Sample records for thermoelectric generator development

  1. Thermoelectric Generators 1. Thermoelectric generator

    E-print Network

    Lee, Ho Sung

    1 Thermoelectric Generators HoSung Lee 1. Thermoelectric generator 1.1 Basic Equations In 1821 of a thermoelectric generator module, and (b) a p-type and n-type thermocouple. #12;3 Consider a steady-state one-dimensional thermoelectric generator module as shown in Figure 2a. The module consists of many p-type and n

  2. Design and development of thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

    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 Fe0.2Co3.8Sb11.5Te0.5 (zT = 1.04 at 818 K) as the n-type and Zn4Sb3 (zT=0.8 at 550 K) as the p-type material synthesized by vacuum hot press method. Carbon paste has been used to join the semiconductor legs to metal (Molybdenum) electrodes to reduce the contact resistance. The multi-couple (4 legs) generator results a maximum output power of 1.083 mW at a temperature difference of 240 K between the hot and cold sides. In this investigation, an I-V characteristic, maximum output power of the thermoelectric module is presented. The efficiency of thermoelectric module is obtained as ? = 0.273 %.

  3. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator transportation system subsystem 143 software development plan

    SciTech Connect

    King, D.A.

    1994-11-10

    This plan describes the activities to be performed and the controls to be applied to the process of specifying, developing, and qualifying the data acquisition software for the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) Transportation System Subsystem 143 Instrumentation and Data Acquisition System (IDAS). This plan will serve as a software quality assurance plan, a verification and validation (V and V) plan, and a configuration management plan.

  4. 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.

  5. Thermoelectric power generation for battery charging

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Mahmudur Rahman; Roger Shuttleworth

    1995-01-01

    Thermoelectric generators use the Seebeck effect to produce electrical power from a temperature difference caused by heat energy flow. In this paper the principle of using thermoelectrically converted heat energy for powering portable electronic equipment or charging its battery has been investigated for a lap-top computer. The thermoelectric battery charger developed, consists of a thermoelectric converter system, powered from butane

  6. ENERGY PAYBACK OPTIMIZATION OF THERMOELECTRIC POWER GENERATOR SYSTEMS

    E-print Network

    ENERGY PAYBACK OPTIMIZATION OF THERMOELECTRIC POWER GENERATOR SYSTEMS Kazuaki Yazawa Dept model for optimizing thermoelectric power generation system is developed and utilized for parametric a fractional area of ~1%. The role of the substrate heat spreading for thermoelectric power generation

  7. Development and testing of a domestic woodstove thermoelectric generator with natural convection cooling

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Rida Y. Nuwayhid; Alan Shihadeh; Nesreen Ghaddar

    2005-01-01

    A thermoelectric generator was fitted to the side of a domestic woodstove. The generator was driven using one or more thermoelectric modules designed to give significant power at a reasonable cost. The thermoelectric generator was air cooled by natural convection using a commercially available heat sink. Testing was undertaken under a controlled woodstove firing rate and temperatures, and open circuit

  8. 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.

  9. Development of thermoelectric power generation system utilizing heat of combustible solid waste

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kajikawa, Takenobu; Ito, Makoto; Katsube, Izumi; Shibuya, Eiichi

    1994-08-01

    The paper presents the development of thermoelectric power generation system utilizing heat of municipal solid waste. The systematic classification and design guideline are proposed in consideration of the characteristics of solid waste processing system. The conceptual design of thermoelectric power generation system is carried out for a typical middle scale incinerator system (200 ton/day) by the local model. Totally the recovered electricity is 926.5 kWe by 445 units (569,600 couples). In order to achieve detailed design, one dimensional steady state model taking account of temperature dependency of the heat transfer performance and thermoelectric properties is developed. Moreover, small scale on-site experiment on 60 W class module installed in the real incinerator is carried out to extract various levels of technological problems. In parallel with the system development, high temperature thermoelectric elements such as Mn-Si and so on are developed aiming the optimization of ternary compound and high performance due to controlled fine-grain boundary effect. The manganese silicide made by shrinking-rate controlled sintering method performs 5 (?W/cm K ?2) in power factor at 800 K.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Development of a high efficiency thermoelectric unicouple for power generation applications

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    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. However, no single thermoelectric material is suitable for use over a very wide range of temperatures (~300-1000 K). It is therefore necessary to use different materials

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Recent concepts in thermoelectric power generation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Gao Min; D. M. Rowe

    2002-01-01

    The development of economic thermoelectric generators for waste heat recovery has become an increasing research focus over the past a few years. Traditionally, attempts to improve their economic viability have concentrated primarily on improving the conversion efficiency by increasing the figure-of-merit of thermoelectric materials, with only marginal successes. This paper explores the possibilities and implications of alternative approaches in an

  16. Status and future prospects on the development of thermoelectric power generation systems utilizing combustion heat from municipal solid waste

    Microsoft Academic Search

    T. Kajikawa

    1997-01-01

    The characteristics of combustion heat from the municipal solid waste are fitted for a large-scale application of thermoelectric power generation potentially. The status and future prospects of thermoelectric power generation systems to recover electricity from this heat source in Japan are reviewed and discussed. Experimental results on three different types of small-scale (500 W class) thermoelectric power generation systems installed

  17. Design and Optimization of Compatible, Segmented Thermoelectric Generators

    E-print Network

    Design and Optimization of Compatible, Segmented Thermoelectric Generators G. Jeffrey Snyder Jet to rationally select materials for a segmented thermoelectric generator. The thermoelectric potential is used. Introduction The efficiency of a thermoelectric generator is governed by the thermoelectric properties

  18. Thermoelectric ceramics for generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. G. Noudem; S. Lemonnier; M. Prevel; E. S. Reddy; E. Guilmeau; C. Goupil

    2008-01-01

    The manufacturing of thermoelectric modules from conventional materials is well established and widely commercially available. However, fabrication of modules based on oxide materials has been recently emerging and there exist very few reports on their performance. The oxide nature of the thermoelectric elements and the processing specifications involving very high temperatures make the fabrication a difficult task and different from

  19. Thermoelectric generator modules and blocks

    Microsoft Academic Search

    L. I. Anatychuk; V. V. Razinkov; Yu. Yu. Rozver; V. Ya. Mikhailovsky

    1997-01-01

    Characteristics and elements of a new type structure of thermoelectric modules for electric power generation with output power of 10 W have been presented. A parametric series of the indicated modules with rated output voltage of: 0.2; 0.4; 0.8; 1.6; 3.2 and 6.4 V is proposed. Modules are designed for the use in thermoelectric generators of different purposes along with

  20. Thermoelectric Generator for a Stationary Diesel Plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anatychuk, L. I.; Rozver, Yu. Yu.; Velichuk, D. D.

    2011-05-01

    This paper describes the development and testing of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) using the exhaust heat of a 50-kW stationary diesel power plant. The generator consists of six units that represent primary generators for each diesel engine cylinder. Each primary generator comprises five sections with gas heat exchangers, thermoelectric modules, and liquid heat exchangers. The sections were optimized for the exhaust gas operating temperatures. The generator electric power was 2.1 kW at rated power of 2.2 kW, corresponding to 4.4% of the diesel plant electric power.

  1. Thermoelectric power generation system optimization studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karri, Madhav A.

    A significant amount of energy we consume each year is rejected as waste heat to the ambient. Conservative estimates place the quantity of energy wasted at about 70%. Converting the waste heat into electrical power would be convenient and effective for a number of primary and secondary applications. A viable solution for converting waste heat into electrical energy is to use thermoelectric power conversion. Thermoelectric power generation is based on solid state technology with no moving parts and works on the principle of Seebeck effect. In this work a thermoelectric generator (TEG) system simulator was developed to perform various parametric and system optimization studies. Optimization studies were performed to determine the effect of system size, exhaust and coolant ow conditions, and thermoelectric material on the net gains produced by the TEG system and on the optimum TEG system design. A sports utility vehicle was used as a case study for the application of TEG in mobile systems.

  2. 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.

  3. Dispenser printed composite thermoelectric thick films for thermoelectric generator applications

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes novel processes for preparing thermoelectric composite materials compatible with thick film dispenser printing fabrication processes. Optimization of process parameters to improve thermoelectric properties is introduced. We explore the use of n-type Bi2Te3 and p-type Sb2Te3 materials to achieve properties suitable for use in low cost high aspect ratio microscale thermoelectric generators. Printable thermoelectric inks consisted of dispersed

  4. Increasing Thermoelectric Generation Water Use

    E-print Network

    Keller, Arturo A.

    Increasing Thermoelectric Generation Water Use Efficiency Chuck McGowin (EPRI), John Maulbetsch use efficiency · Increase electricity generation efficiency · Use dry/hybrid cooling · Recycle water;8© 2007 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved. Steam Generation Plant #12;9© 2007

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Modelling heat exchangers for thermoelectric generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. Esarte; G. Min; D. M. Rowe

    2001-01-01

    In order to further studies on thermoelectric generators, an analysis of the influence of fluid flow rate, heat exchanger geometry, fluid properties and inlet temperatures on the power supplied by the thermoelectric generator has been done. Different expressions and graphs showing this influence are shown in this paper, in order to give some practical guidelines for the thermoelectric generators design.

  8. Thermoelectric Generators on Living Beings

    Microsoft Academic Search

    V. Leonov; R. J. M. Vullers

    Unobtrusive scavenging of the heat dissipated by living beings through using thermoelectric generators (TEGs) on their skin is discussed in general. Targeting at such application of TEGs on man the measured relevant thermal features of human beings are reported next. As pointed out in the paper, the specific matching conditions of a TEG with the ambient should be satisfied to

  9. 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.

  10. SNAP-III--THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR ENVIRONMENTAL TEST

    Microsoft Academic Search

    1959-01-01

    The effects of simulated space vehicle vibration, acceleration and shock ;\\u000a on the operation and efficiency of a SNAP-III thermoelectric generator are ;\\u000a described. The test specifications were developed by Jet Propulsion Laboratories ;\\u000a for the third stage and payload of the Vega Vehicle. (auth)

  11. 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.

  12. Optimal operation of thermoelectric cooler driven by solar thermoelectric generator

    Microsoft Academic Search

    N. M. Khattab; E. T. El Shenawy

    2006-01-01

    The possibility of using a solar thermoelectric generator (TEG) to drive a small thermoelectric cooler (TEC) is studied in the present work. The study includes the theory of both the TEG and the TEC, giving special consideration to determination of the number of TEG modules required to power the TEC to achieve the best performance of the TEG–TEC system all

  13. 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.

  14. Theory of Thermoelectric Refrigeration and Generation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    H. Julian Goldsmid

    Performance of thermoelectric refrigerators and generators in terms of the transport properties. Figure of merit Z and dimensionless\\u000a figure of merit ZT. Efficiency and coefficient of performance (COP). Comparison of thermoelectric and transverse thermomagnetic energy conversion.\\u000a Thermoelectric cascades.

  15. Design and optimization of compatible, segmented thermoelectric generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, G. Jeffrey

    2003-01-01

    The thermoelectric compatiblity factor is used to rationally select materials for a segmented thermoelectric generator. the thermoelectric potential is used for the exact analytic expressions for materials with temperature dependent thermoelectric properties.

  16. Thermoelectric cooling and power generation

    PubMed

    DiSalvo

    1999-07-30

    In a typical thermoelectric device, a junction is formed from two different conducting materials, one containing positive charge carriers (holes) and the other negative charge carriers (electrons). When an electric current is passed in the appropriate direction through the junction, both types of charge carriers move away from the junction and convey heat away, thus cooling the junction. Similarly, a heat source at the junction causes carriers to flow away from the junction, making an electrical generator. Such devices have the advantage of containing no moving parts, but low efficiencies have limited their use to specialty applications, such as cooling laser diodes. The principles of thermoelectric devices are reviewed and strategies for increasing the efficiency of novel materials are explored. Improved materials would not only help to cool advanced electronics but could also provide energy benefits in refrigeration and when using waste heat to generate electrical power. PMID:10426986

  17. Lead telluride as a thermoelectric material for thermoelectric power generation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Z. H. Dughaish

    2002-01-01

    The specialized applications of thermoelectric generators are very successful and have motivated a search for materials with an improved figure of merit Z, and also for materials which operate at elevated temperatures. Lead telluride, PbTe, is an intermediate thermoelectric power generator. Its maximum operating temperature is 900K. PbTe has a high melting point, good chemical stability, low vapor pressure and

  18. Design optimization of thermoelectric devices for solar power generation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    S. A. Omer; D. G. Infield

    1998-01-01

    We present an improved theoretical model of a thermoelectric device which has been developed for geometrical optimization of the thermoelectric element legs and prediction of the performance of an optimum device in power generation mode. In contrast to the currently available methods, this model takes into account the effect of all the parameters contributing to the heat transfer process associated

  19. Thermoelectric materials development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  20. Radioisotope thermoelectric generators for implanted pacemakers

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    1986-01-01

    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 ²³⁸PuOâ with a specific neutron yield of 3.10³-4.10³ (g \\/SUP .\\/

  1. Thermoelectric material development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vandersande, Jan W.; Allevato, Camillo; Caillat, Thierry

    1994-10-01

    A search was made for improved TE materials that could have higher efficiency than state-of-the-art SiGe alloys used in Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators. A new family of materials having the skutterudite structure was identified (cubic space group Im3, formula (Fe, Co, Ni)As3. Properties of n-type IrSb3, CoSb3, and their solid solutions were investigated. Pt, Te, Tl, and In were used as dopants. The thermal conductivity was reduced by about 70% for the solid solutions vs the binary compounds. A maximum ZT of about 0.36 was measured on Co-rich solid solutions which is 160% improved over that of the binary compounds.

  2. Improvements to solar thermoelectric generators through device design

    E-print Network

    Weinstein, Lee A. (Lee Adragon)

    2013-01-01

    A solar thermoelectric generator (STEG) is a device which converts sunlight into electricity through the thermoelectric effect. A STEG is nominally formed when a thermoelectric generator (TEG), a type of solid state heat ...

  3. 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.

  4. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator reliability and safety

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, R.; Klein, J.

