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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. Developing instrumentation to characterize thermoelectric generator modules.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25832254

  3. 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 η = 0.273 %.

  4. Thermoelectric Materials Development for Low Temperature Geothermal Power Generation

    DOE Data Explorer

    Tim Hansen

    2016-01-29

    Data includes characterization results for novel thermoelectric materials developed specifically for power generation from low temperature geothermal brines. Materials characterization data includes material density, thickness, resistance, Seebeck coefficient. This research was carried out by Novus Energy Partners in Cooperation with Southern Research Institute for a Department of Energy Sponsored Project.

  5. Development of Next Generation Segmented Thermoelectric Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleurial, J.; Caillat, T.; Ewell, R. C.

    2005-12-01

    Radioisotope thermoelectric generators have been used for space-based applications since 1961 with a total of 22 space missions that have successfully used RTGs for electrical power production. The key advantages of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) are their long life, robustness, compact size, and high reliability. Thermoelectric converters are easily scalable, and possess a linear current-voltage curve, making power generation easy to control via a shunt regulator and shunt radiator. They produce no noise, vibration or torque during operation. These properties have made RTGs ideally suitable for autonomous missions in the extreme environments of outer space and on planetary surfaces. More advanced radioisotope power systems (RPS) with higher specific power (W/kg) and/or power output are desirable for future NASA missions, including the Europa Geophysical Orbiter mission. For the past few years, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has been developing more efficient thermoelectric materials and has demonstrated significant increases in the conversion efficiency of high temperature thermocouples, up to 14% when operated across a 975K to 300K temperature differential. In collaboration with NASA Glenn Research Center, universities (USC and UNM), Ceramic and Metal Composites Corporation and industrial partners, JPL is now planning to lead the research and development of advanced thermoelectric technology for integration into the next generations of RPS. Preliminary studies indicate that this technology has the potential for improving the RPS specific power by more than 50% over the current state-of-the-art multi-mission RTG being built for the Mars Science Laboratory mission. A second generation advanced RPS is projected at more than doubling the specific power.

  6. Thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Pryslak, N.E.

    1974-02-26

    A thermoelectric generator having a rigid coupling or stack'' between the heat source and the hot strap joining the thermoelements is described. The stack includes a member of an insulating material, such as ceramic, for electrically isolating the thermoelements from the heat source, and a pair of members of a ductile material, such as gold, one each on each side of the insulating member, to absorb thermal differential expansion stresses in the stack. (Official Gazette)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Component for thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Purdy, David L.

    1977-01-01

    In a thermoelectric generator, a component comprises a ceramic insulator, having over limited areas thereof, each area corresponding to a terminal end of thermoelectric wires, a coating of a first metal which adheres to the insulator, and an electrical thermoelectric junction including a second metal which wets said first metal and adheres to said terminal ends but does not wet said insulator, and a cloth composed of electrically insulating threads interlaced with thermoelectric wires.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Development of a High Efficiency Thermoelectric Unicouple for Power Generation Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

    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 performance of the thermoelectric materials used to build the devices.

  13. 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.

  14. Materials for Vehicular Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anatychuk, L. I.; Kuz, R. V.

    2012-06-01

    The specific operating conditions of thermoelectric generators in vehicles determine the requirements for thermoelectric materials used in them. The present work analyzes which materials are the most suitable for solving the task of heat recovery from internal combustion engines. Requirements for such materials and optimization of thermoelectric modules on their basis are formulated. The most important of them include specific cost, efficiency, cyclic stability, service life, and optimal operating temperature range. Thermoelectric materials were prepared, and on their basis a series of generator thermoelectric modules created to optimize all of the above parameters for operation in vehicular thermoelectric generators.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Superconducting thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Metzger, John D.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Thermodynamic analysis of thermoelectric generator

    SciTech Connect

    Lampinen, M.J. )

    1991-04-15

    The aim of this research has been to investigate the role of the second law in thermoelectric phenomena. Considering the thermoelectric generator as a heat engine cycle process, the Kelvin relations for the thermoelectric circuit are derived from the energy balance and from the second law without using reversibility or equilibrium assumptions. A new formula has been derived for the thermal efficiency of the thermoelectric generator, also taking into account Thomson heat. An equation for maximum efficiency is derived and a representative numerical example of this equation is presented.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Safety monitoring system for radioisotope thermoelectric generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zoltan, A.

    1973-01-01

    System alerts personnel of hazards which may develop while they are performing tests on radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). Remedial action is initiated to minimize damage. Five operating conditions are monitored: hot junction temperature, cold junction temperature, thermal shroud coolant flow, vacuum in test chamber, and alpha radiation.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelz, U.; Jaklin, J.; Rostek, R.; Thoma, F.; Krner, 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Development of a Thermal Buffering Device to Cope with Temperature Fluctuations for a Thermoelectric Power Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mizuno, Kuniaki; Sawada, Kazunori; Nemoto, Takashi; Iida, Tsutomu

    2012-06-01

    To stabilize the heat input to a thermoelectric generator (TEG) and protect it from large temperature fluctuations, a thermal buffering device (TBD) was fabricated and examined using a typical Bi-Te TEG module and a brand-new Mg2Si TEG module. The TBD comprises two adjoining heat storage containers, each containing different alloys, which can be optimized for the temperature range of the TEG. The combination of two alloys in series diminishes the thermal fluctuations, stabilizing the heat input to the TEG module. This is achieved by having two metallic materials with large enthalpies of fusion that can be placed between the heat source and the TEG. The combination of the two alloys can be optimized for the temperature ranges of Bi-Te, Pb-Te, or Co-Sb. For the Bi-Te TEG, 15Al-85Zn and 30Sn-70Zn alloys were used for the heat source side and the TEG side, respectively. The corresponding alloys for the Mg2Si TEG were 20Ni-80Al and 7Si-93Al. With the use of a TBD, the Bi-Te TEG exhibited no notable damage even in the rather high temperature range beyond ˜573 K. For the Mg2Si TEG, no operational damage of the Mg2Si TEG module was observed even with a temperature of 1020 K.

  10. Radioisotope thermoelectric generators for implanted pacemakers

    SciTech Connect

    Pustovalov, A.A.; Bovin, A.V.; Fedorets, V.I.; Shapovalov, V.P.

    1986-08-01

    This paper discusses the development and application of long-life lithium batteries and the problems associated with miniature radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RITEG) with service lives of 10 years or longer. On eof the main problems encountered when devising a radioisotope heat source (RHS) for an RITEG is to obtain biomedical /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ with a specific neutron yield of 3.10/sup 3/-4.10/sup 3/ (g /SUP ./ sec)/sup -1/, equivalent to metallic Pu 238, and with a content of gamma impurities sufficient to ensure a permissible exposure a permissible exposure does rate (EDR) of a mixture of neutron and gamma radiation. After carrying out the isotope exchange and purifying the initial sample of its gamma impurity elements, the authors obtain biomedical Pu 238 satisfying the indicated requirements king suitable for use in the power packs of medical devices. Taking the indicated specifications into account, the Ritm-1o and gamma radioisotope heat sources were designed, built, tested in models and under natural conditions, and then into production as radioisotope thermoelectric generators designed to power the electronic circuits of implanted pacemakers. The Ritm-MT and Gemma radioisotope thermoelectric generators described are basic units, which can be used as self-contained power supplies for electronic equipment with power requirements in the micromilliwatt range.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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 (ΔT) 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

  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 (ΔT) 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 power generator with intermediate loop

    DOEpatents

    Bel,; Lon E.; Crane, Douglas Todd

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Strategies for developing optimal thermoelectric metrology protocols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Joshua

    2012-02-01

    The Seebeck coefficient is an essential physical property routinely measured to evaluate the potential performance of new thermoelectric materials. These materials facilitate the inter-conversion of thermal and electrical energy and are useful in power generation or solid-state refrigeration applications. However, the diversity in Seebeck coefficient measurement techniques, conditions, and probe arrangements has resulted in conflicting materials data, further complicating the inter-laboratory confirmation of reported higher efficiency thermoelectric materials. In an effort to identify optimal thermoelectric measurement protocols, we have developed a complimentary strategy to both evaluate and compare these different probe arrangements and measurement methodologies: first, through the design of an innovative experimental apparatus, and second, through error modeling of Seebeck coefficient measurements using finite element analysis. This talk will include a discussion of key measurement challenges, example diagnostics, and recommended practices to effectively manage uncertainty in Seebeck coefficient measurements.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Method of operating a thermoelectric generator

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Titanium nitride electrodes for thermoelectric generators

    DOEpatents

    Novak, Robert F.; Schmatz, Duane J.; Hunt, Thomas K.

    1987-12-22

    The invention is directed to a composite article suitable for use in thermoelectric generators. The article comprises a thin film of titanium nitride as an electrode deposited onto solid electrolyte. The invention is also directed to the method of making same.

  10. Molybdenum oxide electrodes for thermoelectric generators

    DOEpatents

    Schmatz, Duane J.

    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.

  11. Novel Fabrication Process for Micro Thermoelectric Generators (μTEGs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    A cost effective bottom-up process for the fabrication of micro thermoelectric generators (μTEGs) was developed. It is based on a novel fabrication method involving a selectively sacrificial photoresist for the sequential galvanostatic electrodeposition of thermoelectric materials. The use of an industrial pick and placer (P&P) for dispensing the second photoresist allows for accurate and flexible μTEG designs. The process makes use of Ordyl® as a negative dry film photoresist template and sequential lamination steps for shaping all thermoelectric legs and contacts. All structures of the μTEG are generated in one photoresist multi-layer - this represents the most significant advantage of the process. The process uses a minimum of clean room processing for the preparation of pre-structured substrates for electrodeposition and therefore provides a cost-effective, highly flexible fabrication platform for research and development.

  12. Thermophotovoltaic and thermoelectric portable power generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, Walker R.; Waits, Christopher M.; Joannopoulos, John D.; Celanovic, Ivan

    2014-06-01

    The quest for developing clean, quiet, and portable high energy density, and ultra-compact power sources continues. Although batteries offer a well known solution, limits on the chemistry developed to date constrain the energy density to 0.2 kWh/kg, whereas many hydrocarbon fuels have energy densities closer to 13 kWh/kg. The fundamental challenge remains: how efficiently and robustly can these widely available chemical fuels be converted into electricity in a millimeter to centimeter scale systems? Here we explore two promising technologies for high energy density power generators: thermophotovoltaics (TPV) and thermoelectrics (TE). These heat to electricity conversion processes are appealing because they are fully static leading to quiet and robust operation, allow for multifuel operation due to the ease of generating heat, and offer high power densities. We will present some previous work done in the TPV and TE fields. In addition we will outline the common technological barriers facing both approaches, as well as outline the main differences. Performance for state of the art research generators will be compared as well as projections for future practically achievable systems. A viable TPV or TE power source for a ten watt for one week mission can be built from a <10% efficient device which is achievable with current state of the art technology such as photonic crystals or advanced TE materials.

  13. Xenon Filled Silicon Germanium Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dewinter, F.

    1972-01-01

    An analysis is presented that shows the desirability and feasibility of using a xenon fill in the initial stages of operation of a silicon-germanium radioisotope thermoelectric generator to be used in outer-planetary exploration. The xenon cover gas offers protection against oxidation and against material sublimation, and allows the generator to deliver required power throughout the prelaunch and launch phases. The protective mechanisms afforded by the xenon cover gas and the mechanization of a xenon supply system are also discussed.

  14. Fabrication Process for Micro Thermoelectric Generators ( μTEGs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    An innovative micro thermoelectric generator ( μTEG) 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 μTEGs 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Performance evaluation of an automotive thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubitsky, Andrei O.

    Around 40% of the total fuel energy in typical internal combustion engines (ICEs) is rejected to the environment in the form of exhaust gas waste heat. Efficient recovery of this waste heat in automobiles can promise a fuel economy improvement of 5%. The thermal energy can be harvested through thermoelectric generators (TEGs) utilizing the Seebeck effect. In the present work, a versatile test bench has been designed and built in order to simulate conditions found on test vehicles. This allows experimental performance evaluation and model validation of automotive thermoelectric generators. An electrically heated exhaust gas circuit and a circulator based coolant loop enable integrated system testing of hot and cold side heat exchangers, thermoelectric modules (TEMs), and thermal interface materials at various scales. A transient thermal model of the coolant loop was created in order to design a system which can maintain constant coolant temperature under variable heat input. Additionally, as electrical heaters cannot match the transient response of an ICE, modelling was completed in order to design a relaxed exhaust flow and temperature history utilizing the system thermal lag. This profile reduced required heating power and gas flow rates by over 50%. The test bench was used to evaluate a DOE/GM initial prototype automotive TEG and validate analytical performance models. The maximum electrical power generation was found to be 54 W with a thermal conversion efficiency of 1.8%. It has been found that thermal interface management is critical for achieving maximum system performance, with novel designs being considered for further improvement.

  17. Test and evaluation of the Navy half-watt RTG. [Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosell, F. E., Jr.; Lane, S. D.; Eggers, P. E.; Gawthrop, W. E.; Rouklove, P. G.; Truscello, V. C.

    1976-01-01

    The radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) considered is to provide a continuous minimum power output of 0.5 watt at 6.0 to 8.5 volts for a minimum period of 15 years. The mechanical-electrical evaluation phase discussed involved the conduction of shock and vibration tests. The thermochemical-physical evaluation phase consisted of an analysis of the materials and the development of a thermal model. The thermoelectric evaluation phase included the accelerated testing of the thermoelectric modules.

  18. 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.

  19. Thermoelectric Development at Hi-Z Technology

    SciTech Connect

    Kushch, Aleksandr

    2001-08-05

    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. The TEG is comprised of 72 TE modules, which are capable of producing 1kW of electrical power at 30 V DC during nominal engine operation. Currently the upgraded generator has completed testing in a test cell and starting from August 2001 will be tested on a Diesel truck under typical road and environmental conditions. It is expected that the TEG will be able to supplement the existing shaft driven alternator, resulting in significant fuel saving, generating additional power required by the truck's accessories. The electronic and thermal properties of bulk materials are altered when they are incorporated into quantum wells. Two-dimensional quantum wells have been synthesized by alternating layers of B4C and B9C in one system and alternating layers of Si and Si0.8Ge0.2 in another system. Such nanostructures are being investigated as candidate thermoelectric materials with high figures of merit (Z). The predicted enhancement is attributed to the confined motion of charge carriers and phonons in the two dimensions and separating them from the ion scattering centers. Multilayer quantum well materials development continues with the fabrication of thicker films, evaluation of various substrates to minimize bypass heat loss, and bonding techniques to minimize high contact resistance. Quantum well thermoelectric devices with N-type Si/Si0.8Ge0.2 and P-type B4C/B9C have been fabricated from these films. The test results generated continue to indicate that much higher thermoelectric efficiencies can be achieved in the quantum wells compared to the bulk materials.

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hgblom, 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesarajah, Marco; Frey, Georg

    2016-03-01

    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.

  4. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator transport trailer system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ard, Kevin E.; King, David A.; Leigh, Harley; Satoh, Juli A.

    1995-01-01

    The Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) Transportation System, designated as System 100, comprises four major systems. The four major systems are designated as the Packaging System (System 120), Trailer System (System 140), Operations and Ancillary Equipment System (System 160), and Shipping and Receiving Facility Transport System (System 180). Packaging System (System 120), including the RTG packaging is licensed (regulatory) hardware; it is certified by the U.S. Department of Energy to be in accordance with Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 71 (10 CFR 71). System 140, System 160, and System 180 are nonlicensed (nonregulatory) hardware.

  5. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator transport trailer system

    SciTech Connect

    Ard, K.E.; King, D.A.; Leigh, H.; Satoh, J.A.

    1995-01-20

    The Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) Transportation System, designated as System 100, comprises four major systems. The four major systems are designated as the Packaging System (System 120), Trailer System (System 140), Operations and Ancillary Equipment System (System 160), and Shipping and Receiving Facility Transport System (System 180). Packaging System (System 120), including the RTG packaging is licensed (regulatory) hardware; it is certified by the U.S. Department of Energy to be in accordance with Title 10, {ital Code} {ital of} {ital Federal} {ital Regulations}, Part 71 (10 CFR 71). System 140, System 160, and System 180 are nonlicensed (nonregulatory) hardware. {copyright} {ital 1995} {ital American} {ital Institute} {ital of} {ital Physics}

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Champier, D.; Favarel, C.; Bdcarrats, 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Development of Thermoelectric Fibers for Miniature Thermoelectric Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    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. 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.

  11. Thermoelectric Analysis for Helical Power Generation Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Xiangning; Fujisaka, Takeyuki; Suzuki, Ryosuke O.

    2014-06-01

    The performance of a three-dimensional helical thermoelectric generation (TEG) system is examined by exposing it to a temperature difference with hot and cold sources. The helical paths for the two thermal fluids give the TEG device the potential to efficiently convert thermal energy. The characteristic performance of the helical system is numerically analyzed by using the finite-volume method in a compact system. The helical system is compared with a straight system in which all the thermoelectric (TE) elements present equivalent geometry. The difference in the TE performance between the two systems is not significant when the TE surfaces are maintained at constant temperatures. Both the electromotive force and the current in the TEG system increase linearly with the temperature difference ? T applied at the two module surfaces. The current preferentially flows through a main path determined by the geometry of the TE element. The merits of the helical design are its compactness, space saving, and smooth fluid flow due to gravity, compared with the straight system.

  12. Transient Thermoelectric Generator: An Active Load Story

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stockholm, J. G.; Goupil, C.; Maussion, P.; Ouerdane, H.

    2015-06-01

    Under stationary conditions, the optimization of maximum power output and efficiency of thermoelectric generators (TEG) is a well-known subject. Use of a finite-time thermodynamics (FTT) approach to the description of TEGs has demonstrated that there exists a closed feedback effect between the output electrical load value and the entering heat current. From the practical point of view, this effect is strongly evidenced by the use of direct current (DC-to-DC) converters as active loads. Both transient conditions and FTT contribute to a complex landscape of the optimization of the power and efficiencies of a TEG. It has been claimed that the use of inductive load may lead to a strong enhancement of the efficiency, and the frequency response of a TEG as a band-pass filter has also been recently reported. We consider these results using a classical linear Onsager approach of a TEG operating under transient conditions. We show that a trans-admittance may be defined as a coupling element between the input and the output, leading to the observed electric-to-thermal feedback. We discuss recent experiments on a TEG connected to an active load, which is reported to boast an efficiency exceeding the usual stationary DC thermoelectric efficiency.

  13. 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.

  14. Thermoelectric Power Generation System Using Waste Heat from Biomass Drying

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maneewan, S.; Chindaruksa, S.

    2009-07-01

    This paper looks at thermoelectric power generation from waste heat from a biomass drier. In this study, the researchers selected four thermoelectric modules: two thermoelectric cooling modules (Model A: MT2-1,6-127 and Model B: TEC1-12708) and two thermoelectric power generation modules (Model C: TEP1-1264-3.4 and Model D: TEG1-1260-5.1) for testing at temperatures between 25C and 230C. Test results indicated that the thermoelectric TEC1-12708 could generate a maximum power output of 1 W/module and TEP1-1264-3.4, TEG1-1260-5.1, and MT2-1,6-127 could generate 1.07 W/module, 0.88 W/module, and 0.76 W/module, respectively. Therefore, the thermoelectric cooling of TEC1-12708 was appropriate to use for thermoelectric power generation from waste heat. The experiments used four ventilation fans (6 W, 2.50 m3/s) and 12 thermoelectric modules which were installed in the back of a charcoal brazier. The experiments were conducted and tested in conditions of recycling 100%, 75%, 50%, and 25% of outlet air. Testing results identified that the temperatures of the drying room were 81C, 76C, 70C, and 64C, respectively. The power generation system could generate about 22.4 W (14 V, 1.6 A) with an air flow of 9.62 m3/s. The thermoelectric module can convert 4.08% of the heat energy to electrical energy.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Fiber optic signal amplifier using thermoelectric power generation

    DOEpatents

    Hart, Mark M.

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Thermoelectric generator and method for the fabrication thereof

    DOEpatents

    Benson, David K. (Golden, CO); Tracy, C. Edwin (Golden, CO)

    1987-01-01

    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 thermoelectric generators.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Thermal Design of a Thermoelectric Micro-Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hama, S.; Yabuki, T.; Tranchant, L.; Miyazaki, K.

    2015-12-01

    In this study, we fabricated micro thermoelectric power generator using freestanding film substrate, and we evaluated the performance of the generator from the standpoint of thermoelectric performance and thermal design. We fabricated a SiNx free-standing film substrate about 5 ?m thick on Si wafer, using MEMS processes. Then, we prepared for both p and n type of bismuth telluride thermoelectric thin films by using a coaxial type vacuum arc evaporation method, and annealed for one hour at 573 K. As an electrode, Cu was deposited using a vacuum deposition method. We fabricated the thermoelectric power generator of 5 mm 5 mm using a shadow mask for the patterning. The fabricated generator can create temperature difference of 22.3 K due to its high thermal resistance of the structure when the heat source temperature is 373 K. The exergy of the thermoelectric device is up to 7%. Therefore, the generator can convert about 0.4% of thermal energy into electric energy, even though the material performance is low with ZT = 0.28. The conversion efficiency is much higher than that of the conventional ? type thermoelectric module. It was possible to get higher performance by the thermal design, which is a more simple way than an improvement of ZT.

  5. 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.

  6. Estimation of Thermoelectric Generator Performance by Finite Element Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziolkowski, P.; Poinas, P.; Leszczynski, J.; Karpinski, G.; Mller, E.

    2010-09-01

    Prediction of thermoelectric performance parameters by numerical methods is an inherent part of thermoelectric generator (TEG) development and allows for time- and cost-saving assessment of material combinations and variations of crucial design parameters (e.g., shape, pellet length, and thermal coupling). Considering the complexity of a TEG system and its numerous affecting factors, the clarity and the flexibility of a mathematical treatment comes to the fore. Comfortable tools are provided by commercial finite element modeling (FEM) software offering powerful geometry interfaces, mesh generators, solvers, and postprocessing options. We describe the level of development and the simulation results of a three dimensional (3D) TEG FEM. Using ANSYS 11.0, we implemented and simulated a TEG module geometry under various conditions. Comparative analytical one dimensional (1D) results and a direct comparison with inhouse-developed TEG simulation software show the consistency of results. Several pellet aspect ratios and contact property configurations (thermal/electrical interface resistance) were evaluated for their impact on the TEG performance as well as parasitic effects such as convection, radiation, and conductive heat bypass. The scenarios considered revealed the highest efficiency decay for convectionally loaded setups (up to 4.8%pts), followed by the impacts of contact resistances (up to 4.8%pts), by radiation (up to 0.56%pts), and by thermal conduction of a solid filling material within the voids of the module construction (up to 0.14%pts).

  7. Thermoelectric power generator for variable thermal power source

    SciTech Connect

    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. Tests and evaluation of multihundred watt thermoelectric generators at JPL

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouklove, P.

    1977-01-01

    The multihundred watt (MHW) thermoelectric generator, based on silicon-germanium thermoelectric technology, delivers a nominal power output of 150 watts with an efficiency of about 6%. The two Voyager space probes each use three such generators assembled in tandem on a boom. A total of seven MHW type thermoelectric generators were tested at JPL in support of the Voyager project. The tests consisted of: (1) parametric evaluation of the electrical characteristics of the devices over a wide range of output voltage for different values of input power, different operating ambients (air, vacuum), and different internal environments (argon, helium, xenon, mixture of these gases, and vacuum) at different pressures to allow evaluation of the influences of both gas and pressure on the performance of the generator; (2) tests to determine the transient behavior of the generators; and (3) operation of the generator in conjunction with the Voyager spacecraft.

  9. 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 (S?) 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 [=S?/(?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.

  10. RTGs - The powering of Ulysses. [Radio-isotope Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mastal, E. F.; Campbell, R. W.

    1990-01-01

    The radio-isotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) for Ulysses' electronic supply is described noting that lack of sufficient sunlight renders usual solar cell power generation ineffective due to increased distance from sun. The history of the RTG in the U.S.A. is reviewed citing the first RTG launch in 1961 with an electrical output of 2.7 W and the improved Ulysses RTG, which provides 285 W at mission beginning and 250 W at mission end. The RTG concept is discussed including the most recent RTG technology developed by the DOE, the General Purpose Heat Source RTG (GPHS-RTG). The system relies upon heat generated by radioactive decay using radioactive plutonium-238, which is converted directly to energy using the Seebeck method.

  11. Design, fabrication, and testing of energy-harvesting thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jovanovic, Velimir; Ghamaty, Saeid

    2006-03-01

    An energy-harvesting thermoelectric generator (TEG) is being developed to provide power for wireless sensors used in health monitoring of Navy machinery. TEGs are solid-state devices that convert heat directly into electricity without any moving parts. In this application, the TEGs utilize the heat transfer between shipboard waste heat sources and the ambient air to generate electricity. In order to satisfy the required small design volume of less than one cubic inch, Hi-Z is using its innovative thin-film Quantum Well (QW) thermoelectric technology that will provide a factor of four increase in efficiency and a large reduction in the device volume over the currently used bulk Bi IITe 3 based thermoelectics. QWs are nanostructured multi-layer films. These wireless sensors can be used to detect cracks, corrosion, impact damage, and temperature and vibration excursions as part of the Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) of the Navy ship machinery. The CBM of the ship machinery can be significantly improved by automating the process with the use of self-powered wireless sensors. These power-harvesting TEGs can be used to replace batteries as electrical power sources and to eliminate power cables and data lines. The first QW TEG module was fabricated and initial tests were successful. It is planned to conduct performance tests the entire prototype QW TEG device (consisting of the TEG module, housing, thermal insulation and the heat sink) in a simulated thermal environment of a Navy ship.

  12. All dispenser printed flexible 3D structured thermoelectric generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Z.; Shi, J. J.; Torah, R. N.; Tudor, M. J.; Beeby, S. P.

