cycle. PMID:25033189

  4. Operational readiness review plan for the radioisotope thermoelectric generator materials production tasks

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, R.H.; Martin, M.M.; Riggs, C.R.; Beatty, R.L.; Ohriner, E.K.; Escher, R.N.

    1990-04-19

    In October 1989, a US shuttle lifted off from Cape Kennedy carrying the spacecraft Galileo on its mission to Jupiter. In November 1990, a second spacecraft, Ulysses, will be launched from Cape Kennedy with a mission to study the polar regions of the sun. The prime source of power for both spacecraft is a series of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), which use plutonium oxide (plutonia) as a heat source. Several of the key components in this power system are required to ensure the safety of both the public and the environment and were manufactured at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the 1980 to 1983 period. For these two missions, Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. (Energy Systems), will provide an iridium-alloy component used to contain the plutonia heat source and a carbon-composite material that serves as a thermal insulator. ORNL alone will continue to fabricate the carbon-composite material. Because of the importance to DOE that Energy Systems deliver these high-quality components on time, performance of an Operational Readiness Review (ORR) of these manufacturing activities is necessary. Energy Systems Policy GP-24 entitled Operational Readiness Process'' describes the formal and comprehensive process by which appropriate Energy Systems activities are to be reviewed to ensure their readiness. This Energy System policy is aimed at reducing the risks associated with mission success and requires a management-approved readiness plan'' to be issued. This document is the readiness plan for the RTG materials production tasks. 6 refs., 11 figs., 1 tab.

  5. Simulation and Optimization of the Heat Exchanger for Automotive Exhaust-Based Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, C. Q.; Huang, C.; Deng, Y. D.; Wang, Y. P.; Chu, P. Q.; Zheng, S. J.

    2015-10-01

    In order to enhance the exhaust waste heat recovery efficiency of the automotive exhaust-based thermoelectric generator (TEG) system, a three-segment heat exchanger with folded-shaped internal structure for the TEG system is investigated in this study. As the major effect factors of the performance for the TEG system, surface temperature, and thermal uniformity of the heat exchanger are analyzed in this research, pressure drop along the heat exchanger is also considered. Based on computational fluid dynamics simulations and temperature distribution, the pressure drop along the heat exchanger is obtained. By considering variable length and thickness of folded plates in each segment of the heat exchanger, response surface methodology and optimization by a multi-objective genetic algorithm is applied for surface temperature, thermal uniformity, and pressure drop for the folded-shaped heat exchanger. An optimum design based on the optimization is proposed to improve the overall performance of the TEG system. The performance of the optimized heat exchanger in different engine conditions is discussed.

  6. Multi-Objective Optimization Design for Cooling Unit of Automotive Exhaust-Based Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiang, J. W.; Yu, C. G.; Deng, Y. D.; Su, C. Q.; Wang, Y. P.; Yuan, X. H.

    2015-10-01

    In order to improve the performance of cooling units for automotive thermoelectric generators, a study is carried out to optimize the cold side and the fin distributions arranged on its inner faces. Based on the experimental measurements and numerical simulations, a response surface model of different internal structures is built to analyze the heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics of fluid flow in the cooling unit. For the fin distributions, five independent variables including height, length, thickness, space and distance from walls are considered. An experimental study design incorporating the central composite design method is used to assess the influence of fin distributions on the temperature field and the pressure drop in the cooling units. The archive-based micro genetic algorithm (AMGA) is used for multi-objective optimization to analyze the sensitivity of the design variables and to build a database from which to construct the surrogate model. Finally, improvement measures are proposed for optimization of the cooling system and guidelines are provided for future research.

  7. Thermoelectric generator testing and RTG degradation mechanisms evaluation. Progress report No. 36

    SciTech Connect

    Lockwood, A.; Shields, V.

    1980-07-01

    The n-type selenide legs after 15,000 hours continue to show reasonable agreement with the 3M Co. published thermal conductivity data. In the ingradient testing after 16,500 hours the 3 surviving n-legs (out of 5) show serious degradation in power to load. Weight loss and thermoelectricity property measurements on the first samples of material produced by G.E. continue to correspond to the results previously obtained on R.C.A. material from the MHW program. The remaining MHW generator on test, Q1-A, has accumulated 23,679 hours and performance remains stable. The 18 couple modules S/N-1 and -3 previously tested at RCA show no significant change in operation during the current JPL testing. A comparison of LES 8/9 RTG's with an improved version of DEGRA is shown. No changes in the trends of degradation of LES 8 and 9 and the Voyager RTGs have been observed.

  8. Electron-beam processing of kilogram quantities of iridium for radioisotope thermoelectric generator applications

    SciTech Connect

    Huxford, T.J.; Ohriner, E.K.

    1992-12-31

    Iridium alloys are used as fuel-cladding materials in radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). Hardware produced at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been used in Voyagers I and 2, Galilee, and Ulysses spacecraft. An integral part of the production of iridium-sheet metal involves electron-beam (EB) processing. These processes include the degassing of powder-pressed compacts followed by multiple meltings in order to purify 500-g buttons of Ir-0.3% W alloy. Starting in 1972 and continuing into 1992, our laboratory EB processing was Performed (ca. 1970) in a 60-kW (20 kV at 3 A), two-gun system. In 1991, a new 150-kW EB gun facility was installed to complement the older unit. This paper describes how the newly installed system was qualified for production of RTG developmental work is discussed that will potentially improve the existing process by utilizing the capabilities of the new EB system.

  9. Electron-beam processing of kilogram quantities of iridium for radioisotope thermoelectric generator applications

    SciTech Connect

    Huxford, T.J.; Ohriner, E.K.

    1992-01-01

    Iridium alloys are used as fuel-cladding materials in radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). Hardware produced at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been used in Voyagers I and 2, Galilee, and Ulysses spacecraft. An integral part of the production of iridium-sheet metal involves electron-beam (EB) processing. These processes include the degassing of powder-pressed compacts followed by multiple meltings in order to purify 500-g buttons of Ir-0.3% W alloy. Starting in 1972 and continuing into 1992, our laboratory EB processing was Performed (ca. 1970) in a 60-kW (20 kV at 3 A), two-gun system. In 1991, a new 150-kW EB gun facility was installed to complement the older unit. This paper describes how the newly installed system was qualified for production of RTG developmental work is discussed that will potentially improve the existing process by utilizing the capabilities of the new EB system.

  10. High-temperature thermoelectric transport at small scales: Thermal generation, transport and recombination of minority carriers

    PubMed Central

    Bakan, Gokhan; Khan, Niaz; Silva, Helena; Gokirmak, Ali

    2013-01-01

    Thermoelectric transport in semiconductors is usually considered under small thermal gradients and when it is dominated by the role of the majority carriers. Not much is known about effects that arise under the large thermal gradients that can be established in high-temperature, small-scale electronic devices. Here, we report a surprisingly large asymmetry in self-heating of symmetric highly doped silicon microwires with the hottest region shifted along the direction of minority carrier flow. We show that at sufficiently high temperatures and strong thermal gradients (~1?K/nm), energy transport by generation, transport and recombination of minority carriers along these structures becomes very significant and overcomes convective energy transport by majority carriers in the opposite direction. These results are important for high-temperature nanoelectronics such as emerging phase-change memory devices which also employ highly doped semiconducting materials and in which local temperatures reach ~1000?K and thermal gradients reach ~10–100?K/nm. PMID:24056703

  11. Antiperovskite compounds SbNSr3 and BiNSr3: Potential candidates for thermoelectric renewable energy generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bilal, M.; Saifullah; Shafiq, M.; Khan, B.; Rahnamaye Aliabad, H. A.; Jalali Asadabadi, S.; Ahmad, Rashid; Ahmad, Iftikhar

    2015-01-01

    This letter communicates thermoelectric properties of antiperovskites SbNSr3 and BiNSr3, using ab-initio calculations. These compounds are identified as good transport materials for their narrow band gaps and dense electronic states near their Fermi levels. The peak values of Seebeck coefficient of 1590 and 1540 ?V/K are observed for SbNSr3 and BiNSr3, respectively in the p-type regions, at room temperature. The figure of merit approaches unity for both materials, while their thermal conductivities increase and electrical conductivities decrease with temperature. These theoretical studies predict that these antiperovskites could be efficient materials for thermoelectric generators and need further experimental and theoretical studies.

  12. The ‘thirsty’ water-electricity nexus: field data on the scale and seasonality of thermoelectric power generation’s water intensity in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Daqian; Ramaswami, Anuradha

    2015-02-01

    There is a lack of field data on the water withdrawal and consumption intensity of thermoelectric power plants in China. With China’s ambitious electricity capacity expansion and ever-growing water deficit, the overlooked water dimension of thermoelectric power generation could soon have significant water sustainability implications, and field data on water intensity of thermoelectric power plants will be essential to further our understanding of China’s water-electricity nexus. To address this knowledge gap, this paper presents field data on the water withdrawal intensity and water balance of 19 coal-fired power plants in Shandong, China, categorized by different generator capacities (<100 MW ˜ >600 MW) and boiler technologies (subcritical, supercritical and ultra supercritical). This paper suggests that the annual average water withdrawal intensity of coal-fired power plants in Shandong (1.50-3.75 L kWh-1) is within the range of values reported for other countries, and that the distinction between water withdrawal and water consumption effectively vanishes since very little water is returned from withdrawal. This paper also suggests that there is quite significant seasonality in power plants’ water intensity whereby the water intensity in July can be approximately 15-28% higher than the annual average. The seasonality is on a similar scale across all generator capacities, except for a small co-generation plant (<100 MW), which had substantially lower water intensity in January when a heat exchanger was used to provide heating.

  13. A New High Efficiency Segmented Thermoelectric Unicouple

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caillat, T.; Fleurial, J.-P.; Snyder, G. J.; Zoltan, A.; Zoltan, D.; Borshchevsky, A.

    2000-01-01

    To achieve high thermal-to-electric energy conversion efficiency, it is desirable to operate thermoelectric generator devices over large temperature gradients and also to maximize the thermoelectric performance of the materials used to build the devices. However, no single thermoelectric material is suitable for use over a very wide range of temperatures (approx. 300 - 1000 K). It is therefore necessary to use different materials in each temperature range where they possess optimum performance. This can be achieved in two ways: 1) multistage thermoelectric generators where each stage operates over a fixed temperature difference and is electrically insulated but thermally in contact with the other stages and 2) segmented generators where the p- and n-legs are formed of different segments joined in series. The concept of integrating new thermoelectric materials developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) into a segmented thermoelectric generator has been presented in detail in earlier publications . This new generator is expected to operate over a 300-973 K temperature difference and will use novel segmented legs based on a combination of state-of-the-art thermoelectric materials and novel p-type Zn4Sb3, p-type CeFe4Sb12-based alloys and n-type CoSb3-based alloys. An increase in the conversion efficiency of about 60% is expected compared to conventional Bi2Te3- and PbTe-based generators. We present in this paper the latest experimental results from the bonding studies between the different segments of the p-legs, n-legs, and p-leg to n-leg interconnect. Evaluation of the bond quality was done by measuring the contact resistance across the joints as well as by detailed microstructure investigations to reveal any potential interdiffusion. Among the materials investigated as inter-layers between the different segments of the legs, Pd-Ag joining alloys have been found to provide mechanically stable and low electrical resistance bonds.

  14. Research In Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, Charles

    1989-01-01

    Report reviews current research in thermoelectric materials with view towards development of materials of greater energy-conversion efficiency. Emphasis on effort to understand and manipulate microstructure to increase thermoelectric figure of merit, Z. Thermoelectric properties of three broad categories of materials discussed. First category includes alloys of group IV elements like silicon and germanium. Second category is rare-earth chalcogenides. Third category includes narrow-band semiconductors, especially boron carbides.

  15. Optimization of Fin Distribution to Improve the Temperature Uniformity of a Heat Exchanger in a Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yiping; Wu, Cheng; Tang, Zebo; Yang, Xue; Deng, Yadong; Su, Chuqi

    2015-06-01

    Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are currently a topic of interest for energy recovery in vehicles. By applying TEGs to the outside surface of the exhaust tailpipe, a small amount of electrical power can be generated because of the temperature difference between the hot exhaust gases and the automobile coolant. The amount of power is anticipated to be a few hundred watts based on the expected temperature difference and the properties of the thermoelectric materials used in TEGs. It is well know that, for thermoelectric exhaust energy recovery, the temperature uniformity of the heat exchangers has a strong influence on the electric power generation. In the current research, the temperature uniformity of a heat exchanger was improved by optimizing the fin distribution to maximize the electric power generated for a given vehicle TEG. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of the heat exchanger was constructed to assess the influence of different fin distributions on the temperature uniformity and the pressure drop in the exhaust system. For the fin distributions, four factors were considered: the length of, spacing between, angle of, and thickness of the fins. Based on these four factors, a design of experiments study using the orthogonal experimental method was conducted to analyze the sensitivity to the design variables and build a database to set up a surrogate model using the Kriging response surface method. A multi-island genetic algorithm was used to optimize the fin distribution based on this surrogate model. To validate the accuracy of the CFD model, a generic heat exchanger module was manufactured and a related testbed constructed, then the temperature distribution on the surface of the exchanger was measured to compare with the results obtained by CFD.

  16. Mass Properties Testing and Evaluation for the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator

    SciTech Connect

    Felicione, Frank S.

    2009-12-01

    Mass properties (MP) measurements were performed for the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), serial number (S/N) 0X730401, the power system designated for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. Measurements were made using new mounting fixtures at the mass properties testing station in the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Space and Security Power Systems Facility (SSPSF). The objective of making mass properties measurements was to determine the generator’s flight configured mass and center of mass or center of gravity (CG). Using an extremely accurate platform scale, the mass of the as-tested generator was determined to be 100.117 ± 0.007 lb. Weight accuracy was determined by checking the platform scale with calibrated weights immediately prior to weighing the MMRTG.a CG measurement accuracy was assessed by surrogate testing using an inert mass standard for which the CG could be readily determined analytically. Repeated testing using the mass standard enabled the basic measurement precision of the system to be quantified in terms of a physical confidence interval about the measured CG position. However, repetitious testing with the MMRTG itself was not performed in deference to the gamma and neutron radiation dose to operators and the damage potential to the flight unit from extra handling operations. Since the mass standard had been specially designed to have a total weight and CG location that closely matched the MMRTG, the uncertainties determined from its testing were assigned to the MMRTG as well. On this basis, and at the 99% confidence level, a statistical analysis found the direct, as-measured MMRTG-MSL CG to be located at 10.816 ± 0.0011 in. measured perpendicular from the plane of the lower surface of the generator’s mounting lugs (Z direction), and offset from the generator’s long axis centerline in the X and Y directions by 0.0968 ± 0.0040 in. and 0.0276 ± 0.0026 in., respectively. These uncertainties are based simply on the statistical treatment of results from repetitive testing performed with the mass standard and included position variations that may have occurred during several mounting/dismounting operations of both the mass standard and mounting fixtures. Because of the limited data available, the computed uncertainty intervals reported are likely, although not assuredly, wider than the intervals that would have been found had more extensive data been available. However, these uncertainties do not account for other contributors to measurement uncertainty that might be applicable. These include potential weighing errors, possible tilt of the as-mounted test article, or translation of the measurement results from the MP instrument coordinates to those of the test article. Furthermore, when testing heat producing test articles such as the MMRTG, measurement degradation can occur from thermal expansion/contraction of the mounting fixtures as they heat up or cool and cause a subtle repositioning of the test article. Analyses for such impacts were made and additional uncertainty allowances were conservatively assigned to account for these. A full, detailed description is provided in this report.

  17. Power-Generation Performance of a ?-Structured Thermoelectric Module Containing Mg2Si and MnSi1.73

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Tomoyuki; Hatakeyama, Kazuya; Minowa, Masahiro; Mito, Youhiko; Arai, Koya; Iida, Tsutomu; Nishio, Keishi

    2015-10-01

    In recent years, environmental problems, for example global warming and depletion of energy resources, have become serious. Thermoelectric power generation has attracted attention as a means of reducing the effects of such problems. Thermoelectric conversion technology can convert thermal energy directly into electrical energy. Therefore, exhaust heat can be converted into electrical energy. Moreover, it is a clean method of power generation that does not discharge CO2 gas when the electricity is generated. The purpose of this study was to fabricate a thermoelectric (TE) module that can be used at mid-range temperatures of 573-873 K. The component materials selected were Mg2Si as n-type semiconductor and MnSi1.73 as p-type semiconductor. These compounds are non-toxic, environmentally benign, lightweight, and relatively abundant compared with other TE compounds. Ag paste was used to join the components. To prevent diffusion of Ag at the interface of the components and the electrodes, the top and bottom of the components were coated with Ni. The TE module was composed of 12 pairs of elements and Ag seats were used for the electrodes. The dimensions of both p and n-type components were 5.0 mm × 5.0 mm × 6.3 mm. Module size was 36.5 mm × 36.0 mm × 7.0 mm, and alumina was used as substrate. The module was inserted between hot and cold plates, in air, and output power was measured. The open circuit voltage and the maximum output power were 1.6 V and 5.6 W, respectively, at ? T = 548°C (hot side 587°C; cold side 39°C), and the output power density estimated from these results was 4.4 kW/m2.

  18. New Composite Thermoelectric Materials for Macro-size Applications

    ScienceCinema

    Dresselhaus, Mildred [MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

    2010-01-08

    A review will be given of several important recent advances in both thermoelectrics research and industrial thermoelectric applications, which have attracted much attention, increasing incentives for developing advanced materials appropriate for large-scale applications of thermoelectric devices. One promising strategy is the development of materials with a dense packing of random nanostructures as a route for the sacle-up of thermoelectrics applications. The concepts involved in designing composite materials containing nanostructures for thermoelectric applications will be discussed in general terms. Specific application is made to the Bi{sub 2}Te{sub 3} nanocomposite system for use in power generation. Also emphasized are the scientific advantages of the nanocomposite approach for the simultaneous increase in the power factor and decrease of the thermal conductivity, along with the practical advantages of having bulk samples for property measurements and device applications. A straightforward path is identified for the scale-up of thermoelectric materials synthesis containing nanostructured constituents for use in thermoelectric applications. We end with some vision of where the field of thermoelectrics is now heading.

  19. High Efficiency Thermoelectric Materials and Devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kochergin, Vladimir (Inventor)

    2013-01-01

    Growth of thermoelectric materials in the form of quantum well super-lattices on three-dimensionally structured substrates provide the means to achieve high conversion efficiency of the thermoelectric module combined with inexpensiveness of fabrication and compatibility with large scale production. Thermoelectric devices utilizing thermoelectric materials in the form of quantum well semiconductor super-lattices grown on three-dimensionally structured substrates provide improved thermoelectric characteristics that can be used for power generation, cooling and other applications..

  20. AFC generator development

    SciTech Connect

    Freeman, B.L.; Fowler, C.M.; Sheppard, M.G.; Sowder, K.D.

    1995-02-01

    By adapting the disk generator tested by Fowler, Hoeberling, and Marsh, the advanced flux compression (AFC) generator is able to produce a maximum dI/dt that is greater than 3 MA/{mu}s. This current rise characteristic results in an inductive voltage across a 0.5-nH load of {ge} 1.5 kV. This has been achieved with high gain, low loss, and a compact size. The AFC generator has been tested in four shots, and is performing beyond initial goals.

  1. Advances In Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, Charles

    1987-01-01

    Rare-earth chalcogenides and boron-rich borides show promise. Report discusses search for materials performing more efficiently in high-temperature thermoelectric conversion. Begins with summary of developments during past three decades. Followed by brief introduction to theory of thermoelectric energy conversion, then by experimental findings and by some additional theory on specific materials.

  2. n-type thermoelectric material Mg2Sn0.75Ge0.25 for high power generation

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Weishu; Kim, Hee Seok; Chen, Shuo; Jie, Qing; Lv, Bing; Yao, Mengliang; Ren, Zhensong; Opeil, Cyril P.; Wilson, Stephen; Chu, Ching-Wu; Ren, Zhifeng

    2015-01-01

    Thermoelectric power generation is one of the most promising techniques to use the huge amount of waste heat and solar energy. Traditionally, high thermoelectric figure-of-merit, ZT, has been the only parameter pursued for high conversion efficiency. Here, we emphasize that a high power factor (PF) is equivalently important for high power generation, in addition to high efficiency. A new n-type Mg2Sn-based material, Mg2Sn0.75Ge0.25, is a good example to meet the dual requirements in efficiency and output power. It was found that Mg2Sn0.75Ge0.25 has an average ZT of 0.9 and PF of 52 ?W?cm?1?K?2 over the temperature range of 25–450 °C, a peak ZT of 1.4 at 450 °C, and peak PF of 55 ?W?cm?1?K?2 at 350 °C. By using the energy balance of one-dimensional heat flow equation, leg efficiency and output power were calculated with Th = 400 °C and Tc = 50 °C to be of 10.5% and 6.6 W?cm?2 under a temperature gradient of 150 °C?mm?1, respectively. PMID:25733845

  3. n-type thermoelectric material Mg2Sn0.75Ge0.25 for high power generation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Weishu; Kim, Hee Seok; Chen, Shuo; Jie, Qing; Lv, Bing; Yao, Mengliang; Ren, Zhensong; Opeil, Cyril P; Wilson, Stephen; Chu, Ching-Wu; Ren, Zhifeng

    2015-03-17

    Thermoelectric power generation is one of the most promising techniques to use the huge amount of waste heat and solar energy. Traditionally, high thermoelectric figure-of-merit, ZT, has been the only parameter pursued for high conversion efficiency. Here, we emphasize that a high power factor (PF) is equivalently important for high power generation, in addition to high efficiency. A new n-type Mg2Sn-based material, Mg2Sn0.75Ge0.25, is a good example to meet the dual requirements in efficiency and output power. It was found that Mg2Sn0.75Ge0.25 has an average ZT of 0.9 and PF of 52 ?W?cm(-1)?K(-2) over the temperature range of 25-450 °C, a peak ZT of 1.4 at 450 °C, and peak PF of 55 ?W?cm(-1)?K(-2) at 350 °C. By using the energy balance of one-dimensional heat flow equation, leg efficiency and output power were calculated with Th = 400 °C and Tc = 50 °C to be of 10.5% and 6.6 W?cm(-2) under a temperature gradient of 150 °C?mm(-1), respectively. PMID:25733845

  4. High Temperature Integrated Thermoelectric Ststem and Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Mike S. H. Chu

    2011-06-06

    The final goal of this project is to produce, by the end of Phase II, an all ceramic high temperature thermoelectric module. Such a module design integrates oxide ceramic n-type, oxide ceramic p-type materials as thermoelectric legs and oxide ceramic conductive material as metalizing connection between n-type and p-type legs. The benefits of this all ceramic module are that it can function at higher temperatures (> 700 C), it is mechanically and functionally more reliable and it can be scaled up to production at lower cost. With this all ceramic module, millions of dollars in savings or in new opportunities recovering waste heat from high temperature processes could be made available. A very attractive application will be to convert exhaust heat from a vehicle to reusable electric energy by a thermoelectric generator (TEG). Phase I activities were focused on evaluating potential n-type and p-type oxide compositions as the thermoelectric legs. More than 40 oxide ceramic powder compositions were made and studied in the laboratory. The compositions were divided into 6 groups representing different material systems. Basic ceramic properties and thermoelectric properties of discs sintered from these powders were measured. Powders with different particles sizes were made to evaluate the effects of particle size reduction on thermoelectric properties. Several powders were submitted to a leading thermoelectric company for complete thermoelectric evaluation. Initial evaluation showed that when samples were sintered by conventional method, they had reasonable values of Seebeck coefficient but very low values of electrical conductivity. Therefore, their power factors (PF) and figure of merits (ZT) were too low to be useful for high temperature thermoelectric applications. An unconventional sintering method, Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) was determined to produce better thermoelectric properties. Particle size reduction of powders also was found to have some positive benefits. Two composition systems, specifically 1.0 SrO - 0.8 x 1.03 TiO2 - 0.2 x 1.03 NbO2.5 and 0.97 TiO2 - 0.03 NbO2.5, have been identified as good base line compositions for n-type thermoelectric compositions in future module design. Tests of these materials at an outside company were promising using that company's processing and material expertise. There was no unique p-type thermoelectric compositions identified in phase I work other than several current cobaltite materials. Ca3Co4O9 will be the primary p-type material for the future module design until alternative materials are developed. BaTiO3 and rare earth titanate based dielectric compositions show both p-type and n-type behavior even though their electrical conductivities were very low. Further research and development of these materials for thermoelectric applications is planned in the future. A preliminary modeling and optimization of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) that uses the n-type 1.0 SrO - 1.03 x 0.8 TiO2 - 1.03 x 0.2 NbO2.5 was performed. Future work will combine development of ceramic powders and manufacturing expertise at TAM, development of SPS at TAM or a partner organization, and thermoelectric material/module testing, modeling, optimization, production at several partner organizations.

  5. Printable thermoelectric devices and conductive patterns for medical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Jungmin; Kim, Hyunjung; Chen, Linfeng; Choi, Sang H.; Varadan, Vijay K.

    2012-10-01

    Remote point-of-care is expected to revolutionize the modern medical practice, and many efforts have been made for the development of wireless health monitoring systems for continuously detecting the physiological signals of patients. To make the remote point-of-care generally accepted and widely used, it is necessary to develop cost-effective and durable wireless health monitoring systems. Printing technique will be helpful for the fabrication of high-quality and low-cost medical devices and systems because it allows high-resolution and high-speed fabrication, low material consumption and nano-sized patterning on both flexible and rigid substrates. Furthermore, application of thermoelectric generators can replace conventional batteries as the power sources for wireless health monitoring systems because thermoelectric generators can convert the wasted heat or the heat from nature into electricity which is required for the operation of the wireless health monitoring systems. In this research, we propose the concept of printable thermoelectric devices and conductive patterns for the realization of more portable and cost-effective medical devices. To print thermoelectric generators and conductive patterns on substrates, printing inks with special characteristics should be developed. For the development of thermoelectric inks, nano-structured thermoelectric materials are synthesized and characterized; and for the development of conductive inks, two kinds of surface treated carbon nanotubes are used as active materials.

  6. Thermoelectric Outer Planets Spacecraft (TOPS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    The research and advanced development work is reported on a ballistic-mode, outer planet spacecraft using radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) power. The Thermoelectric Outer Planet Spacecraft (TOPS) project was established to provide the advanced systems technology that would allow the realistic estimates of performance, cost, reliability, and scheduling that are required for an actual flight mission. A system design of the complete RTG-powered outer planet spacecraft was made; major technical innovations of certain hardware elements were designed, developed, and tested; and reliability and quality assurance concepts were developed for long-life requirements. At the conclusion of its active phase, the TOPS Project reached its principal objectives: a development and experience base was established for project definition, and for estimating cost, performance, and reliability; an understanding of system and subsystem capabilities for successful outer planets missions was achieved. The system design answered long-life requirements with massive redundancy, controlled by on-board analysis of spacecraft performance data.

  7. Comparison of the Various Methodologies for Estimating Thermoelectric Power Generation Water Withdrawals and Their Effect on Water-Use Trends from 1985-2010 in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutson, S.

    2013-12-01

    The U.S Geological Survey (USGS) has estimated thermoelectric water withdrawals at 5-year intervals since 1950, and consumptive use from 1950 to 1995. Changes in water demand for cooling water, a significant part of the thermoelectric water use, has important implications for water availability to meet future energy demand, especially at the local level. USGS data show total water withdrawals peaked in 1980, declined in 1985, and have remained relatively stable through 2005. Total water use has been dominated by thermoelectric withdrawals since 1965. USGS estimates through 2005 have been primarily based on compiling self-reported data by powerplant operators to State water regulatory agencies and to the Department of Energy-Energy Information Administration (EIA). The reported data from these sources have often been inconsistent because techniques for measuring or estimating the main water flows are not standardized; and, incomplete because reporting thresholds for water withdrawals vary from State-to-State. EIA only requires the reporting of water use from powerplants that are 100 megawatts or more. Some withdrawals have also been estimated with a gallon per kilowatt-hour coefficient and powerplant net electric generation; however, coefficients were mostly based on reported data, and although the coefficients accounted for differences in cooling systems, fuel type, and flue gas desulfurization and other factors, the coefficients are averages and have not accounted for either weather or climatic conditions. The USGS National Water Use Information Program (NWUIP) developed consistent estimates of water withdrawals and water consumption based on linked heat and water budgets for the entire fleet of 1,284 active water-using powerplants for 2010. In 2010, 802 powerplants reported water-use data to EIA. The linked heat and water budget calculates condenser duty for a powerplant, and estimated water withdrawal is a function of condenser duty and change in temperature in the cooling water. Condenser duty is the amount of waste heat delivered to the cooling system through the condenser. The modeled water withdrawal results were expressed as a single value for each powerplant along with a minimum and maximum that bracketed a thermodynamically reasonable range of values. This range also provided a quality assurance check for other self-reported operator or coefficient derived water withdrawal estimates for a powerplant. To varying degrees, the USGS modeled results differed from the self-reported operator values used by most USGS State offices for the 2010 national compilation. Importantly, these two USGS nationally-generated sets of 2010 withdrawal values show a notable shift in the relatively stable thermoelectric water-use trend from 1985 to 2005. To understand the shift in the 2010 thermoelectric withdrawal estimates, the methodologies were analyzed by comparing EIA reported data for 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005 to USGS national compilation estimates for the same years. Further, 2010 self-reported water withdrawal data from EIA, the USGS national compilation data, and USGS model results were also compared.

  8. Thermoelectric Conversion of Waste Heat to Electricity in an IC Engine Powered Vehicle

    SciTech Connect

    2012-01-31

    The thermoelectric generator shorting system provides the capability to monitor and short-out individual thermoelectric couples in the event of failure. This makes the series configured thermoelectric generator robust to individual thermoelectric couple failure. Open circuit detection of the thermoelectric couples and the associated short control is a key technique to ensure normal functionality of the TE generator under failure of individual TE couples. This report describes a five-year effort whose goal was the understanding the issues related to the development of a thermoelectric energy recovery device for a Class-8 truck. Likely materials and important issues related to the utility of this generator were identified. Several prototype generators were constructed and demonstrated. The generators developed demonstrated several new concepts including advanced insulation, couple bypass technology and the first implementation of skutterudite thermoelectric material in a generator design. Additional work will be required to bring this system to fruition. However, such generators offer the possibility of converting energy that is otherwise wasted to useful electric power. Uur studies indicate that this can be accomplished in a cost-effective manner for this application.