    1989-01-01

    There are numerous occasions when a planetary mission requires energy in remote areas of the solar system. Anytime power is required much beyond Mars or the Asteroid Belts, solar power is not an option. The radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) was developed for such a mission requirement. It is a relatively small and lightweight power source that can produce power under adverse conditions. Just this type of source has become the backbone of the power system for far outer plant exploration. Voyagers I and II are utilizing RTGs, which will soon power the Galileo spacecraft to Jupiter and the Ulysses spacecraft to study the solar poles. The paper discusses RTG operation including thermoelectric design, converter design, general-purpose heat source; RTG reliability including design, testing, experience, and launch approval; and RTG safety issues and methods of ensuring safety.

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

    SciTech Connect

    None

    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.

  6. Optimum variables selection of thermoelectric generator-driven thermoelectric refrigerator at different source temperature

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Lingen Chen; Fankai Meng; Yanlin Ge; Fengrui Sun

    2012-01-01

    Based on the finite time thermodynamic model of thermoelectric generator-driven thermoelectric refrigerator with losses of external heat transfer, Joulean heat inside the thermoelectric device and the heat leakage through the thermoelectric couple leg, this paper analysed the effects of generator heat source temperature and refrigerator cooling temperature on the performance of the combined system using the combination of finite time

  7. Thermoelectric Power Generation Allison Duh and Joel Dungan

    E-print Network

    Lavaei, Javad

    Thermoelectric Power Generation Allison Duh and Joel Dungan May 15, 2013 #12;Introduction A thermoelectric generator (TEG) is a device that converts heat energy directly into electrical energy, the thermoelectric effects relevant to understanding TEG operation are introduced. A simple thermoelectric generator

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-03-01

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

  10. Solar thermoelectrics for small scale power generation

    E-print Network

    Amatya, Reja

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Modeling of concentrating solar thermoelectric generators

    E-print Network

    Ren, Zhifeng

    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 ...

  12. Theoretical efficiency of solar thermoelectric energy generators

    E-print Network

    Chen, Gang

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

  13. Graded and stacked thermoelectric generators—numerical description and maximisation of output power

    Microsoft Academic Search

    L. Helmers; E. Müller; J. Schilz; W. A. Kaysser

    1998-01-01

    Large temperature differences applied to thermoelectric generators require that the variations of all material properties with temperature are included in a numerical description of their performance. A finite element algorithm is developed to calculate the temperature field in a thermoelectric device and concomitantly its thermoelectric performance under operation conditions. Spatially varying the composition of material or the doping concentration allows

  14. Thermoelectric generator cooling system and method of control

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Thermoelectric Fabrics: Toward Power Generating Clothing

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Compatibility of segmented thermoelectric generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, J.; Ursell, T.

    2002-01-01

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

  19. Thermoelectric power generation in a thermoacoustic refrigerator

    Microsoft Academic Search

    W. V. Slaton; J. C. H. Zeegers

    2006-01-01

    Commercially available solid-state thermoelectric devices may be used for their electrical power generation capabilities when coupled to a thermoacoustic refrigerator or heat pump. General performance characteristics as well as bulk thermal conductivity for a selection of thermoelectric elements was first found by using a two-plate apparatus to maintain a constant temperature difference across the element. Further studies of an element’s

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Modeling of solar thermal selective surfaces and thermoelectric generators

    E-print Network

    McEnaney, Kenneth

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Energy Conversion Using New Thermoelectric Generator

    E-print Network

    Savelli, Guillaume; Bablet, Jacqueline; Salvi, C; Fournier, J M

    2007-01-01

    During recent years, microelectronics helped to develop complex and varied technologies. It appears that many of these technologies can be applied successfully to realize Seebeck micro generators: photolithography and deposition methods allow to elaborate thin thermoelectric structures at the micro-scale level. Our goal is to scavenge energy by developing a miniature power source for operating electronic components. First Bi and Sb micro-devices on silicon glass substrate have been manufactured with an area of 1cm2 including more than one hundred junctions. Each step of process fabrication has been optimized: photolithography, deposition process, anneals conditions and metallic connections. Different device structures have been realized with different micro-line dimensions. Each devices performance will be reviewed and discussed in function of their design structure.

  6. Method of operating a thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Reynolds, Michael G; Cowgill, Joshua D

    2013-11-05

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

  7. 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.

  8. Microfabricated thermoelectric power-generation devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    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.

  9. STATUS REPORT ON THERMOELECTRICITY

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. W. Davisson; J. Pasternak

    1963-01-01

    Progress is reported on materials research and development including ; preparation of high-temperature broadband semiconductors, research on high-; temperature semiconducting compounds for thermoelectric power generation, ; structural investigations in thermoelectric materials, studies of thermoelectric ; properties of selenides and tellurides, high-temperature metallurgy research on ; thermoelectric materials, development of a semiconductor film-type thermocouple ; converter, development of a thermoelectric nuclear

  10. MoS2 Nanoribbons Thermoelectric Generators

    E-print Network

    Arab, Abbas

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Titanium nitride electrodes for thermoelectric generators

    DOEpatents

    Novak, Robert F. (Farmington Hills, MI); Schmatz, Duane J. (Dearborn Heights, MI); Hunt, Thomas K. (Ann Arbor, MI)

    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.

  12. Electrical performance of skutterudites solar thermoelectric generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    B. Lenoir; A. Dauscher; P. Poinas; H. Scherrer; L. Vikhor

    2003-01-01

    The paper focuses on the electrical performance of skutterudites based solar thermoelectric generators (STG). Basics of STG mathematical modeling are reported. Two STG concepts, namely the flat plate model with identical collector and radiator areas and the STG configuration with concentrators have been considered. Their performance is assessed for different solar intensities. The idea is to understand how such systems

  13. Thermoelectric unicouple used for power generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Experimental study on low-temperature waste heat thermoelectric generator

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Xing Niu; Jianlin Yu; Shuzhong Wang

    2009-01-01

    In order to further studies on thermoelectric generation, an experimental thermoelectric generator unit incorporating the commercially available thermoelectric modules with the parallel-plate heat exchanger has been constructed. The experiments are carried out to examine the influences of the main operating conditions, the hot and cold fluid inlet temperatures, flow rates and the load resistance, on the power output and conversion

  15. Numerical and Experimental Optimization of Thermoelectric Modules for Power Generation

    E-print Network

    Rosendahl, Lasse

    Numerical and Experimental Optimization of Thermoelectric Modules for Power Generation Min Chen1 as a whole has not been available. This paper is to study the optimal design of thermoelectric generator: In the application of thermoelectric power technique, the term optimization in a broad sense involves the design

  16. New thermoelectric materials and devices for terrestrial power generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Jean-Pierre Fleurial; Alex Borshchevsky; Thierry Caillat

    1997-01-01

    The development of new, more efficient, materials and devices is the key to expand the range of applications of thermoelectric generators. New potential terrestrial applications have been recently described in the literature. There exists a wide range of heat source temperatures for these applications, from low grade waste heat, at 320-350K, up to 80 to 1100K, such as in the

  17. Development of thermoelectric generating cascade modules using silicide and BiTe

    Microsoft Academic Search

    H. T. Kaibe; L. Rauscher; S. Fujimoto; T. Kurosawa; T. Kanda; M. Mukoujima; I. Aoyama; K. Ishida; S. Sano

    Bi-Te and siliside modules as well as BiTe\\/Silicide cascade- type module were successfully fabricated and characterized. Bi- Te modules using specially developed materials achieved a con- version e ciency of more than 7.5% at Th = 280 °C and Tc = 30 °C. Silicide modules consist of p-MnSi1:73 and n- Mg2Si, both were prepared using Spark Plasma Sintering tech- nique.

  18. Individual Module Maximum Power Point Tracking for Thermoelectric Generator Systems

    E-print Network

    Schaltz, Erik

    Individual Module Maximum Power Point Tracking for Thermoelectric Generator Systems Casper Vadstrup of Thermo Electric Generator (TEG) systems a power converter is often inserted between the TEG system

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Modeling and power conditioning for thermoelectric generation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Lihua Chen; Dong Cao; Yi Huang; F. Z. Peng

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, the principle and basic structure of the thermoelectric module is introduced. The steady- state and dynamic behaviors of a single TE module are characterized. An electric model of TE modules is developed and can be embedded in the simulation software for circuit analysis and design. The issues associated with the application of the TEG models is analyzed

  2. Optimization of a combined thermionic–thermoelectric generator

    Microsoft Academic Search

    X. C Xuan; D Li

    2003-01-01

    A combined thermionic–thermoelectric generator is proposed in this paper. The thermoelectric generator makes use of the rejected heat from the anode of the thermionic generator, and produces additional electrical power. The combined generator system has both improved efficiency and power output. Optimization analysis of the combined generator is presented in this work.

  3. Thermoelectric power generation systems recovering heat from combustible solid waste in Japan

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Takenobu Kajikawa

    1996-01-01

    The status and future prospects on the development of thermoelectric power generation systems utilizing heat from the municipal solid waste in Japan are reviewed in this paper. Two ongoing research and development programs related to this application in Japan are briefly introduced. The characteristics of heat from the solid waste processing system lead to the peculiar concept of thermoelectric power

  4. 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.

  5. New Physical Model for Thermoelectric Generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Michael Freunek; Monika Müller; Tolgay Ungan; William Walker; Leonhard M. Reindl

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we describe a new analytical physical model for thermoelectric generators (TEGs). The model includes the Thomson\\u000a effect, the Peltier heat, a parameterization of the Joule heat, as well as all thermal and electrical resistances. Geometry\\u000a optimization and investigations of the influence of Peltier heat and the heat source, as well as heat sink conditions and\\u000a the load

  6. Fiber-based flexible thermoelectric power generator

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Yadav; K. P. Pipe; M. Shtein

    2008-01-01

    Flexible thermoelectric power generators fabricated by evaporating thin films on flexible fiber substrates are demonstrated to be feasible candidates for waste heat recovery. An open circuit voltage of 19.6?VK per thermocouple junction is measured for Ni–Ag thin films, and a maximum power of 2nW for 7 couples at ?T=6.6K is measured. Heat transfer analysis is used to project performance for

  7. Towards a nanostructured thermoelectric generator using ion-track lithography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koukharenko, E.; Li, X.; Nandhakumar, I.; Frety, N.; Beeby, S. P.; Cox, D.; Tudor, M. J.; Schiedt, B.; Trautmann, C.; Bertsch, A.; White, N. M.

    2008-10-01

    This paper presents the process development towards a new generation of nanostructured thermoelectric generators for power harvesting from small temperature gradients by using a combination of traditional silicon microfabrication techniques, electroplating and submicron ion-track nanolithography. Polyimide nanotemplates with pore diameters ranging from 30 nm to 120 nm were fabricated. Preliminary results from the fabrication of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)-nanostructured templates are reported. Bi2Te3 nanowires (80 and 120 nm diameters) were electroplated into polyimide ion-track nanotemplates. Bi2Te3 nanowires of a R3 m structure, with preferential orientation in (1 1 0) crystallographic plans, were electroplated. The chemical composition of Bi2Te3 with nearly stoichiometric composition (Bi2.31Te3) was obtained. Homogeneity profiles of the chemical composition were obtained. A fine-grained observed microstructure (6-10 nm) and (1 1 0) crystalline orientation were obtained, which is extremely promising for improving the thermoelectric material properties. The thermoelectric properties of the Bi2Te3-electroplated thin films (Seebeck coefficient ?) and electrical resistivity of the Bi2Te3 bundle nanowires were found to be -52 µV K-1 and ~14 M? cm, respectively. Polyimide (Kapton foil) and PMMA 950 photoresists were promising materials for the realization of a nanostructured thermoelectric generator on flexible and rigid substrates, respectively.

  8. Thermoelectric Generation Using Waste Heat in Steel Works

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuroki, Takashi; Kabeya, Kazuhisa; Makino, Kazuya; Kajihara, Takeshi; Kaibe, Hiromasa; Hachiuma, Hirokuni; Matsuno, Hidetoshi; Fujibayashi, Akio

    2014-06-01

    The steelmaking industry in Japan has significantly reduced its energy use for the past several decades and has kept the highest energy efficiency in the world. However, the steelmaking industry is strongly required to develop new technologies for further energy conservation in view of energy security, high and volatile energy prices, and climate change. One of the key technologies to achieve the requirement is waste heat recovery. This paper describes the thermoelectric generation (TEG) system using the waste heat in the steelmaking process. In this system, the TEG unit, which consists of 16 thermoelectric modules made of Bi-Te thermoelectric materials, generates the electrical power directly by converting the radiant heat released from hot steel products. Each thermoelectric module, whose size is 50 mm × 50 mm × 4.2 mm, generates 18 W when the hot-side temperature is 523 K and the cold-side is 303 K. Therefore, the output of the TEG unit is over 250 W. The performance and the durability of the system have been investigated under various operating conditions in steel works. The results of the verification tests in the JFE steel Corporation's continuous casting line will be discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Högblom, Olle; Andersson, Ronnie

    2012-06-01

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

  10. 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).

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    C. Lertsatitthanakorn

    2007-01-01

    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

  12. Thermoelectric Generators for Automotive Waste Heat Recovery Systems Part II: Parametric Evaluation

    E-print Network

    Xu, Xianfan

    Thermoelectric Generators for Automotive Waste Heat Recovery Systems Part II: Parametric Evaluation been proposed to model thermoelectric generators (TEGs) for automotive waste heat recovery. Details: Thermoelectric generators, waste heat recovery, automotive exhaust, skutterudites INTRODUCTION In part I

  13. 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.

  14. Analysis of waste-heat thermoelectric power generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Chih Wu

    1996-01-01

    A real thermoelectric power generator utilizing waste heat is proposed. The generator is treated as an external and internal irreversible heat engine. The specific power output of the generator is analyzed and compared with that of the Carnot, endoreversible and external reversible thermoelectric heat engines.