    2015-12-01

    This work presents a vertically fabricated 3D thermoelectric generator (TEG) by dispenser printing on flexible polyimide substrate. This direct-write technology only involves printing of electrodes, thermoelectric active materials and structure material, which needs no masks to transfer the patterns onto the substrate. The dimension for single thermoelectric element is 2 mm × 2 mm × 0.5 mm while the distance between adjacent cubes is 1.2 mm. The polymer structure layer was used to support the electrodes which are printed to connect the top ends of the thermoelectric material and ensure the flexibility as well. The advantages and the limitations of the dispenser printed 3D TEGs will also be evaluated in this paper. The proposed method is potential to be a low-cost and scalable fabrication solution for TEGs.

  13. 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.

  14. High-Temperature High-Efficiency Solar Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baranowski, Lauryn L.; Warren, Emily L.; Toberer, Eric S.

    2014-06-01

    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 1000C to 100C. 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.

  15. Dispenser-printed planar thick-film thermoelectric energy generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, A.; Madan, D.; Wright, P. K.; Evans, J. W.

    2011-10-01

    This work presents advancements in dispenser-printed thick film thermoelectric materials for the fabrication of planar and printable thermoelectric energy generators. The thermoelectric properties of the printed thermoelectric materials were measured as a function of temperature. The maximum dimensionless figures of merit (ZTs) at 302 K for the n-type Bi2Te3-epoxy composite and the p-type Sb2Te3-epoxy composite are 0.18 and 0.19, respectively. A 50-couple prototype with 5 mm 640 m 90 m printed element dimensions was fabricated on a polyimide substrate with evaporated metal contacts. The prototype device produced a power output of 10.5 W at 61.3 A and 171.6 mV for a temperature difference of 20 K resulting in a device areal power density of 75 W cm-2.

  16. Simulations for the Development of Thermoelectric Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zabrocki, Knud; Ziolkowski, Pawel; Dasgupta, Titas; de Boor, Johannes; Mller, 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.

  17. 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 PACCAR’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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. A Thermoelectric Generation System and Its Power Electronics Stage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Junling; Sun, Kai; Ni, Longxian; Chen, Min; Kang, Zhengdong; Zhang, Li; Xing, Yan; Zhang, Jianzhong

    2012-06-01

    The electricity produced by a thermoelectric generator (TEG) must satisfy the requirements of specific loads given the signal level, stability, and power performance. In the design of such systems, one major challenge involves the interactions between the thermoelectric power source and the power stage and signal-conditioning circuits of the load, including DC-DC conversion, the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) controller, and other power management controllers. In this paper, a survey of existing power electronics designs for TEG systems is presented first. Second, a flat, wall-like TEG system consisting of 32 modules is experimentally optimized, and the improved power parameters are tested. Power-conditioning circuitry based on an interleaved boost DC-DC converter is then developed for the TEG system in terms of the tested power specification. The power electronics design features a combined control scheme with an MPPT and a constant output voltage as well as the low-voltage and high-current output characteristics of the TEG system. The experimental results of the TEG system with the power electronics stage and with purely resistive loads are compared. The comparisons verify the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed design. Finally, the thermal-electric coupling effects caused by current-related heat source terms, such as the Peltier effect etc., are reported and discussed, and the potential influence on the power electronics design due to such coupling is analyzed.

  1. Thermoelectric efficiency of (1 - x)(GeTe) x(Bi2Se0.2Te2.8) and implementation into highly performing thermoelectric power generators.

    PubMed

    Koenig, J; Winkler, M; Dankwort, T; Hansen, A-L; Pernau, H-F; Duppel, V; Jaegle, M; Bartholom, K; Kienle, L; Bensch, W

    2015-02-14

    Here we report for the first time on a complete simulation assisted "material to module" development of a high performance thermoelectric generator (TEG) based on the combination of a phase change material and established thermoelectrics yielding the compositions (1 - x)(GeTe) x(Bi(2)Se(0.2)Te(2.8)). For the generator design our approach for benchmarking thermoelectric materials is demonstrated which is not restricted to the determination of the intrinsically imprecise ZT value but includes the implementation of the material into a TEG. This approach is enabling a much more reliable benchmarking of thermoelectric materials for TEG application. Furthermore we analyzed the microstructure and performance close to in-operandi conditions for two different compositions in order to demonstrate the sensitivity of the material against processing and thermal cycling. For x = 0.038 the microstructure of the as-prepared material remains unchanged, consequently, excellent and stable thermoelectric performance as prerequisites for TEG production was obtained. For x = 0.063 we observed strain phenomena for the pristine state which are released by the formation of planar defects after thermal cycling. Consequently the thermoelectric performance degrades significantly. These findings highlight a complication for deriving the correlation of microstructure and properties of thermoelectric materials in general. PMID:25559337

  2. 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 90C coolant temperature.

  3. 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.

  4. Thermodynamic studies and maximum power point tracking in thermoelectric generator-thermoelectric cooler combined system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manikandan, S.; Kaushik, S. C.

    2015-04-01

    Thermoelectric generator (TEG) operated thermoelectric cooler (TEC) is a highly compatible combination for low-cooling power application. The conventional TEG-TEC combined systems have low operating efficiency and low cooling power because maximum power output from the TEG is not fully utilized. This paper proposes and analyses the combined system with maximum power point tracking technique (MPPT) to maximize the cooling power and overall efficiency. This paper also presents the effect of TEG, TEC source temperature and the effect of heat transfer area in the performance of the combined system. The thermodynamic models of the combined system are developed in MATLAB simulink environment with temperature dependent material properties and analysed for variable operating temperatures. It has been found that, in the irreversible thermodynamic model of the combined system with MPPT, when the hot and cold side of TEG and TEC are kept at a temperature difference of 150 K and 10 K respectively, the power output of TEG increases from 20.49 W to 43.92 W, cooling power of TEC increases from 32.66 W to 46.51 W and the overall combined system efficiency increases from 2.606% to 4.375% respectively when compared with the irreversible combined system without MPPT. The characteristics improvements obtained by this practice in the combined system for the above mentioned operating conditions is also true for other range of operating temperatures. It is also been observed that the external irreversibilities decreases the cooling power and the overall system efficiency of the combined system by 36.49% and by 16.9% respectively.

  5. Molybdenum-platinum-oxide electrodes for thermoelectric generators

    DOEpatents

    Schmatz, Duane J.

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 sourcethe 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.

  8. Long term tests of a SNAP-19 thermoelectric generator.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouklove, P.; Truscello, V.

    1972-01-01

    Results of tests performed on a SNAP 19 thermoelectric generator, SN-20. The SN-20 generator was tested for approximately 37,000 hours using electrical heating to simulate the heat released by isotope decay. After 27,000 hours of operation the output power from the generator decreased to approximately 1/3 of the beginning of life value while the internal resistance increased by a factor of 5. Analysis of the test results, confirmed by preliminary metallographic examination, indicated that the output power degradation was the result of excessive sublimation of the thermoelectric material and loss of the hot junction bond due to the depletion of the internal cover gas. This also resulted in excessive junction temperatures. Comparison is made with the behavior observed from the two flight generators and a tentative conclusion is advanced as to the reason for their failure.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 ~90C. 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 9.3C and 52.9C. 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 90C, 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator licensed hardware package and certification tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldmann, L. H.; Averette, H. S.

    1994-09-01

    This paper presents the Licensed Hardware package and the Certification Test portions of the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Transportation System. This package has been designed to meet those portions of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 71) relating to 'Type B' shipments of radioactive materials. The detailed information for the anticipated license is presented in the safety analysis report for packaging, which is now in process and undergoing necessary reviews. As part of the licensing process, a full-size Certification Test Article unit, which has modifications slightly different than the Licensed Hardware or production shipping units, is used for testing. Dimensional checks of the Certification Test Article were made at the manufacturing facility. Leak testing and drop testing were done at the 300 Area of the US Department of Energy's Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. The hardware includes independent double containments to prevent the environmental spread of Pu-238, impact limiting devices to protect portions of the package from impacts, and thermal insulation to protect the seal areas from excess heat during accident conditions. The package also features electronic feed-throughs to monitor the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator's temperature inside the containment during the shipment cycle. This package is designed to safely dissipate the typical 4500 thermal watts produced in the largest Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators. The package also contains provisions to ensure leak tightness when radioactive materials, such as a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator for the Cassini Mission, planned for 1997 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, are being prepared for shipment. These provisions include test ports used in conjunction with helium mass spectrometers to determine seal leakage rates of each containment during the assembly process.

  14. 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).

  15. Effect of ambient temperature on the operation of a thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koval'Skii, R. V.; Kolomoets, N. V.

    1988-06-01

    A method is proposed for calculating changes in the parameters of an organic-fuel thermoelectric generator as a function of the ambient air temperature under conditions of free circulation of the heat transfer agents. These changes are found to be significant, indicating that some kind of control action is required in order to achieve stable operation. A method is developed whereby complete stabilization of the generator operation is achieved by controlling hot gas and cooling air circulation.

  16. Evaluation of High Step-Up Power Electronics Stages in Thermoelectric Generator Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Kai; Ni, Longxian; Chen, Min; Wu, Hongfei; Xing, Yan; Rosendahl, Lasse

    2013-07-01

    To develop practical thermoelectric generator (TEG) systems, especially radioisotope thermoelectric power supplies for deep-space exploration, a power conditioning stage with high step-up gain is indispensable. This stage is used to step up the low output voltage of thermoelectric generators to the required high level. Furthermore, maximum power point tracking control for TEG modules needs to be implemented into the power electronics stages. In this paper, the temperature-dependent electrical characteristics of a thermoelectric generator are analyzed in depth. Three typical high step-up power converters suitable for TEG applications are discussed: an interleaved boost converter, a boost converter with a coupled inductor, and an interleaved boost converter with an auxiliary transformer. A general comparison of the three high step-up converters is conducted to study the step-up gain, conversion efficiency, and input current ripples. The interleaved boost converter with an auxiliary transformer is found to be the most suitable topology for TEG applications, which is verified by experiments.

  17. Optimal working conditions for thermoelectric generators with realistic thermal coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apertet, Y.; Ouerdane, H.; Glavatskaya, O.; Goupil, C.; Lecoeur, P.

    2012-01-01

    We study how maximum output power can be obtained from a thermoelectric generator (TEG) with non-ideal heat exchangers. We demonstrate with an analytic approach based on a force-flux formalism that the sole improvement of the intrinsic characteristics of thermoelectric modules including the enhancement of the figure of merit is of limited interest: the constraints imposed by the working conditions of the TEG must be considered on the same footing. Introducing an effective thermal conductance we derive the conditions which permit maximization of both efficiency and power production of the TEG dissipatively coupled to heat reservoirs. Thermal impedance matching must be accounted for as well as electrical impedance matching in order to maximize the output power. Our calculations also show that the thermal impedance does not only depend on the thermal conductivity at zero electrical current: it also depends on the TEG figure of merit. Our analysis thus yields both electrical and thermal conditions permitting optimal use of a thermoelectric generator.

  18. 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.

  19. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator/thin fragment impact test

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-01-01

    The General-Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) provides power for space missions by transmitting the heat of 238Pu 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 converter housing, failure of one fueled clad, and release of a small quantity of fuel.

  20. Acoustic Optimization of Automotive Exhaust Heat Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, C. Q.; Ye, B. Q.; Guo, X.; Hui, P.

    2012-06-01

    The potential for thermoelectric exhaust heat recovery in vehicles has been increasing with recent advances in the efficiency of thermoelectric generators (TEGs). This study analyzes the acoustic attenuation performance of exhaust-based TEGs. The acoustic characteristics of two different thermal designs of exhaust gas heat exchanger in TEGs are discussed in terms of transmission loss and acoustic insertion loss. GT-Power simulations and bench tests on a dynamometer with a high-performance production engine are carried out. Results indicate that the acoustic attenuation of TEGs could be determined and optimized. In addition, the feasibility of integration of exhaust-based TEGs and engine mufflers into the exhaust line is tested, which can help to reduce space and improve vehicle integration.

  1. Multi-Watt Small Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Conceptual Design Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Determan, William R.; Otting, William; Frye, Patrick; Abelson, Robert; Ewell, Richard; Miyake, Bob; Synder, Jeff

    2007-01-01

    A need has been identified for a small, light-weight, reliable power source using a radioisotope heat source, to power the next generation of NASA's small surface rovers and exploration probes. Unit performance, development costs, and technical risk are key criteria to be used to select the best design approach. Because safety can be a major program cost and schedule driver, RTG designs should utilize the DOE radioisotope safety program's data base to the maximum extent possible. Other aspects important to the conceptual design include: 1) a multi-mission capable design for atmospheric and vacuum environments, 2) a module size based on one GPHS Step 2 module, 3) use of flight proven thermoelectric converter technologies, 4) a long service lifetime of up to 14 years, 5) maximize unit specific power consistent with all other requirements, and 6) be ready by 2013. Another critical aspect of the design is the thermal integration of the RTG with the rover or probe's heat rejection subsystem and the descent vehicle's heat rejection subsystem. This paper describes two multi-watt RTG design concepts and their integration with a MER-class rover.

  2. Design of a Polymer-Based Radial Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menon, Akanksha; Yee, Shannon

    2014-03-01

    Polymers possess desirable properties such as low thermal conductivity, low cost, and scalable processability as compared to inorganic materials. These characteristics make polymers attractive for thermoelectric (TE) applications. Current examples of polymer thin-film TE devices are limited to traditional rectangular/parallel plate geometries. The focus of this work is to investigate the effect of radial device geometry on TE performance. Each TE module consists of many divided discs of p- and n-type polymers on a thermally insulating circular substrate. In the center of the disc a channel of warm fluid flows as the source of heat, which creates a radial temperature gradient across the TE. Many discs can be stacked and connected electrically in series, thus generating an appreciable output voltage. In this work, analytic thermal and electrical models are developed to present an optimized device geometry for maximum power, maximum efficiency, and low /W scenarios. While the efficiency equation is identical to that for a rectangular geometry, the non-linear resistance of the radial device offers a higher power density and greater thermal insulation than traditional rectangular TEs. Graduate student at Georgia Tech

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator licensed hardware package and certification tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldmann, Louis H.; Averette, Henry S.

    1995-01-01

    This paper presents the Licensed Hardware package and the Certification Test portions of the Radioisitope Themoelectric Generator Transportation System. This package has been designed to meet those portions of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 71) relating to ``Type B'' shipments of radioactive materials. The licensed hardware is now in the U. S. Department of Energy licensing process that certifies the packaging's integrity under accident conditions. The detailed information for the anticipated license is presented in the safety analysis report for packaging, which is now in process and undergoing necessary reviews. As part of the licensing process, a full-size Certification Test Article unit, which has modifications slightly different than the Licensed Hardware or production shipping units, is used for testing. Dimensional checks of the Certification Test Article were made at the manufacturing facility. Leak testing and drop testing were done at the 300 Area of the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. The hardware includes independent double containments to prevent the environmental spread of 238Pu, impact limiting devices to protect portions of the package from impacts, and thermal insulation to protect the seal areas from excess heat during accident conditions. The package also features electronic feed-throughs to monitor the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator's temperature inside the containment during the shipment cycle. This package is designed to safely dissipate the typical 4,500 thermal watts produced in the largest Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators. The package also contains provisions to ensure leak tightness when radioactive materials, such as a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator for the Cassini Mission, planned for 1997 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, are being prepared for shipment. These provisions include test ports used in conjunction with helium mass spectrometers to determine seal leakage rates of each containment during the assembly process.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Power Delivery from an Actual Thermoelectric Generation System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaibe, Hiromasa; Kajihara, Takeshi; Nagano, Kouji; Makino, Kazuya; Hachiuma, Hirokuni; Natsuume, Daisuke

    2014-06-01

    Similar to photovoltaic (PV) and fuel cells, thermoelectric generators (TEGs) supply direct-current (DC) power, essentially requiring DC/alternating current (AC) conversion for delivery as electricity into the grid network. Use of PVs is already well established through power conditioning systems (PCSs) that enable DC/AC conversion with maximum-power-point tracking, which enables commercial use by customers. From the economic, legal, and regulatory perspectives, a commercial PCS for PVs should also be available for TEGs, preferably as is or with just simple adjustment. Herein, we report use of a PV PCS with an actual TEG. The results are analyzed, and proper application for TEGs is proposed.

  14. 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.

  15. Wearable and flexible thermoelectric generator with enhanced package

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francioso, L.; De Pascali, C.; Taurino, A.; Siciliano, P.; De Risi, A.

    2013-05-01

    Present work shows recent progresses in thin film-based flexible and wearable thermoelectric generator (TEG), finalized to support energy scavenging and local storage for low consumption electronics in Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) applications and buildings integration. The proposed TEG is able to recover energy from heat dispersed into the environment converting a thermal gradient to an effective electrical energy available to power ultra-low consumption devices. A low cost fabrication process based on planar thin-film technology was optimized to scale down the TEG dimensions to micrometer range. The prototype integrates 2778 thermocouples of sputtered Sb2Te3 and Bi2Te3 thin films (1 ?m thick) on an area of 25 cm2. The electrical properties of thermoelectric materials were investigated by Van der Pauw measurements. Transfer Length Method (TLM) analysis was performed on three different multi-layer contact schemes in order to select the best solution to use for the definition of the contact pads realized on each section of the thermoelectric array configuration to allow electrical testing of single production areas. Kapton polyimide film was used as flexible substrate in order to add comfortable lightweight and better wearability to the device. The realized TEG is able to autonomously recover the thermal gradient useful to thermoelectric generation thanks to an appropriate package designed and optimized by a thermal analysis based on finite element method (FEM). The proposed package solution consists in coupling the module realized onto Kapton foil to a PDMS layer opportunely molded to thermally insulate TEG cold junctions and enhance the thermal gradient useful for the energy scavenging. Simulations results were compared to experimental tests performed by a thermal infrared camera, in order to evaluate the real performance of the designed package. First tests conducted on the realized TEG indicate that the prototype is able to recover about 5C between hot and cold thermocouples junctions with a thermal difference of 17C initially available between body skin and environment, generating about 2 V of open circuit output voltage.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Simulation, design and fabrication of a planar micro thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelegrini, S.; Adami, A.; Collini, C.; Conci, P.; Lorenzelli, L.; Pasa, A. A.

    2013-05-01

    This study describes the design, simulation, and micro fabrication of a micro thermoelectric generator (?TEG) based on planar technology using constantan (CuNi) and copper (Cu) thermocouples deposited electrochemically (ECD) on silicon substrate. The present thin film technology can be manufactured into large area and also on flexible substrate with low cost of production and can be used to exploit waste heat from equipments or hot surfaces in general. In the current implementation, the silicon structure has been designed and optimized with analytical models and FE simulations in order to exploit the different thermal conductivity of silicon and air gaps to produce the maximum temperature difference on a planar surface. The results showed that a temperature difference of 10K across the structure creates a temperature difference of 5.3K on the thermocouples, thus providing an efficiency of thermal distribution up to 55%, depending on the heat convection at the surface. Efficiency of module has been experimentally tested under different working condition, showing the dependence of module output on the external heat exchange (natural and forced convection). Maximum generated potential at 6m/s airflow is 5.7V/m2 K and thermoelectric efficiency is 1.9?W K-2 m-2.

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  1. A facility to remotely assemble radioisotope thermoelectric generators

    SciTech Connect

    Engstrom, J.W.; Goldmann, L.H.; Truitt, R.W.

    1992-07-01

    Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) are electrical power sources that use heat from decaying radioisotopes to directly generate electrical power. The RTG assembly process is performed in an inert atmosphere inside a large glovebox, which is surrounded by radiation shielding to reduce exposure to neutron and gamma radiation from the radioisotope heat source. In the past, allowable dose rate limits have allowed direct, manual assembly methods; however, current dose rate limits require a thicker radiation shielding that makes direct, manual assembly infeasible. To minimize RTG assembly process modifications, telerobotic systems are being investigated to perform remote assembly tasks. Telerobotic systems duplicate human arm motion and incorporate force feedback sensitivity to handle objects and tools in a human-like manner. A telerobotic system with two arms and a three-dimensional (3-D) vision system can be used to perform remote RTG assembly tasks inside gloveboxes and cells using unmodified, normal hand tools.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Thermoelectric Generators for Automotive Waste Heat Recovery Systems Part I: Numerical Modeling and Baseline Model Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Sumeet; Heister, Stephen D.; Xu, Xianfan; Salvador, James R.; Meisner, Gregory P.

    2013-04-01

    A numerical model has been developed to simulate coupled thermal and electrical energy transfer processes in a thermoelectric generator (TEG) designed for automotive waste heat recovery systems. This model is capable of computing the overall heat transferred, the electrical power output, and the associated pressure drop for given inlet conditions of the exhaust gas and the available TEG volume. Multiple-filled skutterudites and conventional bismuth telluride are considered for thermoelectric modules (TEMs) for conversion of waste heat from exhaust into usable electrical power. Heat transfer between the hot exhaust gas and the hot side of the TEMs is enhanced with the use of a plate-fin heat exchanger integrated within the TEG and using liquid coolant on the cold side. The TEG is discretized along the exhaust flow direction using a finite-volume method. Each control volume is modeled as a thermal resistance network which consists of integrated submodels including a heat exchanger and a thermoelectric device. The pressure drop along the TEG is calculated using standard pressure loss correlations and viscous drag models. The model is validated to preserve global energy balances and is applied to analyze a prototype TEG with data provided by General Motors. Detailed results are provided for local and global heat transfer and electric power generation. In the companion paper, the model is then applied to consider various TEG topologies using skutterudite and bismuth telluride TEMs.

  7. 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.

  8. Fabrication of an all-oxide thermoelectric power generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsubara, Ichiro; Funahashi, Ryoji; Takeuchi, Tomonari; Sodeoka, Satoshi; Shimizu, Tadaaki; Ueno, Kazuo

    2001-06-01

    An oxide thermoelectric device was fabricated using Gd-doped Ca3Co4O9 p-type legs and La-doped CaMnO3 n-type legs on a fin. The power factors of p legs and n legs were 4.810-4 Wm-1 K-2 and 2.210-4 Wm-1 K-2 at 700 C in air, respectively. With eight p-n couples the device generated an output power of 63.5 mW under the thermal condition of hot side temperature Th=773 C and a temperature difference ?T=390 C. This device proved to be operable for more than two weeks in air showing high durability.

  9. Thermoelectric generators as self-oscillating heat engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alicki, Robert

    2016-02-01

    In a previous paper [1] a model of a solar cell was proposed in which the non-periodic source of energy—photon flux—drives the collective periodic motion of electrons in a form of plasma oscillation. Subsequently, plasma oscillations are rectified by the p–n junction diode into dc (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.

  10. 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

  11. Si Thermoelectric Power Generator with an Unconventional Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakamoto, Tatsuya; Iida, Tsutomu; Ohno, Yota; Ishikawa, Masashi; Kogo, Yasuo; Hirayama, Naomi; Arai, Koya; Nakamura, Takashi; Nishio, Keishi; Takanashi, Yoshifumi

    2014-06-01

    We examine the mechanical stability of an unconventional Mg2Si thermoelectric generator (TEG) structure. In this structure, the angle ? between the thermoelectric (TE) chips and the heat sink is less than 90. We examined the tolerance to an external force of various Mg2Si TEG structures using a finite-element method (FEM) with the ANSYS code. The output power of the TEGs was also measured. First, for the FEM analysis, the mechanical properties of sintered Mg2Si TE chips, such as the bending strength and Young's modulus, were measured. Then, two-dimensional (2D) TEG models with various values of ? (90, 75, 60, 45, 30, 15, and 0) were constructed in ANSYS. The x and y axes were defined as being in the horizontal and vertical directions of the substrate, respectively. In the analysis, the maximum tensile stress in the chip when a constant load was applied to the TEG model in the x direction was determined. Based on the analytical results, an appropriate structure was selected and a module fabricated. For the TEG fabrication, eight TE chips, each with dimensions of 3 mm 3 mm 10 mm and consisting of Sb-doped n-Mg2Si prepared by a plasma-activated sintering process, were assembled such that two chips were connected in parallel, and four pairs of these were connected in series on a footprint of 46 mm 12 mm. The measured power generation characteristics and temperature distribution with temperature differences between 873 K and 373 K are discussed.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Development of advanced thermoelectric materials, phase A

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    Work performed on the chemical system characterized by chrome sulfide, chrome selenide, lanthanum selenide, and lanthanum sulfide is described. Most materials within the chemical systems possess the requisites for attractive thermoelectric materials. The preparation of the alloys is discussed. Graphs show the Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity, and thermal conductivity of various materials within the chemical systems. The results of selected doping are included.

  15. 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.

  16. Development Status and Plans of the Advanced Thermoelectric Converter (ATEC) Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ewell, Richard; Caillat, Thierry

    2008-01-01

    Advances in thermoelectric materials with high ZT in mid-90's, revived interest in advanced thermoelectric materials at DOE, DOD and NASA NASA. JPL, in collaboration with Universities, identified promising high temperature thermoelectric materials for potential use in next generation RTGs nder DOD and NASA funding (1995 to 2005). Based on these advances the ATEC project was initiated in January 2006 to develop an advanced converter by 2010 (10-12% couple efficiency). ATEC is a technology maturation project with an off-ramp to a proposed Advanced RTG (ARTG) providing 6-8 W/kg and 8-10% system efficiency to support potential future SMD missions as early as 2017. In addition, work is continuing on advancing the TE materials technology to support development of an RTG with 12-14 W/kg and 15 to 20% efficiency by 2020.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2016-03-01

    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.

  19. An oxide-based thermoelectric generator: Transversal thermoelectric strip-device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teichert, S.; Bochmann, A.; Reimann, T.; Schulz, T.; Dreler, C.; Tpfer, J.

    2015-07-01

    A special design of an oxide-based transversal thermoelectric device utilizing thermoelectric oxides in combination with a ceramic multilayer technology is proposed. Metal strips within the ceramic matrix replace the tilted stack of alternating layers used in artificial anisotropic transversal thermoelectric devices. Numerical three-dimensional simulations of both device types reveal better thermoelectric performance data for the device with metal stripes. A monolithic transversal strip-device based on the material combination La1.97Sr0.03CuO4/Ag6Pd1 was prepared and electrically characterized. A maximum power output of 4.0 mW was determined at ?T = 225 K for the monolithic device. The observed results are in remarkable agreement with three-dimensional numerical simulations utilizing the transport parameters of the two materials and the geometry data of the device.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.; Bdcarrats, 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.