  9. Advanced Thermoelectric Materials for Efficient Waste Heat Recovery in Process Industries

    SciTech Connect

    Adam Polcyn; Moe Khaleel

    2009-01-06

    The overall objective of the project was to integrate advanced thermoelectric materials into a power generation device that could convert waste heat from an industrial process to electricity with an efficiency approaching 20%. Advanced thermoelectric materials were developed with figure-of-merit ZT of 1.5 at 275 degrees C. These materials were not successfully integrated into a power generation device. However, waste heat recovery was demonstrated from an industrial process (the combustion exhaust gas stream of an oxyfuel-fired flat glass melting furnace) using a commercially available (5% efficiency) thermoelectric generator coupled to a heat pipe. It was concluded that significant improvements both in thermoelectric material figure-of-merit and in cost-effective methods for capturing heat would be required to make thermoelectric waste heat recovery viable for widespread industrial application.

  10. Research on Integration of an Automotive Exhaust-Based Thermoelectric Generator and a Three-Way Catalytic Converter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Y. D.; Chen, Y. L.; Chen, S.; Xianyu, W. D.; Su, C. Q.

    2015-06-01

    A key research topic related to thermoelectric generators (TEGs) for automotive applications is to improve their compatibility with the original vehicle exhaust system, which determines the quality of the exhaust gas treatment and the realization of energy conservation and emission reduction. A new TEG integrated with a three-way catalytic converter (CTEG) by reshaping the converter as the heat exchanger is proposed. A heat-flux coupling simulation model of the integrated TEG is established at the light-off stage of the original three-way catalytic converter (TWC). Temperature distribution maps of the integrated heat exchanger, thermoelectric modules, and cooling-water tank are obtained to present the process of energy flow among the parts of the CTEG. Based on the simulation results, the output power of the CTEG is calculated by a mathematical model. A minimum output power of 31.93 W can be obtained by conversion when the TWC starts working at steady conditions. Theoretically, this case study demonstrates the great potential for use of CTEGs in vehicles.

  11. Nanocomposites for thermoelectric power generation: rare-earth metal monoantimonide nanostructures embedded in InGaSb and InSbAs ternary alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norris, Kate J.; Onishi, Takehiro; Lohn, Andrew J.; Padgaonkar, Nitish; Wong, Vernon; Coleman, Elane; Tompa, Gary S.; Kobayashi, Nobuhiko P.

    2011-10-01

    Thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) depends on three material properties; electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and Seebeck coefficient. Maximizing ZT simply requires that electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient be high to reduce Joule heating and to increase energy conversion efficiency while thermal conductivity needs to be low to maintain temperature gradient across a thermoelectric material. Unfortunately these three material properties are closely correlated each other in homogeneous bulk semiconductors. Recent demonstrations that employ various semiconductor materials tuned at the nanometer-scale (nanomaterials) have shown great promise in advancing thermoelectrics. Among a wide range of nanomaterials, we focus on "nanocomposites" in which semimetallic nanostructures are epitaxially embedded in a ternary compound semiconductor matrix to attempt tuning the three material properties independently. We demonstrated co-deposition of erbium monoantimonide (ErSb) and In1-xGaxSb or InSb1-yAsy ternary alloy to form nanometer-scale semimetallic ErSb structures within these ternary alloys "nanocomposite" using low-pressure metal organic chemical vapor deposition. The grown nanocomposites were structurally and thermoelectrically analyzed to assess their potential for advanced thermoelectric power generation.

  12. Thermoelectric harvesting of low temperature natural/waste heat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowe, David Michael

    2012-06-01

    Apart from specialized space requirements current development in applications of thermoelectric generation mainly relate to reducing harmful carbon emissions and decreasing costly fuel consumption through the recovery of exhaust heat from fossil fuel powered engines and emissions from industrial utilities. Focus on these applications is to the detriment of the wider exploitations of thermoelectrics with other sources of heat energy, and in particular natural occurring and waste low temperature heat, receiving little, if any, attention. In this presentation thermoelectric generation applications, both potential and real in harvesting low temperature waste/natural heat are reviewed. The use of thermoelectrics to harvest solar energy, ocean thermal energy, geothermal heat and waste heat are discussed and their credibility as future large-scale sources of electrical power assessed.

  13. Solvothermal Synthesis of Tetrahedrite: Speeding Up the Process of Thermoelectric Material Generation.

    PubMed

    James, Derak J; Lu, Xu; Morelli, Donald T; Brock, Stephanie L

    2015-10-28

    Derivatives of synthetic tetrahedrite, Cu12Sb4S13, are receiving increasing attention in the thermoelectric community due to their exploitation of plentiful, relatively nontoxic elements, combined with a thermoelectric performance that rivals that of PbTe-based compounds. However, traditional synthetic methods require weeks of annealing at high temperatures (450-600 °C) and periodic regrinding of the samples. Here we report a solvothermal method to produce tetrahedrite that requires only 1 day of heating at a relatively low temperature (155 °C). This allows preparation of multiple samples at once and is potentially scalable. The solvothermal material described herein demonstrates a dimensionless figure of merit (ZT) vs temperature curve comparable to that of solid-state tetrahedrite, achieving the same ZT of 0.63 at ?720 K. As with the materials from solid-state synthesis, products from this rapid solvothermal synthesis can be improved by mixing in a 1:1 molar ratio with the Zn-containing natural mineral, tennantite, to achieve 0.9 mol equiv of Zn. This leads to a 36% increase in ZT at ?720 K for solvothermal tetrahedrite, to 0.85. PMID:26478950

  14. Thermal Cycling Behavior of Zinc Antimonide Thin Films for High Temperature Thermoelectric Power Generation Applications.

    PubMed

    Shim, Hyung Cheoul; Woo, Chang-Su; Han, Seungwoo

    2015-08-19

    The zinc antimonide compound ZnxSby is one of the most efficient thermoelectric materials known at high temperatures due to its exceptional low thermal conductivity. For this reason, it continues to be the focus of active research, especially regarding its glass-like atomic structure. However, before practical use in actual surroundings, such as near a vehicle manifold, it is imperative to analyze the thermal reliability of these materials. Herein, we present the thermal cycling behavior of ZnxSby thin films in nitrogen (N2) purged or ambient atmosphere. ZnxSby thin films were prepared by cosputtering and reached a power factor of 1.39 mW m(-1) K(-2) at 321 °C. We found maximum power factor values gradually decreased in N2 atmosphere due to increasing resistivity with repeated cycling, whereas the specimen in air kept its performance. X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy observations revealed that fluidity of Zn atoms leads to nanoprecipitates, porous morphologies, and even growth of a coating layer or fiber structures on the surface of ZnxSby after repetitive heating and cooling cycles. With this in mind, our results indicate that proper encapsulation of the ZnxSby surface would reduce these unwanted side reactions and the resulting degradation of thermoelectric performance. PMID:26226167

  15. Shockwave consolidation of nanostructured thermoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prasad, Narasimha S.; Taylor, Patrick; Nemir, David

    2014-09-01

    Nanotechnology based thermoelectric materials are considered attractive for developing highly efficient thermoelectric devices. Nano-structured thermoelectric materials are predicted to offer higher ZT over bulk materials by reducing thermal conductivity and increasing electrical conductivity. Consolidation of nano-structured powders into dense materials without losing nanostructure is essential towards practical device development. Using the gas atomization process, amorphous nano-structured powders were produced. Shockwave consolidation is accomplished by surrounding the nanopowder-containing tube with explosives and then detonated. The resulting shock wave causes rapid fusing of the powders without the melt and subsequent grain growth. We have been successful in generating consolidated nanostructured bismuth telluride alloy powders by using shockwave technique. Using these consolidated materials, several types of thermoelectric power generator devices have been developed. Shockwave consolidation is anticipated to generate large quantities of nanostructred materials expeditiously and cost effectively. In this paper, the technique of shockwave consolidation will be presented followed by Seebeck Coefficient and thermal conductivity measurements of consolidated materials. Preliminary results indicate a substantial increase in electrical conductivity due to shockwave consolidation technique.

  16. Shockwave Consolidation of Nanostructured Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prasad, Narasimha S.; Taylor, Patrick; Nemir, David

    2014-01-01

    Nanotechnology based thermoelectric materials are considered attractive for developing highly efficient thermoelectric devices. Nano-structured thermoelectric materials are predicted to offer higher ZT over bulk materials by reducing thermal conductivity and increasing electrical conductivity. Consolidation of nano-structured powders into dense materials without losing nanostructure is essential towards practical device development. Using the gas atomization process, amorphous nano-structured powders were produced. Shockwave consolidation is accomplished by surrounding the nanopowder-containing tube with explosives and then detonating. The resulting shock wave causes rapid fusing of the powders without the melt and subsequent grain growth. We have been successful in generating consolidated nano-structured bismuth telluride alloy powders by using the shockwave technique. Using these consolidated materials, several types of thermoelectric power generating devices have been developed. Shockwave consolidation is anticipated to generate large quantities of nanostructred materials expeditiously and cost effectively. In this paper, the technique of shockwave consolidation will be presented followed by Seebeck Coefficient and thermal conductivity measurements of consolidated materials. Preliminary results indicate a substantial increase in electrical conductivity due to shockwave consolidation technique.

  17. Thermoelectric-Driven Autonomous Sensors for a Biomass Power Plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez, A.; Astrain, D.; Martínez, A.; Gubía, E.; Sorbet, F. J.

    2013-07-01

    This work presents the design and development of a thermoelectric generator intended to harness waste heat in a biomass power plant, and generate electric power to operate sensors and the required electronics for wireless communication. The first objective of the work is to design the optimum thermoelectric generator to harness heat from a hot surface, and generate electric power to operate a flowmeter and a wireless transmitter. The process is conducted by using a computational model, presented in previous papers, to determine the final design that meets the requirements of electric power consumption and number of transmissions per minute. Finally, the thermoelectric generator is simulated to evaluate its performance. The final device transmits information every 5 s. Moreover, it is completely autonomous and can be easily installed, since no electric wires are required.

  18. Thermoelectric Devices Advance Thermal Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    Thermoelectric (TE) devices heat, cool, and generate electricity when a temperature differential is provided between the two module faces. In cooperation with NASA, Chico, California-based United States Thermoelectric Consortium Inc. (USTC) built a gas emissions analyzer (GEA) for combustion research. The GEA precipitated hydrocarbon particles, preventing contamination that would hinder precise rocket fuel analysis. The USTC research and design team uses patent-pending dimple, pin-fin, microchannel and microjet structures to develop and design heat dissipation devices on the mini-scale level, which not only guarantee high performance of products, but also scale device size from 1 centimeter to 10 centimeters. USTC continues to integrate the benefits of TE devices in its current line of thermal management solutions and has found the accessibility of NASA technical research to be a valuable, sustainable resource that has continued to positively influence its product design and manufacturing

  19. Thermoelectric Power-Generation Characteristics of PEDOT:PSS Thin-Film Devices with Different Thicknesses on Polyimide Substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anno, Hiroaki; Nishinaka, Takahiko; Hokazono, Masahiro; Oshima, Nobuaki; Toshima, Naoki

    2015-06-01

    We fabricated cast films of complexes of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) and polystyrene sulfonic acid (PEDOT:PSS) at various thicknesses, t = 3-20 ?m, on flexible polyimide substrates, and studied their thermoelectric properties. We also fabricated in-plane film devices consisting of five couples of PEDOT:PSS and Ag electrodes, measuring their output power characteristics as a function of film thickness. The Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity of a PEDOT:PSS film with a thickness of ˜20 ?m on a polyimide substrate were ˜15 ?V/K and 500 S/cm, respectively, near room temperature. As the film thickness decreased from ˜10 ?m to 3 ?m, the electrical conductivity increased remarkably to 1200 S/cm, while the Seebeck coefficient remained almost constant with film thickness. The maximum electric power for an in-plane PEDOT:PSS film device with a thickness of 10 ?m was 1.3 ?W at ? T = 100 K. Its open-circuit voltage was 7.3 mV, and its internal resistance was 11 ?. The measured power-generation characteristics of the film device agreed with values estimated from the dependence of thermoelectric properties on film thickness for PEDOT:PSS films on polyimide substrates. Assuming single PEDOT:PSS legs, defined as the direction of heat transport, we estimated the expected electrical power density at ? T = 100 K as ˜650 ?W/cm2 for a film thickness t = 10 ?m, and 1400 ?W/cm2 for t = 3 ?m.

  20. Numerical Examination of the Performance of a Thermoelectric Cooler with Peltier Heating and Cooling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Chang Nyung; Kim, Jeongho

    2015-10-01

    There has recently been much progress in the development of materials with higher thermoelectric performance, leading to the design of thermoelectric devices for generation of electricity and for heating or cooling. Local heating can be achieved by current flow through an electric resistance, and local heating and cooling can be performed by Peltier heating and cooling. In this study, we developed computer software that can be used to predict the Seebeck and Peltier effects for thermoelectric devices. The temperature, electric potential, heat flow, electric current, and coefficient of performance were determined, with the objective of investigating the Peltier effect in a thermoelectric device. In addition to Peltier heating and cooling, Joule and Thomson heating were quantitatively evaluated for the thermoelectric device.

  1. Oxygen Generation Assembly Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bagdigian, Robert; Cloud, Dale

    1999-01-01

    Hamilton Standard Space Systems International (HSSI) is under contract to NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to develop an Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) for the International Space Station (ISS). The International Space Station Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) electrolyzes potable water from the Water Recovery System (WRS) to provide gaseous oxygen to the Space Station module atmosphere. The OGA produces oxygen for metabolic consumption by crew and biological specimens. The OGA also replenishes oxygen lost by experiment ingestion, airlock depressurization, CO2 venting, and leakage. As a byproduct, gaseous hydrogen is generated. The hydrogen will be supplied at a specified pressure range above ambient to support future utilization. Initially, the hydrogen will be vented overboard to space vacuum. This paper describes the OGA integration into the ISS Node 3. It details the development history supporting the design and describes the OGA System characteristics and its physical layout.

  2. Improved Thermoelectric Performance via Piezoelectric Interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery, David

    2015-03-01

    Presented are the initial findings of enhanced voltage output in a hybrid thermoelectric piezoelectric generator (TPEG). We constructed TPEG by integrating insulating layers of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) piezoelectric films between flexible thin film p-type and n-type thermoelectrics. The piezoelectric bound surface charge modifies the thermoelectric properties of the semiconductor electrodes which facilitates an increase in voltage. The TPEG voltage output has three contributions: traditional thermoelectric and piezoelectric terms, and a unique coupling term. A combined thermoelectric and piezoelectric model can be used to quantify the expected coupling voltage as a function of stress and thermal gradient. The fabrication, placement, and configuration of this interface allows for different device designs and affects overall performance. Under easily achievable stress and thermal gradient this new coupling effect can increase voltage output by 20%. Because of this piezoelectric modified thermoelectric effect these hybrid generators can out preform equivalent thermoelectric or piezoelectric generators.

  3. Materials Physics for Thermoelectric and Related Energetic Applications

    E-print Network

    Tang, Shuang, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    2015-01-01

    Thermoelectrics study the direct inter-conversion between heat flow and electrical power, which has a wide range of applications including power generation and refrigeration. The performance of thermoelectricity generation ...

  4. Development of a thermoelectric one-man cooler for use by NASA astronauts

    SciTech Connect

    Heenan, P.; Mathiprakasam, B.; DeMott, D.

    1994-08-10

    This paper presents the development of a one-man thermoelectric (TE) cooling unit designed for use by NASA astronauts while they are wearing a protective suit during the launch and reentry phases of space shuttle missions. The unit was designed to provide a low-cooling level of 340 Btu/hour in a 75{degree}F environment and a high-cooling level of 480 Btu/hour in a 95{degree}F environment. The unit has an envelope 8 inches wide by 11 inches high by 4.5 inches deep. The TE unit was designed to optimize space and power consumption while providing adequate cooling. The operation of the TE cooling unit requires {similar_to}1.2 amps of 28 VDC power in the low power mode and {similar_to}3.0 amps of 28 VDC power in the high power mode. Two of these units have flown on several shuttle missions this year and are scheduled for continued use on future missions. The response to the TE unit`s performance has been very positive from the shuttle crew. Additional units are being fabricated to keep the shuttle crew members cooled while final development is under way. {copyright} {ital 1995} {ital American} {ital Institute} {ital of} {ital Physics}.

  5. Development of 3-DIMENSION Controllable Catheter to Show the Immediate Response Using both the Thermoelectric Module and the Shape Memory Alloy (sma)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Cheol-Woong; Oh, Dong-Joon; Lee, Sang-Heon; Wang, Joon-Ho; Kang, Ki-Weon

    Today, the highlighted actuators such a Shape Memory Alloy (hereafter, it is called SMA), will change greatly the next medical device market since their energy integration, lightness and simple structure are superior to those of the conventional electromechanical actuator. Especially, the reason why the SMA actuator system becomes the most important technique for the medical device market of the next generation is that the minimally invasive technique can be applied to the in-vivo lesion due to the superior flexibility of SMA actuator system such a hand. In spite of this advantage, the current SMA actuator is not widespread. The reason is that the non-linear dynamic characteristics of the SMA original hysteresis have not yet been solved. Therefore, to evaluate the thermoelectric characteristics of our developed thermoelectric module for our first basic study, we investigated the temperature variation by stage 1) according to the current increase of the consecutive current and 2) according to the countercurrent of the discontinuous static current.

  6. High-accuracy direct ZT and intrinsic properties measurement of thermoelectric couple devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraemer, D.; Chen, G.

    2014-04-01

    Advances in thermoelectric materials in recent years have led to significant improvements in thermoelectric device performance and thus, give rise to many new potential applications. In order to optimize a thermoelectric device for specific applications and to accurately predict its performance ideally the material's figure of merit ZT as well as the individual intrinsic properties (Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity, and thermal conductivity) should be known with high accuracy. For that matter, we developed two experimental methods in which the first directly obtains the ZT and the second directly measures the individual intrinsic leg properties of the same p/n-type thermoelectric couple device. This has the advantage that all material properties are measured in the same sample direction after the thermoelectric legs have been mounted in the final device. Therefore, possible effects from crystal anisotropy and from the device fabrication process are accounted for. The Seebeck coefficients, electrical resistivities, and thermal conductivities are measured with differential methods to minimize measurement uncertainties to below 3%. The thermoelectric couple ZT is directly measured with a differential Harman method which is in excellent agreement with the calculated ZT from the individual leg properties. The errors in both the directly measured and calculated thermoelectric couple ZT are below 5% which is significantly lower than typical uncertainties using commercial methods. Thus, the developed technique is ideal for characterizing assembled couple devices and individual thermoelectric materials and enables accurate device optimization and performance predictions. We demonstrate the methods by measuring a p/n-type thermoelectric couple device assembled from commercial bulk thermoelectric Bi2Te3 elements in the temperature range of 30 °C-150 °C and discuss the performance of the couple thermoelectric generator in terms of its efficiency and materials' self-compatibility.

  7. High-accuracy direct ZT and intrinsic properties measurement of thermoelectric couple devices.

    PubMed

    Kraemer, D; Chen, G

    2014-04-01

    Advances in thermoelectric materials in recent years have led to significant improvements in thermoelectric device performance and thus, give rise to many new potential applications. In order to optimize a thermoelectric device for specific applications and to accurately predict its performance ideally the material's figure of merit ZT as well as the individual intrinsic properties (Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity, and thermal conductivity) should be known with high accuracy. For that matter, we developed two experimental methods in which the first directly obtains the ZT and the second directly measures the individual intrinsic leg properties of the same p/n-type thermoelectric couple device. This has the advantage that all material properties are measured in the same sample direction after the thermoelectric legs have been mounted in the final device. Therefore, possible effects from crystal anisotropy and from the device fabrication process are accounted for. The Seebeck coefficients, electrical resistivities, and thermal conductivities are measured with differential methods to minimize measurement uncertainties to below 3%. The thermoelectric couple ZT is directly measured with a differential Harman method which is in excellent agreement with the calculated ZT from the individual leg properties. The errors in both the directly measured and calculated thermoelectric couple ZT are below 5% which is significantly lower than typical uncertainties using commercial methods. Thus, the developed technique is ideal for characterizing assembled couple devices and individual thermoelectric materials and enables accurate device optimization and performance predictions. We demonstrate the methods by measuring a p/n-type thermoelectric couple device assembled from commercial bulk thermoelectric Bi2Te3 elements in the temperature range of 30?°C-150?°C and discuss the performance of the couple thermoelectric generator in terms of its efficiency and materials' self-compatibility. PMID:24784659

  8. Simulation and Design of Vehicle Exhaust Power Generation Systems: The Interaction Between the Heat Exchanger and the Thermoelectric Modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Cong; Chen, Gang; Mu, Yu; Liu, Lisheng; Zhai, Pengcheng

    2015-06-01

    Vehicle exhaust power generation systems (VEPGS), mainly consisting of a heat exchanger, cooling system, thermoelectric modules (TEMs), and clamping device, have attracted wide interest and attention for power generation from waste heat. In this work, systematical research was conducted to investigate the thermal performance, power output, and thermal stress of a VEPGS by using the multifield coupling method. Different from previous research, this work simulates a model that integrates the heat exchanger and TEMs, focusing on the effect of the TEMs on the thermal performance of the heat exchanger. It is found that the TEMs have a significant effect on the thermal performance of the heat exchanger. When not considering the effects of the TEMs, the hot-end temperature of the TEMs would be seriously underestimated, which would result in underestimation of the power output of the VEPGS and the level of thermal stress of the TEMs. Meanwhile, when considering the effect of the TEMs, the hot-end temperature distribution exhibits significant changes, and its temperature uniformity is significantly improved. The results suggest that, in VEPGS design and optimization, the interaction between the heat exchanger and TEMs should be considered. This study also contributes to a more accurate assessment method for VEPGS design and simulation.

  9. Hybrid Solid Oxide Fuel Cell and Thermoelectric Generator for Maximum Power Output in Micro-CHP Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosendahl, L. A.; Mortensen, Paw V.; Enkeshafi, Ali A.

    2011-05-01

    One of the most obvious early market applications for thermoelectric generators (TEG) is decentralized micro combined heat and power (CHP) installations of 0.5 kWe to 5 kWe based on fuel cell technology. Through the use of TEG technology for waste heat recovery it is possible to increase the electricity production in micro-CHP systems by more than 15%, corresponding to system electrical efficiency increases of some 4 to 5 percentage points. This will make fuel cell-based micro-CHP systems very competitive and profitable and will also open opportunities in a number of other potential business and market segments which are not yet quantified. This paper quantifies a micro-CHP system based on a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and a high-performance TE generator. Based on a 3 kW fuel input, the hybrid SOFC implementation boosts electrical output from 945 W to 1085 W, with 1794 W available for heating purposes.

  10. On the Challenges of Reducing Contact Resistances in Thermoelectric Generators Based on Half-Heusler Alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ngan, Pham Hoang; Van Nong, Ngo; Hung, Le Thanh; Balke, Benjamin; Han, Li; Hedegaard, Ellen Marie Jensen; Linderoth, Søren; Pryds, Nini

    2015-11-01

    A method using fast hot pressing to join half-Heusler (HH) thermoelectric materials directly to an electrical current collector (Ag electrode) without using a third filler material is introduced. The compositions of the HH alloys used are Hf0.5Zr0.5CoSn0.2Sb0.8 and Ti0.6Hf0.4NiSn for p- and n-type, respectively. Using this method, the quality of the HH-electrode contacts is improved due to their low electrical contact resistance and less reaction-diffusion layer. The microstructure and chemical composition of the joints were examined using a scanning electron microscope equipped with energy-dispersive x-ray analysis. The electrical characteristics of the interfaces at the contacts were studied based on electrical contact resistance and Seebeck scanning microprobe measurements. In this paper, we show that joining the HH to a Ag electrode directly using fast hot pressing resulted in lower contact resistance and better performance compared with the method of using active brazing filler alloy.

  11. Thermoelectric thin film thermal coating systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harpster, J. W.; Bulman, W. E.; Middleton, A. E.; Swinehart, P. R.; Braun, F. D.

    1973-01-01

    Derivation of the fluid loop temperature profile for a model with thermoelectric devices (TED) attached is developed as a function of position, incident radiation intensity, input fluid loop temperature and TED current. The associated temperature of the radiator is also developed so that the temperature difference across the TED can be determined for each position. The temperature difference is used in determining optimum operating conditions and available generated electrical power.

  12. Thermoelectric module

    DOEpatents

    Kortier, William E. (Columbus, OH); Mueller, John J. (Columbus, OH); Eggers, Philip E. (Columbus, OH)

    1980-07-08

    A thermoelectric module containing lead telluride as the thermoelectric mrial is encapsulated as tightly as possible in a stainless steel canister to provide minimum void volume in the canister. The lead telluride thermoelectric elements are pressure-contacted to a tungsten hot strap and metallurgically bonded at the cold junction to iron shoes with a barrier layer of tin telluride between the iron shoe and the p-type lead telluride element.

  13. Modeling the thermoelectric properties of bulk and nanocomposite thermoelectric materials

    E-print Network

    Minnich, Austin (Austin Jerome)

    2008-01-01

    Thermoelectric materials are materials which are capable of converting heat directly into electricity. They have long been used in specialized fields where high reliability is needed, such as space power generation. Recently, ...

  14. High-performance dispenser printed MA p-type Bi(0.5)Sb(1.5)Te(3) flexible thermoelectric generators for powering wireless sensor networks.

    PubMed

    Madan, Deepa; Wang, Zuoqian; Chen, Alic; Wright, Paul K; Evans, James W

    2013-11-27

    This work presents a novel method to synthesize p-type composite thermoelectric materials to print scalable thermoelectric generator (TEG) devices in a cost-effective way. A maximum ZT of 0.2 was achieved for mechanically alloyed (MA) p-type Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 (8 wt % extra Te additive)-epoxy composite films cured at 250 °C. A 50% increase in Seebeck coefficient as a result of adding 8 wt % extra Te in stoichiometric Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 contributed to the increase in ZT. To demonstrate cost-effective and scalable manufacturing, we fabricated a sixty element thermoelectric generator prototype with 5.0 mm × 600 ?m × 120 ?m printed dimensions on a custom designed polyimide substrate with thick metal contacts. The prototype TEG device produced a power output of 20.5 ?W at 0.15 mA and 130 mV for a temperature difference of 20 K resulting in a device areal power density of 152 ?W/cm(2). This power is sufficient for low power applications such as wireless sensor network (WSN) devices. PMID:24160841

  15. Maximum power output and load matching of a phosphoric acid fuel cell-thermoelectric generator hybrid system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xiaohang; Wang, Yuan; Cai, Ling; Zhou, Yinghui

    2015-10-01

    Based on the current models of phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFCs) and thermoelectric generators (TGs), a new hybrid system is proposed, in which the effects of multi-irreversibilities resulting from the activation, concentration, and ohmic overpotentials in the PAFC, Joule heat and heat leak in the TG, finite-rate heat transfer between the TG and the heat reservoirs, and heat leak from the PAFC to the environment are taken into account. Expressions for the power output and efficiency of the PAFC, TG, and hybrid system are analytically derived and directly used to discuss the performance characteristics of the hybrid system. The optimal relationship between the electric currents in the PAFC and TG is obtained. The maximum power output is numerically calculated. It is found that the maximum power output density of the hybrid system will increase about 150 Wm-2, compared with that of a single PAFC. The problem how to optimally match the load resistances of two subsystems is discussed. Some significant results for practical hybrid systems are obtained.

  16. Thermal Expansion Studies of Selected High Temperature Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ravi, Vilupanur; Firdosy, Samad; Caillat, Thierry; Brandon, Erik; Van Der Walde, Keith; Maricic, Lina; Sayir, Ali

    2008-01-01

    Radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) generate electrical power by converting the heat released from the nuclear decay of radioactive isotopes (typically plutonium-238) into electricity using a thermoelectric converter. RTGs have been successfully used to power a number of space missions and have demonstrated their reliability over an extended period of time (tens of years) and are compact, rugged, radiation resistant, scalable, and produce no noise, vibration or torque during operation. System conversion efficiency for state-of-practice RTGs is about 6% and specific power less than or equal to 5.1 W/kg. Higher specific power would result in more on-board power for the same RTG mass, or less RTG mass for the same on-board power. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been leading, under the advanced thermoelectric converter (ATEC) project, the development of new high-temperature thermoelectric materials and components for integration into advanced, more efficient RTGs. Thermoelectric materials investigated to date include skutterudites, the Yb14MnSb11 compound, and SiGe alloys. The development of long-lived thermoelectric couples based on some of these materials has been initiated and is assisted by a thermo-mechanical stress analysis to ensure that all stresses under both fabrication and operation conditions will be within yield limits for those materials. Several physical parameters are needed as input to this analysis. Among those parameters, the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) is critically important. Thermal expansion coefficient measurements of several thermoelectric materials under consideration for ATEC are described in this paper. The stress response at the interfaces in material stacks subjected to changes in temperature is discussed, drawing on work from the literature and project-specific tools developed here. The degree of CTE mismatch and the associated effect on the formation of stress is highlighted.

  17. Power-Generation Characteristics After Vibration and Thermal Stresses of Thermoelectric Unicouples with CoSb3/Ti/Mo(Cu) Interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bae, Kwang Ho; Choi, Soon-Mok; Kim, Kyung-Hun; Choi, Hyoung-Seuk; Seo, Won-Seon; Kim, Il-Ho; Lee, Soonil; Hwang, Hae Jin

    2015-06-01

    Reliability tests for thermoelectric unicouples were carried out to investigate the adhesion properties of CoSb3/Ti/Mo(Cu) interfaces. The n-type In0.25 Co3.95Ni0.05Sb12 and p-type In0.25Co3FeSb12 bulks were prepared for fabricating a thermoelectric unicouple (one p- n couple) by an induction melting and a spark plasma sintering process. Mo-Cu alloy was selected as an electrode for the unicouples due to its high melting temperature and proper work function value. Many thermoelectric unicouples with the CoSb3/Ti/Mo(Cu) interfaces were fabricated with the proper brazing materials by means of a repeated firing process. Reliability of the unicouples with the interfaces was evaluated by a vibration test and a thermal cycling test. After the thermal cycling and vibration tests, the power-generation characteristics of the unicouples were compared with the unicouples before the tests. Even after the vibration test, electrical power with a power density of 0.5 W/cm2 was generated. The Ti-interlayer is considered as a possible candidate for making a reliable unicouple with high adhesion strength. With the thermal cycling test, the resistance of the unicouple increased and the electrical power from the unicouple decreased. A failure mode by the thermal cycling test was ascribed to a complex effect of micro-cracks originated from the thermal stress and oxidation problem of the thermoelectric materials; that is, a thick oxide layer more than 300 ?m was detected after a high-temperature durability test of n-type In0.25Co3.95Ni0.05Sb12 material at 773 K in air for 7 days.