  15. Thermoelectric Generators using Solar Thermal Energy in Heated Road Pavement

    Microsoft Academic Search

    M. Hasebe; Y. Kamikawa; S. Meiarashi

    2006-01-01

    The temperature of road pavement rises up to 70degC in summer due to the effect of the solar radiation. The authors have developed a pavement-cooling system using thermoelectric generator. Heat in the pavement is collected as heated water in a heat collection tube installed in the pavement. River water near the road is used as a coolant. Electric power is

  16. The Feasibility of a Current-Source Thermoelectric Power Generator and Its Corresponding Structure Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Guangxi; Yu, Xiong

    2015-06-01

    Traditional thermoelectric power generators consist of thermoelectric elements connected electrically in series and thermally in parallel. Current flowing inside the thermoelectric power generator is conventionally considered to be driven by the Seebeck effect-induced electric field and the output voltage-induced reverse electric field. This paper proposes a more comprehensive model that implies that current is also driven by chemical potential and carrier density variation. Therefore, the thermoelectric power generator can be treated as a current-source power supplier when the current driven by carrier density variation dominates. This paper performs holistic finite element implementation of the new holistic model where a thermoelectric power generator unit behaves like a current-source while the working temperature conditions maintain stability. This result validates that the thermoelectric element shows the behaviors of a current-source power supply under certain conditions. This discovery brings a new perspective on the behaviors of thermoelectric elements, which potentially will lead to the development of novel thermoelectric power generator design.

  17. Optimal design of a multi-couple thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jincan; Lin, Bihong; Wang, Hongjie; Lin, Guoxing

    2000-02-01

    The performance of a multi-couple thermoelectric device as a generator is investigated. The general expressions of two important performance parameters, the efficiency and power output, are given. The icons/Journals/Common/eta" ALT="eta" ALIGN="TOP"/> -K characteristic curves of a thermoelectric generator are presented for some differently constrained conditions, where icons/Journals/Common/eta" ALT="eta" ALIGN="TOP"/> is the efficiency of the thermoelectric system and K is the total thermal conductance of the multi-couple thermoelectric device. The maximum efficiency of the system is calculated. The structure parameters of the device are optimized. The effect of the thermal conductances between the thermoelectric device and the external heat reservoirs on the performance of the system is expounded by using some representative numerical examples. The results obtained here will be useful for a more detailed investigation and for the optimal design of real thermoelectric generators.

  18. Compatibility of segmented thermoelectric generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    T. S. Ursell; G. J. Snyder

    2002-01-01

    It is well known that power generation efficiency improves when materials with appropriate properties are combined either in a cascaded or segmented fashion across a temperature gradient. Past methods for determining materials used in segmentation were mainly concerned with materials that have the highest figure of merit in the temperature range. However, the example of SiGe segmented with Bi2Te3 and\\/or

  19. Cooling radioisotope thermoelectric generators in the Shuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norman, R. M.

    1978-01-01

    Radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) to be used on future spacecraft and launched by the Shuttle must be cooled from the time they are installed and enclosed until the spacecraft is deployed from the Shuttle. A special Cooling Kit maintains their temperature well below critical by circulating water through the coils soldered to them and through a heat exchanger that boils water and externally discharges the resulting steam. The RTG Cooling Kit, including its support frame, if fully charged with about 64 kg of evaporation water, will increase the Shuttle launch mass by about 200 kg.

  20. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator transport trailer system

    SciTech Connect

    Ard, K.E.; King, D.A.; Leigh, H.; Satoh, J.A. [Westinghouse Hanford Company, P.O. Box 1970, MSIN N1-25, Richland, Washington 99352 (United States)

    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}

  1. Optimization of Heat Sink–Limited Thermoelectric Generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    P. M. Mayer; R. J. Ram

    2006-01-01

    Many recent advances in thermoelectrics have focused on the nanoscale engineering of materials for higher figure of merit (Z). A thermoelectric generator using these thin-film materials can present new challenges due to its inherently large temperature gradient, but also correspondingly larger generated power if the heat can be managed. In such cases performance is expected to be limited as much

  2. Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Thermoelectric Power Generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buckle, J. R.; Knox, A.; Siviter, J.; Montecucco, A.

    2013-07-01

    Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are a vital part of the oceanographer's toolbox, allowing long-term measurements across a range of ocean depths of a number of ocean properties such as salinity, fluorescence, and temperature profile. Buoyancy-based gliding, rather than direct propulsion, dramatically reduces AUV power consumption and allows long-duration missions on the order of months rather than hours or days, allowing large distances to be analyzed or many successive analyses of a certain area without the need for retrieval. Recent versions of these gliders have seen the buoyancy variation system change from electrically powered to thermally powered using phase-change materials, however a significant battery pack is still required to power communications and sensors, with power consumption in the region of 250 mW. The authors propose a novel application of a thermoelectric generation system, utilizing the depth-related variation in oceanic temperature. A thermal energy store provides a temperature differential across which a thermoelectric device can generate from repeated dives, with the primary purpose of extending mission range. The system is modeled in Simulink to analyze the effect of variation in design parameters. The system proves capable of generating all required power for a modern AUV.

  3. 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.

  4. End-on radioisotope thermoelectric generator impact tests

    SciTech Connect

    Reimus, M.A.; Hinckley, J.E. [Los Alamos National Laboratory P.O. Box 1663, MS-E502 Los Alamos, New Mexico87545 (United States)

    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. {copyright} {ital 1997 American Institute of Physics.}

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Optimal design of small ?T thermoelectric generation systems

    Microsoft Academic Search

    James W. Stevens

    2001-01-01

    Thermoelectric generation systems for utilizing waste heat and ambient temperature swings have been proposed that would involve temperature differences on the order of 1–10 K. The inherently low thermodynamic efficiency of such systems requires that a relatively large amount of heat pass through the system for a given rate of electricity production. The coupled design of the thermoelectric module and

  8. 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.

  9. A new type of low power thermoelectric micro-generator fabricated by nanowire array thermoelectric material

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Wei Wang; Falong Jia; Qinghua Huang; Jianzhong Zhang

    2005-01-01

    A new type of thermoelectric micro-generator, which is composed of n-type and p-type Bi2Te3 nanowire array thermoelectric materials, is designed to be energy source for miniaturized solid-state devices such as MEMS, micro-electrical system and even “system on a chip”. The nanowire arrays are fabricated by electrochemical deposition of Bi2Te3 into the nano-pores of alumina template. The measurements showed that the

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Fiber optic signal amplifier using thermoelectric power generation

    DOEpatents

    Hart, Mark M. (Aiken, SC)

    1995-01-01

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

  13. Modeling of thin-film solar thermoelectric generators

    E-print Network

    Weinstein, Lee Adragon

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. An overview of the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Transportation System Program

    SciTech Connect

    McCoy, J.C.; Becker, D.L. [Westinghouse Hanford Company, P.O. Box 1970, Richland, Washington 99352 (United States)

    1996-03-01

    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 U.S. 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 Administration{close_quote}s 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 major changes in the U.S. Department of Energy structure and resources will be outlined. {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Some problems in the development of a commercial thermoelectric refrigerator

    Microsoft Academic Search

    T B Burnett; H O Lorch; J E Thompson

    1961-01-01

    Two basic problems in the development of a thermoelectric refrigerator are the construction of a cooling unit, consisting of the thermoelectric junctions, and the optimization of the complete refrigerator design to make best use of the thermoelectric material. It is essential for the unit to achieve good thermal contact with the cooling chamber and to have good electrical contact across

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Performance of cryogenic thermoelectric generators in LNG cold energy utilization

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Wei Sun; Peng Hu; Zeshao Chen; Lei Jia

    2005-01-01

    The cold energy of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is generally wasted when the LNG is extracted for utilization. This paper proposes cryogenic thermoelectric generators to recover this cold energy. The theoretical performance of the generator has been analyzed. An analytical method and numerical method of calculation of the optimum parameters of the generator have been demonstrated.

  4. Branched and interconnected bismuth telluride nanowire arrays for thermoelectric power generation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Pranati Tewari

    2010-01-01

    Thermoelectric generators can be used to extract waste heat energy and convert it into usable electrical energy. For decades, the thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT), which is a function of the Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity, has been limited to values of about 1 for practical bulk thermoelectric materials because in bulk thermoelectric materials, the parameters of ZT

  5. Miniaturized thermoelectric generators based on poly-Si and poly-SiGe surface micromachining

    Microsoft Academic Search

    M. Strasser; R. Aigner; M. Franosch; G. Wachutka

    2002-01-01

    We report on miniaturized thermoelectric generators (TEGs) which are being developed to convert waste heat into a few microwatts of electrical power, sufficient to supply microelectronic circuitry. A BiCMOS realization using standard materials is favored to make these generators amenable to low cost applications. In order to optimize our device, the design and the material properties have been studied. The

  6. 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; Bartholomé, 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

  7. Thermoelectric Generators for Automotive Waste Heat Recovery Systems Part I: Numerical Modeling

    E-print Network

    Xu, Xianfan

    Thermoelectric Generators for Automotive Waste Heat Recovery Systems Part I: Numerical Modeling (TEG) designed for automotive waste heat recovery systems. This model is capable of computing telluride TEMs. Key words: Thermoelectric generators, waste heat recovery, automotive exhaust, skutterudites

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Effect of heat transfer on the performance of thermoelectric generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Lingen Chen; Jianzheng Gong; Fengrui Sun; Chih Wu

    2002-01-01

    The power output and efficiency expressions for thermoelectric (semiconductor) generators which is composed of multi-elements are derived with considerations of heat transfer irreversibility in the heat exchangers between the generator and the heat reservoirs. Numerical examples are provided. The effects of heat transfer and the number of elements on the performance are analyzed.

  11. A COMBUSTION-BASED MEMS THERMOELECTRIC POWER GENERATOR

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Samuel B. Schaevitz; Aleksander J. Franz; Klavs F. Jensen; Martin A. Schmidt

    2001-01-01

    SUMMARY A thermoelectric generator with integrated catalytic combustion has been microfabricated and successfully tested. The device consists of a high-temperature silicon-germanium thermopile supported on a thermally insulating silicon nitride membrane. Heat is supplied by catalytic combustion of fuels on the underside of the membrane. Power output has been generated from on- chip autothermal combustion of hydrogen, ammonia and butane, with

  12. A numerical model for thermoelectric generator with the parallel-plate heat exchanger

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Jianlin Yu; Hua Zhao

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents a numerical model to predict the performance of thermoelectric generator with the parallel-plate heat exchanger. The model is based on an elemental approach and exhibits its feature in analyzing the temperature change in a thermoelectric generator and concomitantly its performance under operation conditions. The numerical simulated examples are demonstrated for the thermoelectric generator of parallel flow type

  13. Thermoelectric generator fabricated via laser-induced forward transfer M.Feinaeugle1

    E-print Network

    Thermoelectric generator fabricated via laser-induced forward transfer M.Feinaeugle1 , C.L. Sones1 of a thermoelectric generator with the rapid, lithography-less technique of laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT on one substrate. The design of the proposed thermoelectric generator was selected to demonstrate

  14. IMPROVING THE EFFICIENCY OF THERMOELECTRIC GENERATORS BY USING SOLAR HEAT CONCENTRATORS

    E-print Network

    IMPROVING THE EFFICIENCY OF THERMOELECTRIC GENERATORS BY USING SOLAR HEAT CONCENTRATORS M. T. de : Thermoelectric generator, Solar heat concentrator, Carnot efficiency I - Introduction The global energy crisis of thermoelectric generators (TEGs). It is attractive to use TEGs because they have no mechanical parts; hence

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Development of Experimental Techniques for Thermoelectric Properties Characterization of Low-Dimensional Structures

    E-print Network

    Wang, Gwo-Ching

    large numbers of samples for high thermoelectric figure of merit ZT. However, implementationDevelopment of Experimental Techniques for Thermoelectric Properties Characterization of Low in developing experimental techniques applicable for thermoelectric properties characterization at micro

  19. Monolithic oxide-metal composite thermoelectric generators for energy harvesting

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Shuichi Funahashi; Takanori Nakamura; Keisuke Kageyama; Hideharu Ieki

    2011-01-01

    Monolithic oxide-metal composite thermoelectric generators (TEGs) were fabricated using multilayer co-fired ceramic technology. These devices consisted of Ni0.9Mo0.1 and La0.035Sr0.965TiO3 as p- and n-type thermoelectric materials, and Y0.03Zr0.97O2 was used as an insulator, sandwiched between p- and n-type layers. To co-fire dissimilar materials, p-type layers contained 20 wt. % La0.035Sr0.965TiO3; thus, these were oxide-metal composite layers. The fabricated device had

  20. Thermoelectric generator utilizing boiling-condensation (experiment and modeling)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ren Cai Chu; Kanichi KADOTANI; Toshiya SHINTANI; Toshinobu TANIMURA; Tsutomu HATANAKA; S. Nishio

    2003-01-01

    A thermoelectric generator utilizing boiling and condensation of thermal medium circulating between a boiler and condensers was proposed in this study. Fuluorinert (FC5312) was used as the thermal medium (working fluid). A vertical tube type boiler with an outside forced convective heat transfer and an inside natural convective boiling was chosen. In order to increase the hot side temperature of

  1. Experimental demonstration of thermal management using thermoelectric generation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Gary L. Solbrekken; Kazuaki Yazawa; Avram Bar-Cohen

    2004-01-01

    It has been well established that thermal management of electronic equipment is a critical need for the continued success of the microelectronics industry. Portable electronic devices, such as notebook computers and cellular telephones, require that the thermal solution be small, light, and energy efficient. Small-scale thermoelectric (TE) modules can be used to generate electricity from the waste heat of the

  2. Micromachined CMOS thermoelectric generators as on-chip power supply

    Microsoft Academic Search

    M. Strasser; R. Aigner; C. Lauterbach; T. F. Sturm; M. Franosch; G. Wachutka

    2004-01-01

    As the power consumption of a large number of microelectronic devices has been continuously reduced in recent years, power supply units of a few microwatts have become sufficient for their operation. Our improved micro-scale thermoelectric generator (?-TEG) is based on polysilicon surface micromachining and is designed to convert waste heat into electrical power. Since this device is compatible with standard

  3. Micromachined CMOS thermoelectric generators as on-chip power supply

    Microsoft Academic Search

    M. Strasser; R. Aigner; C. Lauterbach; T. F. Sturm; M. Franosh; G. Wachutka

    2003-01-01

    As the power consumption of a large number of microelectronic devices has been continuously reduced in recent years, power supply units of a few microwatts have become sufficient for their operation. Our improved micro-scale thermoelectric generator (?-TEG) is based on polysilicon surface micromachining and is designed to convert waste heat into electrical power. Since this device is compatible with standard

  4. Power performance of US space radioisotope thermoelectric generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Gary L. Bennett; E. A. Skrabek

    1996-01-01

    Since 1961, the United States has flown 41 radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) and one reactor to provide power for 25 space power systems. Thirty-eight of these nuclear power sources on 22 space systems are still in space or on other planetary bodies. This paper summarizes the design and power performance of each of the basic RTG types that have been

  5. Thermoelectric-generator with linear phenomenological heat-transfer law

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Lingen Chen; Fengrui Sun; Chih Wu

    2005-01-01

    The performance of multi-element thermoelectric-generators, assuming heat-transfer irreversibilities which obey the linear phenomenological heat-transfer law Q?(?T?1), is studied in this paper by combining finite-time thermodynamics with non-equilibrium thermodynamics. The performance characteristics of the output power, efficiency and working electrical-current are described by numerical examples.