  2. Modeling, experimental study on the heat transfer characteristics of thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Ze-Guang; Zhu, Dong-Sheng; Wu, Hong-Xia; Zhang, Hong-Sheng

    2013-02-01

    This paper investigates the heat transfer characteristics of a thermoelectric generator. The influence of heat dissipation intensity to the sub-thermal resistances distribution is experimentally studied. Based on the thermal network analysis and finite time thermodynamics, an analytical model including all thermal resistances (in both thermocouples and external heat exchangers) is developed to predict the performance of the generator. The results show that the computed values of output power agree well with the experimental values. The heat transfer enhancement on the generator cold side greatly reduces the cold side temperature and thermal resistance, and obviously improves the output power. Compare with air natural convection cooling, the main thermal resistance changes from the resistance between the fins and the ambient to the thermal contact resistances between the generator and the heat sink at the conditions of forced convection and water cooling. This study may be guide the optimization of generator structure.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Model building of thermoelectric generator exposed to dynamic transient sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yusop, A. Md; Mohamed, R.; Ayob, A.

    2013-12-01

    This paper presents the modeling of thermal and power generation behavior of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) exposed to transient sources. Most of the previous research concerned the analysis for steady-state behavior which only involves constant temperature value. However, in practice, the temperature of the TEG input fluctuates with time. Therefore this research will look into a focal point on transient heat sources that is being supplied to the hot junction with natural convection cooling process at the cold junction for single and multiple configuration of TEG. The model obtained the data from existing experiments with predicted various conditions of temperature, heat gradient, internal resistance and current attribute of TEG. Transient analysis on single TEG has shown that the value of Seebeck coefficient, thermal conductivity and figure-of-merit vary with the value of cold side temperature. When the ratio between the load and the internal resistance increases, the voltage increases. By considering the multiple TEGs, the matched voltage shows different values when the number of cascaded TEGs is varied. The simulation results have proven that the variation in the number of cascaded TEGs can be used to determine the output power characteristics of a TEG.

  6. Wearable thermoelectric generator for harvesting human body heat energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Min-Ki; Kim, Myoung-Soo; Lee, Seok; Kim, Chulki; Kim, Yong-Jun

    2014-10-01

    This paper presents the realization of a wearable thermoelectric generator (TEG) in fabric for use in clothing. A TEG was fabricated by dispenser printing of Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 and Bi2Se0.3Te2.7 in a polymer-based fabric. The prototype consisted of 12 thermocouples connected by conductive thread over an area of 6 25 mm2. The device generated a power of 224 nW for a temperature difference of 15 K. When the TEG was used on the human body, the measured output power was 224 nW in an ambient temperature of 5 C. The power of the TEG was affected by the movement of the wearer. A higher voltage was maintained while walking than in a stationary state. In addition, the device did not deform after it was bent and stretched several times. The prospect of using the TEG in clothing applications was confirmed under realistic conditions.

  7. Terahertz generation and picosecond photo-thermoelectric currents in graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holleitner, Alexander

    2013-03-01

    We demonstrate that THz radiation is generated in optically pumped bilayer graphene. The electro-magnetic radiation is detected via a time-domain THz spectroscopy utilizing coplanar metal stripline circuits in combination with an on-chip pump/probe scheme. The striplines act as highly sensitive near-field antennae with a bandwidth of up to 1 THz. Our ultrafast experiments further clarify the optoelectronic mechanisms contributing to the photocurrent generation at graphene-metal interfaces. We verify that both built-in electric fields, similar to those in semiconductor-metal interfaces, and a photo-thermoelectric effect give rise to the photocurrent at graphene-metal interfaces at different time scales. We particularly discuss how the picosecond photocurrents in monolayer graphene depend on the geometry and the thermal coupling of the devices to the environment. We acknowledge the very fruitful cooperation with L. Prechtel, S. Manus, D. Schuh, W. Wegscheider, L. Song, and P. Ajayan. Financial support by the ERC grant NanoREAL is acknowledged.

  8. Work plan for the fabrication of the radioisotope thermoelectric generator transportation system package mounting

    SciTech Connect

    Satoh, J.A.

    1994-11-09

    The Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) has available a dedicated system for the transportation of RTG payloads. The RTG Transportation System (System 100) is comprised of four systems; the Package (System 120), the Semi-trailer (System 140), the Gas Management (System 160), and the Facility Transport (System 180). This document provides guidelines on the fabrication, technical requirements, and quality assurance of the Package Mounting (Subsystem 145), part of System 140. The description follows the Development Control Requirements of WHC-CM-6-1, EP 2.4, Rev. 3.

  9. Transitioning to Zero Freshwater Withdrawal for Thermoelectric Generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macknick, J.; Tidwell, V. C.; Zemlick, K. M.; Sanchez, J.; Woldeyesus, T.

    2013-12-01

    The electricity sector is the largest withdrawer of freshwater in the United States. The primary demand for water from the electricity sector is for cooling thermoelectric power plants. Droughts and potential changes in water resources resulting from climate change pose important risks to thermoelectric power production in the United States. Power plants can minimize risk in a variety of ways. One method of reducing risk is to move away from dependency on freshwater resources. Here a scoping level analysis is performed to identify the technical tradeoffs and initial cost estimates for retrofitting all existing steam-powered generation to achieve zero freshwater withdrawal. Specifically, the conversion of existing freshwater-cooled plants to dry cooling or a wet cooling system utilizing non-potable water is considered. The least cost alternative is determined for each of the 1,178 freshwater using power plants in the United States. The use of non-potable water resources, such as municipal wastewater and shallow brackish groundwater, is considered based on the availability and proximity of those resources to the power plant, as well as the costs to transport and treat those resources to an acceptable level. The projected increase in levelized cost of electricity due to power plant retrofits ranges roughly from 0.20 to 20/MWh with a median value of 3.53/MWh. With a wholesale price of electricity running about 35/MWh, many retrofits could be accomplished at levels that would add less than 10% to current power plant generation expenses. Such retrofits could alleviate power plant vulnerabilities to thermal discharge limits in times of drought (particularly in the East) and would save 3.2 Mm3/d of freshwater consumption in watersheds with limited water availability (principally in the West). The estimated impact of retrofits on wastewater and brackish water supply is minimal requiring only a fraction of the available resource. Total parasitic energy requirements to achieve zero freshwater withdrawal are estimated at 140 million MWh or roughly 4.5% of the initial production from the retrofitted plants.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Design of a polymer thermoelectric generator using radial architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menon, Akanksha K.; Yee, Shannon K.

    2016-02-01

    Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are solid-state heat engines consisting of p-type and n-type semiconductors that convert heat into electricity via the Seebeck effect. Conducting polymers are a viable alternative with intrinsic advantages over their inorganic counterparts, since they are abundant, flexible as thick-films, and have reduced manufacturing costs due to solution processing. Furthermore, polymers have an inherently low thermal conductivity, thus affording them the option of forgoing some heat exchanger costs. Current examples of polymer TE devices have been limited to traditional flat-plate geometries with power densities on the μW/cm2 scale, where their potential is not fully realized. Herein, we report a novel radial device architecture and model the improved performance of polymer-based TEG based on this architecture. Our radial architecture accommodates a fluid as the heat source and can operate under natural convection alone due to heat spreading. Analytical heat transfer and electrical models are presented that optimize the device for maximum power density, and for the first time we obtain the geometry matching condition that maximizes the efficiency. We predict high power densities of ˜1 mW/cm2 using state-of-the-art polymer TEs subjected to a temperature difference of 100 K, which is nearly 1000× higher than polymer flat-plate architectures reported in literature.

  13. 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.

  14. Fabrication of an all-oxide thermoelectric power generator

    SciTech Connect

    Matsubara, Ichiro; Funahashi, Ryoji; Takeuchi, Tomonari; Sodeoka, Satoshi; Shimizu, Tadaaki; Ueno, Kazuo

    2001-06-04

    An oxide thermoelectric device was fabricated using Gd-doped Ca{sub 3}Co{sub 4}O{sub 9} p-type legs and La-doped CaMnO{sub 3} n-type legs on a fin. The power factors of p legs and n legs were 4.8{times}10{sup {minus}4}Wm{sup {minus}1}K{sup {minus}2} and 2.2{times}10{sup {minus}4}Wm{sup {minus}1}K{sup {minus}2} at 700{degree}C in air, respectively. With eight p{endash}n couples the device generated an output power of 63.5 mW under the thermal condition of hot side temperature T{sub h}=773{degree}C and a temperature difference {Delta}T=390{degree}C. This device proved to be operable for more than two weeks in air showing high durability. {copyright} 2001 American Institute of Physics.

  15. Thermal vacuum life test facility for radioisotope thermoelectric generators

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-01-01

    In the late 1970's, the Department of Energy (DOE) assigned Monsanto Research Corporation, Mound Facility, now operated by EG 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. 4 refs., 3 figs.

  16. Model for Increasing the Power Obtained from a Thermoelectric Generator Module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Gia-Yeh; Hsu, Cheng-Ting; Yao, Da-Jeng

    2014-06-01

    We have developed a model for finding the most efficient way of increasing the power obtained from a thermoelectric generator (TEG) module with a variety of operating conditions and limitations. The model is based on both thermoelectric principles and thermal resistance circuits, because a TEG converts heat into electricity consistent with these two theories. It is essential to take into account thermal contact resistance when estimating power generation. Thermal contact resistance causes overestimation of the measured temperature difference between the hot and cold sides of a TEG in calculation of the theoretical power generated, i.e. the theoretical power is larger than the experimental power. The ratio of the experimental open-loop voltage to the measured temperature difference, the effective Seebeck coefficient, can be used to estimate the thermal contact resistance in the model. The ratio of the effective Seebeck coefficient to the theoretical Seebeck coefficient, the Seebeck coefficient ratio, represents the contact conditions. From this ratio, a relationship between performance and different variables can be developed. The measured power generated by a TEG module (TMH400302055; Wise Life Technology, Taiwan) is consistent with the result obtained by use of the model; the relative deviation is 10%. Use of this model to evaluate the most efficient means of increasing the generated power reveals that the TEG module generates 0.14 W when the temperature difference is 25°C and the Seebeck coefficient ratio is 0.4. Several methods can be used triple the amount of power generated. For example, increasing the temperature difference to 43°C generates 0.41 W power; improving the Seebeck coefficient ratio to 0.65 increases the power to 0.39 W; simultaneously increasing the temperature difference to 34°C and improving the Seebeck coefficient ratio to 0.5 increases the power to 0.41 W. Choice of the appropriate method depends on the limitations of system, the cost, and the environment.

  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. 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

  19. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Technical issues surrounding continued supply of the radiosotope thermoelectric generators for NASA programs

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, B.A. ); Hales, J.W. )

    1993-01-01

    The world's first [open quotes]atomic battery[close quotes] was developed in the 1950s under the Atomic Energy Commission's Space Nuclear Auxiliary Power program. A radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) was unveiled for the first time in President Eisenhower's office on January 16, 1959. The new device utilized the natural decay heat of a radioactive isotope, converting the heat directly into electricity via thermoelectrics. The RTGs are compact, long-lived power sources. They have been designed to produce electricity in the 1- to 300-W range and have reliably operated for up to 27 yr, making them ideal for powering satellite electronics, especially for unmanned, deep-space exploration. Proposed generators of greater efficiency that could provide power in the 1- to 10-kW(electric) range would couple a dynamic converter to the isotopic heat source. Both are fueled with [sup 238]Pu, a transuranic isotope with a relatively short half-life of 87.7 yr. Plutonium-238 also has a very high decay heat (0.567 W/g), which enhances thermoelectric conversion. Historically, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has produced the [sup 238]Pu fuel in conjunction with defense materials production programs, minimizing unit costs. However, current changes in US defense requirements will phase out or eliminate the operation of facilities that have traditionally produced the [sup 238]Pu fuel for RTGS. The DOE is evaluating several options for future [sup 238]Pu supply, including continued domestic production, as well as the purchase of foreign fuel to meet the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission requirements at the most economical cost.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Evaluation of Thermoelectric Generators by I-V Curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Min, Gao; Singh, Tanuj; Garcia-Canadas, Jorge; Ellor, Robert

    2015-11-01

    A recent theoretical study proposes a new way to evaluate thermoelectric devices by measuring two I-V curvesone obtained under a constant temperature difference and the other obtained for a constant thermal input. We report an experimental demonstration of the feasibility of this novel technique. A measurement system was designed and constructed, which enables both types of I-V curves to be obtained automatically. The effective ZT values of a thermoelectric module were determined using this system and compared with those measured by an impedance spectroscopy technique. The results confirm the validity of the proposed technique. In addition, the capability of measuring ZT under a large temperature difference was also investigated. The results show that the ZTs obtained for a large temperature difference are significantly smaller than those for a small temperature difference, providing insights into the design and operation of thermoelectric modules in realistic applications.

  6. Evaluation of Thermoelectric Generators by I-V Curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Min, Gao; Singh, Tanuj; Garcia-Canadas, Jorge; Ellor, Robert

    2016-03-01

    A recent theoretical study proposes a new way to evaluate thermoelectric devices by measuring two I-V curves—one obtained under a constant temperature difference and the other obtained for a constant thermal input. We report an experimental demonstration of the feasibility of this novel technique. A measurement system was designed and constructed, which enables both types of I-V curves to be obtained automatically. The effective ZT values of a thermoelectric module were determined using this system and compared with those measured by an impedance spectroscopy technique. The results confirm the validity of the proposed technique. In addition, the capability of measuring ZT under a large temperature difference was also investigated. The results show that the ZTs obtained for a large temperature difference are significantly smaller than those for a small temperature difference, providing insights into the design and operation of thermoelectric modules in realistic applications.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    2016-03-01

    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.

  9. Some issues of history and prospects of thermoelectricity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anatychuk, L.

    2012-06-01

    This work analyzes the approaches that had led to the discovery of thermoelectricity and a generalized approach in the description of thermoelectric power conversion based on the induction of thermoelectric currents. Possibilities of thermal generators contribution to "green" technologies, in particular, to waste heat recovery from heat engines are analyzed. Tellurium problem and the ways of tackling it are considered. Attention is focused on the efficiency of computer methods for designing thermoelectric devices. The outlook for progress of thermoelectricity in measuring technique is considered. The information on the organizations and specialists in thermoelectricity is provided. The necessity of purposeful training specialists in thermoelectricity for its more successful development is emphasized.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosch, Henry

    2016-03-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Thermoelectric generator placed on the human body: system modeling and energy conversion improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lossec, M.; Multon, B.; Ben Ahmed, H.; Goupil, C.

    2010-10-01

    This paper focuses on the production of electricity using a thermoelectric generator placed on the human body connected to a dc-dc converter. The small difference in temperature between the hot heat source (e.g. the human body, Tb = 37 C) and the cold heat source (e.g. ambient air, Ta = 22 C), associated with a poor quality thermal coupling (mainly with the cold source), leads to a very low temperature gradient at the thermoelectric generator terminals and hence low productivity. Under these use conditions, the present article proposes an analysis of various ways to improve productivity given a surface capture system. Furthermore, we demonstrated, in this particular context, that maximizing the recovered electric power proves to be a different problem from that of maximizing efficiency, e.g. the figure of merit Z. We therefore define a new factor ZE, depending on the physical characteristics of thermoelectric materials, that maximizes electric power in the particular case where the thermal coupling is poor. Finally, this study highlights the benefit of sub-optimization of the power extracted from the thermoelectric generator to further improve efficiency of the overall system. We show that, given the conversion efficiency of the dc-dc converter, the maximum power point of the overall system is no more reached when the output voltage of the thermoelectric generator is equal to half of its electromotive force.

  14. Special Applications RTG Technology Program: Thermoelectric module development summary report

    SciTech Connect

    Brittain, W.M.

    1988-09-01

    The primary objective of the Special Applications thermoelectric module development program is to design, develop and demonstrate the performance of a module which provides a significant thermoelectric conversion efficiency improvement over available technology for low power, relatively high voltage RTGS intended for terrestrial applications. ``Low power`` can be construed as an RTG power output of 10 watts or less, and ``high voltage`` can be considered as a load voltage of 5 volts or greater. In particular, the effort is to improve the system efficiency characteristic of the state-of-the-art bismuth telluride-based RTG system (e.g., Five-Watt RTG and Half-Watt RTG), typically 3 to 4%, to the range of 6% or better. This increase in efficiency will also permit reductions in the weight and size of RTGs in the low power range.

  15. Developments in thermoelectrically cooled PIN and CZT detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Redus, R.H.; Pantazis, J.A.; Huber, A.C.

    1998-12-31

    A compact, high-energy-resolution X-ray and gamma-ray spectroscopy system has been developed using thermoelectrically cooled detectors to combine excellent energy resolution and convenient operation. A Si PIN diode is used for low-energy X rays, while a Cd{sub 1{minus}x}Zn{sub x}Te (CZT) detector is used for higher-energy photons. Cooling is totally transparent to the user, so the system operates as a room temperature system, although the detector itself is cooled for improved performance. The heart of the XR-100 is a hybrid package containing the thermoelectrically cooled detector and feedback components. The detectors are used with a charge-sensitive preamplifier and a seven-pole quasi-triangular shaper with active baseline restoration, pileup rejection, and rise-time discrimination.

  16. Developments in Thermoelectrically Cooled Pin and CZT Detectors

    SciTech Connect

    R. H. Redus; J. A. Pantazis; A. C. Huber

    1998-12-31

    A compact high-energy-resolution X-ray and gamma-ray spectroscopy system has been developed using thermoelectrically cooled detectors to combine excellent energy resolution and convenient operation. A Si PIN diode is used for low-energy X rays, while a Cd{sub 1-x}Zn{sub x}Te (CZT) detector is used for higher-energy photons. Cooling is totally transparent to the user, so the system operates as a room temperature system, although the detector itself is cooled for improved performance. The heart of the XR-100 is a hybrid package containing the thermoelectrically cooled detector and feedback components. The seven-pole quasi-triangular shaper with active baseline restoration, pileup rejection, and rise-time discrimination.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Vaporization and compatibility of SiGe radioisotope thermoelectric generators.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Staley, H. G.; Rovner, L. H.; Snowden, D.; Elsner, N. B.

    1972-01-01

    The limiting operating temperatures of SiGe thermoelectrics designed for extended operation are set by sublimation process of the elements and by considerations of their compatibility with the surrounding insulating elements. Mass spectrometric Knudsen cell and Langmuir vaporization modes of operation have been utilized in the study of the equilibrium vapor species and in the time evaluation of the sublimation process. Isothermal high-vacuum (1 ntorr) anneals of samples have extended observations to long-time spans. The time variations follow the formation of surface depletion layers due to disproportional rates of sublimation of the various species.

  6. In situ nanostructure generation and evolution within a bulk thermoelectric material to reduce lattice thermal conductivity.

    SciTech Connect

    Girard, S. N.; He, J.; Li, C.; Moses, S.; Wang, G.; Uher, C.; Dravid, V. P.; Kanatzidis, M. G.

    2010-07-26

    We show experimentally the direct reduction in lattice thermal conductivity as a result of in situ nanostructure generation within a thermoelectric material. Solid solution alloys of the high-performance thermoelectric PbTe-PbS 8% can be synthesized through rapid cooling and subsequent high-temperature activation that induces a spontaneous nucleation and growth of PbS nanocrystals. The emergence of coherent PbS nanostructures reduces the lattice thermal conductivity from {approx}1 to {approx}0.4 W/mK between 400 and 500 K.

  7. Hybrid Thermoelectric-Photovoltaic Generators in Wireless Electroencephalography Diadem and Electrocardiography Shirt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonov, Vladimir; Torfs, Tom; Vullers, Ruud J. M.; van Hoof, Chris

    2010-09-01

    Hybrid wearable energy harvesters consisting of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) and photovoltaic (PV) cells are used in this work for powering two autonomous medical devices: an electroencephalography (EEG) system and an electrocardiography (ECG) system in a shirt. Two alternative solutions for powering the systems have been implemented. In the battery-free EEG diadem, PV cells cover the outer surface of radiators used in a TEG. In the ECG shirt, thermoelectric modules are the main power supply that constantly recharges a battery, while PV cells are used mainly to provide standby power, i.e., when the shirt is not worn. Both devices are maintenance free for their entire service life.

  8. In situ nanostructure generation and evolution within a bulk thermoelectric material to reduce lattice thermal conductivity.

    PubMed

    Girard, Steven N; He, Jiaqing; Li, Changpeng; Moses, Steven; Wang, Guoyu; Uher, Ctirad; Dravid, Vinayak P; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G

    2010-08-11

    We show experimentally the direct reduction in lattice thermal conductivity as a result of in situ nanostructure generation within a thermoelectric material. Solid solution alloys of the high-performance thermoelectric PbTe-PbS 8% can be synthesized through rapid cooling and subsequent high-temperature activation that induces a spontaneous nucleation and growth of PbS nanocrystals. The emergence of coherent PbS nanostructures reduces the lattice thermal conductivity from approximately 1 to approximately 0.4 W/mK between 400 and 500 K. PMID:20698594

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    2016-03-01

    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.

  11. [Radioisotope thermoelectric generators and ancillary activities]. Monthly technical progress report, 1 April--28 April 1996

    SciTech Connect

    1996-06-01

    Tehnical progress achieved during this period on radioisotope thermoelectric generators is described under the following tasks: engineering support, safety analysis, qualified unicouple fabrication, ETG fabrication/assembly/test, RTG shipping/launch support, design/review/mission applications, and project management/quality assurance/reliability.

  12. Hardware Implementation of Maximum Power Point Tracking for Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maganga, Othman; Phillip, Navneesh; Burnham, Keith J.; Montecucco, Andrea; Siviter, Jonathan; Knox, Andrew; Simpson, Kevin

    2014-06-01

    This work describes the practical implementation of two maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithms, namely those of perturb and observe, and extremum seeking control. The proprietary dSPACE system is used to perform hardware in the loop (HIL) simulation whereby the two control algorithms are implemented using the MATLAB/Simulink (Mathworks, Natick, MA) software environment in order to control a synchronous buck-boost converter connected to two commercial thermoelectric modules. The process of performing HIL simulation using dSPACE is discussed, and a comparison between experimental and simulated results is highlighted. The experimental results demonstrate the validity of the two MPPT algorithms, and in conclusion the benefits and limitations of real-time implementation of MPPT controllers using dSPACE are discussed.

  13. 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.

  14. RAPID COMMUNICATION: Novel high performance small-scale thermoelectric power generation employing regenerative combustion systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinberg, F. J.; Rowe, D. M.; Min, G.

    2002-07-01

    Hydrocarbon fuels have specific energy contents some two orders of magnitude greater than any electrical storage device. They therefore proffer an ideal source in the universal quest for compact, lightweight, long-lasting alternatives for batteries to power the ever-proliferating electronic devices. The motivation lies in the need to power, for example, equipment for infantry troops, for weather stations and buoys in polar regions which need to signal their readings intermittently to passing satellites, unattended over long periods, and many others. Fuel cells, converters based on miniaturized gas turbines, and other systems under intensive study, give rise to diverse practical difficulties. Thermoelectric devices are robust, durable and have no moving parts, but tend to be exceedingly inefficient. We propose regenerative combustion systems which mitigate this impediment and are likely to make high performance small-scale thermoelectric power generation applicable in practice. The efficiency of a thermoelectric generating system using preheat when operated between ambient and 1200 K is calculated to exceed the efficiency of the best present day thermoelectric conversion system by more than 20%.

  15. 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.

  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 μV 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 μW 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. 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 100C. 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 20C.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Control Strategy for a 42-V Waste-Heat Thermoelectric Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Y. D.; Fan, W.; Tang, Z. B.; Chang, X. Y.; Ling, K.; Su, C. Q.

    2013-07-01

    A 42-V waste-heat thermoelectric vehicle is employed as a potential application of thermoelectric generators for fuel economy improvement and emissions reduction. The 42-V waste-heat thermoelectric vehicle currently in development employs an assemblage driving system consisting of a waste-heat thermoelectric generator, a 42-V powernet, and an integrated starter and generator (ISG). The waste-heat thermoelectric generator also functions as a power supply. To optimize the utilization of the waste-heat energy generated by the thermoelectric generator, an electric assist control strategy and a torque split control strategy are proposed herein. Through the development of relevant systems and strategies, including the thermoelectric generator and an electric bus system, two vehicle models are established and compared using the ADVISOR platform based on MATLAB/Simulink. The calculation results show improved fuel economy and emissions performance resulting from the integration of the torque split control strategy into the 42-V waste-heat thermoelectric vehicle.

  3. 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.

  4. Enhanced performance of dispenser printed MA n-type Bi?Te? composite thermoelectric generators.

    PubMed

    Madan, Deepa; Wang, Zuoqian; Chen, Alic; Juang, Rei-Cheng; Keist, Jay; Wright, Paul K; Evans, Jim W

    2012-11-01

    This work presents performance advancements of dispenser printed composite thermoelectric materials and devices. Dispenser printed thick films allow for low-cost and scalable manufacturing of microscale energy harvesting devices. A maximum ZT value of 0.31 has been achieved for mechanically alloyed (MA) n-type Bi?Te?-epoxy composite films with 1 wt % Se cured at 350 C. The enhancement of ZT is a result of increase in the electrical conductivity through the addition of Se, which ultimately lowers the sintering temperature (350 C). A 62 single-leg thermoelectric generator (TEG) prototype with 5 mm 700 ?m 120 ?m printed element dimensions was fabricated on a custom designed polyimide substrate with thick metal contacts. The prototype device produced a power output of 25 ?W at 0.23 mA current and 109 mV voltage for a temperature difference of 20 C, which is sufficient for low power generation for autonomous microsystem applications. PMID:23130550

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Microcombustor-thermoelectric power generator for 10-50 watt applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, Daniel S.; Cho, Steve T.