  18. Appendix B Thermoelectrics B.1 Thermoelectric Effects

    E-print Network

    Lee, Ho Sung

    130 Appendix B Thermoelectrics B.1 Thermoelectric Effects The thermoelectric effect consists if heat is librated as shown in wire B. The Thomson coefficient is unique among the three thermoelectric coefficients because it is the only thermoelectric coefficient directly measurable for individual materials

  19. Creep properties of forged 2219 T6 aluminum alloy shell of general-purpose heat source-radioisotope thermoelectric generator

    SciTech Connect

    Hammond, J.P.

    1981-12-01

    The shell (2219 T6 aluminum forging) of the General Purpose Heat Source-Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator was designed to retain the generator under sufficient elastic stress to secure it during space flight. A major concern was the extent to which the elastic stress would relax by creep. To determine acceptability of the shell construction material, the following proof tests simulating service were performed: 600 h of testing at 270/sup 0/C under 24.1 MPa stress followed by 10,000 h of storage at 177/sup 0/C under 55.1 MPa, both on the ground; and 10,000 h of flight in space at 270/sup 0/C under 34.4 MPa stress. Additionally, systematic creep testing was performed at 177 and 260/sup 0/C to establish creep design curves. The creep tests performed at 177/sup 0/C revealed comparatively large amounts of primary creep followed by small amounts of secondary creep. The early creep is believed to be abetted by unstable substructures that are annealed out during testing at this temperature. The creep tests performed at 270/sup 0/C showed normal primary creep followed by large amounts of secondary creep. Duplicate proof tests simulating the ground exposure conditions gave results that were in good agreement. The proof test simulating space flight at 270/sup 0/C gave 0.11% primary creep followed by 0.59% secondary creep. About 10% of the second-stage creep was caused by four or five instantaneous strains, which began at the 4500-h mark. One or two of these strain bursts, occurred in each of several other tests at 177 and 260/sup 0/C but were assessed as very moderate in magnitude. The effect is attributable to a slightly microsegregated condition remaining from the original cast structure.

  20. Thermoelectric material development. Quarterly technical progress report, January 1, 1995--March 31, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Vandersande, J.W.; Caillat, T.

    1995-07-01

    We have found that there is a limited range of solid solutions between the skutterudite compounds CoSb{sub 3} and RuSb{sub 2}Te (about 5% on each side). For the system (RuSb{sub 2}Te){sub x}(CoSb{sub 3}){sub 1-x}, preliminary results obtained on one n-type sample on the CoSb{sub 3}-rich side show that these alloys have good thermoelectric properties and a maximum ZT of about 0.89 was obtained at about 600 C. More experiments will be started to investigate the possibility of a broader range of miscibility in this system which would allow an even further decrease in the lattice thermal conductivity, resulting in better thermoelectric properties. IrSb{sub 3} and RuSb{sub 2}Te form a complete range of solid solutions. Hot-pressed samples in this system have shown p-type conductivity. The thermoelectric properties of these p-type alloys have been measured and results have shown that their potential for thermoelectric applications is limited mainly because of the relatively low Seebeck coefficient values for p-type materials. Efforts will be directed on preparing n-type samples of the same alloys by doping with various dopants such as Ni and Pd.

  1. Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems Segmented Thermoelectric Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caillat, Thierry

    2004-01-01

    Flight times are long; - Need power systems with >15 years life. Mass is at an absolute premium; - Need power systems with high specific power and scalability. 3 orders of magnitude reduction in solar irradiance from Earth to Pluto. Nuclear power sources preferable. The Overall objective is to develop low mass, high efficiency, low-cost Advanced Radioisotope Power System with double the Specific Power and Efficiency over state-of-the-art Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs).

  2. Semimetal/Semiconductor Nanocomposites for Thermoelectrics

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Hong; Burke, Peter G.; Gossard, Arthur C.; Zeng, Gehong; Ramu, Ashok T.; Bahk, Je-Hyeong; Bowers, John E.

    2011-04-15

    In this work, we present research on semimetal-semiconductor nanocomposites grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) for thermoelectric applications. We study several different III-V semiconductors embedded with semimetallic rare earth-group V (RE-V) compounds, but focus is given here to ErSb:InxGa1-xSb as a promising p-type thermoelectric material. Nano­structures of RE-V compounds are formed and embedded within the III-V semiconductor matrix. By codoping the nanocomposites with the appropriate dopants, both n-type and p-type materials have been made for thermoelectric applications. The thermoelectric properties have been engineered for enhanced thermoelectric device performance. Segmented thermoelectric power generator modules using 50 ?m thick Er-containing nanocomposites have been fabricated and measured. Research on different rare earth elements for thermoelectrics is discussed.

  3. THERMOELECTRIC POWER HARVESTING SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Energy production based on fossil fuels negatively impacts the environment and is not sustainable. Recent advances in the area of nanotechnology have lead to improved performance of direct energy conversion devices such as thermoelectric generators. However, these efforts have...

  4. From local force-flux relationships to internal dissipations and their impact on heat engine performance: the illustrative case of a thermoelectric generator.

    PubMed

    Apertet, Y; Ouerdane, H; Goupil, C; Lecoeur, Ph

    2013-08-01

    We present an in-depth analysis of the sometimes understated role of the principle of energy conservation in linear irreversible thermodynamics. Our case study is that of a thermoelectric generator (TEG), which is a heat engine of choice in irreversible thermodynamics, owing to the coupling between the electrical and heat fluxes. We show why Onsager's reciprocal relations must be considered locally and how internal dissipative processes emerge from the extension of these relations to a global scale: The linear behavior of a heat engine at the local scale is associated with a dissipation process that must partake in the global energy balance. We discuss the consequences of internal dissipations on the so-called efficiency at maximum power, in the light of our comparative analyses of exoreversibility and endoreversibility on the one hand and of two classes of heat engines, autonomous and periodically driven, on the other hand. Finally, basing our analysis on energy conservation, we also discuss recent works which claim the possibility to overcome the traditional boundaries on efficiency imposed by finite-time thermodynamics in thermoelectric systems with broken time-reversal symmetry; this we do by introducing a "thermal" thermopower and an "electrical" thermopower which permits an analysis of the thermoelectric response of the TEG considering a possible dissymmetry between the electrical/thermal and the thermal/electrical couplings. PMID:24032805

  5. An air-breathing, portable thermoelectric power generator based on a microfabricated silicon combustor

    E-print Network

    Marton, Christopher Henry

    2011-01-01

    The global consumer demand for portable electronic devices is increasing. The emphasis on reducing size and weight has put increased pressure on the power density of available power storage and generation options, which ...

  6. Nano-materials Enabled Thermoelectricity from Window Glasses

    PubMed Central

    Inayat, Salman B.; Rader, Kelly R.; Hussain, Muhammad M.

    2012-01-01

    With a projection of nearly doubling up the world population by 2050, we need wide variety of renewable and clean energy sources to meet the increased energy demand. Solar energy is considered as the leading promising alternate energy source with the pertinent challenge of off sunshine period and uneven worldwide distribution of usable sun light. Although thermoelectricity is considered as a reasonable renewable energy from wasted heat, its mass scale usage is yet to be developed. Here we show, large scale integration of nano-manufactured pellets of thermoelectric nano-materials, embedded into window glasses to generate thermoelectricity using the temperature difference between hot outside and cool inside. For the first time, this work offers an opportunity to potentially generate 304 watts of usable power from 9 m2 window at a 20°C temperature gradient. If a natural temperature gradient exists, this can serve as a sustainable energy source for green building technology. PMID:23150789

  7. Nano-materials enabled thermoelectricity from window glasses.

    PubMed

    Inayat, Salman B; Rader, Kelly R; Hussain, Muhammad M

    2012-01-01

    With a projection of nearly doubling up the world population by 2050, we need wide variety of renewable and clean energy sources to meet the increased energy demand. Solar energy is considered as the leading promising alternate energy source with the pertinent challenge of off sunshine period and uneven worldwide distribution of usable sun light. Although thermoelectricity is considered as a reasonable renewable energy from wasted heat, its mass scale usage is yet to be developed. Here we show, large scale integration of nano-manufactured pellets of thermoelectric nano-materials, embedded into window glasses to generate thermoelectricity using the temperature difference between hot outside and cool inside. For the first time, this work offers an opportunity to potentially generate 304 watts of usable power from 9 m(2) window at a 20°C temperature gradient. If a natural temperature gradient exists, this can serve as a sustainable energy source for green building technology. PMID:23150789

  8. Test System for Thermoelectric Modules and Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hejtmánek, J.; Knížek, K.; Švejda, V.; Horna, P.; Sikora, M.

    2014-10-01

    We present a design for a complex measuring device that enables its user to assess the parameters of power-generating thermoelectric modules (TEMs) (or bulk thermoelectric materials) under a wide range of temperatures ( T cold = 25°C to 90°C, T hot < 450°C) and mechanical loading ( P = 0 N to 104 N). The proposed instrument is able to monitor the temperature and electrical output of the TEM, the actual heat flow through the module, and its mechanical load, which can be varied during the measurement. Key components of our testing setup are (i) a measuring chamber where the TEM/material is compressed between thermally shielded heating blocks equipped with a mechanical loading system and water-cooled copper-based cooler, (ii) an electrical load system, (iii) a type K thermocouple array connected to a data acquisition computer, and (iv) a thermostatic water-based cooling system with electronically controlled flow rate and temperature of cooling water. Our testing setup represents a useful tool able to assess, e.g., the thermoelectric parameters of newly developed TEMs and materials or to evaluate the thermoelectric parameters of commercially available modules and materials for comparison with values declared by the manufacturer.

  9. Thermoelectric system

    SciTech Connect

    Reiners, Eric A.; Taher, Mahmoud A.; Fei, Dong; McGilvray, Andrew N.

    2007-10-30

    In one particular embodiment, an internal combustion engine is provided. The engine comprises a block, a head, a piston, a combustion chamber defined by the block, the piston, and the head, and at least one thermoelectric device positioned between the combustion chamber and the head. In this particular embodiment, the thermoelectric device is in direct contact with the combustion chamber. In another particular embodiment, a cylinder head configured to sit atop a cylinder bank of an internal combustion engine is provided. The cylinder head comprises a cooling channel configured to receive cooling fluid, valve seats configured for receiving intake and exhaust valves, and thermoelectric devices positioned around the valve seats.

  10. Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Transporation System licensed hardware second certification test series and package shock mount system test

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrell, P.C.; Moody, D.A.

    1995-10-01

    This paper presents a summary of two separate drop test a e performed in support of the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) Transportation System (RTGTS). The first portion of this paper presents the second series of drop testing required to demonstrate that the RTG package design meets the requirements of Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, ``Part 71`` (10 CFR 71). Results of the first test series, performed in July 1994, demonstrated that some design changes were necessary. The package design was modified to improve test performance and the design changes were incorporated into the Safety Analysis Report for Packaging (SARP). The second full-size certification test article (CTA-2) incorporated the modified design and was tested at the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. With the successful completion of the test series, and pending DOE Office of Facility Safety Analysis approval of the SARP, a certificate of compliance will be issued for the RTG package allowing its use. The second portion of this paper presents the design and testing of the RTG Package Mount System. The RTG package mount was designed to protect the RTG from excessive vibration during transport, provide shock protection during on/off loading, and provide a mechanism for moving the RTG package with a forklift. Military Standard (MIL-STD) 810E, Transit Drop Procedure (DOE 1989), was used to verify that the shock limiting system limited accelerations in excess of 15 G`s at frequencies below 150 Hz. Results of the package mount drop tests indicate that an impact force of 15 G`s was not exceeded in any test from a free drop height of 457 mm (18 in.).

  11. Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Transportation System licensed hardware second certification test series and package shock mount system test

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrell, P.C.; Moody, D.A.

    1996-03-01

    This paper presents a summary of two separate drop test activities that were performed in support of the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) Transportation System (RTGTS). The first portion of this paper presents the second series of drop testing required to demonstrate that the RTG package design meets the requirements of {ital Title} 10, {ital Code} {ital of} {ital Federal} {ital Regulations}, {open_quote}{open_quote}Part 71{close_quote}{close_quote} (10 CFR 71). Results of the first test series, performed in July 1994, demonstrated that some design changes were necessary. The package design was modified to improve test performance and the design changes were incorporated into the Safety Analysis Report for Packaging (SARP). The second full-size certification test article (CTA-2) incorporated the modified design and was tested at the U.S. Department of Energy{close_quote}s (DOE) Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. With the successful completion of the test series, and pending DOE Office of Facility Safety Analysis approval of the SARP, a certificate of compliance will be issued for the RTG package allowing its use. The second portion of this paper presents the design and testing of the RTG Package Mount System. The RTG package mount was designed to protect the RTG from excessive vibration during transport, provide shock protection during on/off loading, and provide a mechanism for moving the RTG package with a forklift. Military Standard (MIL-STD) 810E, {ital Transit} {ital Drop} {ital Procedure} (DOE 1989), was used to verify that the shock limiting system limited accelerations in excess of 15 G{close_quote}s at frequencies below 150 Hz. Results of the package mount drop tests indicate that an impact force of 15 G{close_quote}s was not exceeded in any test from a free drop height of 457 mm (18 in.). {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}

  12. Synthetic Development of Metal Silicide Nanowires for Thermoelectric and Spintronic Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higgins, Jeremy Michael

    2011-12-01

    Nanomaterials, including nanowires (NWs), are a new class of materials with the potential to lead to major changes in many aspects of human society. Innumerable applications for nanomaterials are envisioned or are being realized now. However, such new functionalities are and will continue to be predicated on our ability to precisely synthesize nanomaterials, a skill yet undeveloped in a majority of chemical systems. Metal silicides are a class of refractory intermetallic compounds composed of abundant elements with widely varying properties that are currently employed in a large range of technological applications. In this thesis, I describe my exploration of metal silicide NWs, particularly those in the Mn-Si binary system, in order to develop rational synthetic strategies for accessing binary and ternary silicide NWs and characterize their potential for thermoelectric and spintronic applications. Chapter 1 develops a common set of ideas and a common language before reviewing the current "state of the art" in silicide NW synthesis, exploring a number of the mysteries still surrounding silicide NW synthesis, and presenting silicide NW applications. Chapter 2 depicts the use of Mn(CO) 5SiCl3 as the vapor phase precursor to synthesize higher manganese silicide NWs (also known as HMS, MnSi˜1.7 MnSi2--x) for the first time, the identification of the NW subphase as Mn19Si33, and conductivity measurement on HMS NWs revealing bulk-like behavior. Chapter 3 describes employing MnCl 2 as the precursor for the first successful synthesis of MnSi NWs and transverse magnetoresistance measurements on these MnSi NWs to observe the signatures of helimagnetism in NWs for the first time. Chapter 4 is a systematic examination of silicide NW synthesis by single source precursor chemical vapor deposition, highlighting the complex interplay of substrate diffusion and vapor phase reactivity giving rise to material incorporation in silicide NWs. Chapter 5 details the direct reaction of Mn vapor with a Si substrate resulting in mixtures of MnSi and three new manganese silicide NWs phases---alpha-Mn 5Si3, beta-Mn5Si3, and beta-Mn 3Si---including a polymorph of Mn5Si3 not observed in bulk or thin film manganese silicides.

  13. Vibration Testing of the Pluto/New Horizons Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator

    SciTech Connect

    Charles D. Griffin

    2006-06-01

    The Radioisotopic Thermal Generator (RTG) for the Pluto/New Horizons spacecraft was subjected to a flight dynamic acceptance test to demonstrate that it would perform successfully following launch. Seven RTGs of this type had been assembled and tested at Mound, Ohio from 1984 to 1997. This paper chronicles major events in establishing a new vibration test laboratory at the Idaho National Laboratory and the nineteen days of dynamic testing.

  14. Development of Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Jack; Wood, J. Gary; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2007-01-01

    Under the joint sponsorship of the Department of Energy and NASA, a radioisotope power system utilizing Stirling power conversion technology is being developed for potential future space missions. The higher conversion efficiency of the Stirling cycle compared with that of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) used in previous missions (Viking, Pioneer, Voyager, Galileo, Ulysses, Cassini, and New Horizons) offers the advantage of a four-fold reduction in PuO2 fuel, thereby saving cost and reducing radiation exposure to support personnel. With the advancement of state-of-the-art Stirling technology development under the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) project, the Stirling Radioisotope Generator program has evolved to incorporate the advanced Stirling convertor (ASC), provided by Sunpower, into an engineering unit. Due to the reduced envelope and lighter mass of the ASC compared to the previous Stirling convertor, the specific power of the flight generator is projected to increase from 3.5 to 7 We/kg, along with a 25 percent reduction in generator length. Modifications are being made to the ASC design to incorporate features for thermal, mechanical, and electrical integration with the engineering unit. These include the heat collector for hot end interface, cold-side flange for waste heat removal and structural attachment, and piston position sensor for ASC control and power factor correction. A single-fault tolerant, active power factor correction controller is used to synchronize the Stirling convertors, condition the electrical power from AC to DC, and to control the ASCs to maintain operation within temperature and piston stroke limits. Development activities at Sunpower and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) are also being conducted on the ASC to demonstrate the capability for long life, high reliability, and flight qualification needed for use in future missions.

  15. Band engineering of thermoelectric materials.

    PubMed

    Pei, Yanzhong; Wang, Heng; Snyder, G J

    2012-12-01

    Lead chalcogenides have long been used for space-based and thermoelectric remote power generation applications, but recent discoveries have revealed a much greater potential for these materials. This renaissance of interest combined with the need for increased energy efficiency has led to active consideration of thermoelectrics for practical waste heat recovery systems-such as the conversion of car exhaust heat into electricity. The simple high symmetry NaCl-type cubic structure, leads to several properties desirable for thermoelectricity, such as high valley degeneracy for high electrical conductivity and phonon anharmonicity for low thermal conductivity. The rich capabilities for both band structure and microstructure engineering enable a variety of approaches for achieving high thermoelectric performance in lead chalcogenides. This Review focuses on manipulation of the electronic and atomic structural features which makes up the thermoelectric quality factor. While these strategies are well demonstrated in lead chalcogenides, the principles used are equally applicable to most good thermoelectric materials that could enable improvement of thermoelectric devices from niche applications into the mainstream of energy technologies. PMID:23074043

  16. Program of thermoelectric generator testing and RTG degradation mechanisms evaluation. Progress report No. 38

    SciTech Connect

    Lockwood, A.; Shields, V.

    1980-11-01

    The n-type gadolinium selenide legs after 17,500 hours continue to show reasonable agreement with the 3M Co. published thermal conductivity data. Weight loss for both coated and uncoated Si-Ge material produced by G.E. are reported. No significant discrepancies with the results previously obtained on R.C.A. material from the MHW program have been found. Thermal conductivity measurements are also in agreement. The remaining MHW generator on test, Q1-A, has accumulated 26,800 hours and performance remains stable. The performance of the 18 couple modules S/N-1, S/N-2, and S/N-3 to date is summarized. Telemetry data indicate no changes in the trends of degradation of LES 8 and 9 and the Voyager RTGs.

  17. Thermoelectric generator testing and RTG degradation mechanisms evaluation. Progress report No. 35

    SciTech Connect

    Lockwood, A.; Shields, V.

    1980-05-01

    The n-type selenide legs after 14,000 hours continue to show reasonable agreement with the 3M Co. published data. In the ingradient testing after 14,700 hours the n-legs show serious degradation in power to load. Weight loss measurements on the first samples of material produced by G.E. match the results previously obtained on R.C.A. material from the MHW program. The remaining MHW generator on test Q1-A has accumulated 22,519 hours and performance remains stable. The 18 couple modules S/N-1 and -3 previously tested at RCA show no significant change in operation during the current JPL testing. No changes in the trends of degradation of LES 8 and 9 and the Voyager RTGs have been observed.

  18. Picosecond thermoelectric dynamics in layered cobaltite thin films probed by terahertz emission spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Kouhei; Kanno, Tsutomu; Sakai, Akihiro; Tamaki, Hiromasa; Yamada, Yuka

    2015-09-01

    The operation speed of thermoelectric devices is generally limited to microsecond or millisecond time scales. This is due to the difficulty in manipulating and measuring the thermoelectric transients at high speeds. Although recent advances in optical characterization techniques have succeeded to detect thermoelectric signals in picosecond time scales in a few special nanomaterials such as graphene, thermoelectric dynamics in most of the standard thermoelectric materials still remain unknown. Here we investigate the picosecond carrier dynamics of standard thermoelectric CaxCoO2 thin films by means of terahertz emission spectroscopy. The terahertz radiation signals generated from the CaxCoO2 films by femtosecond laser absorption are found to be strongly dependent on crystal orientation. We discuss that the terahertz emission properties of CaxCoO2 films can be described well in terms of the unique tensorial properties of the Seebeck coefficient. The unordinary terahertz emission property associated with the tensorial property of a Seebeck coefficient provides convincing evidence of picosecond evolution of the thermoelectric current even in this standard material. Our results not only promote general understanding of the ultrafast charge dynamics in solids but may also pave the way to develop optoelectronic devices including bias-free terahertz sources and high-speed infrared sensors.

  19. Thermoelectric generator testing and RTG degradation mechanisms evaluation. Progress report No. 37

    SciTech Connect

    Lockwood, A.; Shields, V.

    1980-09-01

    The n-type selenide legs after 16,500 hours continue to show reasonable agreement with the 3M Co. published thermal conductivity data. In the ingradient testing after 17,000 hours the 3 surviving n-legs (out of 5) show serious degradation in power to load. Small scale ratcheting has been observed on the four p-legs but no large scale effects. Weight loss for both coated and uncoated material produced by G.E. are reported. No significant discrepancies with the results previously obtained on R.C.A. material from the MHW program have been found. Thermal conductivity measurements are also in agreement. The remaining MHW generator on test, Q1-A, has accumulated 25,600 hours and performance remains stable. The 18 couple modules S/N-1 and -3 previously tested at RCA show no significant change in operation during the current JPL testing. No changes in the trends of degradation of LES 8 and 9 and the Voyager RTGs have been observed.

  20. Title: Optimal Design of a Thermoelectric Cooling/Heating for Car Seat Comfort Developed by Dr. HoSung Lee on 10/18/2014

    E-print Network

    Lee, Ho Sung

    consumption). This design includes the initial (transient) startup warming and cooling before the car HVAC1 Title: Optimal Design of a Thermoelectric Cooling/Heating for Car Seat Comfort Developed by Dr temperature control unit in series with automotive HVAC module for considering humidity control increased body

  1. Subsurface Ambient Thermoelectric Power for Moles and Penetrators1

    E-print Network

    Lorenz, Ralph D.

    1 Subsurface Ambient Thermoelectric Power for Moles and Penetrators1 Ralph D. Lorenz, Lunar for electrical power generation for planetary exploration applications using thermoelectric conversion of the vehicle. Proof-of-concept experiments are described using off-the-shelf thermoelectric CPU cooling plates

  2. Thermoelectric power generator module of 16x16 Bi{sub 2}Te{sub 3} and 0.6%ErAs:(InGaAs){sub 1-x}(InAlAs){sub x} segmented elements

    SciTech Connect

    Zeng Gehong; Bahk, Je-Hyeong; Bowers, John E.; Lu Hong; Gossard, Arthur C.; Singer, Suzanne L.; Majumdar, Arun; Bian, Zhixi; Zebarjadi, Mona; Shakouri, Ali

    2009-08-24

    We report the fabrication and characterization of thermoelectric power generator modules of 16x16 segmented elements consisting of 0.8 mm thick Bi{sub 2}Te{sub 3} and 50 {mu}m thick ErAs:(InGaAs){sub 1-x}(InAlAs){sub x} with 0.6% ErAs by volume. An output power up to 6.3 W was measured when the heat source temperature was at 610 K. The thermoelectric properties of (InGaAs){sub 1-x}(InAlAs){sub x} were characterized from 300 up to 830 K. The finite element modeling shows that the performance of the generator modules can further be enhanced by improving the thermoelectric properties of the element materials, and reducing the electrical and thermal parasitic losses.

  3. Proposal for a phase-coherent thermoelectric transistor

    SciTech Connect

    Giazotto, F.; Robinson, J. W. A.; Moodera, J. S.; Bergeret, F. S.

    2014-08-11

    Identifying materials and devices which offer efficient thermoelectric effects at low temperature is a major obstacle for the development of thermal management strategies for low-temperature electronic systems. Superconductors cannot offer a solution since their near perfect electron-hole symmetry leads to a negligible thermoelectric response; however, here we demonstrate theoretically a superconducting thermoelectric transistor which offers unparalleled figures of merit of up to ?45 and Seebeck coefficients as large as a few mV/K at sub-Kelvin temperatures. The device is also phase-tunable meaning its thermoelectric response for power generation can be precisely controlled with a small magnetic field. Our concept is based on a superconductor-normal metal-superconductor interferometer in which the normal metal weak-link is tunnel coupled to a ferromagnetic insulator and a Zeeman split superconductor. Upon application of an external magnetic flux, the interferometer enables phase-coherent manipulation of thermoelectric properties whilst offering efficiencies which approach the Carnot limit.

  4. Thermionic Energy Conversion (TEC) topping thermoelectrics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, J. F.

    1981-01-01

    Performance expectations for thermionic and thermoelectric energy conversion systems are reviewed. It is noted that internal radiation effects diminish thermoelectric figures of merit significantly at 1000 K and substantially at 2000 K; the effective thermal conductivity contribution of intrathermoelectric radiative dissipation increases with the third power of temperature. It is argued that a consideration of thermoelectric power generation with high temperature heat sources should include utilization of thermionic energy conversion (TEC) topping thermoelectrics. However TEC alone or TEC topping more efficient conversion systems like steam or gas turbines, combined cycles, or Stirling engines would be more desirable generally.

  5. Fabrication of Lanthanum Telluride 14-1-11 Zintl High-Temperature Thermoelectric Couple

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ravi, Vilupanur A.; Li, Billy Chun-Yip; Fleurial, Pierre; Star, Kurt

    2010-01-01

    The development of more efficient thermoelectric couple technology capable of operating with high-grade heat sources up to 1,275 K is key to improving the performance of radioisotope thermoelectric generators. Lanthanum telluride La3-xTe4 and 14-1-11 Zintls (Yb14MnSb11) have been identified as very promising materials. The fabrication of advanced high-temperature thermoelectric couples requires the joining of several dissimilar materials, typically including a number of diffusion bonding and brazing steps, to achieve a device capable of operating at elevated temperatures across a large temperature differential (up to 900 K). A thermoelectric couple typically comprises a heat collector/ exchanger, metallic interconnects on both hot and cold sides, n-type and ptype conductivity thermoelectric elements, and cold-side hardware to connect to the cold-side heat rejection and provide electrical connections. Differences in the physical, mechanical, and chemical properties of the materials that make up the thermoelectric couple, especially differences in the coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE), result in undesirable interfacial stresses that can lead to mechanical failure of the device. The problem is further complicated by the fact that the thermoelectric materials under consideration have large CTE values, are brittle, and cracks can propagate through them with minimal resistance. The inherent challenge of bonding brittle, high-thermal-expansion thermoelectric materials to a hot shoe material that is thick enough to carry the requisite electrical current was overcome. A critical advantage over prior art is that this device was constructed using all diffusion bonds and a minimum number of assembly steps. The fabrication process and the materials used are described in the following steps: (1) Applying a thin refractory metal foil to both sides of lanthanum telluride. To fabricate the n-type leg of the advanced thermoelectric couple, the pre-synthesized lanthanum telluride coupon was diffusion bonded to the metal foil using a thin adhesion layer. (2) Repeating a similar process for the 14-1-11 Zintl p-type leg of the advanced thermoelectric couple. (3) Bonding thick CTE-matched metal plates on the metallized lanthanum telluride and Yb14MnSb11 to form the hot and cold sides of the thermoelectric couple. The calculated conversion efficiency of such an advanced couple would be about 10.5 percent, about 35 percent better than heritage radioisotope thermoelectric technology that relies on Si-Ge alloys. In addition, unlike Si-Ge alloys, these materials can be combined with many other thermoelectric materials optimized for operation at lower temperatures to achieve conversion efficiency in excess of 15 percent (a factor of 2 increase over heritage technology).

  6. Aalborg Universitet Numerical and Experimental Optimization of Thermoelectric Modules for Power

    E-print Network

    Rosendahl, Lasse

    Aalborg Universitet Numerical and Experimental Optimization of Thermoelectric Modules for Power; Condra, Thomas Joseph Published in: Proceedings of 6th European Conference Thermoelectrics, ECT 2008 of Thermoelectric Modules for Power Generation. In Proceedings of 6th European Conference Thermoelectrics, ECT 2008

  7. Architectural innovation foresight of thermoelectric generator charger integrated portable power supply for portable consumer electronic device in metropolitan market: The case study of Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maolikul, S.; Kiatgamolchai, S.; Chavarnakul, T.

    2012-06-01

    In the context of information and communication technology (ICT) trend for worldwide individuals, social life becomes digital and portable consumer electronic devices (PCED) powered by conventional power supply from batteries have been evolving through miniaturization and various function integration. Thermoelectric generators (TEG) were hypothesized for its potential role of battery charger to serve the shining PCED market. Hence, this paper, mainly focusing at the metropolitan market in Thailand, aimed to conduct architectural innovation foresight and to develop scenarios on potential exploitation approach of PCED battery power supply with TEG charger converting power from ambient heat source adjacent to individual's daily life. After technical review and assessment for TEG potential and battery aspect, the business research was conducted to analyze PCED consumer behavior for their PCED utilization pattern, power supply lack problems, and encountering heat sources/sinks in 3 modes: daily life, work, and leisure hobbies. Based on the secondary data analysis from literature and National Statistical Office of Thailand, quantitative analysis was applied using the cluster probability sampling methodology, statistically, with the sample size of 400 at 0.05 level of significance. In addition, the qualitative analysis was conducted to emphasize the rationale of consumer's behavior using in-depth qualitative interview. Scenario planning technique was also used to generate technological and market trend foresight. Innovation field and potential scenario for matching technology with market was proposed in this paper. The ingredient for successful commercialization of battery power supply with TEG charger for PCED market consists of 5 factors as follows: (1) PCED characteristic, (2) potential ambient heat sources/sinks, (3) battery module, (4) power management module, and the final jigsaw (5) characteristic and adequate arrangement of TEG modules. The foresight outcome for the potential innovations represents a case study in the pilot commercialization of TEG technology for some interesting niche markets in metropolitan area of Thailand, and, thus, can be the clue for product development related to TEG for market-driven application in other similar requirement conditions and contexts as well.