  6. Calculation of thermoelectric power generation performance using finite element analysis

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Paul G. Lau; Richard J. Buist

    1997-01-01

    Recent papers have covered the merits of using finite elements to calculate the thermoelectric device performance for steady-state conditions. Likewise, papers have covered the use of finite elements to model transient cooling conditions. It remains then to model power generation performance with finite elements and compare that model with various other modeling techniques. This Analysis was based on a single

  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 source—the multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG). In an effort to increase the output power and efficiency of these generators, a newly designed enhanced MMRTG (eMMRTG) that will utilize the more efficient skutterudite-based thermoelectric materials has been conceptualized and modeled, and is now being developed. A discussion of the motivations, modeling results and key design factors are presented and discussed.

  8. Experimental investigation of the performance of a thermoelectric generator based on Peltier cells

    Microsoft Academic Search

    G. Casano; S. Piva

    2011-01-01

    An experimental investigation is carried out to characterize the performance of thermoelectric modules used for electric power generation over a range of different resistance loads. The performance of a Peltier cell used as a thermoelectric generator is evaluated in terms of power output and conversion efficiency. The results show that a thermoelectric module is a promising device for waste heat

  9. Conversion of unused heat energy to electricity by means of thermoelectric generation in condenser

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Takashi Kyono; Ryosuke O. Suzuki; Katsutoshi Ono

    2003-01-01

    Thermoelectric power generation has the potential to recover a large amount of energy loss at the vapor condensers in the steam-based power plants. A suitable arrangement of thermoelectric modules was designed from the heat transfer theory in the cylindrical heat exchanger. Even under the practical operation limits, 150 kW can be generated by the thermoelectric conversion.

  10. 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.

  11. Theoretical and Experimental Study of Thermoelectric Generators for Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anatychuk, L. I.; Luste, O. J.; Kuz, R. V.

    2011-05-01

    The general physical laws for reaching the maximum efficiency of a generator using vehicular exhaust heat have been studied. Based on the physical models of a generator with lumped and distributed parameters, the optimal gas temperature at the outlet of the thermoelectric generator (TEG) and the optimal distribution of gas temperature in the heat exchanger have been found. The basic generator parameters, namely the voltage, power, and efficiency, have been calculated in the steady-state and dynamic modes. The possibility of efficiency improvement by a factor of 1.5 through use of an exponential as compared with an isothermal distribution of heat exchanger temperature has been revealed. Calculations are confirmed by results from testing a prototype vehicular thermoelectric generator.

  12. Achieving Maximum Power in Thermoelectric Generation with Simple Power Electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Youn, Nari; Lee, Hohyun; Wee, Daehyun; Gomez, Miguel; Reid, Rachel; Ohara, Brandon

    2014-06-01

    A thermoelectric generator typically delivers a relatively low power output, and hence it is of great practical importance to determine a design and operating condition close to those which can provide the maximum attainable power. To maintain a favorable condition for the maximum power output, power electronics circuits are usually applied. One of the simplest methods is to control the operating voltage at half the open-circuit voltage, assuming that the typical impedance-matching condition, in which the load and internal resistances are matched, yields the maximum power output. However, recent investigations have shown that, when external thermal resistances exist between the thermoelectric modules and thermal reservoirs, the impedance-matching condition is not identical to the condition for the maximum power output. In this article, it is argued that, although the impedance-matching condition is not the condition for maximum power output, the maximum power is still achievable when the operating voltage is kept at half the open-circuit voltage. More precisely, it is shown that the typical V- I curve for thermoelectric generators must show approximately linear behavior, which justifies the use of a simple strategy in thermoelectric power generation applications. The conditions for the validity of the approximation are mathematically discussed, supported by a few examples. Experimental evidence at room temperature is also provided.

  13. 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).

  14. FINAL SAFETY ANALYSIS REPORT. SNAP III THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR

    Microsoft Academic Search

    W. Hagis; G. P. Dix

    1960-01-01

    The SNAP-III thermoelectric generator procedures power from the decay ;\\u000a heat of 2100 curies of Po²¹°. This generator is to be used as a source of ;\\u000a auxiliary power in a terrestrial satellite. For purposes of analysis, the ;\\u000a satellite system postulated is launched from the Pacific Missile Bange into a 275-;\\u000a statute mile polar orbit with an orbital lifetime

  15. Thermoelectric power generation: Converting low-grade heat into electricity

    Microsoft Academic Search

    K. Ono; R. O. Suzuki

    1998-01-01

    This article describes some of the fundamental aspects of thermoelectric power generation, which employs low-temperature heat\\u000a sources to create electricity. The focus is on a potential system design and viable thermocouple materials. Regarding generator\\u000a design, a system is proposed that uses forcedair circulation and a multistage heat-exchanger to efficiently convert the heat\\u000a content of a low-grade heat source into useful

  16. Wearable Thermoelectric Generators for Body-Powered Devices

    Microsoft Academic Search

    V. Leonov; R. J. M. Vullers

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents a discussion on energy scavenging for wearable devices in conjunction with human body properties. Motivation,\\u000a analysis of the relevant properties of the human body, and results of optimization of a thermopile and a thermoelectric generator\\u000a for wearable and portable devices are presented. The theoretical limit for power generation on human beings is evaluated and\\u000a confirmed by experimental

  17. 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.

  18. Electric energy production by particle thermionic-thermoelectric power generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oettinger, P. E.

    1980-01-01

    Thermionic-thermoelectric power generators, composed of a thin layer of porous, low work function material separating a heated emitter electrode and a cooler collector electrode, have extremely large Seebeck coefficients of over 2 mV/K and can provide significant output power. Preliminary experiments with 20-micron thick (Ba Sr Ca)O coatings, limited by evaporative loss to temperatures below 1400 K, have yielded short circuit current densities of 500 mA/sq cm and power densities of 60 mW/ sq cm. Substantially more output is expected with cesium-coated refractory oxide particle coatings operating at higher temperatures. Practical generators will have thermal-to-electrical efficiencies of 10 to 20%. Further increases can be gained by cascading these high-temperature devices with lower temperature conventional thermoelectric generators.

  19. Thermoelectric Generator Used in Fire-Alarm Temperature Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chang, Ho; Yu, Zhi-Rong

    2012-08-01

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

  1. Analytical predictions of RTG power degradation. [Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noon, E. L.; Raag, V.

    1979-01-01

    The DEGRA computer code that is based on a mathematical model which predicts performance and time-temperature dependent degradation of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator is discussed. The computer code has been used to predict performance and generator degradation for the selenide Ground Demonstration Unit (GDS-1) and the generator used in the Galileo Project. Results of parametric studies of load voltage vs generator output are examined as well as the I-V curve and the resulting predicted power vs voltage. The paper also discusses the increased capability features contained in DEGRA2 and future plans for expanding the computer code performance.

  2. Performance of the 1 kW thermoelectric generator for diesel engines

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. C. Bass; N. B. Elsner; F. A. Leavitt

    1994-01-01

    Hi-Z Technology, Inc. (Hi-Z) has been developing a 1 kW thermoelectric generator for class eight Diesel truck engines under U.S. Department of Energy and California Energy Commission funding since 1992. The purpose of this generator is to replace the currently used shaft-driven alternator by converting part of the waste heat in the engine’s exhaust directly to electricity. The preliminary design

  3. Synthesis and pressure tuning of thermoelectric materials

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Deborah A. Polvani

    2000-01-01

    Imagine a device with no moving parts that could be used for efficient refrigeration or electric power generation. Thermoelectric devices with these characteristics could be realized if materials with improved thermoelectric efficiencies, quantified by the thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, were developed. There are currently many niche applications for thermoelectrics; however, no materials are yet known to exhibit values of

  4. Computer program for the transient analysis of radioisotope thermoelectric generators.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eggers, P. E.; Ridihalgh, J. L.

    1972-01-01

    A computer program is described which represents a comprehensive analytical tool providing the capability for predicting the output power and temperature profile of an arbitrary radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) design in the presence of time-dependent operating conditions. The approach taken involves the merging of three existing computer programs - namely, an RTG weight optimization design program, a thermoelectric analysis program, and a nodal heat-transfer computer program. A total of seven transient conditions are included in the computer program as the principal transients affecting long- and short-term performance characteristics of RTGs. This computer program is unique in that it designs an optimum RTG, generates a thermal model or analog and performs heat-transfer analysis of the RTG under user-specified transient conditions.

  5. ECONOMIC FACTORS OF MFP THERMOELECTRIC GENERATORS. Interim Report

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Barmat

    1962-01-01

    Mixed Fission Products (MFP) for use as a heat source for thermoelectric ;\\u000a generators will become increasingly available in the coming years. The Atomic ;\\u000a Energy Conamission sponsored program on solidification of nuclear wastes is now ;\\u000a entering the hot-bench scale test phase. During this phase approximately 5000 ;\\u000a thermal watts of two year old MFP could be produced monthly.

  6. High-energy density miniature thermoelectric generator using catalytic combustion

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Kazushi Yoshida; Shuji Tanaka; Shigeaki Tomonari; Daisuke Satoh; Masayoshi Esashi

    2006-01-01

    This paper describes the components and system of a thermoelectric (TE) generator with a catalytic butane combustor. The combustion chamber with a size of 8 mm×8 mm×0.4 mm is etched in a 0.65-mm-thick silicon substrate, and bonded to both sides of a 0.77-mm-thick glass substrate with a thin-film ignition heater. A set of 34 couples of BiTe TE elements, each

  7. 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.

  8. Real-time monitoring during transportation of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) using the radioisotope thermoelectric generator transportation system (RTGTS)

    SciTech Connect

    Pugh, B.K. [EGG Mound Applied Technologies P.O. Box 3000 Miamisburg, Ohio45343-3000 (United States)

    1997-01-01

    The Radioisotopic Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) that will be used to support the Cassini mission will be transported in the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Transportation System (RTGTS). To ensure that the RTGs will not be affected during transportation, all parameters that could adversely affect RTG{close_quote}s performance must be monitored. The Instrumentation and Data Acquisition System (IDAS) for the RTGTS displays, monitors, and records all critical packaging and trailer system parameters. The IDAS also monitors the package temperature control system, RTG package shock and vibration data, and diesel fuel levels for the diesel fuel tanks. The IDAS alarms if any of these parameters reach an out-of-limit condition. This paper discusses the real-time monitoring during transportation of the Cassini RTGs using the RTGTS IDAS. {copyright} {ital 1997 American Institute of Physics.}

  9. Real-time monitoring during transportation of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) using the radioisotope thermoelectric generator transportation system (RTGTS)

    SciTech Connect

    Pugh, Barry K. [EG and G Mound Applied Technologies P.O. Box 3000 Miamisburg, Ohio 45343-3000 (United States)

    1997-01-10

    The Radioisotopic Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) that will be used to support the Cassini mission will be transported in the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Transportation System (RTGTS). To ensure that the RTGs will not be affected during transportation, all parameters that could adversely affect RTG's performance must be monitored. The Instrumentation and Data Acquisition System (IDAS) for the RTGTS displays, monitors, and records all critical packaging and trailer system parameters. The IDAS also monitors the package temperature control system, RTG package shock and vibration data, and diesel fuel levels for the diesel fuel tanks. The IDAS alarms if any of these parameters reach an out-of-limit condition. This paper discusses the real-time monitoring during transportation of the Cassini RTGs using the RTGTS IDAS.

  10. 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.

  11. New materials and devices for thermoelectric applications

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Jean-Pierre Fleurial; Alex Borshchevsky; Thierry Caillat; R. Ewell

    1997-01-01

    New high efficiency thermoelectric materials with ZT values substantially larger than 1.0 have been recently developed. The successful development of a segmented thermoelectric generator utilizing a combination of state-of-the-art thermoelectric materials and these novel thermoelectric materials could result in a high thermal-to-electric materials conversion efficiency over 19%. This is because the new thermoelectric materials have a higher average ZT value

  12. Analytical thermal model validation for Cassini radioisotope thermoelectric generator

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, E.I. [California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab.

    1997-12-31

    The Saturn-bound Cassini spacecraft is designed to rely, without precedent, on the waste heat from its three radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) to warm the propulsion module subsystem, and the RTG end dome temperature is a key determining factor of the amount of waste heat delivered. A previously validated SINDA thermal model of the RTG was the sole guide to understanding its complex thermal behavior, but displayed large discrepancies against some initial thermal development test data. A careful revalidation effort led to significant modifications and adjustments of the model, which result in a doubling of the radiative heat transfer from the heat source support assemblies to the end domes and bring up the end dome and flange temperature predictions to within 2 C of the pertinent test data. The increased inboard end dome temperature has a considerable impact on thermal control of the spacecraft central body. The validation process offers an example of physically-driven analytical model calibration with test data from not only an electrical simulator but also a nuclear-fueled flight unit, and has established the end dome temperatures of a flight RTG where no in-flight or ground-test data existed before.