    2010-04-01

    Fuel-based portable power systems, including combustion and fuel cell systems, take advantage of the 80x higher energy density of fuel over lithium battery technologies and offer the potential for much higher energy density power sources - especially for long-duration applications, such as unattended sensors. Miniaturization of fuel-based systems poses significant challenges, including processing of fuel in small channels, catalyst poisoning, and coke and soot formation. Recent advances in micro-miniature combustors in the 200Watt thermal range have enabled the development of small power sources that use the chemical energy of heavy fuel to drive thermal-to-electric converters for portable applications. CUBE Technology has developed compact Micro-Furnace combustors that efficiently deliver high-quality heat to optimized thermal-to-electric power converters, such as advanced thermoelectric power modules and Stirling motors, for portable power generation at the 10-50Watt scale. Key innovations include a compact gas-gas recuperator, innovative heavy fuel processing, coke- & soot-free operation, and combustor optimization for low balance-of-plant power use while operating at full throttle. This combustor enables the development of robust, high energy density, miniature power sources for portable applications.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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 temperaturethe hot side as high as 380C and the cold side as low as 5C, with 0.5C accuracyutilizing 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.

  12. 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 μV/K, 126 W/mK, and 3.58 × 10-5 Ω 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Characterization of heavily doped polysilicon films for CMOS-MEMS thermoelectric power generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Jin; Lee, Chengkuo; Wang, Ming-Fang; Liu, Youhe; Feng, Hanhua

    2009-12-01

    This paper presents the material characterization of boron- and phosphorus-doped LPCVD polysilicon films for the application of thermoelectric power generators. Electrical resistivity, Seebeck coefficient and thermal conductivity of polysilicon films doped with doses from 4 × 1015 to 10 × 1015 at cm-2 have been measured at room temperature. Specific contact resistance between polysilicon and aluminum is studied and nickel silicidation is formed to reduce the contact resistance. The overall thermoelectric properties, as characterized by the figure of merit, are reported for polysilicon doped with different doping concentrations. For the most heavily doping dose of 10 × 1015 at cm-2, figure of merit for p- and n-type polysilicon is found as 0.012 and 0.014, respectively. Based on the characterization results, a CMOS compatible thermoelectric power generator composed of boron- and phosphorus-doped polysilicon thermopiles is fabricated. When 5 K temperature difference is maintained across two sides of a device of size of 1 cm2, the output power is 1.3 µW under a matched electrical resistance load.

  16. Performance of Thermoelectric Generation System using 200C 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 200C 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).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dilhac, Jean-Marie; Monthard, Romain; Bafleur, Marise; Boitier, Vincent; Durand-Estbe, 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Solar thermoelectric generators fabricated on a silicon-on-insulator substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

    Solar thermal power generation is an attractive electricity generation technology as it is environment-friendly, has the potential for increased efficiency, and has high reliability. The design, modelling, and evaluation of solar thermoelectric generators (STEGs) fabricated on a silicon-on-insulator substrate are presented in this paper. Solar concentration is achieved by using a focusing lens to concentrate solar input onto the membrane of the STEG. A thermal model is developed based on energy balance and heat transfer equations using lumped thermal conductances. This thermal model is shown to be in good agreement with actual measurement results. For a 1?W laser input with a spot size of 1?mm, a maximum open-circuit voltage of 3.06?V is obtained, which translates to a temperature difference of 226?C across the thermoelements and delivers 25?W of output power under matched load conditions. Based on solar simulator measurements, a maximum TEG voltage of 803?mV was achieved by using a 50.8?mm diameter plano-convex lens to focus solar input to a TEG with a length of 1000?m, width of 15?m, membrane diameter of 3?mm, and 114 thermocouples. This translates to a temperature difference of 18?C across the thermoelements and an output power under matched load conditions of 431?nW. This paper demonstrates that by utilizing a solar concentrator to focus solar radiation onto the hot junction of a TEG, the temperature difference across the device is increased; subsequently improving the TEGs efficiency. By using materials that are compatible with standard CMOS and MEMS processes, integration of solar-driven TEGs with on-chip electronics is seen to be a viable way of solar energy harvesting where the resulting microscale system is envisioned to have promising applications in on-board power sources, sensor networks, and autonomous microsystems.

  2. A Comprehensive 3D Finite Element Model of a Thermoelectric Module Used in a Power Generator: A Transient Performance Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Guangxi; Yu, Xiong

    2015-06-01

    Thermoelectric power generator has potential for small-scale and distributed power generation because of its high durability and scalability. It is very important to realize that the transient behavior of thermoelectric modules (TEM) affects a thermoelectric generator's response to dynamic working environments. Traditionally, researchers have used simplified models to describe the behavior of thermoelectric modules. In this paper we propose a comprehensive mathematical model that considers the effect of variations of chemical potential and carrier density, which are ignored by traditional models. Finite element models based on this new model are used to simulate the transient behavior of a thermoelectric module subjected to rapid changes in boundary temperature or working load. Simulation results show that transition times of thermoelectric modules affected by temperature change are much longer than those of modules affected by changes in electrical load resistance. Sudden changes in working temperature cause voltage overshoot of the TEM output, which, however, is not observed in responses to sudden changes of load resistance. Comparisons also show there are significant differences between the behavior of TEM predicted by use of this new comprehensive model and that predicted by use of traditional models, particularly for the high-temperature intrinsic ionization region and the low-temperature weak ionization region. This implies that chemical potential and carrier density variations, which are taken into account by this new model but ignored by traditional models, have major effects on the performance of TEM.

  3. Environmental, health and safety assessment of decommissioning radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) in northwest Russia.

    PubMed

    Standring, W J F; Dowdall, M; Sneve, M; Selnaes, G; Amundsen, I

    2007-09-01

    This paper presents findings from public health and environmental assessment work that has been conducted as part of a joint Norwegian-Russian project to decommission radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) in northwest Russia. RTGs utilise heat energy from radioactive isotopes, in this case 90Sr and its daughter nuclide 90Y, to generate electricity as a power source. Different accident scenarios based on the decommissioning process for RTGs are assessed in terms of possible radiation effects to humans and the environment. Doses to humans and biota under the worst-case scenario were lower than threshold limits given in ICRP and IAEA literature. PMID:17768331

  4. Cost Scaling of a Real-World Exhaust Waste Heat Recovery Thermoelectric Generator: A Deeper Dive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hendricks, Terry J.; Yee, Shannon; LeBlanc, Saniya

    2015-11-01

    Cost is equally important to power density or efficiency for the adoption of waste heat recovery thermoelectric generators (TEG) in many transportation and industrial energy recovery applications. In many cases, the system design that minimizes cost (e.g., the /W value) can be very different than the design that maximizes the system's efficiency or power density, and it is important to understand the relationship between those designs to optimize TEG performance-cost compromises. Expanding on recent cost analysis work and using more detailed system modeling, an enhanced cost scaling analysis of a waste heat recovery TEG with more detailed, coupled treatment of the heat exchangers has been performed. In this analysis, the effect of the heat lost to the environment and updated relationships between the hot-side and cold-side conductances that maximize power output are considered. This coupled thermal and thermoelectric (TE) treatment of the exhaust waste heat recovery TEG yields modified cost scaling and design optimization equations, which are now strongly dependent on the heat leakage fraction, exhaust mass flow rate, and heat exchanger effectiveness. This work shows that heat exchanger costs most often dominate the overall TE system costs, that it is extremely difficult to escape this regime, and in order to achieve TE system costs of 1/W it is necessary to achieve heat exchanger costs of 1/(W/K). Minimum TE system costs per watt generally coincide with maximum power points, but preferred TE design regimes are identified where there is little cost penalty for moving into regions of higher efficiency and slightly lower power outputs. These regimes are closely tied to previously identified low cost design regimes. This work shows that the optimum fill factor F opt minimizing system costs decreases as heat losses increase, and increases as exhaust mass flow rate and heat exchanger effectiveness increase. These findings have profound implications on the design and operation of various TE waste heat recovery systems. This work highlights the importance of heat exchanger costs on the overall TEG system costs, quantifies the possible TEG performance-cost domain space based on heat exchanger effects, and provides a focus for future system research and development efforts.

  5. Cost Scaling of a Real-World Exhaust Waste Heat Recovery Thermoelectric Generator: A Deeper Dive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hendricks, Terry J.; Yee, Shannon; LeBlanc, Saniya

    2016-03-01

    Cost is equally important to power density or efficiency for the adoption of waste heat recovery thermoelectric generators (TEG) in many transportation and industrial energy recovery applications. In many cases, the system design that minimizes cost (e.g., the /W value) can be very different than the design that maximizes the system's efficiency or power density, and it is important to understand the relationship between those designs to optimize TEG performance-cost compromises. Expanding on recent cost analysis work and using more detailed system modeling, an enhanced cost scaling analysis of a waste heat recovery TEG with more detailed, coupled treatment of the heat exchangers has been performed. In this analysis, the effect of the heat lost to the environment and updated relationships between the hot-side and cold-side conductances that maximize power output are considered. This coupled thermal and thermoelectric (TE) treatment of the exhaust waste heat recovery TEG yields modified cost scaling and design optimization equations, which are now strongly dependent on the heat leakage fraction, exhaust mass flow rate, and heat exchanger effectiveness. This work shows that heat exchanger costs most often dominate the overall TE system costs, that it is extremely difficult to escape this regime, and in order to achieve TE system costs of 1/W it is necessary to achieve heat exchanger costs of 1/(W/K). Minimum TE system costs per watt generally coincide with maximum power points, but preferred TE design regimes are identified where there is little cost penalty for moving into regions of higher efficiency and slightly lower power outputs. These regimes are closely tied to previously identified low cost design regimes. This work shows that the optimum fill factor F opt minimizing system costs decreases as heat losses increase, and increases as exhaust mass flow rate and heat exchanger effectiveness increase. These findings have profound implications on the design and operation of various TE waste heat recovery systems. This work highlights the importance of heat exchanger costs on the overall TEG system costs, quantifies the possible TEG performance-cost domain space based on heat exchanger effects, and provides a focus for future system research and development efforts.

  6. 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 β-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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-01-01

    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 & 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.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Assion, F.; Schnhoff, 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 750C 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.

  10. The Universal Influence of Contact Resistance on the Efficiency of a Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bjrk, Rasmus

    2015-08-01

    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 eight different p-type and eight 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. In order for the efficiency not to decrease by 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 resistance at which a leg of only the high-temperature thermoelectric material has the same efficiency as the segmented leg with a contact resistance at the interface. If, e.g., segmentation increases the efficiency by 30%, then an electrical contact resistance of 30% or a thermal contact resistance of 20% can be tolerated.

  11. A Low-Cost Production Method of FeSi2 Power Generation Thermoelectric Modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inoue, Hiroyuki; Kobayashi, Takahide; Kato, Masahiko; Yoneda, Seiji

    2016-03-01

    A method is proposed to reduce the production cost of power generation thermoelectric modules. FeSi2 is employed as the thermoelectric material because of its low cost, low environmental load, and oxidation resistance. The raw materials were prepared in the composition of Fe0.96Si2.1Co0.04 for n-type and Fe0.92Si2.1Mn0.08 for p-type, which were added with 0.5 wt.% Cu as the starting materials. They were sintered without pressure at 1446 K to be formed into elements. The Seebeck coefficient and resistivity at room temperature were determined to be -182 μV/K and 0.13 mΩm for n-type, and 338 μV/K and 1.13 mΩm for p-type, respectively. The brazing conditions of the direct joining between the element and the solder were examined. Pastes of BNi-6, BNi-7 or TB-608T were tried as the solder. TB-608T was useable for metallizing of insulation substrates and joining of thermoelectric elements in order to manufacture thermoelectric modules. The joining strength was determined to be 50 MPa between the alumina plate and the elements. No mechanical failure was observed in the modules after repetition of 10 or more exposures to a heat source of 670 K. No change was found in the internal resistance. The present production method will provide modules with high durability and low production cost, which will enable high-power multi-stage cascade modules at a reasonable cost.

  12. A Low-Cost Production Method of FeSi2 Power Generation Thermoelectric Modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inoue, Hiroyuki; Kobayashi, Takahide; Kato, Masahiko; Yoneda, Seiji

    2015-12-01

    A method is proposed to reduce the production cost of power generation thermoelectric modules. FeSi2 is employed as the thermoelectric material because of its low cost, low environmental load, and oxidation resistance. The raw materials were prepared in the composition of Fe0.96Si2.1Co0.04 for n-type and Fe0.92Si2.1Mn0.08 for p-type, which were added with 0.5 wt.% Cu as the starting materials. They were sintered without pressure at 1446 K to be formed into elements. The Seebeck coefficient and resistivity at room temperature were determined to be -182 ?V/K and 0.13 m?m for n-type, and 338 ?V/K and 1.13 m?m for p-type, respectively. The brazing conditions of the direct joining between the element and the solder were examined. Pastes of BNi-6, BNi-7 or TB-608T were tried as the solder. TB-608T was useable for metallizing of insulation substrates and joining of thermoelectric elements in order to manufacture thermoelectric modules. The joining strength was determined to be 50 MPa between the alumina plate and the elements. No mechanical failure was observed in the modules after repetition of 10 or more exposures to a heat source of 670 K. No change was found in the internal resistance. The present production method will provide modules with high durability and low production cost, which will enable high-power multi-stage cascade modules at a reasonable cost.

  13. 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.

  14. Analysis of thermoelectric water use in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xiaoying

    Compared with many other countries, the United States is relatively well endowed with water resources. Despite this abundance, water adequacy has emerged as one of America's primary resource issues. Thermoelectric power generation is the largest offstream water user in the United States. In spite of its large amount of water use and other associated adverse environmental impacts, fewer water use studies have been conducted for thermoelectric generation than for other water use sectors. Consequently, there is little understanding of the determinants of thermoelectric water use and the magnitude of their effects on water usage rates. The major objective of this study is to identify the main determinants of thermoelectric water use and quantify their impacts using multiple regression techniques. Multiple regression models have been developed at two levels: state level and plant level. State level thermoelectric water use data were obtained from the U.S. Geological Survey. The agency has been collecting state-level thermoelectric water use since 1960 at a five-year interval. Plant level thermoelectric water use data were obtained from the Department of Energy that has been conducting surveys on steam thermoelectric power plant operations including their water uses. Models on both thermoelectric withdrawals and consumptive use have been developed. The developed models have shown that thermoelectricity generation, types of cooling facilities, fuel types, generation types, operation conditions, and water sources can significantly influence the amount of thermoelectric water use. The developed thermoelectric water use models are used to forecast future thermoelectric withdrawals. The models predict increases of more than 25 bgd in thermoelectric withdrawals between 2000 and 2025, even when the national average unit thermoelectric withdrawals are projected to continue decreasing from 25.7 gallons/KWh in 1995 to 16.6 gallons/KWh in 2025. The main reason for this is the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS)'s projections of large increase in thermoelectricity generation from 2694.4 BKWh in 1995 to 5073.5 BKWh in 2025. However, analysis of thermoelectric water use has revealed much variability in unit thermoelectric withdrawals in each type of power plant. The potential to increase water use efficiency in thermoelectric power generation may reverse the trend of increases in thermoelectric withdrawals.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Package O-Ring Seal Material Validation Testing

    SciTech Connect

    Adkins, H.E.; Ferrell, P.C.; Knight, R.C.

    1994-09-30

    The Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Package O-Ring Seal Material Validation Test was conducted to validate the use of the Butyl material as a primary seal throughout the required temperature range. Three tests were performed at (1) 233 K ({minus}40 {degrees}F), (2) a specified operating temperature, and (3) 244 K ({minus}20 {degrees}F) before returning to room temperature. Helium leak tests were performed at each test point to determine seal performance. The two major test objectives were to establish that butyl rubber material would maintain its integrity under various conditions and within specified parameters and to evaluate changes in material properties.

  20. Environmental assessment of decommissioning radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) in northwest Russia

    SciTech Connect

    Hosseini, A.; Standring, W.J.F.; Brown, J.E.; Dowdall, M.; Amundsen, I.B.

    2007-07-01

    This article presents some results from assessment work conducted as part of a joint Norwegian-Russian project to decommission radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) in Northwest Russia. Potential worst case accident scenarios, based on the decommissioning procedures for RTGs, were assessed to study possible radiation effects to the environment. Close contact with exposed RTG sources will result in detrimental health effects. However, doses to marine biota from ingestion of radioactivity under the worst-case marine scenario studied were lower than threshold limits given in IAEA literature. (authors)

  1. 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.

  2. Analysis of a Temperature-Controlled Exhaust Thermoelectric Generator During a Driving Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brito, F. P.; Alves, A.; Pires, J. M.; Martins, L. B.; Martins, J.; Oliveira, J.; Teixeira, J.; Goncalves, L. M.; Hall, M. J.

    2016-03-01

    Thermoelectric generators can be used in automotive exhaust energy recovery. As car engines operate under wide variable loads, it is a challenge to design a system for operating efficiently under these variable conditions. This means being able to avoid excessive thermal dilution under low engine loads and being able to operate under high load, high temperature events without the need to deflect the exhaust gases with bypass systems. The authors have previously proposed a thermoelectric generator (TEG) concept with temperature control based on the operating principle of the variable conductance heat pipe/thermosiphon. This strategy allows the TEG modules’ hot face to work under constant, optimized temperature. The variable engine load will only affect the number of modules exposed to the heat source, not the heat transfer temperature. This prevents module overheating under high engine loads and avoids thermal dilution under low engine loads. The present work assesses the merit of the aforementioned approach by analysing the generator output during driving cycles simulated with an energy model of a light vehicle. For the baseline evaporator and condenser configuration, the driving cycle averaged electrical power outputs were approximately 320 W and 550 W for the type-approval Worldwide harmonized light vehicles test procedure Class 3 driving cycle and for a real-world highway driving cycle, respectively.

  3. 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.

  4. Cost-Performance Analysis and Optimization of Fuel-Burning Thermoelectric Power Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yazawa, Kazuaki; Shakouri, Ali

    2013-07-01

    Energy cost analysis and optimization of thermoelectric (TE) power generators burning fossil fuel show a lower initial cost compared with commercialized micro gas turbines but higher operating cost per energy due to moderate efficiency. The quantitative benefit of the thermoelectric system on a price-per-energy (/J) basis lies in its scalability, especially at a smaller scale (<10 kW), where mechanical thermodynamic systems are inefficient. This study is based on propane as a chemical energy source for combustion. The produced heat generates electric power. Unlike waste heat recovery systems, the maximum power output from the TE generator is not necessarily equal to the economic optimum (lowest /kWh). The lowest cost is achieved when the TE module is optimized between the maximum power output and the maximum efficiency, dependent on the fuel price and operation time duration. The initial investment (/W) for TE systems is much lower than for micro gas turbines when considering a low fractional area for the TE elements, e.g., 5% to 10% inside the module. Although the initial cost of the TE system is much less, the micro gas turbine has a lower energy price for longer-term operation due to its higher efficiency. For very long-term operation, operating cost dominates, thus efficiency and material ZT become the key cost factors.

  5. Analysis of a Temperature-Controlled Exhaust Thermoelectric Generator During a Driving Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brito, F. P.; Alves, A.; Pires, J. M.; Martins, L. B.; Martins, J.; Oliveira, J.; Teixeira, J.; Goncalves, L. M.; Hall, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    Thermoelectric generators can be used in automotive exhaust energy recovery. As car engines operate under wide variable loads, it is a challenge to design a system for operating efficiently under these variable conditions. This means being able to avoid excessive thermal dilution under low engine loads and being able to operate under high load, high temperature events without the need to deflect the exhaust gases with bypass systems. The authors have previously proposed a thermoelectric generator (TEG) concept with temperature control based on the operating principle of the variable conductance heat pipe/thermosiphon. This strategy allows the TEG modules’ hot face to work under constant, optimized temperature. The variable engine load will only affect the number of modules exposed to the heat source, not the heat transfer temperature. This prevents module overheating under high engine loads and avoids thermal dilution under low engine loads. The present work assesses the merit of the aforementioned approach by analysing the generator output during driving cycles simulated with an energy model of a light vehicle. For the baseline evaporator and condenser configuration, the driving cycle averaged electrical power outputs were approximately 320 W and 550 W for the type-approval Worldwide harmonized light vehicles test procedure Class 3 driving cycle and for a real-world highway driving cycle, respectively.

  6. 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, Sren Juhl; Rosendahl, Lasse; Kr, Sren 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.

  7. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator load and unload sequence from the licensed hardware package system and the trailer system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reilly, Mary Anne

    1995-01-01

    The Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Transportation System, designated as System 100, comprises four major systems. The four major systems are designated as the Packaging System (System 120), Trailer System (System 140), Operations and Ancillary Equipment System (System 160), including the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Transportation System packaging is licensed (regularoty) hardware, certified by the U.S. Department of Energy to be in accordance with Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 71 (10 CFR 71). System 140, System 160, and System 180 are nonlicensed (nonregulatory) hardware. This paper focuses on the required interfaces and sequencing of events required by these systems and the shipping and receiving facilities in preparation of the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator for space flight.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khn, 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Thermoelectric power conversion in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Awaya, Henry I.; Ewell, Richard; Nesmith, Bill; Vandersande, James

    1990-01-01

    A radiatively-heated multicouple for use in the next generation of radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) will employ 20 individual couples within a single cell, so that 40 n- and p-semiconductor legs will be interconnected in series. At the hot end of the RTG, the legs will be electrically interconnected using silicon molybdenum; on the cold side, the legs are interconnected by tungsten. The entire cell is then mechanically attached to a radiator, which conducts heat away and radiates it into space. Deep-space applications will use RTGs developed for vacuum operation; thermoelectric converter power systems using a unicouple configuration have flown on such missions as Pioneers 10 and 11, which used lead telluride thermoelectric converters, and Voyagers I and II, which used silicon germanium-based thermoelectrics.

  11. Facile Preparation of Highly Conductive Metal Oxides by Self-Combustion for Solution-Processed Thermoelectric Generators.

    PubMed

    Kang, Young Hun; Jang, Kwang-Suk; Lee, Changjin; Cho, Song Yun

    2016-03-01

    Highly conductive indium zinc oxide (IZO) thin films were successfully fabricated via a self-combustion reaction for application in solution-processed thermoelectric devices. Self-combustion efficiently facilitates the conversion of soluble precursors into metal oxides by lowering the required annealing temperature of oxide films, which leads to considerable enhancement of the electrical conductivity of IZO thin films. Such enhanced electrical conductivity induced by exothermic heat from a combustion reaction consequently yields high performance IZO thermoelectric films. In addition, the effect of the composition ratio of In to Zn precursors on the electrical and thermoelectric properties of the IZO thin films was investigated. IZO thin films with a composition ratio of In:Zn = 6:2 at the low annealing temperature of 350 °C showed an enhanced electrical conductivity, Seebeck coefficient, and power factor of 327 S cm(-1), 50.6 μV K(-1), and 83.8 μW m(-1) K(-2), respectively. Moreover, the IZO thin film prepared at an even lower temperature of 300 °C retained a large power factor of 78.7 μW m(-1) K(-2) with an electrical conductivity of 168 S cm(-1). Using the combustive IZO precursor, a thermoelectric generator consisting of 15 legs was fabricated by a printing process. The thermoelectric array generated a thermoelectric voltage of 4.95 mV at a low temperature difference (5 °C). We suggest that the highly conductive IZO thin films by self-combustion may be utilized for fabricating n-type flexible printed thermoelectric devices. PMID:26856774

  12. Specification for strontium-90 500-watt(e) radioisotopic thermoelectric generator. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Hammel, T.; Himes, J.; Lieberman, A.; McGrew, J.; Owings, D.; Schumann, F.

    1983-04-01

    A conceptual design for a demonstration 500-watt(e) radioisotopic thermoelectric generator has been created for the Department of Energy. The design effort was divided into two tasks, viz., create a design specification for a capsule strength member that utilizes a standard Strontium-90 fluoride-filled WESF inner liner, and create a conceptual design for a 500-watt(e) RTG. Both tasks have been accomplished. The strength-member specification was designed to survive an external pressure of 24,500 psi and meet the requirements of special-form radioisotope heat sources. Therefore the capsule can, if desired, be licensed for domestic and international transport. The design for the RTG features a radioisotopic heat source, an array of nine capsules in a tungsten biological shield, four current-technology series-connected thermoelectric-conversion modules, low-conductivity thermal insulation, and a passive finned-housing radiator for waste-heat dissipation. The preliminary RTG specification formulated previous to contract award has been met or exceeded. The power source will generate the required power for the required service period at 28 volts dc with a conversion efficiency of 8%, provided the existing in-pool capsules at WESF meet the assumed thermal-inventory requirements.

  13. Validating Steady-State and Transient Modeling Tools for High-Power-Density Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crane, D. T.; Koripella, C. R.; Jovovic, V.

    2012-06-01

    Steady-state and transient models have been created in a MATLAB/Simulink environment for high-power-density thermoelectric generators (TEG). These numerical models, comprising simultaneously solved, nonlinear, energy balance equations, simulate novel TEG architectures, such as a cylindrical TEG with gas/liquid heat exchangers. Model validation studies, including component-level testing of thermoelectric (TE) subassemblies, interface thermal resistance tests, and full-scale TEG tests, were performed under different operating conditions and designs. Targeted finite-element analysis studies were also conducted. A full-scale cylindrical-shaped TE generator was built using high-power-density, segmented TE elements and tested on a test-bench with hot air and cold water with maximum power output of 608 W. Measured performance data from these tests were used in model validation. Process outlet temperatures, pressure drops, hot and cold shunt temperatures along the length of the TEG, TEG voltage, and TEG current are some of the performance variables included in the model validation. The validated model is now being used with more confidence to optimize new TEG designs for different applications.

  14. 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 170C; this promises great possibilities for application of this technology in future energy-efficient hybrid vehicles.

  15. 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.

  16. 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%.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MusiaŁ, M.; Borcuch, M.; Wojciechowski, K.

    2016-03-01

    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%.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Analysis of the Effect of Module Thickness Reduction on Thermoelectric Generator Output

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brito, F. P.; Figueiredo, L.; Rocha, L. A.; Cruz, A. P.; Goncalves, L. M.; Martins, J.; Hall, M. J.