  8. Development of bismuth tellurium selenide nanoparticles for thermoelectric applications via a chemical synthetic process

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Cham; Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology , San 31 Hyoja-dong, Pohang 790-784 ; Kim, Dong Hwan; Han, Yoon Soo; Chung, Jong Shik; Park, SangHa; Park, Soonheum; Kim, Hoyoung

    2011-03-15

    Research highlights: {yields} We synthesized a Bi{sub 2}Te{sub y}Se{sub 3-y} nano-compound via a chemical synthetic process. {yields} The compound was sintered to achieve an average grain size of about 300 nm. {yields} The resulting sintered body showed very low thermal conductivity. It is likely caused by the vigorous phonon scattering of the nano-sized grains. -- Abstract: Bismuth tellurium selenide (Bi{sub 2}Te{sub y}Se{sub 3-y}) nanoparticles for thermoelectric applications are successfully prepared via a water-based chemical reaction under atmospheric conditions. The nanostructured compound is prepared using a complexing agent (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) and a reducing agent (ascorbic acid) to stabilize the bismuth precursor (Bi(NO{sub 3}){sub 3}) in water and to favor the reaction with reduced sources of tellurium and selenium. The resulting powder is smaller than ca. 100 nm and has a crystalline structure corresponding to the rhombohedral Bi{sub 2}Te{sub 2.7}Se{sub 0.3}. The nanocrystalline powder is sintered via a spark plasma sintering process to obtain a sintered body composed of nano-sized grains. Important transport properties of the sintered body are measured to calculate its most important characteristic, the thermoelectric performance. The results demonstrate a relationship between the nanostructure of the sintered body and its thermal conductivity.

  9. Thermoelectric Generators from AgBiTe and AgSbTe Thin Films Modified by High-Energy Beam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budak, S.; Guner, S.; Muntele, C.; Ila, D.

    2015-06-01

    The ternary chalcogenides AgBiTe2 and AgSbTe2 belong to the family of semiconductors with disordered NaCl cubic structure in which Ag and Sb occupy metal sublattices. Both compounds are very interesting due to their thermoelectric properties. We have grown single-layer AgBiTe and AgSbTe thin films on silicon (Si) and fused silica (Suprasil) substrates using electron beam deposition. High-energy (MeV) Si-ion bombardment was performed on the thin-film samples at five different fluences between 5 × 1013 ions/cm2 and 7 × 1015 ions/cm2. We have measured the thermoelectric efficiency (figure of merit, ZT) of the fabricated thermoelectric devices by measuring the cross-plane thermal conductivity using the third-harmonic (3 ?) method, the cross-plane Seebeck coefficient, and the in-plane electrical conductivity using the van der Pauw method before and after MeV Si-ion bombardment. Rutherford backscattering spectrometry and the Rutherford Universal Manipulation Program (RUMP) simulation package were used to analyze the elemental composition and thickness of the deposited materials on the substrates. The RUMP simulation gave thicknesses for the AgBiTe and AgSbTe thin films of 270 nm and 188 nm, respectively. The figure of merit for AgBiTe started to decrease from the value of 0.37 for the virgin sample after bombardment. We saw similar decreasing behavior for the AgSbTe thin-film system. The figure of merit for AgSbTe started to decrease from the value of 0.88 for the virgin sample after bombardment. MeV Si-ion bombardment caused changes in the thermoelectric properties of the thin films.

  10. Nanostructures having high performance thermoelectric properties

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Peidong; Majumdar, Arunava; Hochbaum, Allon I; Chen, Renkun; Delgado, Raul Diaz

    2014-05-20

    The invention provides for a nanostructure, or an array of such nanostructures, each comprising a rough surface, and a doped or undoped semiconductor. The nanostructure is an one-dimensional (1-D) nanostructure, such a nanowire, or a two-dimensional (2-D) nanostructure. The nanostructure can be placed between two electrodes and used for thermoelectric power generation or thermoelectric cooling.

  11. Nanostructures having high performance thermoelectric properties

    DOEpatents

    Yang, Peidong; Majumdar, Arunava; Hochbaum, Allon I.; Chen, Renkun; Delgado, Raul Diaz

    2015-12-22

    The invention provides for a nanostructure, or an array of such nanostructures, each comprising a rough surface, and a doped or undoped semiconductor. The nanostructure is an one-dimensional (1-D) nanostructure, such a nanowire, or a two-dimensional (2-D) nanostructure. The nanostructure can be placed between two electrodes and used for thermoelectric power generation or thermoelectric cooling.

  12. Lunar base thermoelectric power station study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Determan, William; Frye, Patrick; Mondt, Jack; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Johnson, Ken; Stapfer, G.; Brooks, Michael D.; Heshmatpour, Ben

    2006-01-01

    Under NASA's Project Prometheus, the Nuclear Systems Program, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, and Teledyne Energy Systems have teamed with a number of universities, under the Segmented Thermoelectric Multicouple Converter (STMC) program, to develop the next generation of advanced thermoelectric converters for space reactor power systems. Work on the STMC converter assembly has progressed to the point where the lower temperature stage of the segmented multicouple converter assembly is ready for laboratory testing and the upper stage materials have been identified and their properties are being characterized. One aspect of the program involves mission application studies to help define the potential benefits from the use of these STMC technologies for designated NASA missions such as the lunar base power station where kilowatts of power are required to maintain a permanent manned presence on the surface of the moon. A modular 50 kWe thermoelectric power station concept was developed to address a specific set of requirements developed for this mission. Previous lunar lander concepts had proposed the use of lunar regolith as in-situ radiation shielding material for a reactor power station with a one kilometer exclusion zone radius to minimize astronaut radiation dose rate levels. In the present concept, we will examine the benefits and requirements for a hermetically-sealed reactor thermoelectric power station module suspended within a man-made lunar surface cavity. The concept appears to maximize the shielding capabilities of the lunar regolith while minimizing its handling requirements. Both thermal and nuclear radiation levels from operation of the station, at its 100-m exclusion zone radius, were evaluated and found to be acceptable. Site preparation activities are reviewed and well as transport issues for this concept. The goal of the study was to review the entire life cycle of the unit to assess its technical problems and technology needs in all areas to support the development, deployment, operation and disposal of the unit.

  13. Lunar Base Thermoelectric Power Station Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Determan, William; Frye, Patrick; Mondt, Jack; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Johnson, Ken; Stapfer, Gerhard; Brooks, Michael; Heshmatpour, Ben

    2006-01-01

    Under NASA's Project Prometheus, the Nuclear Space Power Systems Program, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, and Teledyne Energy Systems have teamed with a number of universities, under the Segmented Thermoelectric Multicouple Converter (STMC) Task, to develop the next generation of advanced thermoelectric converters for space reactor power systems. Work on the STMC converter assembly has progressed to the point where the lower temperature stage of the segmented multicouple converter assembly is ready for laboratory testing, and promising candidates for the upper stage materials have been identified and their properties are being characterized. One aspect of the program involves mission application studies to help define the potential benefits from the use of these STMC technologies for designated NASA missions such as a lunar base power station where kilowatts of power would be required to maintain a permanent manned presence on the surface of the moon. A modular 50 kWe thermoelectric power station concept was developed to address a specific set of requirements developed for this particular mission concept. Previous lunar lander concepts had proposed the use of lunar regolith as in-situ radiation shielding material for a reactor power station with a one kilometer exclusion zone radius to minimize astronaut radiation dose rate levels. In the present concept, we will examine the benefits and requirements for a hermetically-sealed reactor thermoelectric power station module suspended within a man-made lunar surface cavity. The concept appears to maximize the shielding capabilities of the lunar regolith while minimizing its handling requirements. Both thermal and nuclear radiation levels from operation of the station, at its 100-m exclusion zone radius, were evaluated and found to be acceptable. Site preparation activities are reviewed as well as transport issues for this concept. The goal of the study was to review the entire life cycle of the unit to assess its technical problems and technology needs in all areas to support the development, deployment, operation and disposal of the unit.

  14. Lunar Base Thermoelectric Power Station Study

    SciTech Connect

    Determan, William; Frye, Patrick; Mondt, Jack; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Johnson, Ken; Stapfer, Gerhard; Brooks, Michael; Heshmatpour, Ben

    2006-01-20

    Under NASA's Project Prometheus, the Nuclear Space Power Systems Program, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne, and Teledyne Energy Systems have teamed with a number of universities, under the Segmented Thermoelectric Multicouple Converter (STMC) Task, to develop the next generation of advanced thermoelectric converters for space reactor power systems. Work on the STMC converter assembly has progressed to the point where the lower temperature stage of the segmented multicouple converter assembly is ready for laboratory testing, and promising candidates for the upper stage materials have been identified and their properties are being characterized. One aspect of the program involves mission application studies to help define the potential benefits from the use of these STMC technologies for designated NASA missions such as a lunar base power station where kilowatts of power would be required to maintain a permanent manned presence on the surface of the moon. A modular 50 kWe thermoelectric power station concept was developed to address a specific set of requirements developed for this particular mission concept. Previous lunar lander concepts had proposed the use of lunar regolith as in-situ radiation shielding material for a reactor power station with a one kilometer exclusion zone radius to minimize astronaut radiation dose rate levels. In the present concept, we will examine the benefits and requirements for a hermetically-sealed reactor thermoelectric power station module suspended within a man-made lunar surface cavity. The concept appears to maximize the shielding capabilities of the lunar regolith while minimizing its handling requirements. Both thermal and nuclear radiation levels from operation of the station, at its 100-m exclusion zone radius, were evaluated and found to be acceptable. Site preparation activities are reviewed as well as transport issues for this concept. The goal of the study was to review the entire life cycle of the unit to assess its technical problems and technology needs in all areas to support the development, deployment, operation and disposal of the unit.

  15. An Innovative System for the Efficient and Effective Treatment of Non-Traditional Waters for Reuse in Thermoelectric Power Generation

    SciTech Connect

    John Rodgers; James Castle

    2008-08-31

    This study assessed opportunities for improving water quality associated with coal-fired power generation including the use of non-traditional waters for cooling, innovative technology for recovering and reusing water within power plants, novel approaches for the removal of trace inorganic compounds from ash pond effluents, and novel approaches for removing biocides from cooling tower blowdown. This research evaluated specifically designed pilot-scale constructed wetland systems for treatment of targeted constituents in non-traditional waters for reuse in thermoelectric power generation and other purposes. The overall objective of this project was to decrease targeted constituents in non-traditional waters to achieve reuse criteria or discharge limitations established by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and Clean Water Act (CWA). The six original project objectives were completed, and results are presented in this final technical report. These objectives included identification of targeted constituents for treatment in four non-traditional water sources, determination of reuse or discharge criteria for treatment, design of constructed wetland treatment systems for these non-traditional waters, and measurement of treatment of targeted constituents in non-traditional waters, as well as determination of the suitability of the treated non-traditional waters for reuse or discharge to receiving aquatic systems. The four non-traditional waters used to accomplish these objectives were ash basin water, cooling water, flue gas desulfurization (FGD) water, and produced water. The contaminants of concern identified in ash basin waters were arsenic, chromium, copper, mercury, selenium, and zinc. Contaminants of concern in cooling waters included free oxidants (chlorine, bromine, and peroxides), copper, lead, zinc, pH, and total dissolved solids. FGD waters contained contaminants of concern including arsenic, boron, chlorides, selenium, mercury, chemical oxygen demand (COD), and zinc. Similar to FGD waters, produced waters contained contaminants of concern that are predominantly inorganic (arsenic, cadmium, chlorides, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, sulfide, zinc, total dissolved solids), but also contained some organics (benzene, PAHs, toluene, total organic carbon, total suspended solids, and oil and grease). Constituents of concern that may cause chemical scaling, biofouling and corrosion, such as pH, hardness and ionic strength, and nutrients (P, K, and N) may also be found in all four non-traditional waters. NPDES permits were obtained for these non-traditional waters and these permit limits are summarized in tabular format within this report. These limits were used to establish treatment goals for this research along with toxicity values for Ceriodaphnia dubia, water quality criteria established by the US EPA, irrigation standards established by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and reuse standards focused on minimization of damage to the power plant by treated waters. Constructed wetland treatment systems were designed for each non-traditional water source based on published literature reviews regarding remediation of the constituents of concern, biogeochemistry of the specific contaminants, and previous research. During this study, 4 non-traditional waters, which included ash basin water, cooling water, FGD water and produced water (PW) were obtained or simulated to measure constructed wetland treatment system performance. Based on data collected from FGD experiments, pilot-scale constructed wetland treatment systems can decrease aqueous concentrations of elements of concern (As, B, Hg, N, and Se). Percent removal was specific for each element, including ranges of 40.1% to 77.7% for As, 77.6% to 97.8% for Hg, 43.9% to 88.8% for N, and no measureable removal to 84.6% for Se. Other constituents of interest in final outflow samples should have aqueous characteristics sufficient for discharge, with the exception of chlorides (<2000 mg/L). Based on total dissolved solids, co-

  16. High temperature thermoelectrics

    DOEpatents

    Moczygemba, Joshua E.; Biershcenk, James L.; Sharp, Jeffrey W.

    2014-09-23

    In accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure, a thermoelectric device includes a plurality of thermoelectric elements that each include a diffusion barrier. The diffusion barrier includes a refractory metal. The thermoelectric device also includes a plurality of conductors coupled to the plurality of thermoelectric elements. The plurality of conductors include aluminum. In addition, the thermoelectric device includes at least one plate coupled to the plurality of thermoelectric elements using a braze. The braze includes aluminum.

  17. Concentrated Solar Thermoelectric Power

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Gang; Ren, Zhifeng

    2015-07-09

    The goal of this project is to demonstrate in the lab that solar thermoelectric generators (STEGs) can exceed 10% solar-to-electricity efficiency, and STEGs can be integrated with phase-change materials (PCM) for thermal storage, providing operation beyond daylight hours. This project achieved significant progress in many tasks necessary to achieving the overall project goals. An accurate Themoelectric Generator (TEG) model was developed, which included realistic treatment of contact materials, contact resistances and radiative losses. In terms of fabricating physical TEGs, high performance contact materials for skutterudite TE segments were developed, along with brazing and soldering methods to assemble segmented TEGs. Accurate measurement systems for determining device performance (in addition to just TE material performance) were built for this project and used to characterize our TEGs. From the optical components’ side, a spectrally selective cermet surface was developed with high solar absorptance and low thermal emittance, with thermal stability at high temperature. A measurement technique was also developed to determine absorptance and total hemispherical emittance at high temperature, and was used to characterize the fabricated spectrally selective surfaces. In addition, a novel reflective cavity was designed to reduce radiative absorber losses and achieve high receiver efficiency at low concentration ratios. A prototype cavity demonstrated that large reductions in radiative losses were possible through this technique. For the overall concentrating STEG system, a number of devices were fabricated and tested in a custom built test platform to characterize their efficiency performance. Additionally, testing was performed with integration of PCM thermal storage, and the storage time of the lab scale system was evaluated. Our latest testing results showed a STEG efficiency of 9.6%, indicating promising potential for high performance concentrated STEGs.

  18. Thermoelectric refrigerator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Park, Brian V. (Inventor); Smith, Jr., Malcolm C. (Inventor); McGrath, Ralph D. (Inventor); Gilley, Michael D. (Inventor); Criscuolo, Lance (Inventor); Nelson, John L. (Inventor)

    1996-01-01

    A refrigerator is provided which combines the benefits of superinsulation materials with thermoelectric devices and phase change materials to provide an environmentally benign system that is energy efficient and can maintain relatively uniform temperatures for extended periods of time with relatively low electrical power requirements. The refrigerator includes a thermoelectric assembly having a thermoelectric device with a hot sink and a cold sink. The superinsulation materials include a plurality of vacuum panels. The refrigerator is formed from an enclosed structure having a door. The vacuum panels may be contained within the walls of the enclosed structure and the door. By mounting the thermoelectric assembly on the door, the manufacturer of the enclosed structure is simplified and the overall R rating of the refrigerator increased. Also an electrical motor and propellers may be mounted on the door to assist in the circulation of air to improve the efficiency of the cold sink and the hot sink. A propeller and/or impeller is preferably mounted within the refrigerator to assist in establishing the desired air circulation flow path.

  19. Modeling thermoelectric transport in organic materials.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dong; Shi, Wen; Chen, Jianming; Xi, Jinyang; Shuai, Zhigang

    2012-12-28

    Thermoelectric energy converters can directly convert heat to electricity using semiconducting materials via the Seebeck effect and electricity to heat via the Peltier effect. Their efficiency depends on the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit of the material, which is defined as zT = S(2)?T/? with S, ?, ?, and T being the Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and absolute temperature respectively. Organic materials for thermoelectric applications have attracted great attention. In this review, we present our recent progress made in developing theories and computational schemes to predict the thermoelectric figure of merit at the first-principles level. The methods have been applied to model thermoelectric transport in closely-packed molecular crystals and one-dimensional conducting polymer chains. The physical insight gained in these studies will help in the design of efficient organic thermoelectric materials. PMID:23086525

  20. Design, crystal growth, and physical properties of low-temperature thermoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuccillo, Michael K.

    Thermoelectric materials serve as the foundation for two important modern technologies, namely 1) solid-state cooling, which enables small-area refrigeration without vibrations or moving parts, and 2) thermoelectric power generation, which has important implications for waste heat recovery and improved sources of alternative energy. Although the overall field of thermoelectrics research has been active for decades, and several consumer and industrial products have already been commercialized, the design and synthesis of new thermoelectrics that outperform long-standing state of the art materials has proven extremely challenging. This is particularly true for low-temperature refrigeration applications, which is the focus of this work; however, scientific advances in this area generally support power generation as well. In order to achieve more efficient materials for virtually all thermoelectric applications, improved materials design principles must be developed and synthetic procedures must be better understood. We aim to contribute to these goals by studying two classes of materials, namely 1) the tetradymites Bi2TeSe 2 and Bi2Te2Se, which are close relatives of state of the art thermoelectric cooling materials, and 2) Kondo insulating (-like) FeSb2 and FeSi, which possess anomalously enhanced low-temperature thermoelectric properties that arise from exotic electronic and magnetic properties. The organization of this dissertation is as follows: Chapter 1 is a brief perspective on solid-state chemistry. Chapter 2 presents experimental methods for synthesizing and characterizing thermoelectric materials. In Chapter 3, two original research projects are discussed: first, work on the tetradymite Bi2TeSe2 doped with Sb to achieve an n- to p-type transition, and second, the tetradymite Bi2Te2Se with chemical defects through two different methods. Chapter 4 gives the magnetic and transport properties of FeSb 2--RuSb2 alloys, a family of compounds exemplifying what we consider to be the next generation of thermoelectric materials for low-temperature cooling due to their anomalously enhanced low-temperature thermoelectric properties, along with an outlook for seeking additional materials with similarly enhanced properties. Lastly, in Chapter 5, a brief outlook on the future of thermoelectrics is discussed, along with our current and future work on FeSi-RuSi alloys.

  1. High temperature experimental characterization of microscale thermoelectric effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favaloro, Tela

    Thermoelectric devices have been employed for many years as a reliable energy conversion technology for applications ranging from the cooling of sensors or charge coupled devices to the direct conversion of heat into electricity for remote power generation. However, its relatively low conversion efficiency has limited the implementation of thermoelectric materials for large scale cooling and waste heat recovery applications. Recent advances in semiconductor growth technology have enabled the precise and selective engineering of material properties to improve the thermoelectric figure of merit and thus the efficiency of thermoelectric devices. Accurate characterization at the intended operational temperature of novel thermoelectric materials is a crucial component of the optimization process in order to fundamentally understand material behavior and evaluate performance. The objective of this work is to provide the tools necessary to characterize high efficiency bulk and thin-film materials for thermoelectric energy conversion. The techniques developed here are not bound to specific material or devices, but can be generalized to any material system. Thermoreflectance imaging microscopy has proven to be invaluable for device thermometry owing to its high spatial and temporal resolutions. It has been utilized in this work to create two-dimensional temperature profiles of thermoelectric devices during operation used for performance analysis of novel materials, identification of defects, and visualization of high speed transients in a high-temperature imaging thermostat. We report the development of a high temperature imaging thermostat capable of high speed transient thermoelectric characterization. In addition, we present a noninvasive method for thermoreflectance coefficient calibration ideally suited for vacuum and thus high temperature employment. This is the first analysis of the thermoreflectance coefficient of commonly used metals at high-temperatures. High temperature vacuum thermostats are designed and fabricated with optical imaging capability and interchangeable measurement stages for various electrical and thermoelectric characterizations. We demonstrate the simultaneous measurement of in-plane electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient of thin-film or bulk thermoelectric materials. Furthermore, we utilize high-speed circuitry to implement the transient Harman technique and directly determine the cross-plane figure of merit of thin film thermoelectric materials at high temperatures. Transient measurements on thin film devices are subject to complications from the growth substrate, non-ideal contacts and other detrimental thermal and electrical effects. A strategy is presented for optimizing device geometry to mitigate the impact of these parasitics. This design enabled us to determine the cross-plane thermoelectric material properties in a single high temperature measurement of a 25mum InGaAs thin film with embedded ErAs (0.2%) nanoparticles using the bipolar transient Harman technique in conjunction with thermoreflectance thermal imaging. This approach eliminates discrepancies and potential device degradation from the multiple measurements necessary to obtain individual material parameters. Finite element method simulations are used to analyze non-uniform current and temperature distributions over the device area and determine the three dimensional current path for accurate extraction of material properties from the thermal images. Results match with independent measurements of thermoelectric material properties for the same material composition, validating this approach. We apply high magnification thermoreflectance imaging to create temperature maps of vanadium dioxide nanobeams and examine electro-thermal energy conversion along the nanobeam length. The metal to insulator transition of strongly correlated materials is subject to strong lattice coupling which brings about the unique one-dimensional alignment of metal-insulator domains along nanobeams. Many studies have investigated the effects of stress o

  2. Transport Properties of Bulk Thermoelectrics—An International Round-Robin Study, Part I: Seebeck Coefficient and Electrical Resistivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hsin; Porter, Wallace D.; Böttner, Harald; König, Jan; Chen, Lidong; Bai, Shengqiang; Tritt, Terry M.; Mayolet, Alex; Senawiratne, Jayantha; Smith, Charlene; Harris, Fred; Gilbert, Patricia; Sharp, Jeff W.; Lo, Jason; Kleinke, Holger; Kiss, Laszlo

    2013-04-01

    Recent research and development of high-temperature thermoelectric materials has demonstrated great potential for converting automobile exhaust heat directly into electricity. Thermoelectrics based on classic bismuth telluride have also started to impact the automotive industry by enhancing air-conditioning efficiency and integrated cabin climate control. In addition to engineering challenges of making reliable and efficient devices to withstand thermal and mechanical cycling, the remaining issues in thermoelectric power generation and refrigeration are mostly materials related. The dimensionless figure of merit, ZT, still needs to be improved from the current value of 1.0 to 1.5 to above 2.0 to be competitive with other alternative technologies. In the meantime, the thermoelectric community could greatly benefit from the development of international test standards, improved test methods, and better characterization tools. Internationally, thermoelectrics have been recognized by many countries as a key component for improving energy efficiency. The International Energy Agency (IEA) group under the Implementing Agreement for Advanced Materials for Transportation (AMT) identified thermoelectric materials as an important area in 2009. This paper is part I of the international round-robin testing of transport properties of bulk thermoelectrics. The main foci in part I are the measurement of two electronic transport properties: Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity.

  3. Life Testing of Yb14MnSb11 for High Performance Thermoelectric Couples

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paik, Jong-Ah; Brandon, Erik; Caillat, Thierry; Ewell, Richard; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this study is to verify the long term stability of Yb14MnSb11 for high performance thermoelectric (TE) couples. Three main requirements need to be satisfied to ensure the long term stability of thermoelectric couples: 1) stable thermoelectric properties, 2) stable bonding interfaces, and 3) adequate sublimation suppression. The efficiency of the couple is primarily based on the thermoelectric properties of the materials selected for the couple. Therefore, these TE properties should exhibit minimal degradation during the operating period of the thermoelectric couples. The stability of the bonding is quantified by low contact resistances of the couple interfaces. In order to ensure high efficiency, the contact resistances of the bonding interfaces should be negligible. Sublimation suppression is important because the majority of thermoelectric materials used for power generation have peak figures of merit at temperatures where sublimation rates are high. Controlling sublimation is also essential to preserve the efficiency of the couple. During the course of this research, three different life tests were performed with Yb14MnSb11 coupons. TE properties of Yb14MnSb11 exhibited no degradation after 6 months of aging at 1273K, and the electrical contact resistance between a thin metallization layer and the Yb14MnSb11 remained negligible after 1500hr aging at 1273K. A sublimation suppression layer for Yb14MnSb11 was developed and demonstrated for more than 18 months with coupon testing at 1273K. These life test data indicate that thermoelectric elements based on Yb14MnSb11 are a promising technology for use in future high performance thermoelectric power generating couples.

  4. Stirling Convertor Technologies Being Developed for a Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.

    2003-01-01

    The Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Stirling Technology Company (STC), and the NASA Glenn Research Center are developing a high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for NASA space science missions. The SRG is being developed for multimission use, including providing electric power for unmanned Mars rovers and deep space missions. On Mars, rovers with SRGs would be used for missions that might not be able to use photovoltaic power systems, such as exploration at high Martian latitudes and missions of long duration. The projected SRG system efficiency of 23 percent will reduce the required amount of radioisotope by a factor of 4 or more in comparison to currently used Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators. The Department of Energy recently named Lockheed Martin as the system integration contractor. Lockheed Martin has begun to develop the SRG engineering unit under contract to the Department of Energy, and has contract options to develop the qualification unit and the first flight units. The developers expect the SRG to produce about 114 Wdc at the beginning of mission, using two opposed Stirling convertors and two General Purpose Heat Source modules. STC previously developed the Stirling convertor under contract to the Department of Energy and is now providing further development as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin. Glenn is conducting an in-house technology project to assist in developing the convertor for space qualification and mission implementation. A key milestone was recently reached with the accumulation of 12 000 hr of long-term aging on two types of neodymium-iron boron permanent magnets. These tests are characterizing any possible aging in the strength or demagnetization resistance of the magnets used in the linear alternator. Preparations are underway for a thermal/vacuum system demonstration and unattended operation during endurance testing of the 55-We Technology Demonstration Convertors. In addition, Glenn is developing a charging system for the convertors to ensure clean fills of the helium working fluid and to monitor levels of any possible contaminants at different test intervals. Possible oxidation effects depend on the level of any oxygen contamination-regenerator materials and displacer radiation shields are now being evaluated for possible oxidation effects.

  5. Nanostructured Thermoelectric Materials: From Superlattices to Nanocomposites Ronggui Yang1

    E-print Network

    Chen, Gang

    Nanostructured Thermoelectric Materials: From Superlattices to Nanocomposites Ronggui Yang1 conductivity led to a large increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit in several superlattice systems. Materials with a large thermoelectric figure of merit can be used to develop efficient solid-state devices

  6. Update to the safety program for the general-purpose heat source radioisotope thermoelectric generators for the Galileo and Ulysses missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Bradshaw, C. T.; Englehart, Richard W.; Bartram, Bart W.; Cull, Theresa A.; Zocher, Roy W.; Eck, Marshall B.; Mukunda, Meera; Brenza, Peter T.; Chan, Chris C.

    1992-01-01

    With the rescheduling of the Galileo and Ulysses launches and the use of new upper stages following the Challenger accident, the aerospace nuclear safety program for the general-purpose heat source radioisotope thermoelectric generators (GPHS-RTGs) was extended to accommodate the new mission scenarios. As in the original safety program, the objectives were to determine the response of the GPHS-RTG to the various postulated accident environments and to determine the risk (if any) associated with these postulated accidents. The extended GPHS-RTG safety program was successfully completed in sufficient time to prepare an updated Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) with revisions for the October 1989 launch of the Galileo spacecraft.

  7. ME6950 Summer II 2015, Final Project Contact Resistances for Miniature Thermoelectric Devices

    E-print Network

    Lee, Ho Sung

    ME6950 Summer II 2015, Final Project 1 Contact Resistances for Miniature Thermoelectric Devices By Dhannoon, Mohammed Tianyu Chen Xiangyu Li ME 6950 Thermoelectrics I Final Project Summer II 2015 Western in miniature thermoelectric module farther progress in the development of short-legged thermoelectric (TE

  8. Alumina Paste Sublimation Suppression Barrier for Thermoelectric Device

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paik, Jong-Ah (Inventor); Caillat, Thierry (Inventor)

    2014-01-01

    Alumina as a sublimation suppression barrier for a Zintl thermoelectric material in a thermoelectric power generation device operating at high temperature, e.g. at or above 1000K, is disclosed. The Zintl thermoelectric material may comprise Yb.sub.14MnSb.sub.11. The alumina may be applied as an adhesive paste dried and cured on a substantially oxide free surface of the Zintl thermoelectric material and polished to a final thickness. The sublimation suppression barrier may be finalized by baking out the alumina layer on the Zintl thermoelectric material until it becomes substantially clogged with ytterbia.

  9. The potential impact of ZT=4 thermoelectric materials on solar thermal energy conversion technologies.

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, M.; Gruen, D. M.; Materials Science Division; Michigan Technological Univ.

    2010-03-02

    State-of-the-art methodologies for the conversion of solar thermal power to electricity are based on conventional electromagnetic induction techniques. If appropriate ZT = 4 thermoelectric materials were available, it is likely that conversion efficiencies of 30-40% could be achieved. The availability of all solid state electricity generation would be a long awaited development in part because of the elimination of moving parts. This paper presents a preliminary examination of the potential performance of ZT = 4 power generators in comparison with Stirling engines taking into account specific mass, volume and cost as well as system reliability. High-performance thermoelectrics appear to have distinct advantages over magnetic induction technologies.

  10. Temperature dependent phonon properties of thermoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hellman, Olle; Broido, David; Fultz, Brent

    2015-03-01

    We present recent developments using the temperature dependent effective potential technique (TDEP) to model thermoelectric materials. We use ab initio molecular dynamics to generate an effective Hamiltonian that reproduce neutron scattering spectra, thermal conductivity, phonon self energies, and heat capacities. Results are presented for (among others) SnSe, Bi2Te3, and Cu2Se proving the necessity of careful modelling of finite temperature properties for strongly anharmonic materials. Supported by the Swedish Research Council (VR) Project Number 637-2013-7296.

  11. Heat Transfer in Thermoelectric Materials and Devices

    E-print Network

    Tian, Zhiting

    Solid-state thermoelectric devices are currently used in applications ranging from thermocouple sensors to power generators in space missions, to portable air-conditioners and refrigerators. With the ever-rising demand ...