  13. 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

  14. Fabrication and characterization of nanowire array composites for thermoelectric power generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Kalapi Biswas

    2008-01-01

    Thermoelectric devices can be used to harvest waste heat energy lost during the operation of mechanical and electrical systems by converting it into usable electrical energy. The primary challenge in realizing efficient thermal-to-electrical energy converters is developing materials with good thermal, electrical and thermoelectric properties. Recent efforts in this area have primarily focused on nanostructured thin film based thermoelectric materials

  15. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator/thin fragment impact test

    SciTech Connect

    Reimus, M. A. H.; Hinckley, J. E. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, P.O. Box 1663, MS-E502, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 (United States)

    1998-01-15

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

  16. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator/thin fragment impact test

    SciTech Connect

    Reimus, M.A.; Hinckley, J.E. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, P.O. Box 1663, MS-E502, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 (United States)

    1998-01-01

    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). 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. {copyright} {ital 1998 American Institute of Physics.}

  17. 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.

  18. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator/thin fragment impact test

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-12-31

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

  19. 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.

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

    E-print Network

    Apertet, Y; Glavatskaya, O; Goupil, C; Lecoeur, P

    2011-01-01

    We study how maximum output power can be obtained from a thermoelectric generator(TEG) with nonideal 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 optima...

  1. Power generation from thermoelectric system-embedded Plexiglas for green building technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inayat, Salman Bin; Hussain, Muhammad Mustafa

    2013-08-01

    Thermoelectric materials embedded through or inside exterior glass windows can act as a viable source of supplemental power in geographic locations where hot weather dominates. This thermoelectricity is generated because of the thermal difference between the high temperature outside and the relatively cold temperature inside. Using physical vapor deposition process, we experimentally verify this concept by embedding bismuth telluride and antimony telluride through the 5 mm Plexiglas to demonstrate 10 nW of thermopower generation with a temperature gradient of 21 °C. Albeit tiny at this point with non-optimized design and development, this concept can be extended for relatively large-scale power generation as an additional power supply for green building technology.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. System and method to improve the power output and longevity of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator

    SciTech Connect

    Mowery, A.L. Jr.

    1993-09-21

    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. 1 figures.

  5. A study of commercial thermoelectric generation in a processing plant of combustible solid waste

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Tsuyoshi; S. Kagawa; M. Sakamoto; K. Matsuura

    1997-01-01

    This paper presents the applicability of a commercially available thermoelectric generator for waste heat recovery in a processing plant of combustible solid waste. Oil heat transfer medium is utilized for heating the commercially available thermoelectric generator employed in this study so that the generator can be operated at a much lower pressure than that using water. Low pressure operation is

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

    E-print Network

    Jackson, Robert B.

    The potential impacts of climate-change policy on freshwater use in thermoelectric power generation to generate electricity. We analyze what these changes could entail for electricity generation in the United System and water-use factors for thermoelectric power plants derived from electric utility data compiled

  7. Thermoelectric module and generator for gasoline engine vehicles

    Microsoft Academic Search

    K. Ikoma; M. Munekiyo; K. Furuya; M. Kobayashi; T. Izumi; K. Shinohara

    1998-01-01

    An advanced type thermoelectric module based on SiGe has been developed to apply it to gasoline engine vehicles. The size of the module is 20 mm square and 9.2 mm in height. The module consists of 8 couples of p- and n-type Si-Ge elements. The elements are electrically connected in series using Mo electrodes by brazing method. The maximum electric

  8. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator licensed hardware package and certification tests

    SciTech Connect

    Goldmann, L.H.; Averette, H.S. [Westinghouse Hanford Company, P.O. Box 1970, M/S R3-86 or N1-32, Richland, Washington 99352 (United States)

    1995-01-20

    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 {ital Code} {ital of} {ital Federal} {ital 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 {sup 238}Pu, 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. (Abstract Truncated)

  9. Design of a low-input-voltage converter for thermoelectric generator

    Microsoft Academic Search

    John M. Damaschke

    1997-01-01

    Low-grade exhaust heat is used to provide a reliable and independent power source for instrumentation circuitry by means of a thermoelectric generator (TEG). A design of a self-starting DC-DC power converter is developed and optimized for very-low-input voltages (below 300 mV) in order to allow operation at temperature differences of 20°C and less. A prototype is built, and the results

  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. 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.

  13. Thermoelectric generators in photovoltaic hybrid systems

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. Kugele; W. Roth; W. Schulz; A. Steinhuser

    1996-01-01

    The supply of distant electric devices that cannot be connected to the public electricity grid for reasons of cost, waiting time or due to the need of local flexibility has been a major problem. To date, the power supply of such stand-alone systems has been based mainly on battery-buffered fossil-fueled motor-generators. Apart from the consumption of limited fossil fuel reserves,

  14. Proposed strontium radiosotope thermoelectric generator fuel encapsulation facility

    SciTech Connect

    Adkins, H.E. (Westinghouse Hanford Company, P.O. Box 1970, Mail Stop N1-42, Richland, Washington 99352 (United States))

    1993-01-10

    The proposed Fuel Encapsulation Facility is a fully equipped facility for processing and encapsulating strontium Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) fuel from presently available Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility (WESF) capsules. The facility location is on the second building level below ground of the Fuels and Materials Examination Facility (FMEF), Cells 142, 143, and 145. Capsules containing strontium fluoride (SrF[sub 2]) would be received from the WESF in Cell 145 and transferred to the three adjacent cells for processing and encapsulation into the final RTG fuel configuration.

  15. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Adkins, H.E.; Bearden, T.E. (Westinghouse Hanford Company, P.O. Box 1970, N1-42, Richland, Washington 99352 (US))

    1991-01-01

    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 U.S. Department of Transportation regulations without the use of a DOE Alternative.'' The U.S. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. A comprehensive review of thermoelectric technology, micro-electrical and power generation properties

    Microsoft Academic Search

    C. A. Gould; N. Y. A. Shammas; S. Grainger; I. Taylor

    2008-01-01

    Thermoelectric technology may provide an alternative to traditional methods of power generation, heating and cooling. A small amount of electrical power can be generated by a thermoelectric module if a temperature difference is maintained between two terminals, or can operate as a heat pump, providing heating or cooling of an object connected to one side of the module.

  19. Stresa, Italy, 26-28 April 2006 ENERGY CONVERSION USING NEW THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR

    E-print Network

    Paris-Sud XI, Université de

    Stresa, Italy, 26-28 April 2006 ENERGY CONVERSION USING NEW THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR G. Savelli1. It appears that many of these technologies can be applied successfully to realize Seebeck micro generators: photolithography and deposition methods allow to elaborate thin thermoelectric structures at the micro-scale level

  20. Study on electricity generation performance of thermoelectric device in extreme environmental conditions

    Microsoft Academic Search

    In this paper, studies were performed on the thermoelectric device to generate electricity in extreme outer-space environmental conditions. Mathematical models were established to relate the power generation and temperature difference across the cold and hot surfaces of thermoelectric device. Preliminary experiments were performed to test the practical output of a single stage TED. It was observed when the temperature difference

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. A thermoelectric generator using porous Si thermal isolation.

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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

  7. Monolithic oxide-metal composite thermoelectric generators for energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funahashi, Shuichi; Nakamura, Takanori; Kageyama, Keisuke; Ieki, Hideharu

    2011-06-01

    Monolithic oxide-metal composite thermoelectric generators (TEGs) were fabricated using multilayer co-fired ceramic technology. These devices consisted of Ni0.9Mo0.1 and La0.035Sr0.965TiO3 as p- and n-type thermoelectric materials, and Y0.03Zr0.97O2 was used as an insulator, sandwiched between p- and n-type layers. To co-fire dissimilar materials, p-type layers contained 20 wt. % La0.035Sr0.965TiO3; thus, these were oxide-metal composite layers. The fabricated device had 50 pairs of p-i-n junctions of 5.9 mm × 7.0 mm × 2.6 mm. The calculated maximum value of the electric power output from the device was 450 mW/cm2 at ?T = 360 K. Furthermore, this device generated 100 ?W at ?T = 10 K and operated a radio frequency (RF) transmitter circuit module assumed to be a sensor network system.

  8. Search and Development of High Performance Thermoelectric Materials: A Controlled Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, J. -P.

    1995-01-01

    The paper discusses some of the lessons learned in research and development of high performance thermoelectric materials. Discussion is on optimizing existing thermoelectric materials and considerations for development of new materials.

  9. Thermoelectric materials 1998 -- The next generation materials for small-scale refrigeration and power generation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Tritt, T.M. (ed.) (Clemson Univ., SC (United States)); Kanatzidis, M.G. (ed.) (Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States)); Mahan, G.D. (ed.) (Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)); Lyon, H.B. Jr. (ed.) (Marlow Industries, Dallas, TX (United States))

    1999-01-01

    Thermoelectric materials are used in a wide variety of applications related to small-scale solid-state refrigeration or power generation. Over the past 30 years, alloys based on the Bi-Te compounds (refrigeration) [(Bi[sub 1[minus]x]Sb[sub x])[sub 2] (Te[sub 1[minus]x]Se[sub x])[sub 3

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. A Novel Optimization Method for the Electric Topology of Thermoelectric Modules Used in an Automobile Exhaust Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quan, Rui; Tang, Xinfeng; Quan, Shuhai; Huang, Liang

    2013-07-01

    Based on Bi2Te3 thermoelectric modules, a kind of automobile exhaust thermoelectric generator (AETEG) with a single-column cold-source structure was designed. To enhance its net power and efficiency, the output performance of all the thermoelectric modules was tested with a temperature monitoring unit and voltage monitoring unit, and modeled using a back-propagation (BP) neural network based on various hot-source temperatures, cold-source temperatures, load currents, and contact pressures according to the temperature distribution of the designed heat exchanger and cooling system. Then, their electric topology (series or parallel hybrid) was optimized using a genetic algorithm to achieve the maximum peak power of the AETEG. From the experimental results, compared with when all the thermoelectric modules were connected only in series or parallel at random, it is concluded that the AETEG performance is evidently affected by the electric topology of all the single thermoelectric modules. The optimized AETEG output power is greatly superior to the other two investigated designs, validating the proposed optimized electric topology as both feasible and practical.

  13. Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Options for Pluto Fast Flyby Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schock, Alfred

    1994-07-01

    A small spacecraft design for the Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF) mission is under study by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (PL) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), for a possible launch as early as 1998. JPL's 1992 baseline design calls for a power source able to furnish an energy output of 3963 kWh and a power output of 69 Watts(e) at the end of the 9.2-year mission. Satisfying those demands is made difficult because NASA management has set a goal of reducing the spacecraft mass from a baseline value of 166 kg to ~110 kg, which implies a mass goal of less than 10 kg for the power source. To support the ongoing NASA/JPL studies, the Department of Energy's Office of Special Applications (DOE/OSA) commissioned Fairchild Space to prepare and analyze conceptual designs of radioisotope power systems for the PFF mission. Thus far, a total of eight options employing essentially the same radioisotope heat source modules were designed and subjected to thermal, electrical, structural, and mass analyses by Fairchild. Five of these - employing thermoelectric converters - are described in the present paper, and three - employing free-piston Stirling converters - are described in the companion paper presented next. The system masses of the thermoelectric options ranged from 19.3 kg to 10.2 kg. In general, the options requiring least development are the heaviest, and the lighter options require more development with greater programmatic risk.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Complex thermoelectric materials

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Eric S. Toberer; G. Jeffrey Snyder

    2008-01-01

    Thermoelectric materials, which can generate electricity from waste heat or be used as solid-state Peltier coolers, could play an important role in a global sustainable energy solution. Such a development is contingent on identifying materials with higher thermoelectric efficiency than available at present, which is a challenge owing to the conflicting combination of material traits that are required. Nevertheless, because

  19. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator cooling in the Shuttle bay

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stimpson, L. D.; Levine, D. I.

    1979-01-01

    The paper describes a Shuttle-integrated radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) that consists primarily of a pump package and plumbing connected directly to the Shuttle payload heat exchanger. The RTG utilizes on-board water evaporative cooling capability, which is normally used for ascent, entry, and for supplementing the radiators. Attention is given to the RTG cooling concepts which include: (1) an active thermal cooling system (ATCS), where two Freon-21 loops operate simultaneously to transport heat from the Orbiter subsystem and payloads through liquid-to-liquid heat exchangers and pin-fin coldplates to four heat sinks, and (2) an atmosphere revitalization system (ARS) which provides for thermal, pressure, and contaminate control of the crew cabin and its equipment. The use of a payload heat exchanger to reduce weight, cost and complexity associated with an independent cooling system was investigated in detail.

  20. Thermoelectric generators as self-oscillating heat engines

    E-print Network

    Robert Alicki

    2015-05-30

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    E-print Network

    Latcham, Jacob G. (Jacob Greco)

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Thermoelectric and Hybrid Generators in Wearable Devices and Clothes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Vladimir Leonov; Chris Van Hoof; Ruud J. M. Vullers

    2009-01-01

    This paper discusses the necessity and ways of replacing batteries in BSNs and other wearable devices with energy scavengers. The stresses are made on thermoelectric energy converters of human body heat into electrical power and on rules of their designing. The reasons for and possible ways of hybridizing wearable thermoelectric converters with photovoltaic cells are discussed, too. The examples of

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  8. New approaches to interfacing thermoelectric generators to the load bus in a nuclear space vehicle

    E-print Network

    Brohlin, Paul LeRoy

    1988-01-01

    NEW APPROACHES TO INTERFACING THERMOELECTRIC GENERATORS TO THE LOAD BUS IN A NUCLEAR SPACE VEHICLE A Thesis PAUL LEROY BROHLIN Submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies of Texas ARM University in partial fulfillment of the requirement... for the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE December 1988 Major Subject: Electrical Engineering NEW APPROACHES TO INTERFACING THERMOELECTRIC GENERATORS TO THE LOAD BUS IN A NUCLEAR SPACE VEHICLE A Thesis PAUL LEROY BROHLIN Approved as to style and content by...