    2016-03-01

    Conventional thermoelectric generators (TEGs) used in applications such as exhaust heat recovery are typically limited in terms of power density due to their low efficiency. Additionally, they are generally costly due to the bulk use of rare-earth elements such as tellurium. If less material could be used for the same output, then the power density and the overall cost per kilowatt (kW) of electricity produced could drop significantly, making TEGs a more attractive solution for energy harvesting of waste heat. The present work assesses the effect of reducing the amount of thermoelectric (TE) material used (namely by reducing the module thickness) on the electrical output of conventional bismuth telluride TEGs. Commercial simulation packages (ANSYS CFX and thermal-electric) and bespoke models were used to simulate the TEGs at various degrees of detail. Effects such as variation of the thermal and electrical contact resistance and the component thickness and the effect of using an element supporting matrix (e.g., eggcrate) instead of having air conduction in void areas have been assessed. It was found that indeed it is possible to reduce the use of bulk TE material while retaining power output levels equivalent to thicker modules. However, effects such as thermal contact resistance were found to become increasingly important as the active TE material thickness was decreased.

  2. 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

  3. Analysis of the Effect of Module Thickness Reduction on Thermoelectric Generator Output

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brito, F. P.; Figueiredo, L.; Rocha, L. A.; Cruz, A. P.; Goncalves, L. M.; Martins, J.; Hall, M. J.

    2015-11-01

    Conventional thermoelectric generators (TEGs) used in applications such as exhaust heat recovery are typically limited in terms of power density due to their low efficiency. Additionally, they are generally costly due to the bulk use of rare-earth elements such as tellurium. If less material could be used for the same output, then the power density and the overall cost per kilowatt (kW) of electricity produced could drop significantly, making TEGs a more attractive solution for energy harvesting of waste heat. The present work assesses the effect of reducing the amount of thermoelectric (TE) material used (namely by reducing the module thickness) on the electrical output of conventional bismuth telluride TEGs. Commercial simulation packages (ANSYS CFX and thermal-electric) and bespoke models were used to simulate the TEGs at various degrees of detail. Effects such as variation of the thermal and electrical contact resistance and the component thickness and the effect of using an element supporting matrix (e.g., eggcrate) instead of having air conduction in void areas have been assessed. It was found that indeed it is possible to reduce the use of bulk TE material while retaining power output levels equivalent to thicker modules. However, effects such as thermal contact resistance were found to become increasingly important as the active TE material thickness was decreased.

  4. 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. This crystallographic alignment is necessary for further improvement of the magnet energy density.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Numerical and Experimental Investigation for Heat Transfer Enhancement by Dimpled Surface Heat Exchanger in Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yiping; Li, Shuai; Yang, Xue; Deng, Yadong; Su, Chuqi

    2016-03-01

    For vehicle thermoelectric exhaust energy recovery, the temperature difference between the heat exchanger and the coolant has a strong influence on the electric power generation, and ribs are often employed to enhance the heat transfer of the heat exchanger. However, the introduction of ribs will result in a large unwanted pressure drop in the exhaust system which is unfavorable for the engine's efficiency. Therefore, how to enhance the heat transfer and control the pressure drop in the exhaust system is quite important for thermoelectric generators (TEG). In the current study, a symmetrical arrangement of dimpled surfaces staggered in the upper and lower surfaces of the heat exchanger was proposed to augment heat transfer rates with minimal pressure drop penalties. The turbulent flow characteristics and heat transfer performance of turbulent flow over the dimpled surface in a flat heat exchanger was investigated by numerical simulation and temperature measurements. The heat transfer capacity in terms of Nusselt number and the pressure loss in terms of Fanning friction factors of the exchanger were compared with those of the flat plate. The pressure loss and heat transfer characteristics of dimples with a depth-to-diameter ratio ( h/D) at 0.2 were investigated. Finally, a quite good heat transfer performance with minimal pressure drop heat exchanger in a vehicle TEG was obtained. And based on the area-averaged surface temperature of the heat exchanger and the Seeback effect, the power generation can be improved by about 15% at Re = 25,000 compared to a heat exchanger with a flat surface.

  8. Numerical and Experimental Investigation for Heat Transfer Enhancement by Dimpled Surface Heat Exchanger in Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yiping; Li, Shuai; Yang, Xue; Deng, Yadong; Su, Chuqi

    2015-11-01

    For vehicle thermoelectric exhaust energy recovery, the temperature difference between the heat exchanger and the coolant has a strong influence on the electric power generation, and ribs are often employed to enhance the heat transfer of the heat exchanger. However, the introduction of ribs will result in a large unwanted pressure drop in the exhaust system which is unfavorable for the engine's efficiency. Therefore, how to enhance the heat transfer and control the pressure drop in the exhaust system is quite important for thermoelectric generators (TEG). In the current study, a symmetrical arrangement of dimpled surfaces staggered in the upper and lower surfaces of the heat exchanger was proposed to augment heat transfer rates with minimal pressure drop penalties. The turbulent flow characteristics and heat transfer performance of turbulent flow over the dimpled surface in a flat heat exchanger was investigated by numerical simulation and temperature measurements. The heat transfer capacity in terms of Nusselt number and the pressure loss in terms of Fanning friction factors of the exchanger were compared with those of the flat plate. The pressure loss and heat transfer characteristics of dimples with a depth-to-diameter ratio (h/D) at 0.2 were investigated. Finally, a quite good heat transfer performance with minimal pressure drop heat exchanger in a vehicle TEG was obtained. And based on the area-averaged surface temperature of the heat exchanger and the Seeback effect, the power generation can be improved by about 15% at Re = 25,000 compared to a heat exchanger with a flat surface.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bjrk, 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, B.; Fobelets, K.

    2014-06-01

    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.

  12. SNAP 19 Viking RTG flight configuration and integration testing. [Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brittain, W. M.; Christenbury, S. T.

    1974-01-01

    The Viking-75 mission environments and lander interface requirements which influence the design of the RTG (radioisotope thermoelectric generator), as well as RTG-related constraints are discussed. The baseline RTG design evolved from these considerations is presented with particular emphasis on the design features which make the Viking RTG unique. These features include a gas management system employing a separate gas reservoir to maintain the RTG hot junction and heat source temperatures within a desired range throughout the various mission phases, as well as a specially profiled housing/radiator assembly which facilitates both ground cooling of the RTGs prior to launch and thermal control of the lander after landing. Also presented is the expected RTG electrical performance when subjected to the various mission environments/requirements, such as 'power-up' operations in Mars orbit just prior to the entry, and thermal cycling on the Martian surface after landing.

  13. 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 Ω 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. RTG's for space exploration at the end of the 20th century. [radioisotope thermoelectric generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chmielewski, Art

    1989-01-01

    The use of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) as energy conversion devices for spacecraft designed for weak-sunlight environments is discussed. The two upcoming missions Galileo and Ulysses will both use general-purpose heat source RTGs. Two other missions that are planned for the mid-nineties and will carry RTGs onboard are the comet rendezvous asteroid flyby and Cassini. Another mission that might become a program start in the last decade of the 20th century is Solarprobe, which is most likely to use modular RTGs. Several other missions that are in different planning stages that are in need of RTGs to meet their power requirements are the Mars rover sample return, planetary (Mars) penetrators, microspacecraft, and the Mars Egg. All of these missions are discssed, stressing their RTG requirements.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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%.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Effective thermal conductivity in thermoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baranowski, Lauryn L.; Jeffrey Snyder, G.; Toberer, Eric S.

    2013-05-01

    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" (?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 ?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 ?eff predicts the heat fluxes within these devices to 5% of the exact value.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Room-Temperature Fabrication of a Flexible Thermoelectric Generator Using a Dry-Spray Deposition System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Dae-Seob; Choi, Jung-Oh; Ahn, Sung-Hoon

    2016-01-01

    We present a flexible thermoelectric (TE) generator with titanium dioxide (TiO2), antimony (Sb), and tellurium (Te) powders fabricated by a nanoparticle deposition system (NPDS). NPDS is a novel low-energy consumption dry-spray method that enables the deposition of inorganic materials on substrates at room temperature and under low vacuum. TiO2 nanopowders were dispersed on a TE powder for improved adhesion between TE films and the substrate. Film morphologies were investigated using field-emission scanning electron microscopy, and the phase structure was analyzed by x-ray diffraction. A TE leg, deposited with 3 wt.% TiO2 content, had the largest Seebeck coefficient of approximately 160 μV/K. The prototype TE generator consisted of 16 TE legs linked by silver interconnects over an area of 20 mm × 60 mm. The prototype produced a voltage of 48.91 mV and a maximum power output of 0.18 μW from a temperature gradient of 20 K. The values are comparable to that of conventional methods. These results suggest that flexible TE generators can be fabricated by energy efficient methods, although internal and contact resistances must be decreased.

  11. Two-Dimensional Thermal Resistance Analysis of a Waste Heat Recovery System with Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Gia-Yeh; Yao, Da-Jeng

    2013-07-01

    In this study, it is shown that two-dimensional (2D) thermal resistance analysis is a rapid and simple method to predict the power generated from a waste heat recovery system with thermoelectric generators (TEGs). Performance prediction is an important part of system design, generally being simulated by numerical methods with high accuracy but long computational duration. Use of the presented analysis saves much time relative to such numerical methods. The simple 2D model of the waste heat recovery system comprises three parts: a recovery chamber, the TEGs, and a cooling system. A fin-structured duct serves as a heat recovery chamber, to which were attached the hot sides of two TEGs; the cold sides were attached to a cooling system. The TEG module and duct had the same width. In the 2D analysis, unknown temperatures are located at the centroid of each cell into which the system is divided. The relations among the unknown temperatures of the cells are based on the principle of energy conservation and the definition of thermal resistance. The temperatures of the waste hot gas at the inlet and of the ambient fluid are known. With these boundary conditions, the unknown temperatures in the system become solvable, and the power generated by the TEGs can be predicted. Meanwhile, a three-dimensional (3D) model of the system was simulated in FloTHERM 9.2. The 3D numerical solution matched the solution of the 2D analysis within 10%.

  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. A 42-V Electrical and Hybrid Driving System Based on a Vehicular Waste-Heat Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Y. D.; Fan, W.; Ling, K.; Su, C. Q.

    2012-06-01

    A 42-V powernet has been recognized as the next generation of vehicle electrical systems, and the waste-heat thermoelectric generator is becoming the future of vehicular energy conservation and emission reduction technologies. In this paper, effective utilization of vehicular waste-heat energy is proposed by introducing an electrical and hybrid driving system, which is an assemblage of a waste-heat thermoelectric generator, a 42-V powernet, and an integrated starter and generator (ISG). A vehicle model and the submodels for the new system have been built on the ADVISOR platform based on MATLAB/Simulink, and the dynamic performance of the vehicle model tested using the Economic Commission for Europe-Europe Urban Dynamometer Cycle driving cycle. The simulation results indicate that application of a 42-V waste-heat thermoelectric vehicle could be an integrated approach for fuel economy improvement and emission reduction, compared with a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle and an ISG-type 42-V vehicle.

  14. AC magnetic field-assisted method to develop porous carbon nanotube/conducting polymer composites for application in thermoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chuang, Chun-Yu; Yang, Shu-Chian; Chang, Su-Hua; Yang, Ta-I.

    2015-04-01

    Thermoelectric materials are very effective in converting waste heat sources into useful electricity. Researchers are continuing to develop new polymeric thermoelectric materials. The segregated-network carbon nanotube (CNT)- polymer composites are most promising. Thus, the goal of this study is to develop novel porous CNT -polymer composites with improved thermoelectric properties. The research efforts focused on modifying the surface of the CNT with magnetic nanoparticles so that heat was released when subjecting to an AC magnetic field. Subsequently, polymers covered on the surface of the CNT were crosslinked. The porous CNT -polymer composites can be obtained by removing the un-crosslinked polymers. Polydimethylsiloxane polymer was utilized to investigate the effect of porosity and electrical conductivity on the thermoelectric properties of the composites. This AC magnetic field-assisted method to develop porous carbon nanotube/polymer composites for application in thermoelectric materials is introduced for the first time. The advantage of this method is that the electrical conductivity of the composites was high since we can easily to manipulate the CNT to form a conducting path. Another advantage is that the high porosity significantly reduced the thermal conductivity of the composites. These two advantages enable us to realize the polymer composites for thermoelectric applications. We are confident that this research will open a new avenue for developing polymer thermoelectric materials.

  15. 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.

  16. PDMS/Kapton interface plasma treatment effects on the polymeric package for a wearable thermoelectric generator.

    PubMed

    Francioso, Luca; De Pascali, Chiara; Bartali, Ruben; Morganti, Elisa; Lorenzelli, Leandro; Siciliano, Pietro; Laidani, Nadhira

    2013-07-24

    The present work highlights the progress in the field of polymeric package reliability engineering for a flexible thermoelectric generator realized by thin-film technology on a Kapton substrate. The effects of different plasma treatments on the mechanical performance at the interface of a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)/Kapton assembly were investigated. To increase the package mechanical stability of the realized wearable power source, the Kapton surface wettability after plasma exposure was investigated by static contact-angle measurements using deionized water and PDMS as test liquids. In fact, the well-known weak adhesion between PDMS and Kapton can lead to a delamination of the package with an unrecoverable damage of the generator. The plasma effect on the adhesion performances was evaluated by the scratch-test method. The best result was obtained by performing a nitrogen plasma treatment at a radio-frequency power of 20 W and a gas flow of 20 sccm, with a measured critical load of 1.45 N, which is 2.6 times greater than the value measured on an untreated Kapton substrate and 1.9 times greater than the one measured using a commercial primer. PMID:23829424

  17. Integration of Thermoelectric Generators and Wood Stove to Produce Heat, Hot Water, and Electrical Power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goudarzi, A. M.; Mazandarani, P.; Panahi, R.; Behsaz, H.; Rezania, A.; Rosendahl, L. A.

    2013-07-01

    Traditional fire stoves are characterized by low efficiency. In this experimental study, the combustion chamber of the stove is augmented by two devices. An electric fan can increase the air-to-fuel ratio in order to increase the system's efficiency and decrease air pollution by providing complete combustion of wood. In addition, thermoelectric generators (TEGs) produce power that can be used to satisfy all basic needs. In this study, a water-based cooling system is designed to increase the efficiency of the TEGs and also produce hot water for residential use. Through a range of tests, an average of 7.9 W was achieved by a commercial TEG with substrate area of 56 mm 56 mm, which can produce 14.7 W output power at the maximum matched load. The total power generated by the stove is 166 W. Also, in this study a reasonable ratio of fuel to time is described for residential use. The presented prototype is designed to fulfill the basic needs of domestic electricity, hot water, and essential heat for warming the room and cooking.

  18. 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.

  19. Study of Complete Thermoelectric Generator Behavior Including Water-to-Ambient Heat Dissipation on the Cold Side

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aranguren, P.; Astrain, D.; Martnez, A.

    2014-06-01

    Reduction of the thermal resistances of the heat exchangers of a thermoelectric generation (TEG) system leads to a significant increase in TEG efficiency. For the cold side of a thermoelectric module (TEM), a wide range of heat exchangers have been studied, from simple finned dissipators to more complex water (water-glycol) heat exchangers. As the Nusselt number is much higher in water heat exchangers than in conventional air finned dissipators, the convective thermal resistances are better. However, to conclude which heat exchanger leads to higher efficiencies, it is necessary to include the whole system involved in the heat dissipation, i.e., the TEM-to-water heat exchanger, the water-to-ambient heat exchanger, as well as the required pumps and fans. This paper presents a dynamic computational model able to simulate the complete behavior of a TEG, including both heat exchangers. The model uses the heat transfer and hydraulic equations to compute the TEM-to-water and water-to-ambient thermal resistances, along with the resistance of the hot-side heat exchanger at different operating conditions. Likewise, the model includes all the thermoelectric effects with temperature-dependent properties. The model calculates the net power generation for different configurations, providing a methodology to design and optimize the heat exchange in order to maximize the net power generation for a wide variety of TEGs.

  20. 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)

  1. Laboratory development TPV generator

    SciTech Connect

    Holmquist, G.A.; Wong, E.M.; Waldman, C.H.

    1996-02-01

    A laboratory model of a TPV generator in the kilowatt range was developed and tested. It was based on methane/oxygen combustion and a spectrally matched selective emitter/collector pair (ytterbia emitter-silicon PV cell). The system demonstrated a power output of 2.4 kilowatts at an overall efficiency of 4.5{percent} without recuperation of heat from the exhaust gases. Key aspects of the effort include: (1) process development and fabrication of mechanically strong selective emitter ceramic textile materials; (2) design of a stirred reactor emitter/burner capable of handling up to 175,000 Btu/hr fuel flows; (3) support to the developer of the production silicon concentrator cells capable of withstanding TPV environments; (4) assessing the apparent temperature exponent of selective emitters; and (5) determining that the remaining generator efficiency improvements are readily defined combustion engineering problems that do not necessitate breakthrough technology. The fiber matrix selective emitter ceramic textile (felt) was fabricated by a relic process with the final heat-treatment controlling the grain growth in the porous ceramic fiber matrix. This textile formed a cylindrical cavity for a stirred reactor. The ideal stirred reactor is characterized by constant temperature combustion resulting in a uniform reactor temperature. This results in a uniform radiant emission from the emitter. As a result of significant developments in the porous emitter matrix technology, a TPV generator burner/emitter was developed that produced kilowatts of radiant energy. {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}

  2. 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.

    2016-03-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. A New Test Rig for Accurate Nonparametric Measurement and Characterization of Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montecucco, Andrea; Buckle, James; Siviter, Jonathan; Knox, Andrew R.

    2013-07-01

    Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are increasingly employed in large-scale applications, therefore accurate performance data are necessary to permit precise designs and simulations. However, there is still no standardized method to test the electrical and thermal performance of TEGs. This paper presents an innovative test system to assess device performance in the "real world." The fixture allows the hot temperature to be increased up to 800C with minimal thermal losses and thermal shock; the clamping load can be adjusted up to 5 kN, and the temperatures are sensed by thermocouples placed directly on the TEG's surfaces. A computer program controls all the instruments in order to minimize errors and to aid accurate measurement and test repeatability. The test rig can measure four TEGs simultaneously, each one individually controlled and heated by a maximum electrical power of 2 kW. This allows testing of the effects of series and parallel connection of TEGs under mismatched conditions, e.g., dimensions, clamping force, temperature, etc. The test rig can be employed both as a performance evaluator and as a quality control unit, due to the ability to provide nonparametric testing of four TEGs concurrently. It can also be used to rapidly characterize devices of different dimensions at the same time.

  5. A shielded storage and processing facility for radioisotope thermoelectric generator heat source production

    SciTech Connect

    Sherrell, D.L.

    1992-06-01

    This report discusses a shielded storage rack which has been installed as part of the Radioisotope Power Systems Facility (RPSF) at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford Site in Washington State. The RPSF is designed to replace an existing facility at DOE's Mound Site near Dayton, Ohio, where General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules are currently assembled and installed into Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG). The overall design goal of the RPSF is to increase annual production throughput, while at the same time reducing annual radiation exposure to personnel. The shield rack design successfully achieved this goal for the Module Reduction and Monitoring Facility (MRMF), which process and stores assembled GPHS modules, prior to their installation into RTGS. The shield rack design is simple and effective, with the result that background radiation levels within Hanford's MRMF room are calculated at just over three percent of those typically experienced during operation of the existing MRMF at Mound, despite the fact that Hanford's calculations assume five times the GPHS inventory of that assumed for Mound.

  6. A shielded storage and processing facility for radioisotope thermoelectric generator heat source production

    SciTech Connect

    Sherrell, D.L.

    1992-06-01

    This report discusses a shielded storage rack which has been installed as part of the Radioisotope Power Systems Facility (RPSF) at the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Hanford Site in Washington State. The RPSF is designed to replace an existing facility at DOE`s Mound Site near Dayton, Ohio, where General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules are currently assembled and installed into Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG). The overall design goal of the RPSF is to increase annual production throughput, while at the same time reducing annual radiation exposure to personnel. The shield rack design successfully achieved this goal for the Module Reduction and Monitoring Facility (MRMF), which process and stores assembled GPHS modules, prior to their installation into RTGS. The shield rack design is simple and effective, with the result that background radiation levels within Hanford`s MRMF room are calculated at just over three percent of those typically experienced during operation of the existing MRMF at Mound, despite the fact that Hanford`s calculations assume five times the GPHS inventory of that assumed for Mound.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1990-04-01

    In October 1989, a Space 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 (RTG's), 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 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.

  9. Computational modeling of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG) for interplanetary and deep space travel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nejat, Cyrus; Nejat, Narsis; Nejat, Najmeh

    2014-06-01

    This research project is part of Narsis Nejat Master of Science thesis project that it is done at Shiraz University. The goals of this research are to make a computer model to evaluate the thermal power, electrical power, amount of emitted/absorbed dose, and amount of emitted/absorbed dose rate for static Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG)s that is include a comprehensive study of the types of RTG systems and in particular RTGs fuel resulting from both natural and artificial isotopes, calculation of the permissible dose radioisotope selected from the above, and conceptual design modeling and comparison between several NASA made RTGs with the project computer model pointing out the strong and weakness points for using this model in nuclear industries for simulation. The heat is being converted to electricity by two major methods in RTGs: static conversion and dynamic conversion. The model that is created for this project is for RTGs that heat is being converted to electricity statically. The model approximates good results as being compared with SNAP-3, SNAP-19, MHW, and GPHS RTGs in terms of electrical power, efficiency, specific power, and types of the mission and amount of fuel mass that is required to accomplish the mission.

  10. Irreversibilities and efficiency at maximum power of heat engines: The illustrative case of a thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

    Energy conversion efficiency at maximum output power, which embodies the essential characteristics of heat engines, is the main focus of the present work. The so-called Curzon and Ahlborn efficiency ?CA is commonly believed to be an absolute reference for real heat engines; however, a different but general expression for the case of stochastic heat engines, ?SS, was recently found and then extended to low-dissipation engines. The discrepancy between ?CA and ?SS is here analyzed considering different irreversibility sources of heat engines, of both internal and external types. To this end, we choose a thermoelectric generator operating in the strong-coupling regime as a physical system to qualitatively and quantitatively study the impact of the nature of irreversibility on the efficiency at maximum output power. In the limit of pure external dissipation, we obtain ?CA, while ?SS corresponds to the case of pure internal dissipation. A continuous transition between from one extreme to the other, which may be operated by tuning the different sources of irreversibility, also is evidenced.

  11. Operational Readiness Review Plan for the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Materials Production Tasks

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    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.

  12. 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 ~10100?K/nm. PMID:24056703

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

    2016-03-01

    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.

  17. Thermoelectric generating system attached to a carburizing furnace at Komatsu Ltd., Awazu Plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaibe, H.; Makino, K.; Kajihara, T.; Fujimoto, S.; Hachiuma, H.

    2012-06-01

    At the end of October 2009, KELK Ltd. started a field test of the thermoelectric generation system at a carburizing furnace of Komatsu Ltd., Awazu Plant. Residual carburizing gas based on CO, H2 and N2 is burned resulting that 20-30 kW range of flame constantly heats up the hot side of TEG. A single unit of TEG consists of 16 of the Bi-Te thermo-modules, each of which has a size of 50 50 4.2 mm3 and can generate 24W under the circumstance of 280 C and 30 C of hot side and cold side temperature, respectively [1]. 16 modules are separated into 4 groups and they are connected electrically depending on design concept, namely in case of focusing on reliability, parallel connection are used and in case of on simplicity and high-voltage transmission, series connection is preferably employed. The module is being life-time tested at various conditions. For instance, 10,000 of heat cycling under the hot side temperature between 250 and 50 C with a constant cold side temperature at 30 C gives within a few percent degrade. Both buck-and booster-type DC/DC converters controlled by one chip computer were set up and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) was well facilitated to search for the maximum output power depending on the hot and cold temperature. The electric output power from the 16 modules is summed up to charge 4 lead storage batteries (12V-65Ah) and then through DC/AC inverters electricity goes to LED light tubes inside the factory. 214 W can be generated and 180 W is delivered to the batteries.