  12. Review of nanostructured devices for thermoelectric applications.

    PubMed

    Pennelli, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    A big research effort is currently dedicated to the development of thermoelectric devices capable of a direct thermal-to-electrical energy conversion, aiming at efficiencies as high as possible. These devices are very attractive for many applications in the fields of energy recovery and green energy harvesting. In this paper, after a quick summary of the fundamental principles of thermoelectricity, the main characteristics of materials needed for high efficiency thermoelectric conversion will be discussed, and a quick review of the most promising materials currently under development will be given. This review paper will put a particular emphasis on nanostructured silicon, which represents a valid compromise between good thermoelectric properties on one side and material availability, sustainability, technological feasibility on the other side. The most important bottom-up and top-down nanofabrication techniques for large area silicon nanowire arrays, to be used for high efficiency thermoelectric devices, will be presented and discussed. PMID:25247111

  13. Review of nanostructured devices for thermoelectric applications

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Summary A big research effort is currently dedicated to the development of thermoelectric devices capable of a direct thermal-to-electrical energy conversion, aiming at efficiencies as high as possible. These devices are very attractive for many applications in the fields of energy recovery and green energy harvesting. In this paper, after a quick summary of the fundamental principles of thermoelectricity, the main characteristics of materials needed for high efficiency thermoelectric conversion will be discussed, and a quick review of the most promising materials currently under development will be given. This review paper will put a particular emphasis on nanostructured silicon, which represents a valid compromise between good thermoelectric properties on one side and material availability, sustainability, technological feasibility on the other side. The most important bottom-up and top-down nanofabrication techniques for large area silicon nanowire arrays, to be used for high efficiency thermoelectric devices, will be presented and discussed. PMID:25247111

  14. Energy-Harvesting Thermoelectric Sensing for Unobtrusive Water and Appliance Metering

    E-print Network

    Cafarella, Michael J.

    Energy-Harvesting Thermoelectric Sensing for Unobtrusive Water and Appliance Metering Bradford that meters using the same thermoelectric generator with which it powers itself. In short, the rate at which be harvested with a thermoelectric generator (TEG) to power a sensor node. TEGs utilize the Seebeck effect

  15. Compact neutron generator development at LBNL

    SciTech Connect

    Reijonen, J.; English, G.; Firestone, R.; Giquel, F.; King, M.; Leung, K-N.; Sun, M.

    2003-12-31

    A wide variety of applications ranging from medical (BNCT, Boron Neutron Capture Therapy) and basic science (neutron imaging, material studies) to homeland security (explosive detection and nuclear material non-proliferation) are in need of compact, high flux neutron generators. The Plasma and Ion Source Technology Group in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is developing various neutron generators for these applications. These neutron generators employed either the D-D or the D-T fusion reaction for the neutron production. The deuterium or deuterium-tritium gas mixture is ionized in an RF-driven plasma source. The ions are then accelerated to {approx}100 keV energy using high current, high voltage DC-power supply to a target where the 2.45 MeV (for D-D reaction) or 14 MeV (for the D-T reaction) neutrons are generated. The development of two different types of neutron tubes are being discussed in this presentation, namely compact, pulsed operation neutron generators and cw, high yield neutron generators. These generators are currently operating at D-D neutron yields of 108 n/s and 109 n/s respectively. A facility, incorporating the larger neutron generator, has been constructed for Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis (PGAA) and Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) measurements.

  16. Development of a small-scale power system with meso-scale vortex combustor and thermo-electric device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimokuri, D.; Hara, T.; Matsumoto, R.

    2015-10-01

    A small-scale vortex combustion power system has been developed using a thermo-electric device (TED). The system consisted of a heat medium, TED, and cooling plates. A vortex combustion chamber (7?mm inner diameter and 27?mm long) was fabricated inside the heat medium (40??×??40??×??20?mm and 52?g of duralumin). It was found that a stable propane/air flame could be established in the narrow 7?mm channel even for the large heat input conditions of 213 ~ 355?W. With a couple of TEDs, the maximum of 8.1?W (9.8?V??×??0.83?A) could be successfully obtained for 355?W heat input, which corresponded to the energy conversion rate of 2.4%. The results of the gas and the combustor wall temperature measurements showed that the heat transfer from the burned gas to combustor wall was significantly enhanced by the vortex flow, which contributed to the relatively high efficiency energy conversion on the vortex combustion power system.

  17. Silicon-Based Thermoelectrics: Harvesting Low Quality Heat Using Economically Printed Flexible Nanostructured Stacked Thermoelectric Junctions

    SciTech Connect

    2010-03-01

    Broad Funding Opportunity Announcement Project: UIUC is experimenting with silicon-based materials to develop flexible thermoelectric devices—which convert heat into energy—that can be mass-produced at low cost. A thermoelectric device, which resembles a computer chip, creates electricity when a different temperature is applied to each of its sides. Existing commercial thermoelectric devices contain the element tellurium, which limits production levels because tellurium has become increasingly rare. UIUC is replacing this material with microscopic silicon wires that are considerably cheaper and could be equally effective. Improvements in thermoelectric device production could return enough wasted heat to add up to 23% to our current annual electricity production.

  18. Scanning thermoelectric microscopy of local thermoelectric behaviors in (Bi,Sb)2Te3 films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Kunyu; Zeng, Huarong; Xu, Kunqi; Yu, Huizhu; Li, Guorong; Song, Junqiang; Shi, Xun; Chen, Lidong

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we develop scanning thermoelectric microscopy (STeM) on the basis of commercial atomic force microscope. The nanoscale thermoelectric behaviors of (Bi,Sb)2Te3 (BST) thin films were studied. 3?-technique was used for thermal conductivity imaging and quantitative thermal characterization. By acquiring the unique Seebeck information from 2? frequency component, nanoscale thermoelectric images were firstly obtained, exhibiting remarkably inhomogeneous distribution of local Seebeck coefficient in the thin films. Positive thermoelectric response is revealed by the modulation of temperature difference between thermal tip and sample, corresponding to p-type conduction within BST sample.

  19. Mapping thermoelectric power of semiconductor junctions with nanometer resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyeo, Ho-Ki

    Ultra High Vacuum (UHV) Scanning Thermoelectric Microscopy (SThEM) method has been developed to probe the local thermoelectric power of semiconductor nanostructures. When applied to a p-n junction, this method reveals a nanometer-scale abrupt polarity change of the thermoelectric power across the junction. Since the thermoelectric power correlates with the electronic structure, the SThEM allows for nanoscale profiling of the bandstructure and carrier concentrations of homo- and hetero-junctions that constitute the fundamental building blocks of electronic, optoelectronic, and thermoelectric devices.

  20. Development of Flexible Micro-Thermo-electrochemical Generators Based on Ionic Liquids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uhl, Stefanie; Laux, Edith; Journot, Tony; Jeandupeux, Laure; Charmet, Jérôme; Keppner, Herbert

    2014-10-01

    The unfavourable relationship between electrical and thermal conductivity limits the choice of solid-state materials for thermoelectric generators (TEG). Among ionic liquids (IOL), it appears that a large variety of thermoelectric (TE) materials with promising high Seebeck coefficients have potential for development. Furthermore, the novel solid-on-liquid deposition technology (SOLID) allows the encapsulation of liquid TE materials to create new, highly integrated TEG devices. Following this vision, this paper studies a large number of IOLs looking at TE-relevant parameters such as thermal and electrical conductivity, Seebeck coefficient and temperature-dependent viscosity. We show that positive and negative Seebeck coefficients can be obtained, depending on the molecular structure and the viscosity of the IOL. The properties of single-junction TEGs are presented in terms of I- V characteristics correlated with the IOL properties. We prove that the limiting effect of conversion efficiency is the current density that can be extracted from a device rather than the Seebeck coefficient.

  1. Fourth-generation photovoltaic concentrator system development

    SciTech Connect

    O`Neill, M.J.; McDanal, A.J.

    1995-10-01

    In 1991, under a contract with Sandia for the Concentrator Initiative, the ENTECH team initiated the design and development of a fourth-generation concentrator module. In 1992, Sandia also contracted with ENTECH to develop a new control and drive system for the ENTECH array. This report documents the design and development work performed under both contracts. Manufacturing processes for the new module were developed at the same time under a complementary PVMaT contract with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Two 100-kW power plants were deployed in 1995 in Texas using the newly developed fourth-generation concentrator technology, one at the CSW Solar Park near Ft. Davis and one at TUE Energy Park in Dallas. Technology developed under the Sandia contracts has made a successful transition from the laboratory to the production line to the field.

  2. Oxide Thermoelectrics

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, David J

    2008-01-01

    Thermoelectricity in oxides, especially NaxCoO2 and related materials, is discussed from the point of view of first principles calculations and Boltzmann transport theory. The electronic structure of this material is exceptional in that it has a combination of very narrow bands and strong hybridization between metal d states and ligand p states. As shown within the framework of conventional Boltzmann transport theory, this leads to high Seebeck coefficients even at metallic carrier densities. This suggests a strategy of searching for other narrow band oxides that can be doped metallic with mobile carriers. Some possible avenues for finding such materials are suggested.

  3. Experimental Study and Optimization of Thermoelectricity-Driven Autonomous Sensors for the Chimney of a Biomass Power Plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez, A.; Astrain, D.; Martínez, A.; Aranguren, P.

    2014-06-01

    In the work discussed in this paper a thermoelectric generator was developed to harness waste heat from the exhaust gas of a boiler in a biomass power plant and thus generate electric power to operate a flowmeter installed in the chimney, to make it autonomous. The main objective was to conduct an experimental study to optimize a previous design obtained after computational work based on a simulation model for thermoelectric generators. First, several places inside and outside the chimney were considered as sites for the thermoelectricity-driven autonomous sensor. Second, the thermoelectric generator was built and tested to assess the effect of the cold-side heat exchanger on the electric power, power consumption by the flowmeter, and transmission frequency. These tests provided the best configuration for the heat exchanger, which met the transmission requirements for different working conditions. The final design is able to transmit every second and requires neither batteries nor electric wires. It is a promising application in the field of thermoelectric generation.

  4. Bulk dimensional nanocomposites for thermoelectric applications

    DOEpatents

    Nolas, George S

    2014-06-24

    Thermoelectric elements may be used for heat sensors, heat pumps, and thermoelectric generators. A quantum-dot or nano-scale grain size polycrystalline material the effects of size-quantization are present inside the nanocrystals. A thermoelectric element composed of densified Groups IV-VI material, such as calcogenide-based materials are doped with metal or chalcogenide to form interference barriers form along grains. The dopant used is either silver or sodium. These chalcogenide materials form nanoparticles of highly crystal grains, and may specifically be between 1- and 100 nm. The compound is densified by spark plasma sintering.

  5. Micro-Power Generation Characteristics of Thermoelectric Thin Film Devices Processed by Electrodeposition and Flip-Chip Bonding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, Kang-Je; Oh, Tae-Sung

    2015-06-01

    A thermoelectric thin film device of cross-plane configuration was fabricated by the flip-chip process using an anisotropic conductive adhesive. The Cu/Au bonding bumps electrodeposited on the Ti/Cu/Au electrodes in the top substrate were flip-chip bonded to the 242 pairs of the n-type Bi2Te3 and p-type Sb2Te3 thin film legs electrodeposited on the Ti/Cu/Au electrodes in the bottom substrate. Using the output voltage-current curve, the internal resistance of the thin film device was measured to be 21.4 ? at temperature differences of 9.8-39.7 K across the device. The thin film device exhibited an open-circuit voltage of 320 mV and a maximum output power of 1.1 mW with a power density of 3.84 mW/cm2 at a temperature difference of 39.7 K applied across the thin film device.

  6. Compact neutron generator developement and applications

    SciTech Connect

    Leung, Ka-Ngo; Reijonen, Jani; Gicquel, Frederic; Hahto, Sami; Lou, Tak-Pui

    2004-01-18

    The Plasma and Ion Source Technology Group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been engaging in the development of high yield compact neutron generators for the last ten years. Because neutrons in these generators are formed by using either D-D, T-T or D-T fusion reaction, one can produce either mono-energetic (2.4 MeV or 14 MeV) or white neutrons. All the neutron generators being developed by our group utilize 13.5 MHz RF induction discharge to produce a pure deuterium or a mixture of deuterium-tritium plasma. As a result, ion beams with high current density and almost pure atomic ions can be extracted from the plasma source. The ion beams are accelerated to {approx}100 keV and neutrons are produced when the beams impinge on a titanium target. Neutron generators with different configurations and sizes have been designed and tested at LBNL. Their applications include neutron activation analysis, oil-well logging, boron neutron capture therapy, brachytherapy, cargo and luggage screening. A novel small point neutron source has recently been developed for radiography application. The source size can be 2 mm or less, making it possible to examine objects with sharper images. The performance of these neutron generators will be described in this paper.

  7. Thermoelectric and Thermionic Conversion Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mondt, J. F.; Ambrus, J. H.

    1984-01-01

    Applied research and technology efforts in thermoelectric and thermionic programs were recommended that will enable space power systems for the nation's future space missions. Specifically it was argued that the effort in thermoelectric materials technology be broadened with the objective of obtaining a material with a Figure of Merit greater than 1.0 x 10(-3)/K for hot junction temperatures of 1100 to 1500 K. The recommended effort in thermionics is to pursue technology programs that will result in an understanding and lifetime prediction methodologies for fuel-emitter and sheath-insulator behavior as a function of operating time and temperature. Also it is recommended that an effort be initiated that combines the thermoelectric, thermionic and power electronic technologies into a program to develop the technology for high temperature, high radiation resistant, and high current electronic switches.

  8. Thermoelectric materials and devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Park, Yeonjoon (Inventor); Choi, Sang H. (Inventor); King, Glen C. (Inventor); Elliott, James R. (Inventor); Talcott, Noel A. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    New thermoelectric materials comprise highly [111]-oriented twinned group IV alloys on the basal plane of trigonal substrates, which exhibit a high thermoelectric figure of merit and good material performance, and devices made with these materials.

  9. Thermoelectric Powered Wireless Sensors for Dry-Cask Storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carstens, Thomas Alan

    This study focuses on the development of self-powered wireless sensors. These sensors can be used to measure key parameters in extreme environments; e.g., temperature monitoring for spent nuclear fuel during dry-cask storage. This study has developed a design methodology for these self-powered monitoring systems. The main elements that constitute this work consist of selecting and testing a power source for the wireless sensor, determination of the attenuation of the wireless signal, and testing the wireless sensor circuitry in an extreme environment. OrigenArp determined the decay heat and gamma/neutron source strength of the spent fuel throughout the service life of the dry-cask. A first principles analysis modeled the temperatures inside the dry-cask. A finite-element heat transfer code calculated the temperature distribution of the thermoelectric and heat sink. The temperature distributions determine the power produced by the thermoelectric. It was experimentally verified that a thermoelectric generator (HZ-14) with a DC/DC converter (Linear Technology LTC3108EDE) can power a transceiver (EmbedRF) at condition which represent prototypical conditions throughout and beyond the service life of the dry-cask. The wireless sensor is required to broadcast with enough power to overcome the attenuation from the dry-cask. It will be important to minimize the attenuation of the signal in order to broadcast with a small transmission power. To investigate the signal transmission through the dry-cask, CST Microwave Studio was used to determine the scattering parameter S2,1 for a horizontal dry-cask. Important parameters that can influence the transmission of the signal are antenna orientation, antenna placement, and transmission frequency. The thermoelectric generator, DC/DC converter, and transceiver were exposed to 60Co gamma radiation (exposure rate170.3 Rad/min) at the University of Wisconsin Medical Radiation Research Center. The effects of gamma radiation on the thermoelectric voltage, DC/DC converter voltage, relative signal strength indicator, and counter number were measured and compared. The analysis estimates that a thermoelectric generator can produce enough power for a wireless sensor to function and transmit data from inside the dry-cask throughout its service life and beyond. Some of the electronics for the wireless sensor need to be properly protected to ensure it will function in an extreme environment.

  10. Development of a NASA standard gas generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bement, Laurence J.; Karp, Harold; Schimmel, Morry L.

    1993-01-01

    The goals of the NASA Standard Gas Generator (NSGG) Program are to create a NASA standard gas generating cartridge, characterize its performance, and make it readily available to users. A cartridge within the same envelope as the NASA Standard Initiator (NSI) has the greatest potential use. This potential use is described in viewgraph form. Our approach for NSGG development and qualification was planned to be conducted in several phases. Test methods were developed to evaluate output performance for a variety of potential applications. A feasibility study using modified NSI's was accomplished. Preliminary and final development will be conducted with a delta qualification to evaluate the effects of manufacturing lots and environments. Feasibility study results, feasibility study conclusions, and future plans are presented.

  11. The F1 Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) : a Power Subsystem Enabler for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Loren; Moreno, Victor; Zimmerman, Robert

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft carrying the Curiosity rover launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) on November 26, 2011. Following an 8.5-month cruise and after a successful Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) phase, the Curiosity rover arrived at the surface of Mars on August 6, 2012 UTC. At the core of the Curiosity rover power subsystem is the F1 Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) supplied by the Department of Energy. Integration of the F1 MMRTG into the MSL spacecraft has provided the first opportunity to architect a power subsystem that also included a Solar Array (during the cruise phase of the mission and up to the initial stage of the EDL phase) and secondary Li-ion batteries for operation during the planned one Martian year surface phase of the mission. This paper describes the F1 MMRTG functional features as an enabler of the MSL mission and as a novel component of the MSL power subsystem architecture.

  12. Radioisotope Power System Delivery, Ground Support and Nuclear Safety Implementation: Use of the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator for the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    S.G. Johnson; K.L. Lively; C.C. Dwight

    2014-07-01

    Radioisotope power systems have been used for over 50 years to enable missions in remote or hostile environments. They are a convenient means of supplying a few milliwatts up to a few hundred watts of useable, long-term electrical power. With regard to use of a radioisotope power system, the transportation, ground support and implementation of nuclear safety protocols in the field is a complex process that requires clear identification of needed technical and regulatory requirements. The appropriate care must be taken to provide high quality treatment of the item to be moved so it arrives in a condition to fulfill its missions in space. Similarly it must be transported and managed in a manner compliant with requirements for shipment and handling of special nuclear material. This presentation describes transportation, ground support operations and implementation of nuclear safety and security protocols for a radioisotope power system using recent experience involving the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator for National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Mars Science Laboratory, which launched in November of 2011.

  13. Impact of In Situ Generated Ag2Te Nanoparticles on the Microstructure and Thermoelectric Properties of AgSbTe2 Compounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, B.; Xu, J.; Zhang, W.; Tang, X.

    2011-05-01

    A series of ternary (Ag2Te) x (Sb2Te3)100- x ( x = 44 to 54) bulk materials with in situ generated Ag2Te nanoparticles were prepared from high-purity elements by combining the melt-quench technique with the spark plasma sintering technique. The influence of the Ag2Te nanoparticles on the thermoelectric transport properties, and the mechanism of nanoparticle formation were investigated. With increasing x, the concentration of the Ag2Te nanoparticles increased monotonically, but their diameter remained nearly unchanged. Due to the possible carrier energy filtering effect caused by the Ag2Te nanoparticle inclusions, the Seebeck coefficient of the sample with x = 50 was two times higher than that of the sample prepared by the melting method. Moreover, notable scattering of mid-to-long wavelength phonons arising from the evenly distributed Ag2Te nanoparticles led to a large reduction of the lattice thermal conductivity. All these effects led to the enhancement of the ZT value of the x = 50 sample (AgSbTe2) compared with the single-phase sample ( x = 44).

  14. Development of W-Ta generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    This research program was used to further develop the existing W-Ta generator and to evaluate alternative adsorbents, preferably inorganic materials, as supports for the generator. During the first half year, combinations of non-complexing eluents and a variety of adsorbents, both inorganic and organic, were evaluated. Some of these adsorbents were synthetic, such as chelate resins that could be specific for tungsten. In the second half of the year, the stress was mainly on the use of complexing eluents because of the high affinity of hydrous oxides for tantalum, on the synthesis of chelate resins and on the use novel techniques (electrolytic) to solve the tantalum-adsorption problem.

  15. Physical, Mechanical, and Structural Properties of Highly Efficient Nanostructured n- and p-Silicides for Practical Thermoelectric Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelbstein, Yaniv; Tunbridge, Jonathan; Dixon, Richard; Reece, Mike J.; Ning, Huanpo; Gilchrist, Robert; Summers, Richard; Agote, Iñigo; Lagos, Miguel A.; Simpson, Kevin; Rouaud, Cedric; Feulner, Peter; Rivera, Sergio; Torrecillas, Ramon; Husband, Mark; Crossley, Julian; Robinson, Ivan

    2014-06-01

    Cost-effective highly efficient nanostructured n-type Mg2Si1- x Sn x and p-type higher manganese silicide (HMS) compositions were prepared for the development of practical waste heat generators for automotive and marine thermoelectric applications, in the frame of the European Commission (EC)-funded PowerDriver project. The physical, mechanical, and structural properties were fully characterized as part of a database-generation exercise required for the thermoelectric converter design. A combination of high maximal ZT values of ˜0.6 and ˜1.1 for the HMS and Mg2Si1- x Sn x compositions, respectively, and adequate mechanical properties was obtained.

  16. Device testing and characterization of thermoelectric nanocomposites

    E-print Network

    Muto, Andrew (Andrew Jerome)

    2008-01-01

    It has become evident in recent years that developing clean, sustainable energy technologies will be one of the world's greatest challenges in the 21st century. Thermoelectric materials can potentially make a contribution ...

  17. Thermoelectric standardisation - Reference materials and characterisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziolkowski, P.; Blaschkewitz, P.; Stiewe, C.; Karpinski, G.; Müller, E.

    2012-06-01

    Thermoelectric materials for working temperatures between 300 K and 1000 K become continuously more important for energy recuperation applications. The efficiency is determined by the transport properties (electrical and thermal conductivity and Seebeck coefficient), which form the known thermoelectric figure of merit ZT. The thorough determination of ZT represents the basis for the assessment of thermoelectric materials research. Due to different continuing difficulties measurement errors distinctly higher than 15% can be observed repeatedly, which is still too high for an industrial benchmark and deficient for many scientific investigations and technological developments. Against this background a project was launched in 2011 together with the Fraunhofer Institute of Physical Measurement Techniques (IPM, Freiburg), the Department Temperature of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB, Berlin) and the company Netzsch Gerätebau GbmH (Selb). The aim of the project "Thermoelectric Standardisation" (TEST) is to minimise the measurement uncertainties and to develop traceable, high-accurate thermoelectric characterisation techniques and thermoelectric reference materials for the mentioned temperature range. Here we initially present the project to the thermoelectric society and want to give a survey on the planned activities and the current status of the contributions of the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Cologne).

  18. www.ceramics.org | American Ceramic Society Bulletin, Vol. 91, No. 334 thermoelectric

    E-print Network

    McGaughey, Alan

    www.ceramics.org | American Ceramic Society Bulletin, Vol. 91, No. 334 Modeling thermoelectric. Thermoelectric devices have the advantage of containing no moving parts, making them quiet, durable and reliable that thermoelectric devic- es can compete with traditional refrigeration and power generation technologies.1

  19. Brittle Failure Mechanism in Thermoelectric Skutterudite CoSb3 Guodong Li,,,

    E-print Network

    Goddard III, William A.

    Brittle Failure Mechanism in Thermoelectric Skutterudite CoSb3 Guodong Li,,,§ Qi An,,§ Wenjuan Li thermoelectric efficiency, but the low fracture strength is a serious consideration for commercial applications they have little effect on the Sb-rings. 1. INTRODUCTION Thermoelectric (TE) power generation devices

  20. Rational Synthesis of Ultrathin n-Type Bi2Te3 Nanowires with Enhanced Thermoelectric Properties

    E-print Network

    Chen, Yong P.

    Rational Synthesis of Ultrathin n-Type Bi2Te3 Nanowires with Enhanced Thermoelectric Properties in high yield (up to 93%). Thermoelectric properties of bulk pellets fabricated by compressing-based thermoelectric power generation and solid-state cooling devices with superior performance in a reliable

  1. Materials for high-temperature thermoelectric conversion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, R. S.; Elwell, D.; Auld, B. A.

    1984-01-01

    The development of materials for high temperature thermoelectric energy conversion devices was investigated. The development of new criteria for the selection of materials which is based on understanding of the fundamental principles governing the behavior of high temperature thermoelectric materials is discussed. The synthesis and characterization of promising new materials and the growth of single crystals to eliminate possible problems associated with grain boundaries and other defects in polycrystalline materials are outlined.

  2. Thermoelectric microdevice fabricated by a MEMS-like electrochemical process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, G. Jeffrey; Lim, James R.; Huang, Chen-Kuo; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre

    2003-01-01

    Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are the basis of many rapidly growing technologies, because they combine miniature sensors and actuators with communications and electronics at low cost. Commercial MEMS fabrication processes are limited to silicon-based materials or two-dimensional structures. Here we show an inexpensive, electrochemical technique to build MEMS-like structures that contain several different metals and semiconductors with three-dimensional bridging structures. We demonstrate this technique by building a working microthermoelectric device. Using repeated exposure and development of multiple photoresist layers, several different metals and thermoelectric materials are fabricated in a three-dimensional structure. A device containing 126 n-type and p-type (Bi, Sb)2Te3 thermoelectric elements, 20 microm tall and 60 microm in diameter with bridging metal interconnects, was fabricated and cooling demonstrated. Such a device should be of technological importance for precise thermal control when operating as a cooler, and for portable power when operating as a micro power generator.

  3. Thermoelectrics: Impacts on the Environment and Sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patyk, Andreas

    2010-09-01

    Energy saving in power generation, industry, transport, and residential applications by using waste heat with thermoelectrics (TE) may be important for an environmentally sound and sustainable energy system. It is probable that operable TE generators (TEG) will be developed for numerous applications and will save energy and reduce CO2 emissions from plants. However, the environmental profile of a technology is not sufficiently described by just the energy and CO2 inputs and outputs of the core process. Necessary preceding and subsequent processes, other environmental impacts, and competing technologies have to be considered as well. Furthermore, sustainability covers aspects beyond environmental soundness. So far, comprehensive studies on TE and the environment/sustainability have not been available. In this paper, the following selected aspects are discussed: resource availability, specific energy consumption of TEG production, specific energy and CO2 savings in different application fields by TE and competing technologies, and the global potential of TE.

  4. Future development of large superconducting generators

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, S.K.; Mole, C.J.

    1989-03-01

    Large superconducting generators are being developed worldwide. The use of superconductors to reduce the electrical power dissipation in power equipment has been a technological possibility ever since the discovery of superconductivity, even though their use in power equipment remained an impractical dream for a long time. However, scientific and technological progress in superconductivity and cryogenics has brought this dream much closer to reality. Results obtained so far establish the technical feasibility of these machines. Analytical developments have been providing a sound basis for the design of superconducting machines and results of these design studies have shown improvements in power density of up to a factor of 10 higher than the power density for conventional machines. This paper describes the recently completed USA programs, the current foreign and USA programs, and then proposes a USA development program to maintain leadership in the field.

  5. Development of a 500-Watt portable generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knochenhauer, Robert John

    In many commercial and recreational environments where power is unavailable, there is a need for lightweight, efficient, reasonably priced and quiet power sources that can recharge batteries for various portable devices. The current benchmark device is the Honda EU1000i, a 1000-Watt (peak) generator that weighs only 29 pounds (dry) and has a respectable noise level of 59 dB (at 7 meters) under peak power loading. The intent of this thesis study is to focus on the thermal management of a novel generator design that develops peak power of 500-Watts, weighs in at less than 20 pounds (dry) and has a reasonably low noise level at peak power loading. Through the course of this assessment, two key lessons are learned: • Liquid cooling at this scale is possible, but not practical • Renewable power sources (wind turbines and/or solar panels) are viable alternatives when used in environments that offer suitable conditions.

  6. Review of solar thermoelectric energy conversion and analysis of a two cover flat-plate solar collector

    E-print Network

    Hasan, Atiya

    2007-01-01

    The process of solar thermoelectric energy conversion was explored through a review of thermoelectric energy generation and solar collectors. Existing forms of flat plate collectors and solar concentrators were surveyed. ...

  7. Development of a Thermal Conductivity Measurement System Using the 3 ? Method and Application to Thermoelectric Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishino, Shunsuke; Koyano, Mikio; Suekuni, Koichiro; Ohdaira, Keisuke

    2014-06-01

    For this study, we developed a thermal conductivity, ?, measurement system using 3 ? method. We checked the system accuracy by measuring ? for a glass substrate (1737; Corning). Conventional evaporated aluminum wire and ink-jet printed silver wire were used as sensor wires. The system realized a ? measurement of glass within 10 % error. We estimated ? of aggregated p-type (Bi1- x Sb x )2Te3 particles using a two heat flow model. The estimated thermal conductivity of the sample ? sample are 0.06-0.27 WK-1 m-1, which is smaller than the bulk value.

  8. High-Temperature Thermoelectric Energy Conversion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, C.

    1987-01-01

    Theory of thermoelectric energy conversion at high temperatures and status of research on conversion materials reviewed in report. Shows highest values of thermoelectric figure of merit, Z, found in semiconductor materials. Semiconductors keep wide choice of elements and compounds. Electrical properties tailored to particular application by impurity doping and control of stoichiometry. Report develops definition of Z useful for comparing materials and uses it to evaluate potentials of different classes of materialsmetals, semiconductors, and insulators.

  9. Design and Development of Multi-Purpose CCD Camera System with Thermoelectric Cooling: Hardware

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Y.-W.; Byun, Y. I.; Rhee, J. H.; Oh, S. H.; Kim, D. K.

    2007-12-01

    We designed and developed a multi-purpose CCD camera system for three kinds of CCDs; KAF-0401E(768×512), KAF-1602E(1536×1024), KAF-3200E(2184×1472) made by KODAK Co.. The system supports fast USB port as well as parallel port for data I/O and control signal. The packing is based on two stage circuit boards for size reduction and contains built-in filter wheel. Basic hardware components include clock pattern circuit, A/D conversion circuit, CCD data flow control circuit, and CCD temperature control unit. The CCD temperature can be controlled with accuracy of approximately 0.4° C in the max. range of temperature, ? 33° C. This CCD camera system has with readout noise 6 e^{-}, and system gain 5 e^{-}/ADU. A total of 10 CCD camera systems were produced and our tests show that all of them show passable performance.

  10. A Thermoelectric Waste-Heat-Recovery System for Portland Cement Rotary Kilns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Qi; Li, Peng; Cai, Lanlan; Zhou, Pingwang; Tang, Di; Zhai, Pengcheng; Zhang, Qingjie

    2015-06-01

    Portland cement is produced by one of the most energy-intensive industrial processes. Energy consumption in the manufacture of Portland cement is approximately 110-120 kWh ton-1. The cement rotary kiln is the crucial equipment used for cement production. Approximately 10-15% of the energy consumed in production of the cement clinker is directly dissipated into the atmosphere through the external surface of the rotary kiln. Innovative technology for energy conservation is urgently needed by the cement industry. In this paper we propose a novel thermoelectric waste-heat-recovery system to reduce heat losses from cement rotary kilns. This system is configured as an array of thermoelectric generation units arranged longitudinally on a secondary shell coaxial with the rotary kiln. A mathematical model was developed for estimation of the performance of waste heat recovery. Discussions mainly focus on electricity generation and energy saving, taking a ?4.8 × 72 m cement rotary kiln as an example. Results show that the Bi2Te3-PbTe hybrid thermoelectric waste-heat-recovery system can generate approximately 211 kW electrical power while saving 3283 kW energy. Compared with the kiln without the thermoelectric recovery system, the kiln with the system can recover more than 32.85% of the energy that used to be lost as waste heat through the kiln surface.