  9. Small-size BiTe Thermopiles and a Thermoelectric Generator for Wearable Sensor Nodes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    V. Leonov; T. Torfs; N. V. Kukhar; C. Van Hoof; R. J. M. Vullers

    A wearable wireless sensor is fabricated for measuring the power generated by an embedded wrist thermoelectric generator in real life at different ambient conditions. Small thermopiles with a state-of-the-art aspect ratio of 8.9 of the BiTe thermoelectric legs with a lateral size of 0.15 mm have been fabricated in an industrial process. Composing the thermopiles into four stages gives an

  10. Cost-efficiency trade-off and the design of thermoelectric power generators.

    PubMed

    Yazawa, Kazuaki; Shakouri, Ali

    2011-09-01

    The energy conversion efficiency of today's thermoelectric generators is significantly lower than that of conventional mechanical engines. Almost all of the existing research is focused on materials to improve the conversion efficiency. Here we propose a general framework to study the cost-efficiency trade-off for thermoelectric power generation. A key factor is the optimization of thermoelectric modules together with their heat source and heat sinks. Full electrical and thermal co-optimization yield a simple analytical expression for optimum design. Based on this model, power output per unit mass can be maximized. We show that the fractional area coverage of thermoelectric elements in a module could play a significant role in reducing the cost of power generation systems. PMID:21793542

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Optimization and fabrication of thick flexible polymer based micro thermoelectric generator

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Wulf Glatz; Simon Muntwyler; Christofer Hierold

    2006-01-01

    We present a novel polymer based wafer level fabrication process for micro thermoelectric generators (?TEGs) for the application on non-planar surfaces. The generators are fabricated by subsequent electrochemical deposition (ECD) of Cu and Ni in a 190-?m thick flexible polymer mold formed by photolithographic (PL) patterning of SU-8. First generators were tested and characterized. The TEG generated a power of

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Oxide based thermoelectric materials for large scale power generation

    E-print Network

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

    2008-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. High Efficiency Thermoelectric Generators Using New Very High Performance Materials

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Jean-Pierre Fleurial; Richard Ewell; Thierry Caillat; Jan Vandersande

    1994-01-01

    Extensive theoretical and experimental studies have resulted in reasonable performance improvements (from an average ZT of 0.62 up to 0.75) of the state of the art high temperature SiGe thermoelectric materials in the last 5 years. However, significantly higher material conversion efficiencies are needed to make thermoelectrics competitive and economically attractive. A new approach that looks at radically different compounds

  20. 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.

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

    DOEpatents

    Meisner, Gregory P; Yang, Jihui

    2014-02-11

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

  2. Comparison of DC-DC-converter architectures of power management circuits for thermoelectric generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    I. Doms; Merken; C. Van Hoof

    2007-01-01

    Future wireless sensor nodes will, for certain applications, require only a few microwatts of energy. Micro-machined thermoelectric generators can produce such amount of electrical energy, but variations in the generated power and voltage make a power management circuit necessary to generate a suitable power supply for the sensor node. This paper compares 2 options for such a circuit. We present

  3. Design and testing of a locally made loop-type thermosyphonic heat sink for stove-top thermoelectric generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. Y. Nuwayhid; R. Hamade

    2005-01-01

    The performance of a thermoelectric generator, among other aspects, depends on the use of an effective heat sink. While forced cooling using either air or water (or other coolants) is efficient, it is parasitic on the generated power and\\/or bulky and inconvenient. Heat pipes are known to be highly effective heat transport devices. Coupled to a thermoelectric generator, these can

  4. Skutterudite Thermoelectric Generator for Electrical Power Generation from Automotive Waste Heat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meisner, Gregory

    2012-02-01

    Filled skutterudites are state-of-the- art thermoelectric (TE) materials for electrical power generation from waste heat. They have suitable intrinsic transport properties as measured by the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT = S^2?T/? (S = Seebeck coefficient, ? = electrical conductivity, T = temperature, and ? = thermal conductivity) and good mechanical strength for operation at vehicle exhaust gas temperatures of >550 C. We have demonstrated TE electrical power generation on a production test vehicle equipped with a fully functional prototype TE generator (TEG). It was assembled with TE modules fabricated from filled skutterudites synthesized at GM. Our results and analysis show that improvement in total power generated can be achieved by enhanced thermal and electrical interfaces and contacts. A substantial T decrease along the exhaust gas flow results in a large variation of voltage, current, and power output for each TE module depending on its position in the module array. Total TEG output power depends directly on the position-dependent T profile via the temperature dependence of both ZT and Carnot efficiency. Total TEG power output also depends on how the modules are connected in parallel or series combinations because mismatch in output voltage and/or internal resistance among the modules degrades the performance of the entire array. Uniform T profiles and consistent TE module internal resistances improve overall TEG performance.

  5. 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.

  6. Thermoelectric power generator design and selection from TE cooling module specifications

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Richard J. Buist; Paul G. Lau

    1997-01-01

    There are many applications where thermoelectric (TE) coolers can be used effectively as power generators. In fact, where temperatures are less than 500 K, TE cooling modules are the best choice for power generation, whether it be from a cost or performance standpoint. The literature available on this subject is scarce and very limited in scope. This paper describes the

  7. Efficiency determination and general characterization of thermoelectric generators using an absolute measurement of the heat flow

    Microsoft Academic Search

    L Rauscher; S Fujimoto; H T Kaibe; S Sano

    2005-01-01

    An apparatus for measuring the conversion efficiency ? and several further key properties of thermoelectric generators is presented. To achieve highest reliability and accuracy the crucial determination of the thermal energy that is supplied to the generator is done by an absolute method, i.e. by measuring the electrical power that is dissipated in a thermally guarded resistive heater. The accuracy

  8. Thermoelectric MEMS generators as a power supply for a body area network

    Microsoft Academic Search

    V. Leonov; P. Fiorini; S. Sedky; T. Torfs; C. Van Hoof

    2005-01-01

    Miniaturized and cost-effective thermoelectric generators (TEG) scavenging energy from environment could potentially provide power autonomy to consumer electronic products operating at low power. For example, TEG mounted in a wristwatch have been used to generate electricity from human heat. The key point of IMEC's research in this field is the realization of a body area network, consisting of a set

  9. State of the Art of Thermoelectric Generators Based on Heat Recovered from the Exhaust Gases of Automobiles

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Jorge Vázquez; Miguel A. Sanz-Bobi; Rafael Palacios; Antonio Arenas; Alberto Aguilera

    The recovering of heat from exhaust gases in automobiles is a typical application of electricity generation using thermoelectricity. This paper is focused on reviewing the main characteristics and evolution of the different investigations performed over the last three decades concerning the use of thermoelectric generation using the heat from the exhaust gases produced in the combustion process of an automobile.

  10. Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys. 52, 11103 (2010) DOI: 10.1051/epjap/2010121 Thermoelectric generator placed on the human body: system

    E-print Network

    Paris-Sud XI, Université de

    2010-01-01

    Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys. 52, 11103 (2010) DOI: 10.1051/epjap/2010121 Thermoelectric generator Article THE EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL APPLIED PHYSICS Thermoelectric generator placed on the human body a thermoelectric generator placed on the human body connected to a dc-dc converter. The small difference

  11. Complex thermoelectric materials.

    PubMed

    Snyder, G Jeffrey; Toberer, Eric S

    2008-02-01

    Thermoelectric materials, which can generate electricity from waste heat or be used as solid-state Peltier coolers, could play an important role in a global sustainable energy solution. Such a development is contingent on identifying materials with higher thermoelectric efficiency than available at present, which is a challenge owing to the conflicting combination of material traits that are required. Nevertheless, because of modern synthesis and characterization techniques, particularly for nanoscale materials, a new era of complex thermoelectric materials is approaching. We review recent advances in the field, highlighting the strategies used to improve the thermopower and reduce the thermal conductivity. PMID:18219332

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A prototype on-line work procedure system for radioisotope thermoelectric generator production

    SciTech Connect

    Kiebel, G.R.

    1991-09-01

    An on-line system to manage work procedures is being developed to support radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) assembly and testing in a new production facility. This system implements production work procedures as interactive electronic documents executed at the work site with no intermediate printed form. It provides good control of the creation and application of work procedures and provides active assistance to the worker in performing them and in documenting the results. An extensive prototype of this system is being evaluated to ensure that it will have all the necessary features and that it will fit the user's needs and expectations. This effort has involved the Radioisotope Power Systems Facility (RPSF) operations organization and technology transfer between Westinghouse Hanford Company (Westinghouse Hanford) and EG G Mound Applied Technologies Inc. (Mound) at the US Department of Energy (DOE) Mound Site. 1 ref.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-03-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. CEC-500-2010-FS-018 Automotive Thermoelectric

    E-print Network

    will also be achieved by incorporating thermoelectric waste heat generators into the system designCEC-500-2010-FS-018 Automotive Thermoelectric HVAC Development and Demonstration Project thermoelectric cooling would significantly reduce the demand for petroleum and provide a clean alternative

  19. A Four-Quadrant Operation Diagram for Thermoelectric Modules in Heating-Cooling Mode and Generating Mode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chimchavee, W.

    2011-05-01

    The operation of a thermoelectric module in heating-cooling mode, generating mode, and regenerating mode can be discussed in terms of power, cooling load, and current. A direct current machine in motoring mode and generating mode and an induction motor in motoring mode and regenerating mode are analogous to thermoelectric modules. Therefore, the first objective of this work is to present the four-quadrant (4-Q) operation diagram and the 4-Q equivalent circuits of thermoelectric modules in heating-cooling mode and generating mode. The second objective is to present the cooling and regenerating curves of a thermoelectric module in cooling mode and regenerating mode. The curves are composed from the cooling powers and the generating powers, the input and output current, the thermal resistance of the heat exchanger, and the different temperatures that exist between the hot and cold sides of the thermoelectric module. The methodology used to present the data involved drawing analogies between the mechanical system, the electrical system, and the thermal system; an experimental setup was also used. The experimental setup was built to test a thermoelectric module (TE2) in cooling mode and regenerating mode under conditions in which it was necessary to control the different temperatures on the hot and cold sides of TE2. Two thermoelectric modules were used to control the temperature. The cold side was controlled by a thermoelectric module labeled TE1, whereas the hot side was controlled by a second thermoelectric module labeled TE3. The results include the power, the cooling load, and the current of the thermoelectric module, which are analogous to the torque, the power, the speed, and the slip speed of a direct current machine and an induction motor. This 4-Q operation diagram, the 4-Q equivalent circuits, and the cooling and regenerating curves of the thermoelectric module can be used to analyze the bidirectional current and to select appropriate operating conditions in the cooling and regenerating modes.

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

    PubMed Central

    Fukumaru, Takahiro; Fujigaya, Tsuyohiko; Nakashima, Naotoshi

    2015-01-01

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

  1. A new subunit of thermoelectric generator using single crystal-like elements of laminated type

    SciTech Connect

    Tanji, Y. [R& D Division, Tokin Corporation, Sendai, 982 (Japan); Nakagawa, Y. [Faculty of Engineering, Tohoku Institute of Technology, Sendai, 982 (Japan); Kaneko, T. [Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, Sendai, 980 (Japan); Ido, H.; Kuboki, M. [Faculty of Engineering, Tohoku Gakuin University, Tagajyo, 985 (Japan); Kogo, M. [R& D Division, Tokin Corporation, Sendai, 982 (Japan); Masumoto, T. [Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, Sendai, 980 (Japan); Sato, R. [Faculty of Engineering, Tohoku Gakuin University, Tagajyo, 985 (Japan)

    1994-08-10

    A compact subunit of thermoelectric generator is designed using single crystal-like 288 elements of (Bi,Sb){sub 2} (Te,Se){sub 3} compounds of laminated type. It is expected that the maximum power amounts to 17.3 (W) with 11.1 (A) and 1.56 (V) at the temperature difference of 50 {degree}C. The elements are prepared by the Bridgman method using a new type of crucible. Thermoelectric properties of these elements are measured using a simple Peltier technique. {copyright} {ital 1995} {ital American} {ital Institute} {ital of} {ital Physics}.

  2. Thermoelectric Generators for Automotive Waste Heat Recovery Systems Part II: Parametric Evaluation and Topological Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

    A comprehensive numerical model has been proposed to model thermoelectric generators (TEGs) for automotive waste heat recovery. Details of the model and results from the analysis of General Motors' prototype TEG were described in part I of the study. In part II of this study, parametric evaluations are considered to assess the influence of heat exchanger, geometry, and thermoelectric module configurations to achieve optimization of the baseline model. The computational tool is also adapted to model other topologies such as transverse and circular configurations (hexagonal and cylindrical) maintaining the same volume as the baseline TEG. Performance analysis of these different topologies and parameters is presented and compared with the baseline design.

  3. 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

  4. 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. (Materials Science Division); (Northwestern Univ.); (Univ. of Michigan)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    NONE

    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.