  18. 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 converter can generally be purchased separately; other 12-V dc power supplies may be obtained at lower cost, since they are quite common, but if the output current is less than 3 amps, the performance of the module will suffer. A small automotive battery charger providing 3-4 amps at 12-V dc would be adequate. Batteries other than automotive lead-acid batteries will probably not be adequate, because the module current draw is quite high. The Igloo KoolMate ac/dc converter was used for the experiments described below.1 Experimental Procedure Demonstrations Using the Thermoelectric Cooling Module The simplest demonstration of the Peltier effect is simply to power the module, allow it to establish a temperature difference between the heat sinks, and permit students to touch the hot and cold heat sinks. If direct contact by touch is not practical, digital thermometers can be connected to the heat sinks and the displays situated so the audience can view them. In a room that is equipped to display a computer's output, another option is to acquire the temperature data through a computer and display the results. Relatively inexpensive data acquisition hardware and software for Macintosh or IBM-compatible platforms are available from Vernier Software (503-297-5317, or e-mail at dvernier@vernier.com on Internet). A Serial Box Interface for Macintosh (99), Data Logger software (30, includes site license), and two Direct-Connect Temperature Probes (25 each) were purchased.2 Setting up the equipment is straightforward, requiring about 15 minutes. Temperature probes were fastened against the base of the hot- and cold-side heat sinks, data acquisition was initiated, and power applied to the module from the ac adapter. After some experimentation, the cold side was found to reach its miniμm temperature in about ten minutes, after which the temperature increased with time. A representative plot of temperature versus time is shown in Figure 2. Figure 2. Temperature at the two heat sinks of the thermoelectric module as a function of time. The module was turned on at time zero with a polarity corresponding to cooling the food chamber. A similar temperature profile was obtained when the polarity was reversed, corresponding to heating the food chamber. The cold side would presumably maintain its temperature if heat were being actively dissipated from the hot side with forced air, as in the original design. The same experiment can be repeated with the power supply's polarity switched to reverse the hot and cold sides of the device. To demonstrate the Seebeck effect (in which a temperature gradient produces a potential), a small electrical device can be connected to the module in place of the power supply after the module has reached its maxiμm temperature gradient; power can be extracted from the module until the temperature gradient becomes too small. A small motor or light bulb or buzzer could be usedsome experimentation will be necessary to determine the size of the device that can be powered. We used a small motor from Radio Shack (about 1), rated to run on from 1.5 to 4.5 V, which turned a small propeller. This motor could be run for about 6 minutes after the device had received power for ten to twenty minutes. This is an excellent demonstration of the reversibility of the processes involved: an electric potential gradient (voltage) is used to create a temperature gradient; and the temperature gradient is used to create a voltage that powers a device. The computer data acquisition system was used to measure the voltage produced by the device. After the device had received power for 10 minutes, the Seebeck voltage produced was measured as a function of time. The initial voltage was about 2.5 V, decaying to nearly zero over about 20 minutes. The Serial Box Interface is able to handle a voltage of up to 5 V. A plot of voltage versus time is shown in Figure 3. Figure 3. Voltage produced by the thermoelectric module after the temperature gradient shown in Fig. 2 was established (t=0 in this figure corresponds to t=10 in Fig. 2). A similar profile was obtained if the module if the module was powered with the polarity reversed. Other variations on this demonstration involve simply connecting a small motor or light bulb to the electrical leads and creating a temperature gradient by heating up or cooling down one side of the device. For example, immersing the smaller of the heat sinks in an ice-water bath started the aforementioned motor in less than a minute; it ran for about four minutes, at which point the large heat sink had cooled down due to thermal conduction (dry ice also works well to cool the heat sink but is quite loud). Heating the large heat sink with hot air from a heat gun for about a minute started the motor again and allowed it to run for eight minutes. The motor can also be powered by heating the heat sink without first immersing the other side in ice water. Once the motor has started running, it can be made to run in the opposite direction by heating the other heat sink and establishing a temperature gradient in the opposite direction. Demonstration of the Seebeck effect. An electric motor is powered by a thermoelectric module subjected to a temperature gradient (one side of the module is exposed to air, the other side to an ice bath). Reversing the direction of the temperature gradient by flipping the module over, reverses the polarity of the voltage produced, turning the motor in the opposite direction. Note: Actual time of experiment was 3 minutes. Theory When a temperature gradient is imposed on a conductor under open circuit conditions (i.e., no current is allowed to flow), the creation of a steady-state potential difference between the high- and low-temperature regions of the conductor is called the Seebeck effect. Consider a metal bar where one side is kept at a higher temperature than the other. If the free electrons in the metal are considered to behave as a gas, the kinetic theory of gases predicts that the free electrons in the hot side of the bar will on average have higher kinetic energy and will be moving at greater speeds than those in the cold side of the bar. As the faster moving electrons spread out, there will be a net flow of electrons from the hot side to the cold side of the bar, resulting in an accumulation of negative charge at the cold side and preventing further charge buildup (Fig. 4a). In a closed circuit, as shown in Figure 4b, current will flow to reduce the charge buildup and will continue to flow as long as the temperature gradient is maintained. The net result is that an imposed temperature gradient drives an electric current. Figure 4. Illustration of the Seebeck effect. A temperature difference in a conductor causes a net flow of electrons from the hot side (TH) to the cold side (TC). If the circuit is not complete, charge build up occurs. (a) If the circuit is complet, an electric current I flows in the circuit. (b) Note that the direction of current I is opposite the direction of electron flow. The electric field produced, E, (volts/distance) is proportional to the thermal gradient3 (DeltaT/Deltax, kelvins/distance, for a one-dimensional case) with a proportionality constant called the thermopower or Seebeck coefficient, Q (volts/kelvin) E = Q(DeltaT/Deltax)i (1) The boldface type indicates vector quantities (note that i is the unit vector in the x-direction). For a given temperature gradient, a larger thermopower means a larger electric field (and therefore potential) is generated. In the example described above, Q is negative: The electric current, defined as the direction of the flow of positive charge (negatively charged electrons move in the direction opposite the electric current), is from the cold side of the bar to the hot side, opposite to the direction of the thermal current. If Q is positive, the thermal and electric currents flow in the same direction. In fact, metals exhibit both positive and negative thermopowers, and, for a given metal, Q can actually be positive at one temperature and negative at another. The large observed variation in thermopower sign and magnitude in metals can be explained in large part by electron scattering: The efficiency with which electrons are scattered is a function of temperature. If, for example, the hot high-energy electrons are scattered more efficiently by the lattice than are cooler low-energy electrons, the low-energy electrons can more easily flow to the hot side of the sample than high-energy electrons can flow to the cold side. This effect then opposes the gas-law-based argument described above, and the effect can be large enough to cause a material to exhibit a positive thermopower.4 It should also be noted that when current flows in a conductor, heat is generated by a process known as joule heating or resistive heating. When electrons in a conductor are made to move under an applied potential, they are moving from a state of higher potential energy to lower potential energy. The electrons are of course in constant random motion, but this produces no net motion of electrons. The applied potential imposes a small net velocity on the electrons. The electrons may be regarded as being accelerated by the electric field; they accelerate until they have a collision with another electron or a positively charged metal ion, which reduces their velocity. These collisions liberate energy in the form of heat. Unlike the thermoelectric effects, this process is not thermodynamically reversible. Joule heating is described by eq 2 P = I2R (2) where P is the rate at which heat is produced (watts = joules/second), I is the current flowing in the conductor (amperes), and R is the conductor's resistance (ohms). Because the current term is squared, the direction of current flow is unimportantheat is always generated when a current is flowing through a conductor. This is the familiar resistive heating that we see in space heaters, hair dryers, and light bulbs. Note that in these cases some of the energy is also given off as light. Until now, the only charge carriers considered have been electrons. In semiconductors, however, there is also the possibility that positively charged "holes" will be important in conduction (2). Holes are simply vacant electron states in the valence band of a semiconductor; they have the same magnitude of charge as an electron, but they are positive instead of negative. Semiconductors in which holes are the majority carrier are termed p-type. The Seebeck effect for p-type semiconductors will cause holes to move from a hot region to a cold region, like electrons. But because they are positively charged, the potential created will be opposite to that created by electrons. The Peltier effect may be thought of as the opposite of the Seebeck effect. Figure 5a shows an n-type semiconductor (one in which conduction band electrons are the predominant charge carriers, "majority carriers") connected to a voltage source by metallic conductors. Figure 5. Illustration of the Peltier effect for a semiconductor between two pieces of metal. (a) n-Type semiconductor. Electrons flow from right to left in the semiconductor, carrying heat from the right to the left side of the semiconductor, opposite to the electic current direction; Pi is negative. (b) p-Type semiconductor. Holes flow from left to right in the semiconductor , carrying heat from the left to the right side of the semiconductor, in the same direction as the electric current; Pi is positive. EC, EV, and EF refer to the energies of the conduction band edge, the valence band edge, and the Fermi energy (or electrochemical potential), respectively. Figure adapted from Hannay, N. B. Semiconductors; Reinhold: New York, 1959; p 41. An electric current flows through the semiconductor from left to right (electrons flow from right to left). For the electrons to enter the semiconductor from the metal, they must overcome the energy barrier, which is the difference in energy between the conduction band edge EC and the Fermi level, EF, to enter the conduction band; the highest-energy or "hottest" electrons from the metal are most likely to surmount this barrier and cross to the other metal-semiconductor interface. The result is that the right side is depleted of high-energy electrons. These electrons travel through the semiconductor and face no energy barrier as they enter the metal on the left side, which therefore has a net gain of high-energy electrons. The result is that heat is transported from right to left; an electrical current is accompanied by a thermal current. One side heats up above the ambient temperature, the other side cools down below the ambient temperature. A p-type semiconductor connected to a voltage source is shown in Figure 5b. The electric current is carried by positive holes traveling from left to right in the semiconductor valence band. They must overcome the energy barrier between the Fermi level and the valence band edge, Ev. (It is important to note that the formalism associated with holes is such that their energy increases downward on the figure as shown.) The highest energy holes will be depleted from the left side, resulting in a thermal current from left to right. The magnitude of the Peltier effect is quantified with the Peltier coefficient, Pi, as follows: jq = Pij (3) where jq is the thermal current density (in units of watts/area) and j is the electrical current density (in units of amperes/area). The units of Pi are volts. For a given electrical current density, a material with a larger Peltier coefficient will have a larger accompanying thermal current density. Note that the Peltier coefficient, like the thermopower, can be positive or negative. In Figure 5a, the thermal current and electric current were in opposite directions; Pi is negative. In Figure 5b, the two currents are in the same direction; Pi is positive. The Peltier coefficient and the thermopower are elated by the expression Pi = TQ (4) where T is the absolute temperature (kelvins). Relation to Thermodynamics The laws of thermodynamics, particularly the second law, provide us with a powerful perspective for evaluating the performance we can expect from thermoelectric devices (3). The second law defines the state function of entropy, S, which is a measure of the disorder of a system. For an ideal, reversible process, the entropy of an isolated system may remain constant; however, in all real processes the entropy or disorder of the system increases. This increase in the disorder of a system may also be viewed as a measure of the degradation of the quality of energy in a system from a more useful form such as chemical or mechanical energy to a less useful form, heat energy. By referring to energy as "useful" or of "higher quality," we mean that a higher percentage of work can be extracted from it. The second law leads to the inequality of Clausius DeltaS q/T (5) where DeltaS is the change in entropy of the system, q is the heat input into the system, and T is the system's absolute temperature. The equation is an equality for an ideal, reversible process but an inequality for an irreversible (spontaneous) process. Heat Engines To evaluate the performance of thermoelectrics, we consider their efficiency. The efficiency, n, is defined as the ratio of work output to work input. We can imagine a device for converting electrical work to mechanical work (e.g., an electric motor) that could theoretically be 100% efficientthat is, have an efficiency of one; similarly, the reverse process of converting mechanical work to electrical work could theoretically have an efficiency of one. An efficiency greater than one violates the first law of thermodynamics, in that energy would not be conserved. For a heat engine (a device that extracts work from the flow of heat from a hot reservoir to a cold reservoir), the efficiency is similarly defined: n= w/qh where w is the work extracted and qh is the heat leaving the hot reservoir. Conservation of energy (the first law) allows us to state that (neglecting parasitic losses) the energy leaving the hot reservoir must equal the energy entering the cold reservoir plus the work extracted from the system, qh = qc + w. In the case of a heat engine, the second law imposes a further restriction on the efficiency. The great strength of the second law is that it allows us to equate heat with absolute temperature through the state function of entropy. By using eq 5 for a reversible entropy change, we obtain the expression for the maximum efficiency of a heat engine, the Carnot efficiency, hmax, given by nmax = (Th-Tc)/Th = 1 - Tc/Th (6) where Th and Tc are the absolute temperatures of the hot and cold reservoirs, respectively. It can be seen that as Tc approaches absolute zero, or Th approaches infinity, the efficiency approaches unity. The concept of energy quality again becomes useful: higher temperatures correspond to higher energy quality. Useful work (representing the highest energy quality) can be extracted more efficiently with a large Th and small Tc. The efficiency becomes zero when Th = Tc (cf. the principle of Thomson); no work can be extracted if there is no temperature gradient, as we saw in the demonstration (the motor didn't run until a temperature gradient was established). Heat Pumps The influence of thermodynamics can be seen in the experimental data of Figure 2. Note the temperature difference from ambient temperature that the two heat sinks reach: the hot side is over 20 °C hotter than ambient temperature, while the cold side is only about 6 °C colder than ambient temperature. Although resistive heating and transport effects are affecting the temperatures at both heat sinks, ideal thermodynamic effects are also apparent. If one were to consider the reversed operation of the device as a heat engine, some work is extracted from the flow of heat from a hot to a cold reservoir. In other words, not all of the heat leaving the hot reservoir reaches the cold reservoir because some is converted to useful work. An analogous argument can therefore be made for a heat pump, where work is put into a system to move heat from a cold reservoir to a hot reservoir, as in the experiment of Figure 2. The heat entering the hot reservoir is the amount of heat leaving the cold reservoir plus the work put into the system to move the heat. If we assume similar heat capacities for the hot and cold sides of the device, we expect to see, as is observed, a greater temperature change at the hot side than at the cold side because |qh| > |qc|. Heat pumps are generally quantified using the coefficient of performance e, the ratio of heat transferred or pumped to the work input. Again, the thermodynamic limit is represented by the Carnot coefficient of performance, emax = Tc/(Th-Tc). Note that when Th = Tc, emax is infinite; it is very easy to pump heat when the reservoirs are at equal temperatures. Also, emax approaches zero as Tc approaches zero; the application of an infinite amount of work is required to bring Tc to absolute zero. The ratio of a heat pump's coefficient of performance to emax can be used to compare heat pumps (the larger the ratio, the more efficient the heat pump). Thermoelectric heat pumps have ratios of up to 10%, conventional residential refrigeration systems have ratios of 30 to 40%, and large refrigeration units can have ratios up to 80%. Materials Metals typically have thermopowers on the order of μV/K, which are too small for most practical applications with the exception of thermocouples. Many semiconductors, however, have much larger values of Q, on the order of hundreds of μV/K.5 Although metals produce a smaller potential for a given temperature difference, they are good thermocouple materials because they are inexpensive and can easily operate in high temperature environments. Although large thermopower values are important to good thermoelectric materials, other factors are also important. Since charge carriers must move through the material to transport heat, the material should conduct electricity well; otherwise, the deleterious effect of resistive heating (see eq 2) will be enhanced. In addition, the material should act as a thermal insulator; the purpose of the device (when operated as a heat pump) is to produce a hot and cold region, so a good thermal conductor will rapidly dissipate the temperature difference established. The best thermoelectric materials involve a trade-off among the three factors, combining a high thermopower and electrical conductivity with low thermal conductivity.6 All three parameters are affected by the carrier concentration, n, of a solid (2). Carrier concentrations range from about 1014 to 1021 carriers/cm3 in a semiconductor, and are about 1022 cm-3 in a metal. Electrical conductivity, s, increases with n. The thermal conductivity, k, has two components, a lattice thermal conductivity kl and an electronic thermal conductivity kel, such that k = kl + kel. The lattice component does not vary significantly with n; the electronic component increases with n.7 The thermopower, Q, generally decreases with increasing carrier concentration.8 These relationships are displayed in Figure 6, along with the figure of merit Z. Figure 6. (a) Generalized dependence of electrical and thermal conductivity and thermopower on the carrier concentration. (b) The resultant dependence of the figure-of-merit, Z, on the carrier concentration. Adapted from Heikes, R. R., and Ure, R. W., Jr. Thermoelectricity: Science and Engineering; Interscicence: New York, 1961; p 20. The greatest Z value is obtained with a carrier concentration between 1018 and 1021 cm-3. This implies that the best thermoelectric materials will be semiconductors with a relatively high carrier concentration. The choice of carrier type is also important. As mentioned above, the direction of both the Seebeck and Peltier effects is reversed depending on whether the carriers are electrons or holes. If both carrier types are present in a material, their effects will work against each other. Semiconductors always contain both carrier types, but often the semiconductor is intentionally laced with impurities ("doped") so that one carrier type is greatly predominant (2). In this case, the semiconductor is said to be extrinsic. Intrinsic semiconductors, on the other hand, have roughly equal numbers of each type of carrier, causing their performance as thermoelectric materials to suffer. Extrinsic semiconductors, then, are the better choice for thermoelectric devices. Researchers are continually trying to increase the efficiency of thermoelectric materials, through the processing of existing materials or the creation of new ones. Strategies to further improve the figure of merit of semiconductors generally involve decreasing the lattice thermal conductivity through a number of techniques that affect the microstructure of the material (4). These include solid-solution alloying of different semiconductors and dispersing inert particles in the semiconductor. Both treatments disrupt the regular ordering of the crystalline grains and decrease the ability of the material to carry heat through lattice vibrations. Put another way, the mean free path of phonons (quantized lattice vibrations) in the material decreases. Narrow band-gap semiconductors are generally used for cooling and for power-generation applications.(9) Most Peltier coolers are made with alloys of bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3), antimony telluride (Sb2Te3), and/or bismuth selenide (Bi2Se3), the best materials to date for near-room-temperature operation. At higher temperatures, lead telluride (PbTe) is used. For power generation systems, which typically operate at still higher temperatures, silicon-germanium (Si-Ge) alloys are often used. Bismuth telluride (also known as tellurobismuthite), antimony telluride, and bismuth selenide have a nine-layer structure. They are composed of close-packed anions (Te or Se) with cations (Bi or Sb) occupying two-thirds of the octahedral holes (5). Let A, B, and C represent different relative orientations of the anion close-packed layers; and a, b, and c represent different relative orientations of the cations in the octahedral holes that lie midway between the close-packed layers. The structure can then be written as AcBAcBaCBaCbACbA A perspective view of the unit cell of this structure is shown in Figure 7; a top view (looking down the crystal's c-axis) is shown in Figure 8. Figure 7. Perspective view of the bismuth telluride unit cell. Small dark spheres represent Bi; large clear spheres represent Te. The upper- and lower-case letters to the right indicate the relative orientation of the Te and Bi layers, respectively. Corresponding upper- and lower-case letters (e. g., A and A) represent layers that are aligned vertically (along the c-axis) with one another; see Fig. 8. The model was constructed using the Institute for Chemical Education Solid-State Model Kit, with some modifications: a second base (not shown) was used at the top to provide more stability, and longer rods than those supplied with the model kit had to be used to make the complete unit cell. The rods used were 10 in. long, cut from 3/32-in. stainless steel welding rods. Sb2Te3 and Bi2Se3 have the same structure. Figure 8. Top view (looking down the crystal's c-axis) of the bismuth telluride unit cell. Large circles represent anions, small circles represent cations. Letters denote the different relative arrangements of atomic planes; an upper-case letter indicates a close-packed plane of anions; a lower-case letter indicates a plane of cations in octahedral holes midway between anion planes. The dominant defect in Sb2Te3 is an antimony atom on a tellurium site. Since an antimony atom has one less valence electron to donate to the crystal, it can be thought of as an acceptor site, trapping a valence band electron and producing a hole. Sb2Te3 is therefore normally p-type. Bi2Te3 contains both bismuth on tellurium site defects and tellurium on bismuth site defects; these are acceptors and donors, respectively, so Bi2Te3 can be either p- or n-type. A good positive thermoelectric material (i.e., Q > 0) is a solid solution of composition 75:25 at. % Bi2Te3:Sb2Te3. A good negative thermoelectric material (i.e., Q < 0) is 75:25 at. % Bi2Te3:Bi2Se3, also a solid solution. The existence of both positive and negative thermoelements is of great utility in terms of device construction. A compact device can be made because individual thermoelements can be easily connected in series electrically, but in parallel thermally. Consider the model Peltier cooler depicted in Figure 9a, which consists of a power source, metallic conductors (wires), and positive and negative thermoelectrics. Figure 9.Schematic of a Peltier cooler. Positive thermoelements (where Pi >0) transfer heat in the same direction as current flow; the opposite is true for negative thermoelements. (a) Using both types of thermoelements simplifies device construction. (b) More complicated electrical connections are required if only one type of thermoelement is used. Current flows clockwise in the circuit as shown. In the positive thermoelement, heat flows in the direction of electric current flow; it is transported "up" in the diagram. In the negative thermoelement, heat is also transported "up" because now the electric current is flowing "down". If only positive thermoelements, for example, were available, it would be more difficult to arrange thermoelements in an array to move heat, as shown in Figure 9b. Commercial Peltier coolers are typically an array of positive and negative thermoelements arranged as shown in Figure 10. Figure 10.Thermoelectic cooling module. An array of positive and negative thermoelements ar arranged between two ceamic plates so that they are electrically in series but thermally in parallel. All of the elements move heat from the top to the bottom of the module. Note that all of the metallic conductors are entirely in the plane of the top plate or the bottom plate. All of the elements are connected in series electrically, but they all shunt heat from the top to the bottom of the device. The thermoelectric module shown in Figure 1 has several hundred thermoelements. Conclusion Thermoelectric devices provide an engaging high-tech demonstration suitable for illustrating thermodynamic principles in the classroom. They also showcase an elegant solid-state method of refrigeration, heating, and power generation. Thermoelectric effects can be understood at a qualitative level through the familiar chemical concept of the kinetic molecular theory of gases. The materials used in thermoelectric devices and described herein can be used to introduce a variety of solid-state structures. Insight is also gained into some of the engineering issues that must be considered when bringing a promising technology to the marketplace. Acknowledgments We would like to acknowledge Gil Nathanson, Frank Weinhold, Mark Rzchowski, Frank DiSalvo, Worth Vaughan, and Tom Kuech for helpful discussions, and Ronald Perkins for making us aware of these interesting materials. We are grateful to the National Science Foundation, through the Division of Undergraduate Education and Division of Materials Research, for supporting this work. Notes 1. Thermoelectric modules can be obtained from several other sources: Arbor Scientific (800 367-6695) sells a 1 cm x 1 cm module attached to a heat sink for about 60. It draws 2.5 A of current at 2 V dc. Melcor (609 393-4178), a large manufacturer of thermoelectrics, sells models ranging in size from 1.8 mm x 3.4 mm ( 13) up to 6.2 cm x 6.2 cm ( 70). MacConnection (800 800-1111) sells a 1 in. x 1 in. module designed to cool the CPUs of IBM-compatible PCs for 50 (stock number 19080). 2. Vernier also sells Texas Instruments' Calculator-Based Laboratory (CBL), a convenient data collection system useful where portability is desired and/or a computer is not available. It costs 185 and utilizes the same probes as the Serial Box Interface (adapter required, 5), and transfers the data to a TI-82 (90) or TI-85/CBL (105) calculator. These data can be graphed on the calculator or transferred to a computer (special hardware/software required, 55). A special version of the TI-82 can be purchased with an overhead display panel (310 for both) suitable for use with an overhead projector. 3. Most generally, the gradient is a vector that points in the direction of greatest rate of change of a quantity, in this case temperature, and whose magnitude indicates the rate of change of the quantity. In the one-dimensional case above, the temperature gradient is simply given by Grad = (dT/dx)i where i is the unit vector in the x-direction. The general form of eq 1 is written E = QGrad, where T is read as "gradient T", "grad T", or "del T". 4. Another effect, known as "phonon drag", makes an important contribution to the thermopower at low temperatures. Some of the phonons (quantized lattice vibrations) carrying heat from the hot region to the cold region collide with carriers and sweep them along. 5. This is largely because in these semiconductors the kinetic energy of the charge carriers is strongly temperature-dependent, whereas in metals it is not strongly temperature-dependent. The electrons in metals are said to be degenerate, and the familiar Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics of the kinetic molecular theory of gases are not as applicable in this case as they are for the case of nondegenerate semiconductors. 6. Materials used for thermoelectric devices are rated based upon their materials figure-of-merit, Z, or by the quantity ZT. The figure-of-merit Z is defined as Z = Q2sigma/kappa, where Q is the thermopower, sigma is the electrical conductivity (units of ohm-1m-1), and kappa is the thermal conductivity (units of W/m-kelvin). Z has units of K-1; the quantity ZT is therefore unitless and is called the dimensionless figure-of-merit. 7. The lattice component, kl, is largely accounted for by phonon-phonon interactions, the frequency of which is strongly determined by the phonons' mean free paths; these are largely unaffected by changes in carrier concentration. The electronic component, kel, is largely accounted for by electron-atom collisions; the rate of these collisions does depend on the electron concentration, n, and on their mean free path, which is relatively independent of n. 8. This can be explained with reference to Figure 5a. The energy carried by each electron is dependent on the difference in energy between the semiconductor's conduction band edge and the Fermi energy, EF; as carrier concentration increases, the Fermi energy is closer to the conduction band edge (2), reducing the energy difference and the amount of thermal energy each electron carries. An analogous argument can be made for holes in p-type semiconductors. 9. Although wider band-gap semiconductors can be doped to high levels, they do not provide optimum electrical or thermal conductivity. A general rule is that the optimum band gap of a thermoelectric material is approximately 10 kT; kT represents the thermal energy available at a given absolute temperature T. At room temperature, kT is about 0.026 eV. Literature Cited 1. See for example Gosney, W. B. Principles of Refrigeration; Cambridge University: Cambridge, 1982; Chapter 1. 2. For an introduction to semiconductors, see Ellis, A. B.; Geselbracht, M. J.; Johnson, B.J.; Lisensky, G. C.; Robinson, W. R. Teaching General Chemistry: A Materials Science Companion; ACS Books: Washington, DC, 1993; Chapter 8. 3. See Atkins, P. W. Physical Chemistry, 4th ed.; W. H. Freeman: New York, 1990; Chapter 4. 4. Ref 2, Chapter 6. 5. Ref 2, Chapter 5.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Experiments and Simulations on a Heat Exchanger of an Automotive Exhaust Thermoelectric Generation System Under Coupling Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, X.; Yu, C. G.; Chen, S.; Wang, Y. P.; Su, C. Q.

    2014-06-01

    The present experimental and computational study investigates an exhaust gas waste heat recovery system for vehicles, using thermoelectric modules and a heat exchanger to produce electric power. It proposes a new plane heat exchanger of a thermoelectric generation (TEG) system, producing electricity from a limited hot surface area. To investigate the new plane heat exchanger, we make a coupling condition of heat-flow and flow-solid coupling analysis on it to obtain the temperature, heat, and pressure field of the heat exchanger, and compared it with the old heat exchanger. These fields couple together to solve the multi-field coupling of the flow, solid, and heat, and then the simulation result is compared with the test bench experiment of TEG, providing a theoretical and experimental basis for the present exhaust gas waste heat recovery system.

  2. 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 μV/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.

  3. Research on the Compatibility of the Cooling Unit in an Automotive Exhaust-based Thermoelectric Generator and Engine Cooling System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Y. D.; Liu, X.; Chen, S.; Xing, H. B.; Su, C. Q.

    2014-06-01

    The temperature difference between the hot and cold sides of thermoelectric modules is a key factor affecting the conversion efficiency of an automotive exhaust-based thermoelectric generator (TEG). In the work discussed in this paper the compatibility of TEG cooling unit and engine cooling system was studied on the basis of the heat transfer characteristics of the TEG. A new engine-cooling system in which a TEG cooling unit was inserted was simulated at high power and high vehicle speed, and at high power and low vehicle speed, to obtain temperatures and flow rates of critical inlets and outlets. The results show that coolant temperature exceeds its boiling point at high power and low vehicle speed, so the new system cannot meet cooling requirements under these conditions. Measures for improvement to optimize the cooling system are proposed, and provide a basis for future research.