  11. Crystal Lattice Controlled SiGe Thermoelectric Materials with High Figure of Merit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Hyun-Jung; Park, Yeonjoon; King, Glen C.; Lee, Kunik; Choi, Sang H.

    2010-01-01

    Direct energy conversion between thermal and electrical energy, based on thermoelectric (TE) effect, has the potential to recover waste heat and convert it to provide clean electric power. The energy conversion efficiency is related to the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT expressed as ZT=S(exp 2)(sigma)T/Kappa, T is temperature, S is the Seebeck coefficient, sigma is conductance and Kappa is thermal conductivity. For a lower thermal conductivity Kappa and high power factor (S(exp 2)(sigma)), our current strategy is the development of rhombohedrally strained single crystalline SiGe materials that are highly [111]-oriented twinned. The development of a SiGe "twin lattice structure (TLS)" plays a key role in phonon scattering. The TLS increases the electrical conductivity and decreases thermal conductivity due to phonon scattering at stacking faults generated from the 60 X rotated primary twin structure. To develop high performance materials, the substrate temperature, chamber working pressure, and DC sputtering power are controlled for the aligned growth production of SiGe layer and TLS on a c-plane sapphire. Additionally, a new elevated temperature thermoelectric characterization system, that measures the thermal diffusivity and Seebeck effect nondestructively, was developed. The material properties were characterized at various temperatures and optimized process conditions were experimentally determined. The present paper encompasses the technical discussions toward the development of thermoelectric materials and the measurement techniques.

  12. Thermoelectric materials having porosity

    DOEpatents

    Heremans, Joseph P.; Jaworski, Christopher M.; Jovovic, Vladimir; Harris, Fred

    2014-08-05

    A thermoelectric material and a method of making a thermoelectric material are provided. In certain embodiments, the thermoelectric material comprises at least 10 volume percent porosity. In some embodiments, the thermoelectric material has a zT greater than about 1.2 at a temperature of about 375 K. In some embodiments, the thermoelectric material comprises a topological thermoelectric material. In some embodiments, the thermoelectric material comprises a general composition of (Bi.sub.1-xSb.sub.x).sub.u(Te.sub.1-ySe.sub.y).sub.w, wherein 0.ltoreq.x.ltoreq.1, 0.ltoreq.y.ltoreq.1, 1.8.ltoreq.u.ltoreq.2.2, 2.8.ltoreq.w.ltoreq.3.2. In further embodiments, the thermoelectric material includes a compound having at least one group IV element and at least one group VI element. In certain embodiments, the method includes providing a powder comprising a thermoelectric composition, pressing the powder, and sintering the powder to form the thermoelectric material.

  13. A Design and Development of Multi-Purpose CCD Camera System with Thermoelectric Cooling: Software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, S. H.; Kang, Y. W.; Byun, Y. I.

    2007-12-01

    We present a software which we developed for the multi-purpose CCD camera. This software can be used on the all 3 types of CCD - KAF-0401E (768×512), KAF-1602E (15367times;1024), KAF-3200E (2184×1472) made in KODAK Co.. For the efficient CCD camera control, the software is operated with two independent processes of the CCD control program and the temperature/shutter operation program. This software is designed to fully automatic operation as well as manually operation under LINUX system, and is controled by LINUX user signal procedure. We plan to use this software for all sky survey system and also night sky monitoring and sky observation. As our results, the read-out time of each CCD are about 15sec, 64sec, 134sec for KAF-0401E, KAF-1602E, KAF-3200E., because these time are limited by the data transmission speed of parallel port. For larger format CCD, the data transmission is required more high speed. we are considering this control software to one using USB port for high speed data transmission.

  14. Development of a portable thermophotovoltaic power generator

    SciTech Connect

    Becker, F.E.; Doyle, E.F.; Shukla, K.

    1997-03-01

    A 150 Watt thermophotovoltaic (TPV) power generator is being developed. The technical approach taken in the design focused on optimizing the integrated performance of the primary subsystems in order to yield high energy conversion efficiency and cost effectiveness. An important aspect of the approach is the use of a selective emitter radiating to a bandgap matched photovoltaic array to minimize thermal and optical recuperation requirements, as well as the non-recoverable heat losses. For the initial prototype system, fibrous ytterbia emitters radiating in a band centered at 980 nm are matched with high efficiency silicon photoconverters. The integrated system includes a dielectric stack filter for optical energy recovery and a ceramic recuperator for thermal energy recovery. The system has been operated with air preheat temperatures up to 1350K. The design of the system and development status are presented. {copyright} {ital 1997 American Institute of Physics.}

  15. High Performance Oxides-Based Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Guangkun; Lan, Jinle; Zeng, Chengcheng; Liu, Yaochun; Zhan, Bin; Butt, Sajid; Lin, Yuan-Hua; Nan, Ce-Wen

    2015-01-01

    Thermoelectric materials have attracted much attention due to their applications in waste-heat recovery, power generation, and solid state cooling. In comparison with thermoelectric alloys, oxide semiconductors, which are thermally and chemically stable in air at high temperature, are regarded as the candidates for high-temperature thermoelectric applications. However, their figure-of-merit ZT value has remained low, around 0.1-0.4 for more than 20 years. The poor performance in oxides is ascribed to the low electrical conductivity and high thermal conductivity. Since the electrical transport properties in these thermoelectric oxides are strongly correlated, it is difficult to improve both the thermoelectric power and electrical conductivity simultaneously by conventional methods. This review summarizes recent progresses on high-performance oxide-based thermoelectric bulk-materials including n-type ZnO, SrTiO3, and In2O3, and p-type Ca3Co4O9, BiCuSeO, and NiO, enhanced by heavy-element doping, band engineering and nanostructuring.

  16. Ultrasonic examination techniques for multicouple thermoelectric subcomponents and assemblies: Status report

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, K.V.; McClung, R.W.; Simpson, W.A. Jr.; Cunningham, R.A. Jr.

    1986-09-01

    Since the early 1960s, the United States has been using radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), developed by the US Department of Energy and its predecessors, for a variety of environments including space. A recent concept in building RTGs uses modular components to allow for an advanced, lighter space mission generator that provides scaled power level outputs. The scalability feature of the modular isotopic thermoelectric generator (MITG) represents a major advance over earlier RTG designs. However, special problems are encountered in applying nondestructive testing methods because of the miniature size of parts that require inspection. This report describes the status of ultrasonic inspection methods being developed to examine the subcomponents and assemblies of the; MITG. The principal emphasis has been to evaluate various bonds between subcomponents using ultrasonic techniques that employ focused search units and a pulse-echo method.

  17. Thermoelectricity in atom-sized junctions at room temperatures.

    PubMed

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Morikawa, Takanori; Arima, Akihide; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2013-01-01

    Atomic and molecular junctions are an emerging class of thermoelectric materials that exploit quantum confinement effects to obtain an enhanced figure of merit. An important feature in such nanoscale systems is that the electron and heat transport become highly sensitive to the atomic configurations. Here we report the characterization of geometry-sensitive thermoelectricity in atom-sized junctions at room temperatures. We measured the electrical conductance and thermoelectric power of gold nanocontacts simultaneously down to the single atom size. We found junction conductance dependent thermoelectric voltage oscillations with period 2e(2)/h. We also observed quantum suppression of thermovoltage fluctuations in fully-transparent contacts. These quantum confinement effects appeared only statistically due to the geometry-sensitive nature of thermoelectricity in the atom-sized junctions. The present method can be applied to various nanomaterials including single-molecules or nanoparticles and thus may be used as a useful platform for developing low-dimensional thermoelectric building blocks. PMID:24270238

  18. Thermoelectricity in atom-sized junctions at room temperatures

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Morikawa, Takanori; Arima, Akihide; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2013-01-01

    Atomic and molecular junctions are an emerging class of thermoelectric materials that exploit quantum confinement effects to obtain an enhanced figure of merit. An important feature in such nanoscale systems is that the electron and heat transport become highly sensitive to the atomic configurations. Here we report the characterization of geometry-sensitive thermoelectricity in atom-sized junctions at room temperatures. We measured the electrical conductance and thermoelectric power of gold nanocontacts simultaneously down to the single atom size. We found junction conductance dependent thermoelectric voltage oscillations with period 2e2/h. We also observed quantum suppression of thermovoltage fluctuations in fully-transparent contacts. These quantum confinement effects appeared only statistically due to the geometry-sensitive nature of thermoelectricity in the atom-sized junctions. The present method can be applied to various nanomaterials including single-molecules or nanoparticles and thus may be used as a useful platform for developing low-dimensional thermoelectric building blocks. PMID:24270238

  19. Thermoelectric generation device based on p-type Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3 and n-type Bi2Se0.6Te2.4 bulk materials prepared by solid state microwave synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadhim, A.; Hmood, A.; Abu Hassan, H.

    2013-07-01

    This study reports on the fabrication of a chalcogen-based thermoelectric power generation (TEG) device using p-type Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3 and n-type Bi2Se0.6Te2.4 bulk thermoelectric materials. The microstructure of the samples was characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The phase composition of the powders was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), revealing a rhombohedral structure. The thermoelectric (TE) properties such as the Seebeck coefficient (S) and the electrical conductivity (?) of the resulting alloys were studied in the temperature range of 300-523 K. The power factor (Pfactor) for a Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3 as p-type sample was found to be 4.96 mW/mK2 at 373 K, whereas 2.22 mW/mK2 was obtained at 383 K for a Bi2Se0.6Te2.4 as n-type sample. Electrical power generation characteristics such as high open circuit voltage (Voc) and maximum output power (Pmax) were monitored by changing the temperature conditions required to generate maximum power. The significance of the resistances including the internal resistance (Rin) and contact resistance (RC) between legs and electrodes, are discussed. The maximum output power obtained with the 9 p-n couples device was 39.4 mW under the thermal condition of TH=523 K hot side temperature and ?T=184 K temperature difference.

  20. Photo-controllable thermoelectric properties with reversibility and photo-thermoelectric effects of tungsten trioxide accompanied by its photochromic phenomenon

    SciTech Connect

    Azuma, Chiori; Kawano, Takuto; Kakemoto, Hirofumi; Irie, Hiroshi

    2014-11-07

    The addition of photo-controllable properties to tungsten trioxide (WO{sub 3}) is of interest for developing practical applications of WO{sub 3} as well as for interpreting such phenomena from scientific viewpoints. Here, a sputtered crystalline WO{sub 3} thin film generated thermoelectric power due to ultraviolet (UV) light-induced band-gap excitation and was accompanied by a photochromic reaction resulting from generating W{sup 5+} ions. The thermoelectric properties (electrical conductivity (?) and Seebeck coefficient (S)) and coloration of WO{sub 3} could be reversibly switched by alternating the external stimulus between UV light irradiation and dark storage. After irradiating the film with UV light, ? increased, whereas the absolute value of S decreased, and the photochromic (coloration) reaction was detected. Notably, the opposite behavior was exhibited by WO{sub 3} after dark storage, and this reversible cycle could be repeated at least three times. Moreover, photo-thermoelectric effects (photo-conductive effect (photo-conductivity, ?{sub photo}) and photo-Seebeck effect (photo-Seebeck coefficient, S{sub photo})) were also detected in response to visible-light irradiation of the colored WO{sub 3} thin films. Under visible-light irradiation, ?{sub photo} and the absolute value of S{sub photo} increased and decreased, respectively. These effects are likely attributable to the excitation of electrons from the mid-gap visible light absorption band (W{sup 5+} state) to the conduction band of WO{sub 3}. Our findings demonstrate that the simultaneous, reversible switching of multiple properties of WO{sub 3} thin film is achieved by the application of an external stimulus and that this material exhibits photo-thermoelectric effects when irradiated with visible-light.

  1. Photo-controllable thermoelectric properties with reversibility and photo-thermoelectric effects of tungsten trioxide accompanied by its photochromic phenomenon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azuma, Chiori; Kawano, Takuto; Kakemoto, Hirofumi; Irie, Hiroshi

    2014-11-01

    The addition of photo-controllable properties to tungsten trioxide (WO3) is of interest for developing practical applications of WO3 as well as for interpreting such phenomena from scientific viewpoints. Here, a sputtered crystalline WO3 thin film generated thermoelectric power due to ultraviolet (UV) light-induced band-gap excitation and was accompanied by a photochromic reaction resulting from generating W5+ ions. The thermoelectric properties (electrical conductivity (?) and Seebeck coefficient (S)) and coloration of WO3 could be reversibly switched by alternating the external stimulus between UV light irradiation and dark storage. After irradiating the film with UV light, ? increased, whereas the absolute value of S decreased, and the photochromic (coloration) reaction was detected. Notably, the opposite behavior was exhibited by WO3 after dark storage, and this reversible cycle could be repeated at least three times. Moreover, photo-thermoelectric effects (photo-conductive effect (photo-conductivity, ?photo) and photo-Seebeck effect (photo-Seebeck coefficient, Sphoto)) were also detected in response to visible-light irradiation of the colored WO3 thin films. Under visible-light irradiation, ?photo and the absolute value of Sphoto increased and decreased, respectively. These effects are likely attributable to the excitation of electrons from the mid-gap visible light absorption band (W5+ state) to the conduction band of WO3. Our findings demonstrate that the simultaneous, reversible switching of multiple properties of WO3 thin film is achieved by the application of an external stimulus and that this material exhibits photo-thermoelectric effects when irradiated with visible-light.

  2. Developing the Second Generation CMORPH: A Prototype

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Pingping; Joyce, Robert

    2014-05-01

    A prototype system of the second generation CMORPH is being developed at NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) to produce global analyses of 30-min precipitation on a 0.05deg lat/lon grid over the entire globe from pole to pole through integration of information from satellite observations as well as numerical model simulations. The second generation CMORPH is built upon the Kalman Filter based CMORPH algorithm of Joyce and Xie (2011). Inputs to the system include rainfall and snowfall rate retrievals from passive microwave (PMW) measurements aboard all available low earth orbit (LEO) satellites, estimates derived from infrared (IR) observations of geostationary (GEO) as well as LEO platforms, and precipitation simulations from numerical global models. First, precipitation estimation / retrievals from various sources are mapped onto a global grid of 0.05deg lat/lon and calibrated against a common reference field to ensure consistency in their precipitation rate PDF structures. The motion vectors for the precipitating cloud systems are then defined using information from both satellite IR observations and precipitation fields generated by the NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR). To this end, motion vectors are first computed from CFSR hourly precipitation fields through cross-correlation analysis of consecutive hourly precipitation fields on the global T382 (~35 km) grid. In a similar manner, separate processing is also performed on satellite IR-based precipitation estimates to derive motion vectors from observations. A blended analysis of precipitating cloud motion vectors is then constructed through the combination of CFSR and satellite-derived vectors with an objective analysis technique. Fine resolution mapped PMW precipitation retrievals are then separately propagated along the motion vectors from their respective observation times to the target analysis time from both forward and backward directions. The CMORPH high resolution precipitation analyses are finally constructed through the combination of propagated PMW retrievals with the IR based estimates for the target analysis time. This Kalman Filter based CMORPH processing is performed for rainfall and snowfall fields separately with the same motion vectors. Experiments have been conducted for two periods of two months each, July - August 2009, and January - February 2010, to explore the development of an optimal algorithm that generates global precipitation for summer and winter situations. Preliminary results demonstrated technical feasibility to construct global rainfall and snowfall analyses through the integration of information from multiple sources. More work is underway to refine various technical components of the system for operational applications of the system. Detailed results will be reported at the EGU meeting.

  3. Semiclassical model for thermoelectric transport in nanocomposites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Jun; Li, Xiaobo; Chen, Gang; Yang, Ronggui

    2010-09-01

    Nanocomposites (NCs) has recently been proposed and experimentally demonstrated to be potentially high-efficiency thermoelectric materials by reducing the thermal conductivity through phonon-interface scattering and possibly by increasing the Seebeck coefficient through energy-selective carrier scattering (low-energy filtering) or quantum-size effect of electrons. In this paper, we develop a Boltzmann transport equation based semiclassical electron transport model to describe the thermoelectric transport processes in semiconductor NCs. This model considers multiband transport of electrons and holes with both the intrinsic carrier scatterings and the carrier-interface scattering. A relaxation-time model is developed for carrier-interface scattering. After fitting the model with bulk thermoelectric alloys that gives reasonable material input parameters for bulk alloys, which are close to handbook values, the model is further validated by comparing the modeled thermoelectric properties with recently reported measurement values of thermoelectric properties in high efficiency NCs. The model is then applied to predict thermoelectric properties of both the particle-host-type and the particle-particle-type semiconductor NCs such as the p -type (BiySb2-yTe3)-(Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3) NCs and the n -type (Mg2SiyGe1-y)-(Mg2Si0.6Ge0.4) NCs. The dependence of thermoelectric transport coefficients on the size of nanoconstituent, doping concentration and temperature are studied. Our study could shed some light to optimally design high-efficiency thermoelectric NCs which could contribute to solar-thermal utilization or waste heat recovery.

  4. Progress report No. 41 for a program of thermoelectric generator testing and RTG degradation-mechanisms evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Shields, V.

    1981-09-01

    Sublimation tests conducted on Si/sub 3/N/sub 4/ coated SiGe (78%-22%) legs and SiMo hot shoes produced by G.E. were continued during this reporting period. The present test time for the SiGe legs is 1623 hours, while that for the SiMo hot-shoes is 1028 hours. No unexpected results have been observed. G.E.'s conjecture that the coatings on the SiGe legs which we presently have on test are faulty is confirmed, as this material has displayed coating failure on all n-doped samples at 1150/sup 0/C with failures beginning to show at 1100/sup 0/C. No coating failures have been observed on the hot shoes on test. Thermal conductivity tests conducted on SiGe (78% to 22%) material were extended to over 6000 hours with excellent agreement with MHW results. Testing of the 4 couple module PR-1 has been conducted for over 2,000 hours with similar agreement with past MHW tests. Testing of the Q1-A generator is continuing. The present test time is 33,632 hours. The performance of the generator remains smooth and continuous. Testing of the S/N-1 and S/N-3 eighteen couple modules has been extended to 35,105 hours and 32,403 hours, respectively. As with the Q1-A generator, the performance of these modules remains steady and smooth. Comparisons between computer predictions and the actual performance of the RTGs aboard the Voyager I and II spacecrafts has been extended to approximately four years. The agreement with prediction, in both cases, is within 0.5 percent. The corresponding comparisons for the LES-8 and LES-9 RTGs are for over five years with the same excellent agreement.

  5. Generation of an amorphous phase on surface of LiF by thermoelectric effect and its crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feodorov, Victor A.; Sterelukhin, Andrei A.; Karyev, Leonid G.

    2005-04-01

    Influence of an electric field and simultaneous heating on a condition of {0\\overbar 35}, {110} and {111} crystal surfaces of LiF was investigated. It was shown that the effect resulted in structural changes shown as a jelly uncertain form formations. Generation of the amorphous phase was caused by the change of stoichiometry and accumulation of a charge in superficial layers. Fast growth of crystals is a result of photoeffect. Crystallization of neoplasm at seasoning in full darkness is caused by a relaxation of a volumetric charge and restoration of stoichiometric structure.

  6. Miniature Radioisotope Thermoelectric Power Cubes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patel, Jagdish U.; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Snyder, G. Jeffrey; Caillat, Thierry

    2004-01-01

    Cube-shaped thermoelectric devices energized by a particles from radioactive decay of Cm-244 have been proposed as long-lived sources of power. These power cubes are intended especially for incorporation into electronic circuits that must operate in dark, extremely cold locations (e.g., polar locations or deep underwater on Earth, or in deep interplanetary space). Unlike conventional radioisotope thermoelectric generators used heretofore as central power sources in some spacecraft, the proposed power cubes would be small enough (volumes would range between 0.1 and 0.2 cm3) to play the roles of batteries that are parts of, and dedicated to, individual electronic-circuit packages. Unlike electrochemical batteries, these power cubes would perform well at low temperatures. They would also last much longer: given that the half-life of Cm-244 is 18 years, a power cube could remain adequate as a power source for years, depending on the power demand in its particular application.

  7. PIR security sensors: developing the next generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liddiard, Kevin C.

    2007-04-01

    Passive infrared (PIR) security sensors employ decades old pyroelectric technology for short range detection. This ubiquitous technology serves a major market which receives little attention in the international IR forum. It is, however, a market ripe for exploitation using modern IR sensor technology. In this paper a review will be made of various IR technologies, as applied to this application. It will be reasoned that three competing technologies have the potential to be successful in the short term: silicon resistance and diode microbolometers (two options of the former). An update will also be given on the development at Electro-optic Sensor Design (EOSD) of amorphous silicon microbolometer security sensor technology employing non-evacuated packaging and plastic optics. Establishment of a new generation PIR security sensor technology also paves the way for high performance low cost IR sensors for numerous short range applications.

  8. Hierarchically structured TiO2 for Ba-filled skutterudite with enhanced thermoelectric

    E-print Network

    Cao, Guozhong

    Hierarchically structured TiO2 for Ba-filled skutterudite with enhanced thermoelectric performance be considered. Thermoelectric (TE) materials are a very good candidate to achieve a more efficient usage performance of a thermoelectric material is governed by its power factor P ¼ S2 s. The challenge to develop

  9. Design Principle of Telluride-Based Nanowire Heterostructures for Potential Thermoelectric Applications

    E-print Network

    Chen, Yong P.

    Design Principle of Telluride-Based Nanowire Heterostructures for Potential Thermoelectric ABSTRACT: We present a design principle to develop new categories of telluride-based thermoelectric conductivity, which lead to an improved thermoelectric figure of merit. This approach opens up new platforms

  10. Characterizing the thermal efficiency of thermoelectric modules

    E-print Network

    Phillips, Samuel S

    2009-01-01

    An experimental setup was designed and utilized to measure the thermoelectric properties as functions of temperature of a commercially available, bismuth telluride thermoelectric module. Thermoelectric modules are solid ...

  11. Progress report No. 39 for a program of thermoelectric-generator testing and RTG degradation-mechanisms evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Lockwood, A.; Shields, V.

    1981-01-01

    Two neodymium selenide n-type legs and two new p-type Cu-Se legs have been set up for testing. Weight loss measurements for coated Si-Ge material produced by G.E. are reported. The coating on the n-type Si-Ge legs and the n-type side of the Si-Mo hot shoes has disappeared. The coating on the p-type side of the Si-Mo hot shoes has almost completely degraded. It is unlikely that the G.E. coatings have ever been effective. Thermal conductivity measurements are in agreement. The remaining MHW generator on test, Q1-A, has accumulated 28,600 hours and performance remains stable. The performance of the 18 couple modules remains stable. The S/N-1 module has accumulated 30,000 hours and the S/N-3 module has reached 27,300 hours. Telemetry data indicate no changes in the trends of degradation of LES 8 and 9 and the Voyager RTGs.

  12. Improved Thermal Behavior of Multiple Linked Arrays of Silicon Nanowires Integrated into Planar Thermoelectric Microgenerators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dávila, Diana; Tarancón, Albert; Calaza, Carlos; Salleras, Marc; Fernández-Regúlez, Marta; Paulo, Alvaro San; Fonseca, Luis

    2013-07-01

    Low-dimensional structures have been shown to be promising candidates for enhancing the thermoelectric properties of semiconductors, paving the way for integration of thermoelectric generators into silicon microtechnology. With this aim, dense arrays of well-oriented and size-controlled silicon nanowires (Si NWs) obtained by the chemical vapor deposition (CVD)-vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) mechanism have been implemented into microfabricated structures to develop planar unileg thermoelectric microgenerators ( ?TEGs). Different low-thermal-mass suspended structures have been designed and microfabricated on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates to operate as microthermoelements using p-type Si NW arrays as the thermoelectric material. To obtain nanowire arrays with effective lengths larger than normally attained by the VLS technique, structures composed of multiple ordered arrays consecutively bridged by transversal microspacers have been fabricated. The successive linkage of multiple Si NW arrays enabled the development of larger temperature differences while preserving good electrical contact. This gives rise to small internal thermoelement resistances, enhancing the performance of the devices as energy harvesters.

  13. Development of tungsten-tantalum generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leblanc, A.; Babich, J.; Jhingran, S. G.

    1985-01-01

    The purpose of this project was to develop a useable tungsten (W)/tantalum (Ta) generator. Ta-178 is formed following the decay of its parent, W-178 (half-life: 21.7d) and has a half life of 9.3 minutes in turn yielding stable Hf-178. The decay of the parent isotope (W-178) occurs entirely by electron capture to the 9.3 minute Ta-178 state, without feeding the high spin Ta-178 isomer (half life 2.2 hours). In Ta-178 decay, 99.2% of the disintegrations proceed by electron capture and 0.18% by positron emission. Electron capture results in a 61.2% branch to the ground state of Hf-178 and 33.7% to the first excited state at 93 1KeV. The most prominent features of the radionuclide's energy spectrum are the hafnium characteristic radiation peaks with energies between 54.6 and 65.0 KeV. The radiation exposure dose of Ta-118 was calculated to be approximately one-twentieth that of Tc-99m on a per millicurie basis. A twenty-fold reduction in radiation exposure from Ta-178 compared with Tc-99m means that the usual administered dose can be increased three or four times, greatly increasing statistical accuracy while reducing radiation exposure by a factor of five.

  14. Chiral thermoelectrics with quantum Hall edge states.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Rafael; Sothmann, Björn; Jordan, Andrew N

    2015-04-10

    The thermoelectric properties of a three-terminal quantum Hall conductor are investigated. We identify a contribution to the thermoelectric response that relies on the chirality of the carrier motion rather than on spatial asymmetries. The Onsager matrix becomes maximally asymmetric with configurations where either the Seebeck or the Peltier coefficients are zero while the other one remains finite. Reversing the magnetic field direction exchanges these effects, which originate from the chiral nature of the quantum Hall edge states. The possibility to generate spin-polarized currents in quantum spin Hall samples is discussed. PMID:25910147

  15. Chiral Thermoelectrics with Quantum Hall Edge States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez, Rafael; Sothmann, Björn; Jordan, Andrew N.

    2015-04-01

    The thermoelectric properties of a three-terminal quantum Hall conductor are investigated. We identify a contribution to the thermoelectric response that relies on the chirality of the carrier motion rather than on spatial asymmetries. The Onsager matrix becomes maximally asymmetric with configurations where either the Seebeck or the Peltier coefficients are zero while the other one remains finite. Reversing the magnetic field direction exchanges these effects, which originate from the chiral nature of the quantum Hall edge states. The possibility to generate spin-polarized currents in quantum spin Hall samples is discussed.

  16. Silicon nanowires as efficient thermoelectric materials.

    PubMed

    Boukai, Akram I; Bunimovich, Yuri; Tahir-Kheli, Jamil; Yu, Jen-Kan; Goddard, William A; Heath, James R

    2008-01-10

    Thermoelectric materials interconvert thermal gradients and electric fields for power generation or for refrigeration. Thermoelectrics currently find only niche applications because of their limited efficiency, which is measured by the dimensionless parameter ZT-a function of the Seebeck coefficient or thermoelectric power, and of the electrical and thermal conductivities. Maximizing ZT is challenging because optimizing one physical parameter often adversely affects another. Several groups have achieved significant improvements in ZT through multi-component nanostructured thermoelectrics, such as Bi(2)Te(3)/Sb(2)Te(3) thin-film superlattices, or embedded PbSeTe quantum dot superlattices. Here we report efficient thermoelectric performance from the single-component system of silicon nanowires for cross-sectional areas of 10 nm x 20 nm and 20 nm x 20 nm. By varying the nanowire size and impurity doping levels, ZT values representing an approximately 100-fold improvement over bulk Si are achieved over a broad temperature range, including ZT approximately 1 at 200 K. Independent measurements of the Seebeck coefficient, the electrical conductivity and the thermal conductivity, combined with theory, indicate that the improved efficiency originates from phonon effects. These results are expected to apply to other classes of semiconductor nanomaterials. PMID:18185583

  17. EIDA Next Generation: ongoing and future developments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strollo, Angelo; Quinteros, Javier; Sleeman, Reinoud; Trani, Luca; Clinton, John; Stammler, Klaus; Danecek, Peter; Pedersen, Helle; Ionescu, Constantin

    2015-04-01

    The European Integrated Data Archive (EIDA; http://www.orfeus-eu.org/eida/eida.html) is the distributed Data Centre system within ORFEUS, providing transparent access and services to high quality, seismic data across (currently) 9 large data archives in Europe. EIDA is growing, in terms of the number of participating data centres, the size of the archives, the variability of the data in the archives, the number of users, and the volume of downloads. The on-going success of EIDA is thus providing challenges that are the driving force behind the design of the next generation (NG) of EIDA, which is expected to be implemented within EPOS IP. EIDA ORFEUS must cope with further expansion of the system and more complex user requirements by developing new techniques and extended services. The EIDA NG is being designed to work on standard FDSN web services and two additional new web services: Routing Service and QC (quality controlled) service. This presentation highlights the challenges EIDA needs to address during the EPOS IP and focuses on these 2 new services. The Routing Service can be considered as the core of EIDA NG. It was designed to assist users and clients to locate data within a federated, decentralized data centre (e.g. EIDA). A detailed, FDSN-compliant specification of the service has been developed. Our implementation of this service will run at every EIDA node, but is also capable of running on a user's computer, allowing anyone to define virtual or integrate existing data centres. This (meta)service needs to be queried in order to locate the data. Some smart clients (in a beta status) have been also provided to offer the user an integrated view of the whole EIDA, hiding the complexity of its internal structure. The service is open and able to be queried by anyone without the need of credentials or authentication. The QC Service is developed to cope with user requirements to query for relevant data only. The web service provides detailed information on the contents of the waveform data in an archive and in particular the following features and quality parameters are provided: gaps, statistical values, availability, overlaps, quality flags and more. It is a tool to be used for quickly exploring the contents of the waveform files before downloading them, or by clients to fulfill user specific requirements. The API reflects almost identically the FDSN dataselect service with some additional features. The characteristics are computed on fixed daily intervals (day boundaries) and in case of gaps the service can additionally provide the above features for each continuous data segment in the day interval. The newly developed services and the mediator service being designed and implemented in the near future, will facilitate interoperability and sustainability of the EIDA system and ensure a smooth integration with other Thematic (TCS) and Integrated (ICS) Core Services within EPOS.