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    1996-01-01

    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

  7. A Seamless Mode Transfer Maximum Power Point Tracking Controller for Thermoelectric Generator Applications

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Rae-Young Kim; Jih-Sheng Lai

    2007-01-01

    A boost-cascaded-with-buck converter based power conditioning system employing a seamless mode transfer maximum power point tracking controller is proposed to maximize energy production of a thermoelectric generator while balancing the vehicle battery charging, alternator output power, and vehicle load. When a maximum power point exceeds a load demand, the proposed controller switches to a power matching mode seamlessly by a

  8. Suitability of a thermoelectric power generator for implantable medical electronic devices

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Yang Yang; Xiao-Juan Wei; Jing Liu

    2007-01-01

    Embedding a thermoelectric generator (TEG) in a biological body is a promising way to supply electronic power in the long term for an implantable medical device (IMD). The unique merit of this method lies in its direct utilization of the temperature difference intrinsically existing throughout the whole biological body. However, little is known about the practicability of such a power

  9. Design and fabrication of MEMS thermoelectric generators with high temperature efficiency

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Till Huesgen; Peter Woias; Norbert Kockmann

    2008-01-01

    For MEMS devices with power consumption in the range of micro-watts, thermal energy harvesting becomes a viable candidate for power supply. This paper describes a multipurpose platform to fabricate thermoelectric generators in a combined surface and bulk micromachining process. The thermocouples are deposited by thin-film processes with high integration density on the wafer surface. To provide a large thermal contact

  10. Capacitive Power Management Circuit for Micropower Thermoelectric Generators With a 1.4 A Controller

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Inge Doms; Patrick Merken; Chris Van Hoof; Robert P. Mertens

    2009-01-01

    Power autonomy is an important requirement for wireless sensor nodes. Thermoelectric generators can produce sufficient power for low power applications. Due to varying temperature, a power management circuit will be required. This paper presents such a power management circuit, realized in the AMIS I3T80 CMOS technology. It contains a Dickson charge pump with a variable number of stages as a

  11. Design, Fabrication, and Characterization of CMOS MEMS-Based Thermoelectric Power Generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Jin Xie; Chengkuo Lee; Hanhua Feng

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents the design, modeling, fabrication, and characterization of CMOS microelectromechanical-systems-based thermoelectric power generators (TPGs) to convert waste heat into a few microwatts of electrical power. Phosphorus and boron heavily doped polysilicon thin films are patterned and electrically connected to consist thermopiles in the TPGs. To optimize heat flux, the thermal legs are embedded between the top and bottom

  12. Design and thermal analysis of a two stage solar concentrator for combined heat and thermoelectric power generation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Siddig A. Omer; David G. Infield

    2000-01-01

    A design procedure and thermal performance analysis of a two stage solar energy concentrator suited to combined heat and thermoelectric power generation are presented. The concentrator is comprised of a primary one axis parabolic trough concentrator and a second stage compound parabolic concentrator mounted at the focus of the primary. The thermoelectric device is attached to the absorber plate at

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

    E-print Network

    Bertreau, Philippe

    2006-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Using a Water Lens for Light Concentration in Thermoelectric Generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Keita O.; Sui, Hongtao; Hakozaki, Hidetoshi; Kinoshita, Hiroshi; Suzuki, Ryosuke O.

    2014-06-01

    A water lens is employed to concentrate sunlight on the surface of a thermoelectric module in order to heat it. This water lens can change its shape flexibly and is adjustable to solar altitudes. The lens shape and light path were simulated for the cases when the light is incident at an angle to the water surface, parallel to the central axis of the half-cylindrical water lens, and when the light is focused on a plate. A condensing ratio larger than 70 is achieved when the incident light is closer to the normal of the water surface and if the optimal lens shape is maintained.

  16. Low power thermoelectric generator-self-sufficient energy supply for micro systems

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Matthias Stordeur; Ingo Stark

    1997-01-01

    New micro and sensor systems are being rapidly developed for their application in all technology events in future. The energy consumption of systems incorporated the latest technical advances decreases permanently to the range of only ?W. For the applications in this low power range (a few 10 ?W), DTS has developed a new self-sufficient power supply the low power thermoelectric

  17. The Electrodeposition of PbTe Nanowires for Thermoelectric Applications

    E-print Network

    Hillman, Peter

    2012-01-01

    generation are the majority of applications for thermoelectricand power generation units. Thermoelectric nanowires appeargeneration is another major application of thermoelectrics. Radioisotope Thermoelectric

  18. Coin-size coiled-up polymer foil thermoelectric power generator for wearable electronics

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. Weber; K. Potje-Kamloth; F. Haase; P. Detemple; F. Völklein; T. Doll

    2006-01-01

    A coiled-up thermoelectric micro power generator is presented using metal films sputtered on a thin polyimide foil. The principle of coiling-up yields higher voltages at a smaller generator area. Design optimizations were made for maximum long-term power output using the human body as heat source. It is shown that for low-power electronics like a wrist-watch even simple materials are sufficient

  19. Low cost stove-top thermoelectric generator for regions with unreliable electricity supply

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. Y. Nuwayhid; D. M. Rowe; G. Min

    2003-01-01

    During the winter months in regions where constant electric power supply cannot be relied upon, power may be derived parasitically from heating stoves. A proportion of heat from these 20–50 kW wood or diesel-heated stoves may be utilized to drive a thermoelectric generator (TEG) consisting of several commercially available low-cost modules. These are Peltier modules operating in a power generating

  20. (Bi,Sb) 2(Te,Se) 3-based thin film thermoelectric generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Il-Ho Kim

    2000-01-01

    Microwatt power at relatively high voltage (order of volt) was produced by (Bi,Sb)2(Te,Se)3-based thin film thermoelectric generators (TFTEGs). The generators were composed of several layers of plate-modules. Each plate-module contained 15 p\\/n couples and was connected electrically in series or in parallel. Maximum output power varied with the square of the temperature difference. Output voltage and current were controlled by

  1. Performance optimization of a two-stage semiconductor thermoelectric-generator

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Lingen Chen; Jun Li; Fengrui Sun; Chih Wu

    2005-01-01

    A model of a two-stage semiconductor thermoelectric-generator with external heat-transfer is built. Performance of the generator, assuming Newton’s heat-transfer law applies, is analyzed using a combination of finite-time thermodynamics and non-equilibrium thermodynamics. The analytical equations about the power output versus the working electrical current, and the thermal efficiency versus working electrical-current are derived. For a fixed total heat-transfer surface-area for

  2. Capacitive Power-Management Circuit for Micropower Thermoelectric Generators with a 2.1?W Controller

    Microsoft Academic Search

    I. Doms; P. Merken; R. P. Mertens; C. Van Hoof

    2008-01-01

    Energy scavenging is an emerging method to power energy-autonomous wireless sensor systems by converting ambient environmental energy into electrical energy. Miniature as well as micro-machined thermoelectric generators (TEG) can become a suitable compact power supply for both on-the-body and industrial sensors. To minimize the overall size of the power supply, the generator has to work at its maximum power point.

  3. 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%.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  5. Complex oxides useful for thermoelectric energy conversion

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  6. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Trivedi, Sudhir B. [Brimrose Technology Corporation; Kutcher, Susan W. [Brimrose Technology Corporation; Rosemeier, Cory A. [Brimrose Technology Corporation; Mayers, David [Brimrose Technology Corporation; Singh, Jogender [Pennsylvania State University

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Reply to the Comment on "Optimal working conditions for thermoelectric generators with realistic thermal coupling" by S. Su et al

    E-print Network

    Apertet, Y; Glavatskaya, O; Goupil, C; Lecoeur, P; 10.1209/0295-5075/101/68008

    2013-01-01

    We reply to the comment made by Su et al. on "Optimal working conditions for thermoelectric generators with realistic thermal coupling". In particular we justify the efficiency definition used in the main paper.

  10. A mathematic model of thermoelectric module with applications on waste heat recovery from automobile engine

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Y. Y. Hsiao; W. C. Chang; S. L. Chen

    2010-01-01

    Over two-thirds energy of fuel consumed by an automobile is discharged to the surroundings as waste heat. The fuel usage can be more efficient if thermoelectric generators (TEG) are used to convert heat energy into electricity. In this study, a thermoelectric module composed of thermoelectric generators and a cooling system is developed to improve the efficiency of an IC engine.

  11. 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.

  12. Flexible Micro Thermoelectric Generator based on Electroplated Bi2Te3

    E-print Network

    Schwyter, E; Durrer, L; Hierold, Ch

    2008-01-01

    We present and discuss the fabrication process and the performance of a flexible micro thermoelectric generator with electroplated Bi2Te3 thermocouples in a SU-8 mold. Demonstrator devices generate 278uWcm-2 at dTmeas=40K across the experimental set up. Based on model calculations, a temperature difference of dTG=21.4K across the generator is assumed. Due to the flexible design and the chosen generator materials, the performance stays high even for curved contact surfaces. The measurement results correlate well with the model based design optimization predictions.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. A Seamless Mode Transfer Maximum Power Point Tracking Controller For Thermoelectric Generator Applications

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Rae-Young Kim; Jih-Sheng Lai

    2008-01-01

    A boost-cascaded-with-buck converter-based power conditioning system employing a seamless mode transfer maximum power point tracking controller is proposed to maximize energy production of a thermoelectric generator while balancing a vehicle battery, alternator output power, and vehicle load. When a vehicle battery is fully charged, the proposed controller switches to a power matching mode seamlessly by a dual loop control system,

  17. Realization of a wearable miniaturized thermoelectric generator for human body applications

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ziyang Wang; Vladimir Leonov; Paolo Fiorini; Chris Van Hoof

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents the realization of a full-fledged wearable miniaturized thermoelectric generator (TEG) specifically engineered for human body applications. It is based on a surface micromachined poly-SiGe thermopile. In view of the adverse thermal environment on human body, special attention is paid to the optimal design for the individual thermocouple, for the thermopile featured with a rim structure standing out

  18. 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.

  19. Electric Power Generation from Thermoelectric Cells Using a Solar Dish Concentrator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Hongnan; Singh, Randeep; Akbarzadeh, Aliakbar

    2011-05-01

    In this paper, design details, theoretical analysis, and outcomes of a preliminary experimental investigation on a concentrator thermoelectric generator (CTEG) utilizing solar thermal energy are presented. The designed CTEG system consisted of a parabolic dish collector with an aperture diameter of 1.8 m used to concentrate sunlight onto a copper receiver plate with 260 mm diameter. Four BiTe-based thermoelectric cells (TEC) installed on the receiver plate were used to convert the concentrated solar thermal energy directly into electric energy. A microchannel heat sink was used to remove waste heat from the TEC cold side, and a two-axis tracking system was used to track the sun continuously. Experimental tests were conducted on individual cells and on the overall CTEG system under different heating rates. Under maximum heat flux, a single TEC generator was able to produce 4.9 W for a temperature difference of 109°C, corresponding to 2.9% electrical efficiency. The overall CTEG system was able to produce electric power of up to 5.9 W for a 35°C temperature difference with a hot-side temperature of 68°C. The results of the investigation help to estimate the potential of the CTEG system and show concentrated thermoelectric generation to be one of the potential options for production of electric power from renewable energy sources.

  20. Thermoelectric-Generator-Based DC-DC Conversion Networks for Automotive Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Molan; Xu, Shaohui; Chen, Qiang; Zheng, Li-Rong

    2011-05-01

    Maximizing electrical energy generation through waste heat recovery is one of the modern research questions within automotive applications of thermoelectric (TE) technologies. This paper proposes a novel concept of distributed multisection multilevel DC-DC conversion networks based on thermoelectric generators (TEGs) for automotive applications. The concept incorporates a bottom-up design approach to collect, convert, and manage vehicle waste heat efficiently. Several state-of-the-art thermoelectric materials are analyzed for the purpose of power generation at each waste heat harvesting location on a vehicle. Optimal materials and TE couple configurations are suggested. Moreover, a comparison of prevailing DC-DC conversion techniques was made with respect to applications at each conversion level within the network. Furthermore, higher-level design considerations are discussed according to system specifications. Finally, a case study is performed to compare the performance of the proposed network and a traditional single-stage system. The results show that the proposed network enhances the system conversion efficiency by up to 400%.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faraji, Amir Yadollah; Akbarzadeh, Aliakbar

    2013-07-01

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

  4. Lunar Base Thermoelectric Power Station Study

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    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

  5. 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.

  6. Development of a thermoelectric refrigerator with two-phase thermosyphons and capillary lift

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. G. Vián; D. Astrain

    2009-01-01

    A thermoelectric domestic refrigerator has been developed, with a single compartment of 0.225m3, for food preservation at 5°C. The cooling system is made up of two equal thermoelectric devices, each composed of a Peltier module (50W) with its hot side in contact with a two-phase and natural convection thermosyphon (TSV) and a two-phase and capillary lift thermosyphon (TPM), in contact

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

    PubMed

    Gerstenmaier, York Christian; Wachutka, Gerhard

    2012-11-01

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

  8. Thin-Film Thermoelectric Modules for Power Generation Using Focused Solar Light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mizoshiri, Mizue; Mikami, Masashi; Ozaki, Kimihiro; Kobayashi, Keizo

    2012-06-01

    We demonstrated the fabrication of thin-film thermoelectric generators and evaluated their generation properties using solar light as a thermal source. Thin-film elements of Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 ( p-type) and Bi2Te2.7Se0.3 ( n-type), which were patterned using the lift-off technique, were deposited on glass substrates using radiofrequency magnetron sputtering. After annealing at 300°C, the average Seebeck coefficients of p- and n-type films were 150 ?V/K and -104 ?V/K, respectively, at 50°C to 75°C. A cylindrical lens was used to focus solar light to a line shape onto the hot side of the thin-film thermoelectric module with 15 p- n junctions. The minimum width of line-shaped solar light was 0.8 mm with solar concentration of 12.5 suns. We studied the properties of thermoelectric modules with different-sized p- n junctions on the hot side, and obtained maximum open voltage and power values of 140 mV and 0.7 ?W, respectively, for a module with 0.5-mm p- n junctions. The conversion efficiency was 8.75 × 10-4%, which was approximately equal to the value estimated by the finite-element method.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  12. Performance characterization of high-efficiency segmented Bi2Te3/CoSb3 unicouples for thermoelectric generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wojciechowski, K. T.; Zybala, R.; Leszczynski, J.; Nieroda, P.; Schmidt, M.; Gajerski, R.; Aleksandrova, E.

    2012-06-01

    High efficiency segmented thermoelectric unicouples STUs made of Bi2Te3 and CoSb3-based alloys have been developed. The performance parameters of elements at selected temperatures ranging from 288 to 673K were tested on the constructed set-up. Characterization of electrical resistances of contacts and materials was made by a scanning thermoelectric microprobe (STM). The extended numerical model of STU, which takes into account i.e. thermal resistances and thermoelectric effects at junctions, as well as, inside segments (Thomson effect) was developed. The results of numerical calculations were compared with experimental data.