  4. The thirsty water-electricity nexus: field data on the scale and seasonality of thermoelectric power generations 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 Chinas 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 Chinas 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.

  5. Optimal design of an atmospheric water generator (AWG) based on thermo-electric cooler (TEC) for drought in rural area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suryaningsih, Sri; Nurhilal, Otong

    2016-02-01

    Drinking water availability is a major issue in some rural area in Indonesia during the summer season due to lack of rainfall, which peoples in this area have to fetch the water a few kilometers away from home. The Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG) is one of the alternative solution for fresh water recovery from atmosphere which is directly condensed the moisture content of water vapor from the air. This paper presents the method to develop a prototype of an AWG based on Thermo-electric cooler (TEC) that used 12 Volt DC, hence its suitability for using renewable energy resource. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is utilized to optimize the design process in the flow region only, it's not suitable for recent CFD software to use in Multi physics, because inaccuracy, cost and time saving. Some parameters such as temperature, moisture content, air flow, pressure, form of air flow channel and the water productivity per unit input of energy are to be considered. The result is presented as an experimental prototype of an AWG based on TEC and compared with other conventional commercial products.

  6. 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

  7. POTENTIAL THERMOELECTRIC APPLICATIONS IN DIESEL VEHICLES

    SciTech Connect

    Crane, D

    2003-08-24

    Novel thermodynamic cycles developed by BSST provide improvements by factors of approximately 2 in cooling, heating and power generation efficiency of solid-state thermoelectric systems. The currently available BSST technology is being evaluated in automotive development programs for important new applications. Thermoelectric materials are likely to become available that further increase performance by a comparable factor. These major advancements should allow the use of thermoelectric systems in new applications that have the prospect of contributing to emissions reduction, fuel economy, and improved user comfort. Potential applications of thermoelectrics in diesel vehicles are identified and discussed. As a case in point, the history and status of the Climate Controlled Seat (CCS) system from Amerigon, the parent of BSST, is presented. CCS is the most successful and highest production volume thermoelectric system in vehicles today. As a second example, the results of recent analyses on electric power generation from vehicle waste heat are discussed. Conclusions are drawn as to the practicality of waste power generation systems that incorporate BSST's thermodynamic cycle and advanced thermoelectric materials.

  8. Cooling, heating, generating power, and recovering waste heat with thermoelectric systems.

    PubMed

    Bell, Lon E

    2008-09-12

    Thermoelectric materials are solid-state energy converters whose combination of thermal, electrical, and semiconducting properties allows them to be used to convert waste heat into electricity or electrical power directly into cooling and heating. These materials can be competitive with fluid-based systems, such as two-phase air-conditioning compressors or heat pumps, or used in smaller-scale applications such as in automobile seats, night-vision systems, and electrical-enclosure cooling. More widespread use of thermoelectrics requires not only improving the intrinsic energy-conversion efficiency of the materials but also implementing recent advancements in system architecture. These principles are illustrated with several proven and potential applications of thermoelectrics. PMID:18787160

  9. Cooling, Heating, Generating Power, and Recovering Waste Heat with Thermoelectric Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, Lon E.

    2008-09-01

    Thermoelectric materials are solid-state energy converters whose combination of thermal, electrical, and semiconducting properties allows them to be used to convert waste heat into electricity or electrical power directly into cooling and heating. These materials can be competitive with fluid-based systems, such as two-phase air-conditioning compressors or heat pumps, or used in smaller-scale applications such as in automobile seats, night-vision systems, and electrical-enclosure cooling. More widespread use of thermoelectrics requires not only improving the intrinsic energy-conversion efficiency of the materials but also implementing recent advancements in system architecture. These principles are illustrated with several proven and potential applications of thermoelectrics.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 = 548C (hot side 587C; cold side 39C), and the output power density estimated from these results was 4.4 kW/m2.

  12. Resolving thermoelectric “paradox” in superconductors

    PubMed Central

    Shelly, Connor D.; Matrozova, Ekaterina A.; Petrashov, Victor T.

    2016-01-01

    For almost a century, thermoelectricity in superconductors has been one of the most intriguing topics in physics. During its early stages in the 1920s, the mere existence of thermoelectric effects in superconductors was questioned. In 1944, it was demonstrated that the effects may occur in inhomogeneous superconductors. Theoretical breakthrough followed in the 1970s, when the generation of a measurable thermoelectric magnetic flux in superconducting loops was predicted; however, a major crisis developed when experiments showed puzzling discrepancies with the theory. Moreover, different experiments were inconsistent with each other. This led to a stalemate in bringing theory and experiment into agreement. With this work, we resolve this stalemate, thus solving this long-standing “paradox,” and open prospects for exploration of novel thermoelectric phenomena predicted recently. PMID:26933688

  13. KOVEC studies of radioisotope thermoelectric generator response (In connection with possible NASA space shuttle accident explosion scenarios)

    SciTech Connect

    Walton, J.; Weston, A.; Lee, E.

    1984-06-26

    The Department of Energy (DOE) commissioned a study leading to a final report (NUS-4543, Report of the Shuttle Transportation System (STS) Explosion Working Group (EWG), June 8, 1984), concerned with PuO/sub 2/ dispersal should the NASA space shuttle explode during the proposed Galileo and ISPN launches planned for 1986. At DOE's request, LLNL furnished appendices that describe hydrocode KOVEC calculations of potential damage to the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators, fueled by PuO/sub 2/, should certain explosion scenarios occur. These appendices are contained in this report.

  14. Achieving Maximum Power from Thermoelectric Generators with Maximum-Power-Point-Tracking Circuits Composed of a Boost-Cascaded-with-Buck Converter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Hyunbin; Sim, Minseob; Kim, Shiho

    2015-06-01

    We propose a way of achieving maximum power and power-transfer efficiency from thermoelectric generators by optimized selection of maximum-power-point-tracking (MPPT) circuits composed of a boost-cascaded-with-buck converter. We investigated the effect of switch resistance on the MPPT performance of thermoelectric generators. The on-resistances of the switches affect the decrease in the conversion gain and reduce the maximum output power obtainable. Although the incremental values of the switch resistances are small, the resulting difference in the maximum duty ratio between the input and output powers is significant. For an MPPT controller composed of a boost converter with a practical nonideal switch, we need to monitor the output power instead of the input power to track the maximum power point of the thermoelectric generator. We provide a design strategy for MPPT controllers by considering the compromise in which a decrease in switch resistance causes an increase in the parasitic capacitance of the switch.

  15. 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..

  16. 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

  17. 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 μW⋅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 μW⋅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

  18. MeV Si ion modifications on the thermoelectric generators from Si/Si + Ge superlattice nano-layered films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budak, S.; Heidary, K.; Johnson, R. B.; Colon, T.; Muntele, C.; Ila, D.

    2014-08-01

    The performance of thermoelectric materials and devices is characterized by a dimensionless figure of merit, ZT = S2?T/K, where, S and ? denote, respectively, the Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity, T is the absolute temperature in Kelvin and K represents the thermal conductivity. The figure of merit may be improved by means of raising either S or ? or by lowering K. In our laboratory, we have fabricated and characterized the performance of a large variety of thermoelectric generators (TEG). Two TEG groups comprised of 50 and 100 alternating layers of Si/Si + Ge multi-nanolayered superlattice films have been fabricated and thoroughly characterized. Ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD) was utilized to assemble the alternating sandwiched layers, resulting in total thickness of 300 nm and 317 nm for 50 and 100 layer devices, respectively. Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy (RBS) was employed in order to monitor the precise quantity of Si and Ge utilized in the construction of specific multilayer thin films. The material layers were subsequently impregnated with quantum dots and/or quantum clusters, in order to concurrently reduce the cross plane thermal conductivity, increase the cross plane Seebeck coefficient and raise the cross plane electrical conductivity. The quantum dots/clusters were implanted via the 5 MeV Si ion bombardment which was performed using a Pelletron high energy ion beam accelerator. We have achieved remarkable results for the thermoelectric and optical properties of the Si/Si + Ge multilayer thin film TEG systems. We have demonstrated that with optimal setting of the 5 MeV Si ion beam bombardment fluences, one can fabricate TEG systems with figures of merits substantially higher than the values previously reported.

  19. 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.

  20. New Composite Thermoelectric Materials for Macro-size Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Dresselhaus, Mildred

    2008-09-03

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. High performance n-type (Bi,Sb)2(Te,Se)3 for low temperature thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shanyu; Xie, Wenjie; Li, Han; Tang, Xinfeng

    2010-08-01

    Starting with elemental chunks of bismuth, antimony, tellurium and selenium, densified bulk materials (Bi0.95Sb0.05)2(Te1-xSex)3 (x = 0.10, 0.13, 0.15 and 0.17) were prepared by melt spinning subsequently combined with a spark plasma sintering process. The prepared bulk materials display fine grain size and numerous layered structures with a size of 10-100 nm; moreover, details of the composition difference and phase difference cannot be observed. Measurements of electrical conductivity, Seebeck coefficient and thermal conductivity have been performed in the temperature range 300-500 K, and it is found that the thermoelectric properties are significantly affected by the content of selenium. All the prepared samples show higher ratios of electrical conductivity and total thermal conductivity compared with state-of-the-art commercial zone melted materials, mainly a large reduction in lattice thermal conductivity, which is more beneficial to the concept of 'electron crystal phonon glass'. Subsequently, the resulting thermoelectric figure of merit ZT value reaches a maximum of 1.0 at 460 K for the n-type (Bi0.95Sb0.05)2(Te0.85Se0.15)3 bulk material. Compared with traditional zone melted materials, the peak ZTs move towards a higher temperature and this study demonstrates the possibility of preparing materials with high performance, which can be applied for low temperature power generation or multi-stage devices.

  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. 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

  6. Thermal Test of an Improved Platform for Silicon Nanowire-Based Thermoelectric Micro-generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calaza, C.; Fonseca, L.; Salleras, M.; Donmez, I.; Tarancn, A.; Morata, A.; Santos, J. D.; Gadea, G.

    2015-11-01

    This work reports on an improved design intended to enhance the thermal isolation between the hot and cold parts of a silicon-based thermoelectric microgenerator. Micromachining techniques and silicon on insulator substrates are used to obtain a suspended silicon platform surrounded by a bulk silicon rim, in which arrays of bottom-up silicon nanowires are integrated later on to join both parts with a thermoelectric active material. In previous designs the platform was linked to the rim by means of bulk silicon bridges, used as mechanical support and holder for the electrical connections. Such supports severely reduce platform thermal isolation and penalise the functional area due to the need of longer supports. A new technological route is planned to obtain low thermal conductance supports, making use of a particular geometrical design and a wet bulk micromachining process to selectively remove silicon shaping a thin dielectric membrane. Thermal conductance measurements have been performed to analyse the influence of the different design parameters of the suspended platform (support type, bridge/membrane length, separation between platform and silicon rim,) on overall thermal isolation. A thermal conductance reduction from 1.82 mW/K to 1.03 mW/K, has been obtained on tested devices by changing the support type, even though its length has been halved.

  7. 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

  8. Thermal Test of an Improved Platform for Silicon Nanowire-Based Thermoelectric Micro-generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calaza, C.; Fonseca, L.; Salleras, M.; Donmez, I.; Tarancón, A.; Morata, A.; Santos, J. D.; Gadea, G.

    2016-03-01

    This work reports on an improved design intended to enhance the thermal isolation between the hot and cold parts of a silicon-based thermoelectric microgenerator. Micromachining techniques and silicon on insulator substrates are used to obtain a suspended silicon platform surrounded by a bulk silicon rim, in which arrays of bottom-up silicon nanowires are integrated later on to join both parts with a thermoelectric active material. In previous designs the platform was linked to the rim by means of bulk silicon bridges, used as mechanical support and holder for the electrical connections. Such supports severely reduce platform thermal isolation and penalise the functional area due to the need of longer supports. A new technological route is planned to obtain low thermal conductance supports, making use of a particular geometrical design and a wet bulk micromachining process to selectively remove silicon shaping a thin dielectric membrane. Thermal conductance measurements have been performed to analyse the influence of the different design parameters of the suspended platform (support type, bridge/membrane length, separation between platform and silicon rim,) on overall thermal isolation. A thermal conductance reduction from 1.82 mW/K to 1.03 mW/K, has been obtained on tested devices by changing the support type, even though its length has been halved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Determination of Thermoelectric Module Efficiency A Survey

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Hsin; McCarty, Robin; Salvador, James R.; Yamamoto, Atsushi; Konig, Jan

    2014-01-01

    The development of thermoelectrics (TE) for energy conversion is in the transition phase from laboratory research to device development. There is an increasing demand to accurately determine the module efficiency, especially for the power generation mode. For many thermoelectrics, the figure of merit, ZT, of the material sometimes cannot be fully realized at the device level. Reliable efficiency testing of thermoelectric modules is important to assess the device ZT and provide the end-users with realistic values on how much power can be generated under specific conditions. We conducted a general survey of efficiency testing devices and their performance. The results indicated the lack of industry standards and test procedures. This study included a commercial test system and several laboratory systems. Most systems are based on the heat flow meter method and some are based on the Harman method. They are usually reproducible in evaluating thermoelectric modules. However, cross-checking among different systems often showed large errors that are likely caused by unaccounted heat loss and thermal resistance. Efficiency testing is an important area for the thermoelectric community to focus on. A follow-up international standardization effort is planned.

  12. Selection and Evaluation of Thermal Interface Materials for Reduction of the Thermal Contact Resistance of Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakamoto, Tatsuya; Iida, Tsutomu; Sekiguchi, Takeshi; Taguchi, Yutaka; Hirayama, Naomi; Nishio, Keishi; Takanashi, Yoshifumi

    2014-10-01

    A variety of thermal interface materials (TIMs) were investigated to find a suitable TIM for improving the performance of thermoelectric power generators (TEGs) operating in the medium-temperature range (600-900 K). The thermal resistance at the thermal interface between which the TIM was inserted was evaluated. The TIMs were chosen on the basis of their thermal stability when used with TEGs operating at medium temperatures, their electrical insulating properties, their thermal conductivity, and their thickness. The results suggest that the boron nitride (BN)-based ceramic coating, Whity Paint, and the polyurethane-based sheet, TSU700-H, are suitable TIMs for the heat source and heat sink sides, respectively, of the TEG. Use of these effectively enhances TEG performance because they reduce the thermal contact resistance at the thermal interface.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Peng; Berkun, Isil; Schmidt, Robert D.; Luzenski, Matthew F.; Lu, Xu; Bordon Sarac, Patricia; Case, Eldon D.; Hogan, Timothy P.

    2014-06-01

    Mg2(Si,Sn) compounds are promising candidate low-cost, lightweight, nontoxic thermoelectric materials made from abundant elements and are suited for power generation applications in the intermediate temperature range of 600 K to 800 K. Knowledge on the transport and mechanical properties of Mg2(Si,Sn) compounds is essential to the design of Mg2(Si,Sn)-based thermoelectric devices. In this work, such materials were synthesized using the molten-salt sealing method and were powder processed, followed by pulsed electric sintering densification. A set of Mg2.08Si0.4- x Sn0.6Sb x (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.072) compounds were investigated, and a peak ZT of 1.50 was obtained at 716 K in Mg2.08Si0.364Sn0.6Sb0.036. The high ZT is attributed to a high electrical conductivity in these samples, possibly caused by a magnesium deficiency in the final product. The mechanical response of the material to stresses is a function of the elastic moduli. The temperature-dependent Young's modulus, shear modulus, bulk modulus, Poisson's ratio, acoustic wave speeds, and acoustic Debye temperature of the undoped Mg2(Si,Sn) compounds were measured using resonant ultrasound spectroscopy from 295 K to 603 K. In addition, the hardness and fracture toughness were measured at room temperature.

  18. Diffusive and ballistic thermo-electric transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shakouri, Ali

    2013-03-01

    The efficiency of existing thermoelectric power generators is much lower than mechanical engines. We discuss the similarities and differences between solidstate thermoelectric devices and other thermal engines. In nanostructured materials, non-equilibrium energy and current transport could be important. We describe the transition between ballistic and diffusive regimes and how this can alter the thermoelectric effects and improve the energy conversion efficiency.

  19. Multilayer thermoelectric films: A strategy for the enhancement of ZT

    SciTech Connect

    Wadgner, A.V.; Foreman, R.J.; Summers, L.J.; Barbee, T.W. Jr.; Farmer, J.C.

    1995-03-01

    The relative efficiency of a thermoelectric material is measured in terms of a dimensionless figure of merit, ZT. Although all known thermoelectric materials are believed to have ZT {le} 1, recent theoretical results predict that thermoelectric devices fabricated as two-dimensional quantum wells (2D QWs) could have ZT {ge} 3. Multilayers with the dimensions of 2D QWs have been synthesized by alternately sputtering Bi{sub 0.9}Sb{sub 0.1} and PbTe{sub 0.8}Se{sub 0.2} onto a moving substrate from a pair of magnetron sources. These materials have been synthesized to test the thermoelectric quantum-well concept and gain insight into relevant transport mechanisms. This work focuses primarily on the scientific issues involved in producing the materials necessary to examine the possibility of enhancing ZT using quantum confinement. The techniques needed to measure the relevant electrical parameters of thermoelectric thin films are developed in this paper. Ultimately, if a quantum well enhancement of thermoelectrics is experimentally observed, devices based on this technology could be used to greatly expand the role of thermoelectrics in power generation and refrigeration.

  20. 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, Sren; 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.

  1. 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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Modeling a Thermoelectric HVAC System for Automobiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Junior, C. S.; Strupp, N. C.; Lemke, N. C.; Koehler, J.

    2009-07-01

    In automobiles thermal energy is used at various energy scales. With regard to reduction of CO2 emissions, efficient generation of hot and cold temperatures and wise use of waste heat are of paramount importance for car manufacturers worldwide. Thermoelectrics could be a vital component in automobiles of the future. To evaluate the applicability of thermoelectric modules in automobiles, a Modelica model of a thermoelectric liquid-gas heat exchanger was developed for transient simulations. The model uses component models from the object-oriented Modelica library TIL. It was validated based on experimental data of a prototype heat exchanger and used to simulate transient and steady-state behavior. The use of the model within the energy management of an automobile is successfully shown for the air-conditioning system of a car.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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}.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. New Composite Thermoelectric Materials for Macro-size Applications (APS Colloquium, 2008)

    SciTech Connect

    Dresselhaus, Mildred

    2008-09-03

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrell, Patrick C.; Moody, Donald 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 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 U.S. 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.).

  20. 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.).

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. Bottom-up silicon nanowire-based thermoelectric microgenerators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dvila, D.; Huber, R.; Hierold, C.

    2015-12-01

    In this work, bottom-up intrinsic crystalline Si nanowire arrays in combination with top-down microfabrication techniques and a vertical device architecture have been proposed to develop an all-silicon nanostructured thermoelectric generator. To fabricate this device, a suitable vertical integration of Si NWs on patterned microstructures, which define the thermoelectric legs of the generator, has been achieved by bonding top and bottom silicon structures through nanowires. The process has been proven to be a feasible approach that employs a regrowth process of the nanowires for bonding purposes.

  4. Thermoelectric system

    DOEpatents

    Reiners, Eric A. (Washington, IL); Taher, Mahmoud A. (Peoria, IL); Fei, Dong (Peoria, IL); McGilvray, Andrew N. (East Peoria, IL)

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Thermal Expansion Studies of Selected High-Temperature Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

    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 ?5.1 W/kg. A higher specific power would result in more onboard power for the same RTG mass, or less RTG mass for the same onboard 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 thermomechanical 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Thermoelectric self-powered hydronic heating demonstration

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, D.T.; Wonsowski, J.

    1998-10-01

    A residential-scale hydronic central heating unit was modified with the addition of a thermoelectric generating stage to demonstrate self-powered operation in a realistic environment. The unit was fabricated and tested in the US, as well as tested in England. This paper describes the unit`s design, operation, and testing history. The unit`s performance was satisfactory, and the demonstration indicated the merit of further development of self-powered heating.

  9. 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).

  10. 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.

  11. Test System for Thermoelectric Modules and Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hejtmnek, J.; Knek, K.; vejda, 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 = 25C to 90C, T hot < 450C) 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.

  12. Nano-materials Enabled Thermoelectricity from Window Glasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-11-01

    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 20C temperature gradient. If a natural temperature gradient exists, this can serve as a sustainable energy source for green building technology.

  13. 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 20C temperature gradient. If a natural temperature gradient exists, this can serve as a sustainable energy source for green building technology. PMID:23150789

  14. 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 20C temperature gradient. If a natural temperature gradient exists, this can serve as a sustainable energy source for green building technology. PMID:23150789

  15. Development of a preprototype thermoelectric integrated membrane evaporation subsystem for water recovery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winkler, H. E.; Roebelen, G. J., Jr.

    1980-01-01

    A three-man urine water recovery preprototype subsystem using a new concept to provide efficient potable water recovery from waste fluids on extended duration space flights has been designed, fabricated, and tested. Low power, compactness, and gravity insensitive operation are featured in this vacuum distillation subsystem that combines a hollow fiber polysulfone membrane evaporator with a thermoelectric heat pump. Application and integration of these key elements have solved problems inherent in previous reclamation subsystem designs. The hollow fiber elements provide positive liquid/gas phase control with no moving parts other than a waste liquid recirculation pump and a product water withdrawal pump. Tubular membranes provide structural integrity, improving on previous flat sheet membrane designs. A thermoelectric heat pump provides latent energy recovery.

  16. 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, MnSi1.7 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.

  17. Development and Investigation of the Method for Compensating Thermoelectric Inhomogeneity Error

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jun, Su; Kochan, Orest; Kochan, Volodymyr; Wang, Chunzhi

    2016-01-01

    The method proposed in this paper is one of the best methods for neutralizing the impact of error due to acquired thermoelectric inhomogeneity of thermocouples' electrodes. This method's main idea is stabilization of temperature along the thermoelectrodes of the thermocouple that measures temperature of an object. The description of a furnace design that provides a stable temperature field, as well as the methods for controlling the temperature field profile, together with their experimental evidence, is also provided.

  18. 3D Printing Fabrication of Amorphous Thermoelectric Materials with Ultralow Thermal Conductivity.

    PubMed

    He, Minhong; Zhao, Yan; Wang, Biao; Xi, Qing; Zhou, Jun; Liang, Ziqi

    2015-11-01

    Thermoelectric materials are prepared by developing 3D printing technology. The 3D fabricated Bi0.5 Sb1.5 Te3 samples exhibit amorphous characteristics and thus show an ultralow thermal conductivity of 0.2 W m(-1) K(-1) . 3D printing fabrication readily generates bulk thermoelectric samples of any shape, which is not the case with traditional hot-pressing and spark plasma sintering methods. PMID:26448629

  19. Development of ethenetetrathiolate hybrid thermoelectric materials consisting of cellulose acetate and semiconductor nanomaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asano, Hitoshi; Sakura, Naoko; Oshima, Keisuke; Shiraishi, Yukihide; Toshima, Naoki

    2016-02-01

    We investigated novel organic/inorganic hybrid thermoelectric materials prepared using several metal-polymer complexes, binders (insulating polymers), and inorganic semiconductor nanomaterials. It was found that the three-component hybrid thermoelectric materials, which consisted of nanodispersed poly(nickel 1,1,2,2-ethenetetrathiolate) (Ni-PETT), cellulose acetate (CA), and carbon nanotubes (CNTs), showed high thermoelectric performance. Ni-PETT had a large negative Seebeck coefficient of ‑42 µV K‑1 and was an n-type semiconducting polymer complex. Ni-PETT sufficiently dispersed p-type CNTs in N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone. The charge transfer interaction between Ni-PETT and CNTs could provide a strong contact. Good films could be obtained by using CA as a binder. In addition, the electrical conductivity of the three-component hybrid films was increased by methanol treatment. The Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, and power factor of Ni-PETT/CA/CNT films normalized on the basis of the CNT mass were 1.9, 5.2, and 2.8 times higher than those of the CNT sheets.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. A Monolithic Oxide-Based Transversal Thermoelectric Energy Harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teichert, S.; Bochmann, A.; Reimann, T.; Schulz, T.; Dreßler, C.; Udich, S.; Töpfer, J.

    2016-03-01

    We report the fabrication and properties of a monolithic transversal thermoelectric energy harvester based on the combination of a thermoelectric oxide and a metal. The fabrication of the device is done with a ceramic multilayer technology using printing and co-firing processes. Five transversal devices were combined to a meander-like thermoelectric generator. Electrical measurements and finite element calculations were performed to characterize the resulting thermoelectric generator. A maximum experimental electrical power output of 30.2 mW at a temperature difference of {Δ }T = 208 K was found. The prepared monolithic thermoelectric generator provides at {Δ }T = 35 K sufficient energy to drive a simple electronic sensor application.

  6. Nanostructured thermoelectrics: the new paradigm?

    SciTech Connect

    Kanatzidis, M. G.

    2010-01-01

    This review discusses recent developments and current research in bulk thermoelectric materials in which nanostructuring is a key aspect affecting thermoelectric performance. Systems based on PbTe, AgPb{sub m}SbTe{sub 2+m}, NaPb{sub m}SbTe{sub 2+m}, Bi{sub 2}Te{sub 3}, and Si are given particular emphasis. To date the dramatic enhancements in figure of merit in bulk nanostructured materials come from very large reductions in lattice thermal conductivity rather than improvement in power factors. A discussion of future possible strategies is aimed at enhancing the thermoelectric figure of merit of these materials.

  7. Materials for thermoelectric energy conversion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, C.

    1988-01-01

    The field of thermoelectric energy conversion is reviewed from both a theoretical and an experimental standpoint. The basic theory is introduced and the thermodynamic and solid state views are compared. An overview of the development of thermoelectric materials is presented with particular emphasis being placed on the most recent developments in high-temperature semiconductors. A number of possible device applications are discussed and the successful use and suitability of these devices for space power is manifest.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. High temperature thermoelectrics

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  15. Nanostructures having high performance thermoelectric properties

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  16. Nanostructures having high performance thermoelectric properties

    DOEpatents

    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.