  18. In-line thermoelectric module

    DOEpatents

    Pento, Robert (Algonquin, IL); Marks, James E. (Glenville, NY); Staffanson, Clifford D. (S. Glens Falls, NY)

    2000-01-01

    A thermoelectric module with a plurality of electricity generating units each having a first end and a second end, the units being arranged first end to second end along an in-line axis. Each unit includes first and second elements each made of a thermoelectric material, an electrically conductive hot member arranged to heat one side of the first element, and an electrically conductive cold member arranged to cool another side of the first element and to cool one side of the second element. The hot member, the first element, the cold member and the second element are supported in a fixture, are electrically connected respectively to provide an electricity generating unit, and are arranged respectively in positions along the in-line axis. The individual components of each generating unit and the respective generating units are clamped in their in-line positions by a loading bolt at one end of the fixture and a stop wall at the other end of the fixture. The hot members may have a T-shape and the cold members an hourglass shape to facilitate heat transfer. The direction of heat transfer through the hot members may be perpendicular to the direction of heat transfer through the cold members, and both of these heat transfer directions may be perpendicular to the direction of current flow through the module.

  19. Atomically thick bismuth selenide freestanding single layers achieving enhanced thermoelectric energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yongfu; Cheng, Hao; Gao, Shan; Liu, Qinghua; Sun, Zhihu; Xiao, Chong; Wu, Changzheng; Wei, Shiqiang; Xie, Yi

    2012-12-19

    Thermoelectric materials can realize significant energy savings by generating electricity from untapped waste heat. However, the coupling of the thermoelectric parameters unfortunately limits their efficiency and practical applications. Here, a single-layer-based (SLB) composite fabricated from atomically thick single layers was proposed to optimize the thermoelectric parameters fully. Freestanding five-atom-thick Bi(2)Se(3) single layers were first synthesized via a scalable interaction/exfoliation strategy. As revealed by X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy and first-principles calculations, surface distortion gives them excellent structural stability and a much increased density of states, resulting in a 2-fold higher electrical conductivity relative to the bulk material. Also, the surface disorder and numerous interfaces in the Bi(2)Se(3) SLB composite allow for effective phonon scattering and decreased thermal conductivity, while the 2D electron gas and energy filtering effect increase the Seebeck coefficient, resulting in an 8-fold higher figure of merit (ZT) relative to the bulk material. This work develops a facile strategy for synthesizing atomically thick single layers and demonstrates their superior ability to optimize the thermoelectric energy harvesting. PMID:23214984

  20. Highly efficient functional GexPb1-xTe based thermoelectric alloys.

    PubMed

    Gelbstein, Yaniv; Davidow, Joseph

    2014-10-01

    Methods for enhancement of the direct thermal to electrical energy conversion efficiency, upon development of advanced thermoelectric materials, are constantly investigated mainly for efficient implementation of thermoelectric devices in automotive vehicles, for converting the waste heat generated in such engines into useful electrical power and thereby reduction of the fuel consumption and CO2 emission levels. It was recently shown that GeTe based compounds and specifically GeTe-PbTe rich alloys are efficient p-type thermoelectric compositions. In the current research, Bi2Te3 doping and PbTe alloying effects in GexPb1-xTe alloys, subjected to phase separation reactions, were investigated for identifying the phase separation potential for enhancement of the thermoelectric properties beyond a pure alloying effect. All of the investigated compositions exhibit maximal dimensionless figure of merit, ZT, values beyond 1, with the extraordinary value of 2.1 found for the 5% Bi2Te3 doped-Ge0.87Pb0.13Te composition, considered as among the highest ever reported. PMID:25133859

  1. Towards a Microbial Thermoelectric Cell

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Barreiro, Raúl; Abendroth, Christian; Vilanova, Cristina; Moya, Andrés; Porcar, Manuel

    2013-01-01

    Microbial growth is an exothermic process. Biotechnological industries produce large amounts of heat, usually considered an undesirable by-product. In this work, we report the construction and characterization of the first microbial thermoelectric cell (MTC), in which the metabolic heat produced by a thermally insulated microbial culture is partially converted into electricity through a thermoelectric device optimized for low ?T values. A temperature of 41°C and net electric voltage of around 250–600 mV was achieved with 1.7 L baker’s yeast culture. This is the first time microbial metabolic energy has been converted into electricity with an ad hoc thermoelectric device. These results might contribute towards developing a novel strategy to harvest excess heat in the biotechnology industry, in processes such as ethanol fermentation, auto thermal aerobic digestion (ATAD) or bioremediation, which could be coupled with MTCs in a single unit to produce electricity as a valuable by-product of the primary biotechnological product. Additionally, we propose that small portable MTCs could be conceived and inoculated with suitable thermophilic of hyperthermophilic starter cultures and used for powering small electric devices. PMID:23468862

  2. The best thermoelectric.

    PubMed Central

    Mahan, G D; Sofo, J O

    1996-01-01

    What electronic structure provides the largest figure of merit for thermoelectric materials? To answer that question, we write the electrical conductivity, thermopower, and thermal conductivity as integrals of a single function, the transport distribution. Then we derive the mathematical function for the transport distribution, which gives the largest figure of merit. A delta-shaped transport distribution is found to maximize the thermoelectric properties. This result indicates that a narrow distribution of the energy of the electrons participating in the transport process is needed for maximum thermoelectric efficiency. Some possible realizations of this idea are discussed. PMID:11607692

  3. Feasibility of Thermoelectrics for Waste Heat Recovery in Hybrid Vehicles: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, K.; Thornton, M.

    2007-12-01

    Using advanced materials, thermoelectric conversion of efficiencies on the order of 20% may be possible in the near future. Thermoelectric generators offer potential to increase vehicle fuel economy by recapturing a portion of the waste heat from the engine exhaust and generating electricity to power vehicle accessory or traction loads.

  4. Expansion Compression Contacts for Thermoelectric Legs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakamoto, Jeffrey

    2009-01-01

    In a proposed alternative to previous approaches to making hot-shoe contacts to the legs of thermoelectric devices, one relies on differential thermal expansion to increase contact pressures for the purpose of reducing the electrical resistances of contacts as temperatures increase. The proposed approach is particularly applicable to thermoelectric devices containing p-type (positive-charge-carrier) legs made of a Zintl compound (specifically, Yb14MnSb11) and n-type (negative charge-carrier) legs made of SiGe. This combination of thermoelectric materials has been selected for further development, primarily on the basis of projected thermoelectric performance. However, it is problematic to integrate, into a practical thermoelectric device, legs made of these materials along with a metal or semiconductor hot shoe that is required to be in thermal and electrical contact with the legs. This is partly because of the thermal-expansion mismatch of these materials: The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of SiGe is 4.5 x 10(exp -6) C (exp -1), while the CTE of Yb14MnSb11 is 20 x 10(exp -6) C(exp -1). Simply joining a Yb14MnSb11 and a SiGe leg to a common hot shoe could be expected to result in significant thermal stresses in either or both legs during operation. Heretofore, such thermal stresses have been regarded as disadvantageous. In the proposed approach, stresses resulting from the CTE mismatch would be turned to advantage.

  5. Bipolar thermoelectric devices

    E-print Network

    Pipe, Kevin P. (Kevin Patrick), 1976-

    2004-01-01

    The work presented here is a theoretical and experimental study of heat production and transport in bipolar electrical devices, with detailed treatment of thermoelectric effects. Both homojunction and heterojunction devices ...

  6. Feasibility of large-scale power plants based on thermoelectric effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Liping

    2014-12-01

    Heat resources of small temperature difference are easily accessible, free and enormous on the Earth. Thermoelectric effects provide the technology for converting these heat resources directly into electricity. We present designs for electricity generators based on thermoelectric effects that utilize heat resources of small temperature difference, e.g., ocean water at different depths and geothermal resources, and conclude that large-scale power plants based on thermoelectric effects are feasible and economically competitive. The key observation is that the power factor of thermoelectric materials, unlike the figure of merit, can be improved by orders of magnitude upon laminating good conductors and good thermoelectric materials. The predicted large-scale power generators based on thermoelectric effects, if validated, will have the advantages of the scalability, renewability, and free supply of heat resources of small temperature difference on the Earth.

  7. Thermoelectric property studies on carbon-60 doped P-type Bismuth(0.5)Antimony(1.5)Tellurium(3)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vemishetti, Aravindkumar

    Solid state cooling and power generation based on thermoelectric principles are regarded as one of the technologies with the potential of solving the current energy crisis. Thermoelectric devices could be widely used in waste heat recovery, small scale power generation and refrigeration. It has no moving parts and is environmental friendly. The limitation to its application is due to its low efficiency. Most of the current commercialized thermoelectric materials have a figure of merit (ZT) around 1. The performance of these materials depends on the dimensionless figure-of-merit ZT (= S2sigma T/ kappa), where S is the Seebeck coefficient; sigma is the electrical conductivity; kappa is the thermal conductivity; S2sigma is the power factor and T is the absolute temperature. In recent years, many studies have shown a significant enhancement of figure of merit by utilizing a nanostructuring approach to reduce the thermal conductivity by scattering ph onons more effectively than electrons. The research shows how using a low-cost and mass-production ball milling and hot press compaction nanocomposite process, can improve the power factor by 50% using a temperature range of 60 °C to 80 °C in p-type nanostructured Bi.5Sb1.5Te3 bulk alloys. Further research was developed by using the aforementioned novel approach for cost and time effectiveness by doping C60 to nanocomposite Bi.5Sb1.5Te 3 alloy to improve the figure of merit of thermoelectric materials. The improvement is mainly because of fullerene molecules that provide thermal phonon blocking and particular charge transfer in the nanocomposite. The molecules act as electron traps, and thus decrease the density of free electrons in n-type semiconductors and generate holes in p-type materials. These high performance materials have been investigated to get high efficiency from thermoelectric devices for waste heat recovery, power generation, and cooling applications.

  8. The Multex generator and its environment: application and development 1

    E-print Network

    The Multex generator and its environment: application and development 1 Christian MATI South Wales, Sydney 1. Multex a multimodal and multilingual generation system Theaim of this paper is to report on generation-oriented research conducted by the Systemic Meaning Modelling Group based

  9. IEEE POWER ELECTRONICS LETTERS, VOL. 3, NO. 2, JUNE 2005 63 Analysis of Thermoelectric Coolers by a

    E-print Network

    IEEE POWER ELECTRONICS LETTERS, VOL. 3, NO. 2, JUNE 2005 63 Analysis of Thermoelectric Coolers--The objective of this work was to develop a PSPICE-compatible equivalent circuit of a thermoelectric cooler (TEC, equivalent circuits, modeling, sim- ulation, temperature control, thermoelectric devices, thermoelec- tricity

  10. The Prospects of Organic Semiconductors for Thermoelectrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chabinyc, Michael

    2014-03-01

    Organic semiconductors have moved from a laboratory curiosity to commercial use in displays with organic light emitting diodes. In comparison to inorganic semiconductors, a remaining challenge for organic materials is the rational control of their electrical conductivity by doping. Due to the low lattice thermal conductivity of organic materials and their high electrical conductivities, organic semiconductors represent a promising class of solution processable thermoelectrics. The state of organic thermoelectrics and work from our lab on electrical doping of both p- and n- type semiconducting polymers will be discussed. The phase behavior of blends of semiconducting polymers and molecular dopants plays a critical role in their ultimate performance. Recent work on charge transfer doping and self-doping of polymers and molecular materials will be presented. Data mining from the literature along with results on recently developed materials systems suggests directions for optimization of organic thermoelectrics.

  11. Thermoelectric Properties of Selenides Spinels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, G.; Caillat, T.; Fleurial, J-P.

    2000-01-01

    Many compounds with the spinel structure type have been analyzed for their thermoelectric properties. Published data was used to augment experimental results presented here to select promising thermoelectric spinels.

  12. Next Generation LOCAD-PTS Cartridge Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, H.; Nutter, D.; Weite, E.; Wells, M.; Maule, J.; Damon, M.; Monaco, L.; Steele, A.; Wainwright, N.

    2008-01-01

    Future astrobiology exploration missions will require rapid, point-of-use techniques for surface science experiments and contamination monitoring. The Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development (LOCAD) team is developing operational instruments that advance spaceflight technologies to molecular-based methods. Currently, LOCAD-Portable Test System (PTS) is quantifying levels of the bacterial molecule endotoxin onboard the Internatioal Space Station. Future research and development will focus on more sensitive molecular techniques that expand the number of compounds detected to include beta-glucan from fungal cell walls.

  13. Thermoelectric control of shape memory alloy microactuators: a thermal model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abadie, J.; Chaillet, Nicolas; Lexcellent, Christian; Bourjault, Alain

    1999-06-01

    Microtechnologies and microsystems engineering use new active materials. These materials are interesting to realize microactuators and microsensors. In this category of materials, Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) are good candidates for microactuation. SMA wires, or thin plates, can be used as active material in microfingers. These microstructures are able to provide very important forces, but have low dynamic response, especially for cooling, in confined environment. The control of the SMA phase transformations, and then the mechanical power generation, is made by the temperature. The Joule effect is an easy and efficiency way to heat the SMA wires, but cooling is not so easy. The dynamic response of the actuator depends on cooling capabilities. The thermal convection and conduction are the traditional ways to cool the SMA, but have limitations for microsystems. We are looking for a reversible way of heating and cooling SMA microactuators, based on the thermoelectric effects. Using Peltier effect, a positive or a negative electrical courant is able to pump or produce heat, in the SMA actuator. A physical model based on thermal exchanges between a Nickel/Titanium (NiTi) SMA, and Bismuth/Telluride (Te3Bi2) thermoelectric material has been developed. For simulation, we use a numerical resolution of our model, with finite elements, which takes into account the Peltier effect, the Joule effect, the convection, the conduction and the phase transformation of the SMA. We have also developed the corresponding experimental system, with two thermoelectric junctions, where the SMA actuator is one of the element of each junction. In this paper, the physical model and its numerical resolution are given, the experimental system used to validate the model is described, and experimental results are shown.

  14. Transport of phonons and electrons in thermoelectric materials and graphene

    E-print Network

    Lee, Sangyeop

    2015-01-01

    Understanding transport of phonons and electrons plays a critical role in developing energy conversion and information devices. Thermoelectric materials, which directly convert heat to electricity or vice versa, require ...

  15. Computer optimization of reactor-thermoelectric space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maag, W. L.; Finnegan, P. M.; Fishbach, L. H.

    1973-01-01

    A computer simulation and optimization code that has been developed for nuclear space power systems is described. The results of using this code to analyze two reactor-thermoelectric systems are presented.

  16. Developing the next generation of nurse scientists.

    PubMed

    Burkhart, Patricia V; Hall, Lynne A

    2015-01-01

    This article describes an undergraduate nursing research internship program in which students are engaged in research with a faculty mentor. Since 2002, more than 130 undergraduate nursing students have participated. Interns coauthored publications, presented papers and posters at conferences, and received awards. This highly successful program provides a model that can be easily replicated to foster the development of future nurse scientists. PMID:25581434

  17. ZERO EMISSION POWER GENERATION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

    SciTech Connect

    Ronald Bischoff; Stephen Doyle

    2005-01-20

    Clean Energy Systems (CES) was previously funded by DOE's ''Vision 21'' program. This program provided a proof-of-concept demonstration that CES' novel gas generator (combustor) enabled production of electrical power from fossil fuels without pollution. CES has used current DOE funding for additional design study exercises which established the utility of the CES-cycle for retrofitting existing power plants for zero-emission operations and for incorporation in zero-emission, ''green field'' power plant concepts. DOE funding also helped define the suitability of existing steam turbine designs for use in the CES-cycle and explored the use of aero-derivative turbines for advanced power plant designs. This work is of interest to the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum & Energy. California's air quality districts have significant non-attainment areas in which CES technology can help. CEC is currently funding a CES-cycle technology demonstration near Bakersfield, CA. The Norwegian government is supporting conceptual studies for a proposed 40 MW zero-emission power plant in Stavager, Norway which would use the CES-cycle. The latter project is called Zero-Emission Norwegian Gas (ZENG). In summary, current engineering studies: (1) supported engineering design of plant subsystems applicable for use with CES-cycle zero-emission power plants, and (2) documented the suitability and availability of steam turbines for use in CES-cycle power plants, with particular relevance to the Norwegian ZENG Project.

  18. Thermoelectric transport phenomena in semiconducting nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornett, Jane

    The efficiencies of state-of-the-art thermoelectric devices made from bulk materials remain too low for widespread application. Early predictions by Hicks and Dresselhaus indicated that one potential route for improving the thermoelectric properties of materials was through nanostructuring. This predicted improvement was due to two effects: an increase in the thermoelectric power factor and a decrease in the lattice thermal conductivity. In this thesis, new models are developed for calculation of the thermoelectric transport properties of nanostructures. The results of these models are in line with what has been seen experimentally in the field of nanostructured thermoelectrics: the power factor of nanostructures falls below the bulk value for sizes accessible by current experimental techniques. While this is demonstrated first for a particular system (cylindrical InSb nanowires), this result is shown to hold true regardless of the dimensionality of the system, the material of interest or the temperature. Using the analytical forms of the transport properties of nanostructured systems, we derive universal scaling relations for the power factor which further point to the fundamental and general nature of this result. Calculations done for nanostructured systems in which the scattering time is a function of carrier energy indicate that the introduction of nanoscale grain boundaries can lead to improvements in the power factor. We present experimental methods for the fabrication and characterization of porous bismuth-antimony-telluride (Bi2-xSbxTe3 ) thin films using a templated deposition technique. Preliminary results from this experimental work indicate that the nanostructured morphology of the templates used for the deposition of porous films limits diffusion during grain growth, and thus the crystal structure of these porous films differs from that of films deposited on dense substrates. For fundamental investigation of the effects of porosity on thermoelectric transport, future studies should therefore focus on Bi2-xSbxTe3 thin films made by top-down patterning techniques.

  19. The thermoelectric properties of molecular junctions can now be investigated with scanning tunnelling microscopy. Such experiments provide insights into charge transport in single

    E-print Network

    Walsworth, Ronald L.

    The thermoelectric properties of molecular junctions can now be investigated with scanning . They used a scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) to investigate thermoelectricity -- the voltage generated that thermoelectric measurements by STM provide a solution to this problem MOLECULAR ELECTRONICS Charges feel the heat

  20. http://journals.cambridge.org Downloaded: 20 May 2013 IP address: 129.120.21.98 Bismuth telluride-based thermoelectric materials: Coatings as

    E-print Network

    North Texas, University of

    -based thermoelectric materials: Coatings as protection against thermal cycling effects Witold Brostow,a) Tea Datashvili June 2012; accepted 4 September 2012) Thermoelectric (TE) devices, both TE generators (TEGs) and TE operating temperature TE materials also. I. INTRODUCTION Solid-state thermoelectric (TE) devices

  1. -Based Thermoelectric Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Rahul P.; McCarty, Robin; Sharp, Jeff

    2014-06-01

    The impact of contact resistance on thermoelectric (TE) device performance grows more significant as devices are scaled down. To improve and understand the effects of contact resistance on bulk TE device performance, a reliable experimental measurement method is needed. There are many popular methods to extract contact resistance, but they are only well suited for measuring metal contacts on thin films and do not necessarily translate to measuring contact resistance on bulk TE materials. The authors present a measurement technique that precisely measures contact resistance on bulk TE materials by making and testing stacks of bulk, metal-coated TE wafers using TE industry-standard processes. An equation that uses the Z of the stacked device to extract the contact resistance is used to reduce the sensitivity to resistivity variations of the TE material. Another advantage of this technique is that it exploits realistic TE device manufacturing techniques and results in an almost device-like structure. The lowest contact resistivity measured was 1.1 × 10-6 ? cm2 and 1.3 × 10-6 ? cm2 for n- and p-type materials, respectively using a newly developed process at 300 K. The uncertainty in the contact resistivity values for each sample was 10% to 20%, which is quite good for measurements in the 10-6 ? cm2 range.

  2. Large-scale Ocean-based or Geothermal Power Plants by Thermoelectric Effects

    E-print Network

    Liu, Liping

    2012-01-01

    Heat resources of small temperature difference are easily accessible, free and unlimited on earth. Thermoelectric effects provide the technology for converting these heat resources directly into electricity. We present designs of electricity generators based on thermoelectric effects and using heat resources of small temperature difference, e.g., ocean water at different depths and geothermal sources, and conclude that large-scale power plants based on thermoelectric effects are feasible and economically competitive. The key observation is that the power factor of thermoelectric materials, unlike the figure of merit, can be improved by orders of magnitude upon laminating good conductors and good thermoelectric materials. The predicted large-scale power plants based on thermoelectric effects, if validated, will have a global economic and social impact for its scalability, and the renewability, free and unlimited supply of heat resources of small temperature difference on earth.

  3. Thermoelectric Properties as a Function of Electronic Band Structure and Microstructure of Textured Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacquot, A.; Farag, N.; Jaegle, M.; Bobeth, M.; Schmidt, J.; Ebling, D.; Böttner, H.

    2010-09-01

    A tool has been developed at Fraunhofer-IPM to calculate the transport properties of thermoelectric material by using its band structure described in terms of effective masses and the location of the ellipsoids in reciprocal space. The calculated transport properties are compared with experimental data measured on bismuth telluride, antimony telluride, and bismuth antimony telluride. Polycrystalline specimens have been prepared by spark plasma sintering (Fraunhofer-IFAM). Electron backscattering diffraction analysis of sample cross-sections yields the frequency distribution of grain orientations. This texture information permits the generation of appropriate finite-element models of the polycrystalline microstructure (TU Dresden). By means of the commercial code COMSOL, which allows anisotropic thermoelectric properties to be taken into account, the effective electrical and thermal conductivities as well as the Seebeck coefficient both parallel and perpendicular to the pressing direction have been calculated.

  4. Multilayered carbon nanotube/polymer composite based thermoelectric fabrics.

    PubMed

    Hewitt, Corey A; Kaiser, Alan B; Roth, Siegmar; Craps, Matt; Czerw, Richard; Carroll, David L

    2012-03-14

    Thermoelectrics are materials capable of the solid-state conversion between thermal and electrical energy. Carbon nanotube/polymer composite thin films are known to exhibit thermoelectric effects, however, have a low figure of merit (ZT) of 0.02. In this work, we demonstrate individual composite films of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNT)/polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) that are layered into multiple element modules that resemble a felt fabric. The thermoelectric voltage generated by these fabrics is the sum of contributions from each layer, resulting in increased power output. Since these fabrics have the potential to be cheaper, lighter, and more easily processed than the commonly used thermoelectric bismuth telluride, the overall performance of the fabric shows promise as a realistic alternative in a number of applications such as portable lightweight electronics. PMID:22316286

  5. Amplification and reversal of Knudsen force by thermoelectric heating

    SciTech Connect

    O'Neill, William J.; Wada, Mizuki; Strongrich, Andrew D.; Cofer, Anthony; Alexeenko, Alina A.

    2014-12-09

    We show that the Knudsen thermal force generated by a thermally-induced flow over a heated beam near a colder wall could be amplified significantly by thermoelectric heating. Bidirectional actuation is achieved by switching the polarity of the thermoelectric device bias voltage. The measurements of the resulting thermal forces at different rarefaction regimes, realized by changing geometry and gas pressure, are done using torsional microbalance. The repulsive or attractive forces between a thermoelectrically heated or cooled plate and a substrate are shown to be up to an order of magnitude larger than for previously studied configurations and heating methods due to favorable coupling of two thermal gradients. The amplification and reversal of the Knudsen force is confirmed by numerical solution of the Boltzmann-ESBGK kinetic model equation. Because of the favorable scaling with decreasing system size, the Knudsen force with thermoelectric heating offers a novel actuation and sensing mechanism for nano/microsystems.

  6. Thermoelectric detection of spin waves.

    PubMed

    Schultheiss, H; Pearson, J E; Bader, S D; Hoffmann, A

    2012-12-01

    We report on the thermoelectric detection of spin waves in Permalloy stripes via the anomalous Nernst effect. Spin waves are locally excited by a dynamic magnetic field generated from a microwave current flowing in a coplanar waveguide placed on top of a Permalloy stripe, which acts as a waveguide for spin waves. Electric contacts at the ends of the Permalloy stripe measure a dc voltage generated along the stripe. Magnetic field sweeps for different applied microwave frequencies reveal, with a remarkable signal-to-noise ratio, an electric voltage signature characteristic of spin-wave excitations. The symmetry of the signal with respect to the applied magnetic field direction indicates that the anomalous Nernst effect is responsible; Seebeck effects, anisotropic magnetoresistance, and voltages due to spin-motive forces are excluded. The dissipation of spin waves causes local heating that drains into the substrate, giving rise to a temperature gradient perpendicular to the sample plane, resulting in the anomalous Nernst voltage. PMID:23368257

  7. Developing the Next Generation of Geoscientists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparrow, E. B.; Kopplin, M. R.

    2012-12-01

    The Monitoring Seasons Through Global Learning Communities (Seasons and Biomes), an inquiry- and project- based program, works with K-12 teachers and their students worldwide to increase awareness and understanding of the Earth as a system, and the science process. Seasons and Biomes is one of four GLOBE (Global learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, www.globe.gov) earth system science projects. Seasons and Biomes engage students in ongoing research investigations as way of learning science. We do this by conducting for teachers, professional development workshops that incorporate science content, best teaching practices (that include inquiry, integrating science with math, language and art, authentic assessments, concept mapping), a model for student scientific research, and an earth system science approach. Teachers learn and practice standardized measurement protocols developed by GLOBE in the following areas of investigations: atmosphere, hydrology, soils, phenology and land cover/biology, as well as those developed by Seasons and Biomes on ice seasonality (freeze-up and break-up of rivers and lakes), active layer/depth of soil freezing (frost tube), mosquitoes (larvae abundance and identification of mosquito vectors for malaria and dengue fever) and plant invasive species. They also learn how to enter data as well as access data on the GLOBE website. Teachers in turn teach and work with their students in doing authentic science, contribute data to ongoing research as well as conduct their own studies. During the workshops we also provide guidance and opportunity for early career scientists to share their research, work with teachers and mentor them as well as to develop measurement protocols pertinent to their research. Similarly we work with GLOBE Alumni, students who were in the GLOBE program when they were in primary and/or secondary schools and have graduated from college, yet are still very much inspired and dedicated to working with teachers and their students in conducting GLOBE activities and investigations. We offer the Seasons and Biomes PD workshops together with classroom implementation as University of Alaska course that teachers take for continuing education credits, for qualifying in core content areas of science or towards a graduate degree. Classes, small groups as well as individual students have conducted investigations and presented them at local, national and international science fairs, symposiums and conferences in addition to contributing observations/measurements to ongoing earth science investigations. Some teachers have also presented their work at national and international conferences. More than 1400 educators and scientists from 50 countries have participated in Seasons and Biomes reaching over 21,000 students. Results of program pre- and post-tests, teacher assessments as well as evidence submitted by teachers on student learning strongly suggest an increase in understanding of earth system science and the science process.

  8. Automotive Thermoelectric Waste Heat Recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meisner, Gregory P.

    2015-03-01

    Considerable fuel energy, as much as 70%, is not converted to useful work by internal combustion engines but is instead rejected as waste heat, and more than half of the waste heat, nearly 40% of fuel energy, is contained in vehicle exhaust gas. This provides an opportunity to recover some of the wasted fuel energy and convert it from heat into useful work, subject to the laws of thermodynamics, and thereby improve vehicle energy efficiency. Thermoelectric (TE) materials have been extensively researched and TE devices are now being developed for operation at high temperatures corresponding to automotive exhaust gases for direct solid-state conversion of heat into electricity. This has stimulated substantial progress in the development of practical TE generator (TEG) systems for large-scale commercialization. A significant enabler of this progress has been the US Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program through funding for low cost solutions for automotive TE waste heat recovery to improve fuel economy. Our current project at General Motors has culminated in the identification of the potential supply chain for all components and assembly of an automotive TEG. A significant focus has been to develop integrated and iterative modeling tools for a fully optimized TEG design that includes all components and subsystems (TE modules, heat exchangers, thermal interfaces, electrical interconnects, power conditioning, and vehicle integration for maximal use of TEG power). We have built and tested a new, low-cost Initial TEG prototype based on state-of-the-art production-scale skutterudite TE modules, novel heat exchanger designs, and practical solutions to the many technical challenges for optimum TEG performance. We will use the results for our Initial TEG prototype to refine our modeling and design tools for a Final automotive TEG system prototype. Our recent results will be presented. Thanks to: J.R. Salvador, E.R. Gundlach, D. Thompson, N.K. Bucknor, M.G. Reynolds, K. Rober, F.R. Stabler; Marlow, JPL, Dana, Delphi E&S, Eberspaecher, Molycorp, University of Washington, Purdue University, Michigan State University, ORNL, BNL. Supported by US DOE.

  9. Synthesis and characterization of novel nanostructured thermoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Xiaofeng; Burda, Clemens

    2005-08-01

    Having been hibernated for almost 50 years, research in thermoelectric materials is beginning to regain activity because of the recent advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology. Thermoelectric is an old topic, which was discovered as early as 1821 by Thomas Johann Seebeck. During the following 120 years, great advances in both the theories and experiments were achieved. Since the 1950s, studies in thermoelectric have developed very little, because of the painful difficulties in elevating the efficiency of these kinds of materials. The efficiency of thermoelectric materials is determined by a dimensionless parameter--figure of merit (ZT), given by ZT = S2?T/? where T is the temperature, S is the thermoelectric power (or Seebeck coefficient), ? is the electrical conductivity, and ? is the thermal conductivity. The best commercially available thermoelectric materials nowadays have a ZT around 1.0, which can be only used in some special cases. To be competitive to the kitchen refrigerators or air-conditioners, a ZT >= 3 at room temperature is required. Recently, some exciting results indicated that higher ZT values can be realized by nanoengineering of these materials. Both theoretical calculations and experimental modulations have shown the promising potentials in the elevation of the efficiency of thermoelectric materials.