  17. Nanostructured Oxides and Sulfides for Thermoelectrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koumoto, Kunihito

    2011-03-01

    Thermoelectric power generation can be applied to various heat sources, both waste heat and renewable energy, to harvest electricity. Even though each heat source is of a small scale, it would lead to a great deal of energy saving if they are combined and collected, and it would greatly contribute to reducing carbon dioxide emission. We have been engaged in developing novel thermoelectric materials to be used for energy saving and environmental protection and are currently developing nanostructured ceramics for thermoelectric conversion. We have demonstrated a quantum confinement effect giving rise to two dimensional electron gas (2DEG) in a 2D superlattice, STO/STO:Nb (STO: strontium titanate), which could generate giant thermopower while keeping high electrical conductivity. One unit-cell thick Nb-doped well layer was estimated to show ZT=2.4 at 300K. Then, a ``synergistic nanostructuring'' concept incorporating 2DEG grain boundaries as well as nanosizing of grains has been applied to our STO material and 3D superlattice ceramics was designed and proposed. It was verified by numerical simulation that this 3D superlattice ceramics should be capable of showing ZT=1.0 at 300K which is comparable to or even higher than that of conventional bismuth telluride-based thermoelectrics. We have recently proposed titanium disulfide-based misfit-layered compounds as novel TE materials. Insertion of misfit-layers into the van der Waals gaps in layer-structured titanium disulfide thus forming a natural superlattice gives rise to internal nanointerfaces and dramatically reduces its lattice thermal conductivity. ZT value reaches 0.37 at 673 K even without optimization of electronic properties. Our challenge to further increase ZT by controlling their electronic system and superlattice structures will be presented.

  18. Enhancement of Thermoelectric Properties of PEDOT:PSS and Tellurium-PEDOT:PSS Hybrid Composites by Simple Chemical Treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin Bae, Eun; Hun Kang, Young; Jang, Kwang-Suk; Yun Cho, Song

    2016-01-01

    The thermoelectric properties of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) and tellurium-PEDOT:PSS (Te-PEDOT:PSS) hybrid composites were enhanced via simple chemical treatment. The performance of thermoelectric materials is determined by their electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and Seebeck coefficient. Significant enhancement of the electrical conductivity of PEDOT:PSS and Te-PEDOT:PSS hybrid composites from 787.99 and 11.01 to 4839.92 and 334.68 S cm‑1, respectively was achieved by simple chemical treatment with H2SO4. The power factor of the developed materials could be effectively tuned over a very wide range depending on the concentration of the H2SO4 solution used in the chemical treatment. The power factors of the developed thermoelectric materials were optimized to 51.85 and 284 μW m‑1 K‑2, respectively, which represent an increase of four orders of magnitude relative to the corresponding parameters of the untreated thermoelectric materials. Using the Te-PEDOT:PSS hybrid composites, a flexible thermoelectric generator that could be embedded in textiles was fabricated by a printing process. This thermoelectric array generates a thermoelectric voltage of 2 mV using human body heat.

  19. Enhancement of Thermoelectric Properties of PEDOT:PSS and Tellurium-PEDOT:PSS Hybrid Composites by Simple Chemical Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Jin Bae, Eun; Hun Kang, Young; Jang, Kwang-Suk; Yun Cho, Song

    2016-01-01

    The thermoelectric properties of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) and tellurium-PEDOT:PSS (Te-PEDOT:PSS) hybrid composites were enhanced via simple chemical treatment. The performance of thermoelectric materials is determined by their electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and Seebeck coefficient. Significant enhancement of the electrical conductivity of PEDOT:PSS and Te-PEDOT:PSS hybrid composites from 787.99 and 11.01 to 4839.92 and 334.68 S cm−1, respectively was achieved by simple chemical treatment with H2SO4. The power factor of the developed materials could be effectively tuned over a very wide range depending on the concentration of the H2SO4 solution used in the chemical treatment. The power factors of the developed thermoelectric materials were optimized to 51.85 and 284 μW m−1 K−2, respectively, which represent an increase of four orders of magnitude relative to the corresponding parameters of the untreated thermoelectric materials. Using the Te-PEDOT:PSS hybrid composites, a flexible thermoelectric generator that could be embedded in textiles was fabricated by a printing process. This thermoelectric array generates a thermoelectric voltage of 2 mV using human body heat. PMID:26728992

  20. Enhanced thermoelectric properties of Ca1- x Sm x Mn1- y W y O3- ? for power generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seo, J. W.; Cha, J. S.; Park, K.

    2016-01-01

    A series of Ca1- x Sm x Mn1- y W y O3- ? (0.05 ? x ? 0.25 and 0.05 ? y ? 0.2) was prepared by the solid-state reaction technique. The partial substitution of Sm3+ for Ca2+ and of W6+ for Mn4+ in CaMnO3- ? reduced the grain size and density. The substitution of Sm3+ and W6+ yielded a marked increase in electrical conductivity and a decrease in the absolute value of the Seebeck coefficient due to an increase in electron concentration. This gave rise to improved thermoelectric properties. A maximum power factor (2.07 10-4 Wm-1K-2) was obtained at 800C for Ca0.9Sm0.1MnO3- ? . It is believed that the substitution of Sm3+ for Ca2+ is a promising approach for enhancing the thermoelectric performance of CaMnO3- ? . [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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-management or ion reduction (e.g. reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration, etc.) techniques will be needed for discharge or reuse of high ionic strength waters. Data collected from produced water experiments indicate that hybrid pilot-scale constructed wetland treatment systems can decrease aqueous concentrations of elements of concern (Zn, Cd, Pb, and Cu). Percent removal was specific for each element, including ranges of 38.4% to 99.6% for Cd, 90.6% to 99.8% for Cu, 93.1% to 99.3% for Pb, and 40.0% to 99.8% for Zn. Reuse of these waters will likely depend on the chloride concentration of the outflow samples, but with use of reverse osmosis technology, chloride concentrations can be decreased sufficiently for reuse as service water. Concentrations of arsenic, selenium, chromium, and zinc were decreased in ash basin waters by pilot-scale constructed wetland treatment systems.

  6. 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

  7. National Development Generates National Identities

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the article is to test the relationship between national identities and modernisation. We test the hypotheses that not all forms of identity are equally compatible with modernisation as measured by Human Development Index. The less developed societies are characterised by strong ascribed national identities based on birth, territory and religion, but also by strong voluntarist identities based on civic features selected and/or achieved by an individual. While the former decreases with further modernisation, the latter may either decrease or remain at high levels and coexist with instrumental supranational identifications, typical for the most developed countries. The results, which are also confirmed by multilevel regression models, thus demonstrate that increasing modernisation in terms of development contributes to the shifts from classical, especially ascribed, identities towards instrumental identifications. These findings are particularly relevant in the turbulent times increasingly dominated by the hardly predictable effects of the recent mass migrations. PMID:26841050

  8. National Development Generates National Identities.

    PubMed

    Golob, Tea; Makarovi?, Matej; Suklan, Jana

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the article is to test the relationship between national identities and modernisation. We test the hypotheses that not all forms of identity are equally compatible with modernisation as measured by Human Development Index. The less developed societies are characterised by strong ascribed national identities based on birth, territory and religion, but also by strong voluntarist identities based on civic features selected and/or achieved by an individual. While the former decreases with further modernisation, the latter may either decrease or remain at high levels and coexist with instrumental supranational identifications, typical for the most developed countries. The results, which are also confirmed by multilevel regression models, thus demonstrate that increasing modernisation in terms of development contributes to the shifts from classical, especially ascribed, identities towards instrumental identifications. These findings are particularly relevant in the turbulent times increasingly dominated by the hardly predictable effects of the recent mass migrations. PMID:26841050

  9. 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.

  10. Fabrication of Multilayer-Type Mn-Si Thermoelectric Device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kajitani, T.; Ueno, T.; Miyazaki, Y.; Hayashi, K.; Fujiwara, T.; Ihara, R.; Nakamura, T.; Takakura, M.

    2014-06-01

    This research aims to develop a direct-contact manganese silicon p/ n multilayer-type thermoelectric power generation block. p-type MnSi1.74 and n-type Mn0.7Fe0.3Si1.68 ball-milled powders with diameter of about 10 μm or less were mixed with polyvinyl butyl alcohol diluted with methylbenzene at pigment volume concentration of approximately 70%. The doctor-blade method produced 45- μm-thick p- and n-type pigment plates. The insulator, i.e., powdered glass, was mixed with cellulose to form insulator slurry. Lamination of manganese silicide pigment layers and screen-printed insulator layers was carried out to fabricate multilayer direct-contact thermoelectric devices. Hot pressing and spark plasma sintering were carried out at 450°C and 900°C, respectively. Four to 30 thermoelectric (TE) p/ n pairs were fabricated in a 10 mm × 10 mm × 10 mm sintered TE block. The maximum output was 11.7 mW/cm2 at a temperature difference between 20°C and 700°C, which was about 1/85 of the ideal power generation estimated from the thermoelectric data of the bulk MnSi1.74 and Mn0.7Fe0.3Si1.68 materials. A power generation test using an engine test bench was also carried out.

  11. 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.

  12. High-pressure synthesis of thermoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staneff, Geoff

    New thermoelectric materials were synthesized using high-pressure techniques. The synthetic limits of cerium filling in cobalt triantimonide were explored and a model for successful synthesis conditions was generated. The high-pressure technique expanded the practical filling limit from x=0.07 to x=0.5 in the CexCO4Sb12 system. Explorations of cerium filled ruthenium-rhodium triantimonide were also undertaken, using our previous work to guide the synthesis attempt. This material was predicted to have outstanding thermoelectric properties, but our investigations did not confirm this result. The filled skutterudite, Ce(Ru0.67Rh0.33)4Sb 12, exhibited the low thermal conductivity anticipated, approximately half the total thermal conductivity of a binary CoSb3 skutterudite over a wide range in temperatures. The electrical properties were insufficient to produce a high efficiency thermoelectric, but these results did suggest incorporated rare earth filling atoms do not fully ionize when incorporated into the skutterudite structure. Modification of the carrier type should therefore be investigated by solid solution on the transition metal or pnictide sites and not the filling ion. The high-pressure synthesis techniques developed for skutterudite synthesis were then employed to sinter nano-scale silicon-germanium compounds. A sintering figure of merit was created to justify the use of high-pressure synthesis, which later proved to be a useful tool for planning subsequent experiments. Sintered silicon, germanium, and silicon-germanium composites were obtained, with the nano-scale grain structure and chemical heterogeneity of the starting powder aggregate intact. Future work in high-pressure synthesis should be undertaken to quantify the sintering figure of merit presented in this work. The ability to produce a dense multiphase material with a controlled nano-structure should provide a great boon to thermoelectrics research. The high-pressure synthesis technique provides an method to mix two thermoelectric materials without homogenizing them. Both the two-phased solid and the network of nano-scale grains provide powerful tools for minimizing the thermal conductivity of a thermoelectric device component.

  13. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Hsin; Porter, Wallace D; Bottner, Harold; Konig, Jan; Chen, Lidong; Bai, Shengqiang; Tritt, Terry M.; Mayolett, Alex; Senawiratne, Jayantha; Smith, Charlene; Harris, Fred; Gilbert, Partricia; Sharp, Jeff; Lo, Jason; Keinke, Holger; Kiss, Laszlo I.

    2013-01-01

    Recent research and development of high temperature thermoelectric materials has demonstrated great potential of 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 figure-of-merit, ZT, still needs to improve from the current value of 1.0 - 1.5 to above 2 to be competitive to 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 an important area 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 focuses in Part I are on two electronic transport properties: Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity.

  15. 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.

  16. Enhanced thermoelectric properties and development of nanotwins in Na-doped Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 alloy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Hyun; Lee, Jae Ki; Park, Su-Dong; Ryu, Byungki; Lee, Ji Eun; Kim, Bong-Seo; Min, Bok-Ki; Joo, Sung-Jae; Lee, Hee-Woong; Cho, Young-Rae

    2016-03-01

    We found that Na is a good source to develop twin structures in the Bi-Te system, such as Ag as noted in a previous study. The twin boundaries had a considerable influence on reductions of the lattice thermal conductivity due to phonon scattering by the nano-ordered layers and on reductions of the electrical resistivity owing to the defects generated by the substitution of Na into the cation sites. Here, we report the enhanced thermoelectric properties of a Na-doped p-type Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 alloy. Measurements show that the electrical resistivity and the Seebeck coefficient decrease with Na doping due to an increase in the free carrier (hole) concentration and that the lattice thermal conductivity decreases with Na doping. The achieved maximum ZT value was 1.20 at 423 K, which is approximately 20% higher than that of Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 under the same fabrication conditions. These results were achievable by controlling the morphology of the twin structure and the carrier concentration by means of Na doping. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  17. A study of nanoscale thermoelectric oxides: From fabrication to characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Weihe

    Around 90% of the energy human beings used is generated by heat engines with typical efficiencies of 3040%. This means over 400 EJ (4e20 J) heat is dissipated into the environment every year. Thermoelectric materials, which can offer the most straightforward conversion between thermal and electrical energy is an ideal candidate to harvest these unclaimed energy. The primary bottleneck of the wide application of thermoelectric materials is their relatively low conversion efficiency. Previous research shows their convert efficiency can be improved by reducing their dimension to nanoscale. Thermoelectric oxides are promising candidates for the applicable nanoscale thermoelectric materials because they do not have the oxidization problem which troubles traditional thermoelectric materials in nanoscale. In this work, the benefit of reducing the size of thermoelectric oxides is studied, particularly the changing of Seebeck coefficient and the thermal conductivity of the thermoelectric oxides when their size are reduced to nanoscale. Firstly, the fabrication process of La0.95Sr0.05CoO 3 thermoelectric oxide nanofilm and nanofibers were developed. The fabricated samples were verified by XRD and SEM. Then a special MEMS device was developed and used to measure the Seebeck coefficient of the prepared nanofilm and nanofiber. The measured results are 350 microV/K and 650 microV/K respectively, which proved the potential of increasing the Seebeck coefficient of thermoelectric oxides by reducing their size to nanoscale. In order to measure the thermal conductivity of these thermoelectric oxide nanostructures, another special MEMS device was developed. The thermal conductivity of a carbon nanofiber was measured and compared with previously reported data to verify this MEMS device, and a detailed error analysis was also offered. The analysis showed that the precision of the device was in a 1735% range depending on different test samples. This precision is high enough for the study of thermoelectric oxides' thermal conductivities in nanoscale. Finally, a new procedure that can load the nanofibers prepared by electrospinning onto the tester was developed. La0.95Sr0.05CoO 3 nanofibers with different diameters were loaded onto the second MEMS device and their thermal conductivities were measured. The thermal conductivity of La0.95Sr0.05CoO3 nanofiber with the diameter of 105 nm was 27% of that of La0.95Sr0.05CoO3 nanofiber with the diameter of 290 nm. The decrease of the thermal conductivity of La0.95Sr0.05CoO3 nanofibers with the decrease of their diameters demonstrates that reducing the size of thermoelectric oxides to nanoscale can reduce their thermal conductivity as well.

  18. 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.

  19. The Thermoelectric Properties of Rare Earths as Dopants in InGaAs Films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koltun, Rachel Ann

    Current energy technologies lose over half of the energy input to waste heat. Thermoelectric materials can recover some of this waste heat by converting it into electricity. Thermoelectric devices have no moving parts, so they are low noise and highly reliable, making them particularly suitable for extreme environments. A good thermoelectric has low thermal conductivity to maintain large temperature gradients and high electrical conductivity to effectively transport carriers across that temperature gradient. One of the major challenges in engineering such thermoelectrics is effectively decoupling these parameters. These relationships are quantified in the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, where a ZT of 1 is considered commercially viable. Doping MBE grown InGaAs films with rare earths forms embedded nanoparticles that have been shown to improve thermoelectric efficiency of InGaAs. Rare earth doping effectively overcomes the problematic relationship between electrical and thermal conductivities. These embedded particles effectively decouple thermal and electrical properties by contributing carriers to increase electrical conductivity as well as forming scattering centers for mid to long wavelength phonons to decrease thermal conductivity. However, the mechanism for carrier generation from rare earths is poorly understood. Comparing different rare earths as dopants in InGaAs, we find a positive correlation with the electrical activation efficiency as the rare earth arsenide nanoparticles are more closely lattice matched to the host matrix. This is in contrast to traditional Si doped InGaAs, which is fully ionized at room temperature. The high doping efficiency of Si leads it to be as good or better of a dopant for thermoelectrics compared to the best rare earths studied. We observe that rare earth doped InGaAs has thermal activation of carriers at high temperature, giving it the potential to be a more efficient thermoelectric in this regime than traditionally doped InGaAs. A method was developed to determine the thermoelectric efficiency of a material system over a range of conductivities using only a few experimental data points. This allows for more efficient mapping of a material system for thermoelectrics. Using this analysis, high temperature measurements show that carrier scattering from rare earth impurities compensates the enhancement from thermally generated carriers, giving Si the potential to be a better thermoelectric dopant in InGaAs at high temperature. Extrapolating temperature dependent measurements to higher temperatures shows that a ZT greater than 3 should be theoretically possible for Gd or Si doped InGaAs at 700C.

  20. 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.

  1. Thermoelectric properties of granular metals.

    SciTech Connect

    Glatz, A.; Beloborodov, I. S.; Materials Science Division; California State Univ. Northridge

    2009-01-01

    We investigate the thermopower and thermoelectric coefficient of nanogranular materials at large tunneling conductance between the grains, g{sub T} >> 1. We show that at intermediate temperatures, T>g{sub T}{delta}, where {delta} is the mean energy-level spacing for a single grain, electron-electron interaction leads to an increase in the thermopower with decreasing grain size. We discuss our results in light of the next generation of thermoelectric materials and present the behavior of the figure of merit depending on the system parameters.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Developments of terahertz wave generation technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suto, Ken; Nishizawa, Jun-Ichi

    2004-05-01

    Recent developments of terahertz wave generation devices utilizing lattice and molecular vibration are introduced. They are semiconductor Raman laser and amplifier, parametric generation of terahertz wave using phonon-polaritons in semiconductors and dielectrics, together with electronic devices: TUNNETT diode and ISIT. Future important applications will be in the field of medicine, biology, and pharmacy.

  5. 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

  6. 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 deviceswhich convert heat into energythat 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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, Jrme; 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Atomistic structure and nucleation of nanoprecipitates in thermoelectric PbTe-AgSbTe2 composite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, J.

    2008-07-01

    Increasing awareness and concern for energy resources and the environment has prompted the recent worldwide effort on thermoelectric (TE) materials research and technology development. Advances in TE technology can have a significant impact on the automotive industry in terms of fuel economy improvements by generating electricity from waste heat and augmenting air conditioning efficiency.

  16. Experimental Study and Optimization of Thermoelectricity-Driven Autonomous Sensors for the Chimney of a Biomass Power Plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodrguez, A.; Astrain, D.; Martnez, 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Next Generation Drivetrain Development and Test Program

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, Jonathan; Erdman, Bill; Blodgett, Doug; Halse, Chris; Grider, Dave

    2015-11-03

    This presentation was given at the Wind Energy IQ conference in Bremen, Germany, November 30 through December 2, 2105. It focused on the next-generation drivetrain architecture and drivetrain technology development and testing (including gearbox and inverter software and medium-voltage inverter modules.

  19. Leadership Development for the Next Generation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watts, Gordon E.; Hammons, James O.

    2002-01-01

    Addresses the critical need for leadership development in light of the significant number of community college leaders expected to retire in the near future. Discusses current options and recommended solutions for meeting the training needs of a new generation of community college leaders. Contains 10 references. (AUTH/NB)

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Development of a nitrogen generation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heppner, D. B.; Marshall, R. D.; Powell, J. D., III; Schubert, F. H.

    1980-01-01

    An eight-stage nitrogen generation module was developed. The design integrated a hydrazine catalytic dissociator, three ammonia dissociation stages and four palladium/silver hydrogen separator stages. Alternating ammonia dissociation and hydrogen separation stages are used to remove hydrogen and ammonia formed in the dissociation of hydrazine which results in negligible ammonia and hydrogen concentrations in the product nitrogen stream. An engineering breadboard nitrogen supply subsystem was also developed. It was developed as an integratable subsystem for a central spacecraft air revitalization system. The subsystem consists of the hydrazine storage and feed mechanism, the nitrogen generation module, the peripheral mechanical and electrical components required to control and monitor subsystem performance, and the instrumentation required to interface with other subsystems of an air revitalization system. The breadboard nitrogen supply subsystem was integrated and tested with a one-person capacity experimental air revitalization system. The integration, checkout and testing was successfully accomplished.

  3. Development of Low-Cost Remote-Control Generators Based on BiTe Thermoelectric Modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juanic, Luis E.; Rinalde, Fabin; Taglialavore, Eduardo; Molina, Marcelo

    2013-07-01

    This paper presents a new thermogenerator based on moderate-temperature (up to 175C) BiTe modules available on the open market. Despite this handicap relative to commercial thermogenerators based on high-temperature proprietary-technology PbBi modules (up to 560C), this new design may become economically competitive due to its innovative thermal sink. Our thermal sink is based on a free-convection water loop built with standard tubing and household hot-water radiators, leading to a more practical, modular design. So, the specific cost of about 55,000 USD/kW obtained for this 120-W prototype is improved to 33,000 USD/kW for a 1-kW unit, which represents about half the price of commercial thermogenerators. Moreover, considering recently launched BiTe modules (that withstand up to 320C), our proposition could have an even more favorable outlook.

  4. MeV Si ion beam modification effects on the thermoelectric generator from Er 0.1Fe 1.9SbGe 0.4 thin film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-05-01

    Effective thermoelectric materials and devices have a low thermal conductivity and a high electrical conductivity. The performance of the thermoelectric materials and devices is shown by a dimensionless figure of merit, ZT. The purpose of this study is to improve the figure of merit of the single layer of Er0.1Fe1.9SbGe0.4 thin film used as thermoelectric generators. We have deposited the monolayer of Er0.1Fe1.9SbGe0.4 thin film on silicon and silica substrates with thickness of 302 nm using ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD). Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) was used to determine the total film thickness and stoichiometry. The MeV Si ion bombardments were performed on single layer of Er0.1Fe1.9SbGe0.4 thin films at five different fluences between 5 1013-5 1015 ions/cm2.The defect and disorder in the lattice caused by ion beam modification and the grain boundaries of these nanoscale clusters increase phonon scattering and increase the chance of annihilation of the phonon. The increase of the electron density of states in the miniband of the quantum dot structure formed by bombardment also increases the Seebeck coefficient and the electrical conductivity. We measured the thermoelectric efficiency of the fabricated device by measuring the cross plane thermal conductivity by the 3rd harmonic (3?) method, the cross plane Seebeck coefficient, and the electrical conductivity using the Van Der Pauw method before and after the MeV ion bombardments.

  5. 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.

  6. Construction of a High Temperature Teg Measurement System for the Evaluation of Thermoelectric Oxide Modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Populoh, S.; Trottmann, M.; Brunko, O. C.; Thiel, P.; Weidenkaff, A.

    2013-10-01

    A dedicated test stand was developed and built to characterize the efficiency, power output and open circuit voltage of various thermoelectric generators (TEGs) based on tellurides, heusler compounds and thermoelectric oxides. The test stand allows measurements of TEGs of sizes up to 4 cm × 4 cm at hot side temperatures up to 1150 K in different atmospheres. Special care was taken about the heat flux measurement by precise measurement of the temperature distribution within the reference block. In order to demonstrate the functionality of the test stand thermoelectric oxide modules (TOM) were built from n-type perovskite-type manganates and p-type cuprates. The modules were tested regarding their stability, maximum power output and efficiency at temperatures up to 1100 K. The TOMs withstand large temperature gradients and operated in ambient air yielding high power densities.

  7. Thermoelectric materials having porosity

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Circulation control lift generation experiment: Hardware development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Panontin, T. L.

    1985-01-01

    A circulation control airfoil and its accompanying hardware were developed to allow the investigation of lift generation that is independent of airfoil angle of attack and relative flow velocity. The test equipment, designed for use in a water tunnel, includes the blown airfoil, the support systems for both flow visualization and airfoil load measurement, and the fluid control system, which utilizes hydraulic technology. The primary design tasks, the selected solutions, and the unforseen problems involved in the development of these individual components of hardware are described.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 (σ) 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 ΔT=184 K temperature difference.

  13. 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, Δ 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.

  14. Development of NO Generator for Medical Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Namihira, Takao; Wang, Douyan; Katsuki, Sunao; Akiyama, Hidenori; Okamoto, Kazufumi

    Since NO was identified as effective in treatments involving endothelium-derived relaxing factor in 1987, inhalation of NO (iNO) has been widely used in the medical treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome, acute lung injury, high blood pressure, and other related illnesses. Current iNO systems usually include a gas cylinder of N2 with a high concentration of NO. This system has an inherent risk of generating nitric dioxide (NO2) if leaked NO mixes with air. NO2 is thought to be toxic to the lungs. Therefore, a system that does not include storage of NO is very desirable for administering iNO. In this paper, Prototype of On-site NO generator, which includes a discharge reactor, a NO2-NO catalyst, a charcoal and a particle filter, is developed for animal experiments.

  15. 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.

  16. Statoil develops next-generation arctic rigs

    SciTech Connect

    Baller, H.; Friedberg, R.

    1984-12-17

    Statoil is midway through a project which will culminate with year-round drilling in the harshest Norwegian waters. The first phase, elaborate rig winterization, is complete. It allows exploration between the 62/sup 0/ and 71/sup 0/ parallels. Planning is complete on the second phase, and implementation is underway. It will allow year-round development of the area just north of the 71/sup 0/ parallel. The final phase will require a new generation of rigs capable of drilling north of the 72/sup 0/ parallel. This article is a progress report with emphasis on the final phase-a fourth generation arctic drilling rig. This article is a follow-up of the presentation ''Rig winterization to allow year-round drilling off northern Norway'' (OGJ, Aug. 1, 1983) which gives detailed environmental discussions of Tromsoflaket.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Future development of large superconducting generators

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, S.K.; Mole, C.J.