  10. Nanoscale heat transfer and thermoelectrics for alternative energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Richard

    2011-03-01

    In the area of alternative energy, thermoelectrics have experienced an unprecedented growth in popularity because of their ability to convert waste heat into electricity. Wired in reverse, thermoelectrics can act as refrigeration devices, where they are promising because they are small in size and lightweight, have no moving parts, and have rapid on/off cycles. However, due to their low efficiencies bulk thermoelectrics have historically been a niche market. Only in the last decade has thermoelectric efficiency exceeded ~ 20 % due to fabrication of nanostructured materials. Nanoscale materials have this advantage because electronic and acoustic confinement effects can greatly increase thermoelectric efficiency beyond bulk values. In this talk, I will introduce our work in the area of nanoscale heat transfer with the goal of more efficient thermoelectrics. I will discuss our experiments and methods to study acoustic confinement in nanostructures and present some of our new nanostructured thermoelectric materials. To study acoustic confinement we are building a nanoscale phonon spectrometer. The instrument can excite phonon modes in nanostructures in the ~ 100 s of GHz. Ballistic phonons from the generator are used to probe acoustic confinement and surface scattering effects. Transmission studies using this device will help optimize materials and morphologies for more efficient nanomaterial-based thermoelectrics. For materials, our group has synthesized nano-layer superlattices of Na x Co O2 . Sodium cobaltate was recently discovered to have a high Seebeck coeficent and is being studied as an oxide thermoelectric material. The thickness of our nano-layers ranges from 5 nm to 300 nm while the lengths can be varied between 10 ? m and 4 mm. Typical aspect ratios are 40 nm: 4 mm, or 1:100,000. Thermoelectric characterization of samples with tilted multiple-grains along the measurement axis indicate a thermoelectric efficiency on par with current polycrystalline samples. Due to phonon confinement in nano-structures, it is expected that the thermoelectric efficiency of these sheets will be much higher than that of single crystalline Na 0.7 Co O2 , when the nanosheets have single grains along the heat transport path. This work is supported by KAUST (KUS-C1-018-02), NSF (DMR 0520404), and the DOE (DE-SC0001086).

  11. Enhancement of automotive exhaust heat recovery by thermoelectric devices

    SciTech Connect

    Ibrahim, Essam; Szybist, James P; Parks, II, James E

    2010-01-01

    In an effort to improve automobile fuel economy, an experimental study is undertaken to explore practical aspects of implementing thermoelectric devices for exhaust gas energy recovery. A highly instrumented apparatus consisting of a hot (exhaust gas) and a cold (coolant liquid) side rectangular ducts enclosing the thermoelectric elements has been built. Measurements of thermoelectric voltage output and flow and surface temperatures were acquired and analyzed to investigate the power generation and heat transfer properties of the apparatus. Effects of inserting aluminum wool packing material inside the hot side duct on augmentation of heat transfer from the gas stream to duct walls were studied. Data were collected for both the unpacked and packed cases to allow for detection of packing influence on flow and surface temperatures. Effects of gas and coolant inlet temperatures as well as gas flow rate on the thermoelectric power output were examined. The results indicate that thermoelectric power production is increased at higher gas inlet temperature or flow rate. However, thermoelectric power generation decreases with a higher coolant temperature as a consequence of the reduced hot-cold side temperature differential. For the hot-side duct, a large temperature gradient exists between the gas and solid surface temperature due to poor heat transfer through the gaseous medium. Adding the packing material inside the exhaust duct enhanced heat transfer and hence raised hot-side duct surface temperatures and thermoelectric power compared to the unpacked duct, particularly where the gas-to-surface temperature differential is highest. Therefore it is recommended that packing of exhaust duct becomes common practice in thermoelectric waste energy harvesting applications.

  12. Thermoelectrically cooled water trap

    DOEpatents

    Micheels, Ronald H. (Concord, MA)

    2006-02-21

    A water trap system based on a thermoelectric cooling device is employed to remove a major fraction of the water from air samples, prior to analysis of these samples for chemical composition, by a variety of analytical techniques where water vapor interferes with the measurement process. These analytical techniques include infrared spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, ion mobility spectrometry and gas chromatography. The thermoelectric system for trapping water present in air samples can substantially improve detection sensitivity in these analytical techniques when it is necessary to measure trace analytes with concentrations in the ppm (parts per million) or ppb (parts per billion) partial pressure range. The thermoelectric trap design is compact and amenable to use in a portable gas monitoring instrumentation.

  13. Development and Test of a Prototype 100MVA Superconducting Generator

    SciTech Connect

    Fogarty, James M.; Bray, James W.

    2007-05-25

    In 2002, General Electric and the US Department of Energy (DOE) entered into a cooperative agreement for the development of a commercialized 100 MVA generator using high temperature superconductors (HTS) in the field winding. The intent of the program was to: • Identify and develop technologies that would be needed for such a generator. • Develop conceptual designs for generators with ratings of 100 MVA and higher using HTS technology. • Perform proof of concept tests at the 1.5 MW level for GE’s proprietary warm iron rotor HTS generator concept. • Design, build, and test a prototype of a commercially viable 100 MVA generator that could be placed on the power grid. This report summarizes work performed during the program and is provided as one of the final program deliverables.

  14. Geographic, technologic, and economic analysis of using reclaimed water for thermoelectric power plant cooling.

    PubMed

    Stillwell, Ashlynn S; Webber, Michael E

    2014-04-15

    Use of reclaimed water-municipal wastewater treatment plant effluent-in nonpotable applications can be a sustainable and efficient water management strategy. One such nonpotable application is at thermoelectric power plants since these facilities require cooling, often using large volumes of freshwater. To evaluate the geographic, technologic, and economic feasibility of using reclaimed water to cool thermoelectric power plants, we developed a spatially resolved model of existing power plants. Our model integrates data on power plant and municipal wastewater treatment plant operations into a combined geographic information systems and optimization approach to evaluate the feasibility of cooling system retrofits. We applied this broadly applicable methodology to 125 power plants in Texas as a test case. Results show that sufficient reclaimed water resources exist within 25 miles of 92 power plants (representing 61% of capacity and 50% of generation in our sample), with most of these facilities meeting both short-term and long-term water conservation cost goals. This retrofit analysis indicates that reclaimed water could be a suitable cooling water source for thermoelectric power plants, thereby mitigating some of the freshwater impacts of electricity generation. PMID:24625241

  15. A thermoelectric heat engine with ultracold atoms.

    PubMed

    Brantut, Jean-Philippe; Grenier, Charles; Meineke, Jakob; Stadler, David; Krinner, Sebastian; Kollath, Corinna; Esslinger, Tilman; Georges, Antoine

    2013-11-01

    Thermoelectric effects, such as the generation of a particle current by a temperature gradient, have their origin in a reversible coupling between heat and particle flows. These effects are fundamental probes for materials and have applications to cooling and power generation. Here, we demonstrate thermoelectricity in a fermionic cold atoms channel in the ballistic and diffusive regimes, connected to two reservoirs. We show that the magnitude of the effect and the efficiency of energy conversion can be optimized by controlling the geometry or disorder strength. Our observations are in quantitative agreement with a theoretical model based on the Landauer-Büttiker formalism. Our device provides a controllable model system to explore mechanisms of energy conversion and realizes a cold atom-based heat engine. PMID:24158905

  16. Results of metallographical diagnostic examination of Navy half-watt thermoelectric converters degraded by accelerated tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosell, F. E., Jr.; Rouklove, P. G.

    1977-01-01

    To verify the 15-year reliability of the Navy half-watt radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG), bismuth-telluride thermoelectric converters were submitted to testing at high temperatures which accelerated the degradation and caused failure of the converters. Metallographic diagnostic examination of failed units verified failure mechanisms. Results of diagnostic examinations are presented.

  17. An electronic cryoprobe for cryosurgery using heat pipes and thermoelectric coolers: a preliminary report.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, A; Hu, J

    1993-01-01

    A hand-held fully electrically powered and programmable cryoprobe for general-purpose cryosurgery and cryotherapy has been developed. By combining the technologies of thermoelectric cooling and heat pipes, the temperature at the tip of the probe can easily reach -50 to -60 degrees C. It can hold below -40 degrees C when it cools a load of 10 W at the tip. Previous efforts developing cryoprobes made of thermoelectric modules have been hindered by the inherent characteristics of commercially available thermoelectric coolers: low efficiency, size and inflexible shape and very sensitive to heat intensity and thermal insulation. Matching thermoelectrics with heat pipes uses the advantages of both technologies. In the cryoprobe the heat pipe is used to focus and transport the cooling power of multi-thermoelectric modules. The heat flux for the thermoelectric modules is reduced and their efficiencies are increased. The transport of heat by a heat pipe also allows flexible access to treated spots of patients. PMID:8263903

  18. Perovskite- and Heusler based materials for thermoelectric converters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weidenkaff, Anke

    2015-03-01

    The broad application of thermoelectric converters in future energy technologies requires the development of active, stable, low cost and sustainable materials. Semiconductors based on perovskite and heusler structures show substantial potential for thermoelectric energy conversion processes. Their good performance can be explained based on their suitable band structure, adjusted charge carrier density, mass and mobility, limited phonon transport, electron filtering possibilities, strongly correlated electronic systems, etc. These properties are widely tuneable by following theoretical concepts and a deep composition-structure-property understanding to change the composition, structure and size of the crystallites in innovative scalable synthesis procedures. Improved thermoelectric materials are developed, synthesised and tested in diverse high temperature applications to improve the efficiency and energy density of the thermoelectric conversion process. The lecture will provide a summary on the field of advanced perovskite-type ceramics and Heusler compounds gaining importance for a large number of future energy technologies.

  19. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of rough silicon nanowires.

    PubMed

    Hochbaum, Allon I; Chen, Renkun; Delgado, Raul Diaz; Liang, Wenjie; Garnett, Erik C; Najarian, Mark; Majumdar, Arun; Yang, Peidong

    2008-01-10

    Approximately 90 per cent of the world's power is generated by heat engines that use fossil fuel combustion as a heat source and typically operate at 30-40 per cent efficiency, such that roughly 15 terawatts of heat is lost to the environment. Thermoelectric modules could potentially convert part of this low-grade waste heat to electricity. Their efficiency depends on the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT of their material components, which is a function of the Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity, thermal conductivity and absolute temperature. Over the past five decades it has been challenging to increase ZT > 1, since the parameters of ZT are generally interdependent. While nanostructured thermoelectric materials can increase ZT > 1 (refs 2-4), the materials (Bi, Te, Pb, Sb, and Ag) and processes used are not often easy to scale to practically useful dimensions. Here we report the electrochemical synthesis of large-area, wafer-scale arrays of rough Si nanowires that are 20-300 nm in diameter. These nanowires have Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity values that are the same as doped bulk Si, but those with diameters of about 50 nm exhibit 100-fold reduction in thermal conductivity, yielding ZT = 0.6 at room temperature. For such nanowires, the lattice contribution to thermal conductivity approaches the amorphous limit for Si, which cannot be explained by current theories. Although bulk Si is a poor thermoelectric material, by greatly reducing thermal conductivity without much affecting the Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity, Si nanowire arrays show promise as high-performance, scalable thermoelectric materials. PMID:18185582

  20. Preparation of Nanoparticles of Thermoelectric Materials by Ultrasonic Milling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marquez-Garcia, L.; Li, Wei; Bomphrey, J. J.; Jarvis, D. J.; Min, Gao

    2015-06-01

    The ability to produce nanoscale thermoelectric powders is particularly relevant to the development of nanostructured bulk materials. In this paper we report preparation of nanoscale thermoelectric powders by high-intensity ultrasonic milling (UM). The particles obtained have two unique features: the presence of a particle-size gap which distinguishes the newly created nanoparticles from the original particles, and significant changes of the surface morphology of the particles, suggesting potential manipulation of the surface states of micro or nano particles.

  1. Thermoelectric device for treatment of radiculitis and spinal massage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anatychuk, L. I.; Kobylyansky, R. R.

    2012-06-01

    Results of development of a thermoelectric device that enables controlled cyclic temperature impact on the damaged area of human organism are presented. Unlike the existing medical devices employing direct supply current for thermoelectric module, the present device controls supply current according to time dependence of temperature change assigned by doctor. It is established that such a device is an efficient means of therapy at herniation of intervertebral disks with marked radiculitis and tunicary syndromes, at meningitis, other spinal diseases and back traumas.

  2. Riverine ecosystem services and the thermoelectric sector: strategic issues facing the Northeastern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miara, Ariel; Vörösmarty, Charles J.; Stewart, Robert J.; Wollheim, Wilfred M.; Rosenzweig, Bernice

    2013-06-01

    Major strategic issues facing the global thermoelectric sector include environmental regulation, climate change and increasing electricity demand. We have addressed such issues by modeling thermoelectric generation in the Northeastern United States that is reliant on cooling under five sensitivity tests to evaluate losses/gains in power production, thermal pollution and suitable aquatic habitat, comparing the contemporary baseline (2000-2010) with potential future states. Integral to the analysis, we developed a methodology to quantify river water availability for cooling, which we define as an ecosystem service. Projected climate conditions reduce river water available for efficient power plant operations and the river’s capacity to absorb waste heat, causing a loss of regional thermoelectric generation (RTG) (2.5%) in some summers that, compared to the contemporary baseline, is equal to the summertime electricity consumption of 1.3 million Northeastern US homes. Vulnerabilities to warm temperatures and thermal pollution can be alleviated through the use of more efficient natural gas (NG) power plants that have a reduced reliance on cooling water. Conversion of once-through (OT) to cooling tower (CT) systems and the Clean Water Act (CWA) temperature limit regulation, both of which reduce efficiencies at the single plant level, show potential to yield beneficial increases in RTG. This is achieved by obviating the need for large volumes of river water, thereby reducing plant-to-plant interferences through lowering the impact of upstream thermal pollution and preserving a minimum standard of cooling water. The results and methodology framework presented here, which can be extrapolated to other regional assessments with contrasting climates and thermoelectric profiles, can identify opportunities and support decision-making to achieve more efficient energy systems and riverine ecosystem protection.

  3. Riverine ecosystem services and the thermoelectric sector: strategic issues facing the Northeastern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miara, A.; Vorosmarty, C. J.; Stewart, R.; Wollheim, W. M.; Rosenzweig, B.

    2013-12-01

    Major strategic issues facing the global thermoelectric sector include environmental regulation, climate change and increasing electricity demand. We have addressed such issues by modeling thermoelectric generation in the Northeastern United States that is reliant on cooling under five sensitivity tests to evaluate losses/gains in power production, thermal pollution and suitable aquatic habitat, comparing the contemporary baseline (2000-2010) with potential future states. Integral to the analysis, we developed a methodology to quantify river water availability for cooling, which we define as an ecosystem service. Projected climate conditions reduce river water available for efficient power plant operations and the river's capacity to absorb waste heat, causing a loss of regional thermoelectric generation (RTG) (2.5%) in some summers that, compared to the contemporary baseline, is equal to the summertime electricity consumption of 1.3 million Northeastern US homes. Vulnerabilities to warm temperatures and thermal pollution can be alleviated through the use of more efficient natural gas (NG) power plants that have a reduced reliance on cooling water. Conversion of once-through (OT) to cooling tower (CT) systems and the Clean Water Act (CWA) temperature limit regulation, both of which reduce efficiencies at the single plant level, show potential to yield beneficial increases in RTG. This is achieved by obviating the need for large volumes of river water, thereby reducing plant-to-plant interferences through lowering the impact of upstream thermal pollution and preserving a minimum standard of cooling water. The results and methodology framework presented here, which can be extrapolated to other regional assessments with contrasting climates and thermoelectric profiles, can identify opportunities and support decision-making to achieve more efficient energy systems and riverine ecosystem protection.

  4. Green thermoelectrics: Observation and analysis of plant thermoelectric response

    E-print Network

    Goupil, C; Khamsing, A; Apertet, Y; Bouteau, F; Mancuso, S; Patino, R; Lecoeur, Ph

    2015-01-01

    Plants are sensitive to thermal and electrical effects; yet the coupling of both, known as thermoelectricity, and its quantitative measurement in vegetal systems never were reported. We recorded the thermoelectric response of bean sprouts under various thermal conditions and stress. The obtained experimental data unambiguously demonstrate that a temperature difference between the roots and the leaves of a bean sprout induces a thermoelectric voltage between these two points. Basing our analysis of the data on the force-flux formalism of linear response theory, we found that the strength of the vegetal equivalent to the thermoelectric coupling is one order of magnitude larger than that in the best thermoelectric materials. Experimental data also show the importance of the thermal stress variation rate in the plant's electrophysiological response. Therefore, thermoelectric effects are sufficiently important to partake in the complex and intertwined processes of energy and matter transport within plants.

  5. High Tc Superconducting Magnet Excited by a Semiconductor Thermoelectric Element

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuriyama, T.; Ono, M.; Tabe, S.; Oguchi, A.; Okamura, T.

    2006-04-01

    A high Tc superconducting (HTS) magnet excited by a thermal electromotive force of a thermoelectric element is studied. This HTS magnet has the advantages of compactness, lightweight and continuous excitation in comparison with conventional HTS magnets, because this HTS magnet does not need a large external power source. In this system, a heat input into the cryogenic environment is necessary to excite the thermoelectric element for constant operation. This heat generation, however, causes a rise in temperature of an HTS coil and reduces the system performance. In this paper, a newly designed magnet system which adopted a two-stage GM cryocooler was investigated. It enabled us to control the temperature of a thermoelectric element and that of an HTS coil independently. The temperature of the HTS coil could be kept at 10-20 K at the second stage of the GM cryocooler, while the thermoelectric element could be excited at higher temperature in the range of 50-70 K at the first stage, where the performance of the thermoelectric element was higher. The experimental results on this HTS magnet are shown and the possibility of the thermoelectric element as a main power source of the HTS magnets is discussed.

  6. Experimental Investigation of Exhaust Thermoelectric System and Application for Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, X.; Deng, Y. D.; Wang, W. S.; Su, C. Q.

    2015-06-01

    In this case study, an energy harvesting system using a thermoelectric power generator (TEG) has been constructed. Experimental investigation of the hot and cold sides of the thermoelectric modules (TMs) in this system has been undertaken to assess the feasibility for automotive applications. Two test benches have been developed to analyze the TM performance and the TEG system characteristics, especially the temperature difference, open-circuit voltage, and maximum power output of the TM and TEG system. As the performance of a TM is most influenced by the applied pressure and the temperature difference, a thermostatic heater, thermostatic water tank, and clamping devices are used in our experimental apparatus, increasing the output power of the TEG system. Based on the test bench, a new system called the "four-TEGs" system was designed and assembled into a prototype vehicle called "Warrior," and the characteristics of the system such as the maximum power output have been studied in road tests. The results show great potential for application of this technology in future vehicles.

  7. Evaluation of stack criteria pollutant gas absorption in the new generation thermoelectric water condenser fitted with laminar impinger type heat exchangers

    SciTech Connect

    Baldwin, T.

    1995-12-31

    Title IV of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 authorized the Environmental Protection Agency to establish an Acid Rain Program to reduce the adverse effects of acidic deposition. The Act specifically stipulated that CEMS (continuous emissions monitoring systems) be used to measure the stack emissions under this program. Along with these rules, comes the task of the Stack Tester (Reference Method) to routinely perform RATA (Relative Accuracy Test Audit) tests on the installed CEMS. This paper presents a laboratory and field test sequence to evaluate the signal attenuation through the gas sample conditioning, water condensation removal process, using laminar flow impinger heat exchangers. This method is compared to the EPA CFR 40, Part 60, Appendix A, Method 6, glass impinger train, commonly used by RATA stack testers. CFR 40, Part 75 revisions as of the CAAA 1990, requires more stringent certification and CEMS performance standards. These standards are summarized and related to gas absorption in both the thermoelectric cooler heat exchanger and the Method 6 glass impinger train system. As an incentive to reduce the frequency of RATA tests required per year, emitters are encouraged to achieve relative accuracies of 7.5% or less compared to the reference method. This incentive requires better reference method test apparatus definition. This paper will explore these alternatives and provide test data for comparison to the currently available apparatus. Also discussed is the theory of Electronic Gas Sample Coolers and their practical application to the removal of water from stack gas.

  8. Thermoelectric Temperature Control

    E-print Network

    Saffman, Mark

    NOTE 201TM TECHNICAL Optimizing Thermoelectric Temperature Control Systems #12;2 May 1995 92 of applications that require extremely stable temperature control. System design can be complex, but improved temperature control to achieve required stabilities. Detector systems approaching the noise floor also use

  9. Review of thermoelectric characterization techniques suitable for SiGe multilayer structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cecchi, Stefano; Ferre Llin, Lourdes; Etzelstorfer, Tanja; Samarelli, Antonio

    2015-03-01

    Thermoelectric materials have great potential for a range of energy harvesting applications, while the thin film approach is promising for the realization of integrated thermoelectric micro-devices. Silicon-germanium heterostructures are interesting candidates for on-chip cooling or energy harvesting, guaranteeing reliable manufacturing and integrability with silicon technology. Material research is nowadays focused on the engineering of nanostructured materials with improved thermoelectric performances. Therefore, the development of efficient methods for the characterizazion of the thermoelectric properties at the micro- and nano-scale is fundamental. We report here microfabrication based methods for the in-plane and cross-plane thermoelectric characterization of silicon-germanium multilayer heterostructures monolithically integrated on silicon. Contribution to the Topical Issue "Silicon and Silicon-related Materials for Thermoelectricity", edited by Dario Narducci.

  10. Thermoelectric properties of heavily boron- and phosphorus-doped silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohishi, Yuji; Xie, Jun; Miyazaki, Yoshinobu; Aikebaier, Yusufu; Muta, Hiroaki; Kurosaki, Ken; Yamanaka, Shinsuke; Uchida, Noriyuki; Tada, Tetsuya

    2015-07-01

    In recent years, nanostructured thermoelectric materials have attracted much attention. However, despite this increasing attention, available information on the thermoelectric properties of single-crystal Si is quite limited, especially for high doping concentrations at high temperatures. In this study, the thermoelectric properties of heavily doped (1018-1020 cm-3) n- and p-type single-crystal Si were studied from room temperature to above 1000 K. The figures of merit, ZT, were calculated from the measured data of electrical conductivity, Seebeck coefficient, and thermal conductivity. The maximum ZT values were 0.015 for n-type and 0.008 for p-type Si at room temperature. To better understand the carrier and phonon transport and to predict the thermoelectric properties of Si, we have developed a simple theoretical model based on the Boltzmann transport equation with the relaxation-time approximation.

  11. Joint French-German development of the next PWR generation

    SciTech Connect

    Baumgartl, B.J.; Lebreton, G.

    1993-12-31

    In 1989, Framatome S.A. and the Power Generation Group of Siemans AG decided to join their efforts in the development of future PWR reactors and for that purpose they created a joint subsidary, Nuclear Power International (NPI). The responsibilities of NPI cover mainly the development of a joint French-German PWR technology. Efforts of the NPI are described.

  12. Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pellegrino, James W., Ed.; Wilson, Mark R., Ed.; Koenig, Judith A., Ed.; Beatty, Alexandra S., Ed.

    2014-01-01

    Assessments, understood as tools for tracking what and how well students have learned, play a critical role in the classroom. "Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards" develops an approach to science assessment to meet the vision of science education for the future as it has been elaborated in "A Framework…

  13. Development of large wind energy power generation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    The background and development of an experimental 100 kW wind-energy generation system are described, and the results of current field tests are presented. The experimental wind turbine is a two-bladed down-wind horizontal axis propeller type with a 29.4 m diameter rotor and a tower 28 m in height. The plant was completed in March, 1983, and has been undergoing trouble-free tests since then. The present program calls for field tests during two years from fiscal 1983 to 1984. The development of technologies relating to the linkage and operation of wind-energy power generation system networks is planned along with the acquisition of basic data for the development of a large-scale wind energy power generation system.

  14. Revisiting Feynman's ratchet with thermoelectric transport theory.

    PubMed

    Apertet, Y; Ouerdane, H; Goupil, C; Lecoeur, Ph

    2014-07-01

    We show how the formalism used for thermoelectric transport may be adapted to Smoluchowski's seminal thought experiment, also known as Feynman's ratchet and pawl system. Our analysis rests on the notion of useful flux, which for a thermoelectric system is the electrical current and for Feynman's ratchet is the effective jump frequency. Our approach yields original insight into the derivation and analysis of the system's properties. In particular we define an entropy per tooth in analogy with the entropy per carrier or Seebeck coefficient, and we derive the analog to Kelvin's second relation for Feynman's ratchet. Owing to the formal similarity between the heat fluxes balance equations for a thermoelectric generator (TEG) and those for Feynman's ratchet, we introduce a distribution parameter ? that quantifies the amount of heat that flows through the cold and hot sides of both heat engines. While it is well established that ? = 1/2 for a TEG, it is equal to 1 for Feynman's ratchet. This implies that no heat may be rejected in the cold reservoir for the latter case. Further, the analysis of the efficiency at maximum power shows that the so-called Feynman efficiency corresponds to that of an exoreversible engine, with ? = 1. Then, turning to the nonlinear regime, we generalize the approach based on the convection picture and introduce two different types of resistance to distinguish the dynamical behavior of the considered system from its ability to dissipate energy. We finally put forth the strong similarity between the original Feynman ratchet and a mesoscopic thermoelectric generator with a single conducting channel. PMID:25122257

  15. Total thermoelectric-power withdrawals Freshwater thermoelectric-power withdrawals Saline-water thermoelectric-power withdrawals

    E-print Network

    Total thermoelectric-power withdrawals Freshwater thermoelectric-power withdrawals Saline-water thermoelectric-power withdrawals Louisiana New Hampshire Florida Idaho Washington Oregon Nevada California New,000 9,000 to 13,000 Thermoelectric-power withdrawals by water quality and State, 2005. Estimated Use

  16. Dimensional Analysis of Thermoelectric Modules Under Constant Heat Flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, Ryosuke O.; Fujisaka, Takeyuki; Ito, Keita O.; Meng, Xiangning; Sui, Hong-Tao

    2015-01-01

    Thermoelectric power generation is examined in the case of radiative heating. A constant heat flux is assumed in addition to consideration of the Seebeck effect, Peltier effect, and Joule heating with temperature-dependent material properties. Numerical evaluations are conducted using a combination of the finite-volume method and an original simultaneous solver for the heat transfer, thermoelectric, and electric transportation phenomena. Comparison with experimental results shows that the new solver could work well in the numerical calculations. The calculations predict that the Seebeck effect becomes larger for longer thermoelectric elements because of the larger temperature difference. The heat transfer to the cold surface is critical to determine the junction temperatures under a constant heat flux from the hot surface. The negative contribution from Peltier cooling and heating can be minimized when the current is smaller for longer elements. Therefore, a thicker TE module can generate more electric power even under a constant heat flux.

  17. A high-efficiency thermoelectric converter for space applications

    SciTech Connect

    Metzger, J.D. ); El-Genk, M.S. . Inst. for Space Nuclear Power Studies)

    1990-01-01

    This paper presents a concept for using high-temperature superconducting materials in thermoelectric generators (SCTE) to produce electricity at conversion efficiencies approaching 50% of the Carrot efficiency. The SCTE generator is applicable to systems operating in temperature ranges of high-temperature superconducting materials and thus would be a low-grade converter. Operating in cryogenic temperature ranges provides the advantage of inherently increasing the limits of the Carrot efficiency. Potential applications are for systems operating in space where the ambient temperatures are in the cryogenic temperature range. The advantage of using high-temperature superconducting material in a thermoelectric converter is that it would significantly reduce or eliminate the Joule heating losses in a thermoelectric element. This paper investigates the system aspects and the material requirements of the SCTE converter concept, and presents a conceptual design and an application for a space power system.

  18. A high-efficiency thermoelectric converter for space applications

    SciTech Connect

    Metzger, J.D.; El-Genk, M.S.

    1990-12-31

    This paper presents a concept for using high-temperature superconducting materials in thermoelectric generators (SCTE) to produce electricity at conversion efficiencies approaching 50% of the Carrot efficiency. The SCTE generator is applicable to systems operating in temperature ranges of high-temperature superconducting materials and thus would be a low-grade converter. Operating in cryogenic temperature ranges provides the advantage of inherently increasing the limits of the Carrot efficiency. Potential applications are for systems operating in space where the ambient temperatures are in the cryogenic temperature range. The advantage of using high-temperature superconducting material in a thermoelectric converter is that it would significantly reduce or eliminate the Joule heating losses in a thermoelectric element. This paper investigates the system aspects and the material requirements of the SCTE converter concept, and presents a conceptual design and an application for a space power system.

  19. Quantum interference in thermoelectric molecular junctions: A toy model perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nozaki, Daijiro; Avdoshenko, Stas M.; Sevinçli, Hâldun; Cuniberti, Gianaurelio

    2014-08-01

    Quantum interference (QI) phenomena between electronic states in molecular circuits offer a new opportunity to design new types of molecular devices such as molecular sensors, interferometers, and thermoelectric devices. Controlling the QI effect is a key challenge for such applications. For the development of single molecular devices employing QI effects, a systematic study of the relationship between electronic structure and the quantum interference is needed. In order to uncover the essential topological requirements for the appearance of QI effects and the relationship between the QI-affected line shape of the transmission spectra and the electronic structures, we consider a homogeneous toy model where all on-site energies are identical and model four types of molecular junctions due to their topological connectivities. We systematically analyze their transmission spectra, density of states, and thermoelectric properties. Even without the degree of freedom for on-site energies an asymmetric Fano peak could be realized in the homogeneous systems with the cyclic configuration. We also calculate the thermoelectric properties of the model systems with and without fluctuation of on-site energies. Even under the fluctuation of the on-site energies, the finite thermoelectrics are preserved for the Fano resonance, thus cyclic configuration is promising for thermoelectric applications. This result also suggests the possibility to detect the cyclic configuration in the homogeneous systems and the presence of the QI features from thermoelectric measurements.

  20. Quantum interference in thermoelectric molecular junctions: A toy model perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Nozaki, Daijiro E-mail: research@nano.tu-dresden.de; Avdoshenko, Stas M.; Sevinçli, Hâldun; Cuniberti, Gianaurelio

    2014-08-21

    Quantum interference (QI) phenomena between electronic states in molecular circuits offer a new opportunity to design new types of molecular devices such as molecular sensors, interferometers, and thermoelectric devices. Controlling the QI effect is a key challenge for such applications. For the development of single molecular devices employing QI effects, a systematic study of the relationship between electronic structure and the quantum interference is needed. In order to uncover the essential topological requirements for the appearance of QI effects and the relationship between the QI-affected line shape of the transmission spectra and the electronic structures, we consider a homogeneous toy model where all on-site energies are identical and model four types of molecular junctions due to their topological connectivities. We systematically analyze their transmission spectra, density of states, and thermoelectric properties. Even without the degree of freedom for on-site energies an asymmetric Fano peak could be realized in the homogeneous systems with the cyclic configuration. We also calculate the thermoelectric properties of the model systems with and without fluctuation of on-site energies. Even under the fluctuation of the on-site energies, the finite thermoelectrics are preserved for the Fano resonance, thus cyclic configuration is promising for thermoelectric applications. This result also suggests the possibility to detect the cyclic configuration in the homogeneous systems and the presence of the QI features from thermoelectric measurements.