  13. 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?µW 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?µm, width of 15?µm, 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 TEG’s 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    E-print Network

    Apertet, Y; Goupil, C; Lecoeur, Ph

    2011-01-01

    Thermoelectric generators are particularly suitable to investigate the irreversible processes which govern the coupled transport of matter and heat in solid-state systems. We study the efficiency at maximum power in the strong coupling regime, where the thermal flux is proportionnal to the electrical current inside the generator. We demonstrate that depending on the source of irreversibility we obtain either the Curzon-Ahlborn efficiency for external dissipation or a universal efficiency at maximum power for internal dissipation. A continuous change between these two extremes is evidenced. Effects of dissymetry of thermal contact conductance are also investigated.

  17. A solar thermoelectric refrigerator

    Microsoft Academic Search

    G. J. Vella; L. B. Harris; H. J. Goldsmid

    1976-01-01

    It is shown that a thermoelectric generator, which draws its heat from the sun, is a particularly suitable source of electrical power for the operation of a thermoelectric refrigerator. The theory of the combined thermoelectric generator and refrigerator is derived, and the ratio of the numbers of thermocouples needed for the two devices is determined. It is found that this

  18. Solar thermoelectric refrigerator

    Microsoft Academic Search

    G. J. Vella; L. B. Harris; H. J. Goldsmid

    1976-01-01

    It is shown that a thermoelectric generator, which draws its heat from the sun, is a particularly suitable source of electrical power for the operation of a thermoelectric refrigerator. The theory of the combined thermoelectric generator and refrigerator is derived and the ratio of the numbers of thermocouples needed for the two devices is determined. It is found that this

  19. Nanocomposites as thermoelectric materials

    E-print Network

    Hao, Qing

    2010-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Detailed mathematical models of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dewinter, F.; Raag, V.

    1972-01-01

    Two new models for the design and performance analysis of RTG's are outlined in this paper. The first model assumes a small-signal transient-type calculational sequence that permits the separation of steady-state operation of the generator from its dynamic behavior. The second model uses a numerical (finite difference) solution of the performance equations of the RTG. Both models enable the investigation of transient and steady-state performance of RTG's. Simplifying assumptions have been kept to a minimum in the new RTG models and these models enable the inclusion of generator end losses, axial temperature gradients and heat interchange between thermoelements and thermal insulation in RTG performance calculations in a self-consistent manner.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. [Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, PO Box 55, N-1332 Oesteraes (Norway)

    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)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kühn, Roland; Koeppen, Olaf; Kitte, Jens

    2014-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Reilly, M.A. [Westinghouse Hanford Company, P.O. Box 1970, MSIN N1-25, Richland, Washington 99352 (United States)

    1995-01-20

    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, {ital Code} {ital of} {ital Federal} {ital 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. {copyright} {ital 1995} {ital American} {ital Institute} {ital of} {ital Physics}

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Hammond

    1981-01-01

    The shell (2219 T6 aluminum forging) of the General Purpose Heat Source-Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator was designed to retain the generator under sufficient elastic stress to secure it during space flight. A major concern was the extent to which the elastic stress would relax by creep. To determine acceptability of the shell construction material, the following proof tests simulating service were

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Reversible Thermoelectric Nanomaterials

    Microsoft Academic Search

    T. E. Humphrey; H. Linke

    2005-01-01

    Irreversible effects in thermoelectric materials limit their efficiency and economy for applications in power generation and refrigeration. While electron transport is unavoidably irreversible in bulk materials, here we derive conditions under which reversible diffusive electron transport can be achieved in nanostructured thermoelectric materials. We provide a fundamental thermodynamic explanation for why the optimum density of states in a thermoelectric material

  14. Fabrication and characterization of bismuth–telluride-based alloy thin film thermoelectric generators by flash evaporation method

    Microsoft Academic Search

    M. Takashiri; T. Shirakawa; K. Miyazaki; H. Tsukamoto

    2007-01-01

    Bismuth–telluride-based alloy thin film thermoelectric generators are fabricated by a flash evaporation method. We prepare Bi0.4Te3.0Sb1.6 (p-type) and Bi2.0Te2.7Se0.3 (n-type) powders for the fabrication of the flash evaporated thin films. The overall size of the thin film thermoelectric generators, which consist of seven pairs of legs connected by aluminum electrodes, is 20mm by 15mm. Each leg is 15mm long, 1mm

  15. Thermoelectric power generator module of 1616 Bi2Te3 and 0.6% ErAs:,,InGaAs...1-x,,InAlAs...x segmented elements

    E-print Network

    Bowers, John

    Thermoelectric power generator module of 16Ã16 Bi2Te3 and 0.6% ErAs:,,InGaAs...1-x thermoelectric generator modules composed of n and p semiconductor element couples can be used for direct thermal environmental contamination has been recognized. The power conversion performance of a thermoelectric generator

  16. Potential improvements in SiGe radioisotope thermoelectric generator performance

    SciTech Connect

    Mowery, A.L. [4 Myrtle Bank Lane, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, 29926-2650 (United States)

    1999-01-01

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

  17. Reversible thermoelectric nanomaterials.

    PubMed

    Humphrey, T E; Linke, H

    2005-03-11

    Irreversible effects in thermoelectric materials limit their efficiency and economy for applications in power generation and refrigeration. While electron transport is unavoidably irreversible in bulk materials, here we derive conditions under which reversible diffusive electron transport can be achieved in nanostructured thermoelectric materials. We provide a fundamental thermodynamic explanation for why the optimum density of states in a thermoelectric material is a delta function and for why inhomogeneous doping and segmentation improve the thermoelectric figure of merit. PMID:15783983

  18. Columnar thermoelectric elements of linked spheres for miniature electric generation modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takagi, Kenta; Ozaki, Kimihiro; Kawaguchi, Yasuhiro; Yumi, Hideki

    2012-05-01

    Thermoelectric elements that were formed from vertically aligned microspheres were fabricated from 500-µm monosized spherical particles of Fe2VAl alloys with a particle assembly that used pulsed current micro-welding. P-n pairs of the elements consisting of three particles generated relatively large temperature differences ?T despite being 1.5 mm tall. At ?T = 19 K, the five pairs generated a voltage of 21 mV and a maximum generation power of 40 µW, which converted to 0.21 V/cm2 voltage per unit area and 0.4 mW/cm2 power density, respectively. Moreover, we demonstrated the feasibility of building a massive array with 100 elements.

  19. High efficiency segmented thermoelectric unicouples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caillat, Thierry; Borshchevsky, Alex; Snyder, Jeff; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre

    2001-02-01

    Highly efficient, segmented thermoelectric unicouple incorporating advanced thermoelectric materials with superior thermoelectric figures of merit are currently being developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). These segmented unicouples incorporate a combination of state-of-the-art thermoelectric materials based on Bi2Te3 and novel p-type Zn4Sb3, p-type CeFe4Sb12-based alloys and n-type CoSb3-based alloys developed at JPL. They can be integrated into thermoelectric power generation modules which could be used for a variety of applications making use of waste heat recovery and also potentially in Radioisotope Power Systems (RPSs) that are needed for several NASA missions planned over the next few years. These missions call for electrical power requirements ranging from 20 to 200 watts and 6 to 15 years mission duration. The resulting RPSs would not only have a high specific power (~8 We/kg) that is about twice that of the state-of-the-art Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs), but also a higher overall efficiency (>14%), halving the 238 PuO2 needed for a given electric power requirement. These advanced RPSs would couple the novel, segmented thermoelectric unicouples (STUs) to one or several standard General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules (or bricks), depending on the electric power requirements. The advanced STUs would operate at a hot side temperature of about 1000 K, alleviating some of the concerns associated with the high temperature operation of current GPHS-RTGs (~1300 K), and at a cold side temperature of ~400 K. The latest developments in the fabrication and testing of the advanced segmented thermoelectric unicouples are presented and discussed. .

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  1. CMOS MEMS-based thermoelectric generator with an efficient heat dissipation path

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Xiao; Wang, Yuchen; Liu, Yanxiang; Li, Tie; Zhou, Hong; Gao, Xiuli; Feng, Fei; Roinila, Tomi; Wang, Yuelin

    2012-10-01

    This paper presents a CMOS MEMS-based thermoelectric energy generator (TEG) device with an efficient heat dissipation path. For present CMOS MEMS-based thermoelectric generator devices, the output performance is greatly limited by the high thermal-contact resistance in the system. For the device proposed in the work, the silicon substrate is etched into two comb-shaped blocks thermally isolated from each other, which form the hot and cold sides. Thin-film-based thermal legs are densely located between the two blocks along the winding split line. Low internal thermal-contact resistance is achieved with the symmetrical thermal structure. When the TEG device is embedded between the heat source and heat sink, the heat loss can be well controlled with flat thermal-contact pads of the device. For a full device with 900 n/p-polysilicon thermocouples, the measured open-circuit voltage reaches as high as 146 mV K-1, and the power factor reaches almost five times higher value compared to the previously reported results. A test system integrated with a single device presents an open-circuit voltage of 110 mV K-1 when forcibly cooled by a Peltier cooler, or 26 mV K-1 when cooled by ambient air.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Dynamic response characteristics of thermoelectric generator predicted by a three-dimensional heat-electricity coupled model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Jing-Hui; Zhang, Xin-Xin; Wang, Xiao-Dong

    2014-01-01

    The practical application environments of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) always change, which make a requirement for studying the dynamic response characteristics of TEGs. This work develops a complete, three-dimensional and transient model to investigate this issue. The model couples the energy and electric potential equations. Seebeck effect, Peltier effect, Thomson effect, Joule heating and Fourier heat conduction are taken into account in this model. Dynamic output power and conversion efficiency of the TEG, which are caused by variations of the hot end temperature, cold end temperature and load current, are studied. The response hysteresis of the output power to the hot end and cold end temperatures, the overshoot or undershoot of the conversion efficiency are found and attributed to the delay of thermal diffusion. However, the output power is synchronous with the load current due to much faster electric response than thermal response.

  8. High Efficiency Thermoelectrics in NEP Reactor Power Systems

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Daniel T. Allen; Saeid Ghamaty; Norbert B. Elsner

    2003-01-01

    Thermoelectric space reactor power systems that utilize Multi-Layer Quantum Well (MLQW) technology are presented and discussed in the context of Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP). Quantum wells are one of the recent developments in low-dimensional thermoelectric materials that show a factor of 2.5 increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit. This breakthrough in converter performance promises higher efficiency power generating devices.

  9. 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.

  10. The long-term performance degradation of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator using silicon germanium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stapfer, G.; Truscello, V. C.

    1976-01-01

    The successful utilization of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) as the power source for spaceflight missions requires that the performance of such an RTG be predictable throughout the mission. Several mechanisms occur within the generator which tend to degrade the performance as a function of operating time. The impact which these mechanisms have on the available output power of an RTG depends primarily on such factors as time, temperature and self-limiting effects. The relative magnitudes, rates and temperature dependency of these various degradation mechanisms have been investigated separately by coupon experiments as well as 4-couple and 18-couple module experiments. This paper discusses the different individual mechanisms and summarizes their combined influence on the performance of an RTG. Also presented as part of the RTG long-term performance characteristics is the sensitivity of the available RTG output power to variations of the individual degradation mechanisms thus identifying the areas of greatest concern for a successful long-term mission.

  11. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  13. 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%.

  14. New nano structure approaches for bulk thermoelectric materials

    E-print Network

    Kim, Jeonghoon

    2010-01-01

    J. , "Thermoelectric Cooling and Power Generation", Science,and power generation based on thermoelectric phenomenonthermoelectric (TE) materials and devices, for efficient solid state cooling and power generation,

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

    SciTech Connect

    Girard, Steven; He, Jiaqing; Li, Chang-Peng; Moses, Steven; Wang, Guoyu Y; Uher, Ctirad; Dravid, Vinayak; Kanatzidis, Mercouri G.

    2010-01-01

    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 ?1 to ?0.4 W/mK between 400 and 500 K.

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    P. C. Ferrell; D. A. Moody

    1995-01-01

    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).

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Patrick C. Ferrell; Donald A. Moody

    1996-01-01

    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, CodeofFederalRegulations, ‘‘Part 71’’ (10 CFR 71). Results of

  18. Third generation infrared system calibration using dual band thermoelectric thermal reference sources and test systems to calibrate uncooled IRFPAs

    Microsoft Academic Search

    David K. Finfrock; William L. Kolander

    2008-01-01

    As dual band, 3rd generation FLIR systems progress from the research lab into the field, supporting technologies must also advance. This paper describes advances in Thermoelectric Thermal Reference Sources (TTRS) from single band (3 to 5 or 8 to 12 microns) to dual band in one assembly (3 to 5 and 8 to 12 microns). It will describe the optical,

  19. PUBLISHED ONLINE: 1 MAY 2011 | DOI: 10.1038/NMAT3013 High-performance flat-panel solar thermoelectric

    E-print Network

    Huang, Jianyu

    thermoelectric generators with high thermal concentration Daniel Kraemer1 , Bed Poudel2 , Hsien-Ping Feng1 , J and high thermal concentration, thus enabling wider applications. The developed solar thermoelectric by the use of high-performance nanostructured thermoelectric materials and spectrally-selective solar

  20. Development and Evolution of Nanostructure in Bulk Thermoelectric Pb-Te-Sb Alloys

    E-print Network

    Development and Evolution of Nanostructure in Bulk Thermoelectric Pb-Te-Sb Alloys TERUYUKI IKEDA,1 been conventional, simple semicon- ductors. Examples include bismuth telluride alloys, lead telluride alloys and silicon germanium alloys.1 Here we examine a system of two immiscible ther- moelectric

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator package o-ring seal material validation testing

    SciTech Connect

    Adkins, H.E.; Ferrell, P.C.; Knight, R.C. [Westinghouse Hanford Company, P. O. Box 1970, MSIN N1-25, Richland, Washington 99352 (United States)

    1995-01-20

    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 (I) 233 K ({minus}40 {degree}F), (2) a specified operating temperature, and (3) 244 K ({minus}20 {degree}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. {copyright} {ital 1995} {ital American} {ital Institute} {ital of} {ital Physics}

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Design and operation of an inert gas facility for thermoelectric generator storage

    SciTech Connect

    Goebel, C.J.

    1990-01-01

    While the flight hardware is protected by design from the harsh environments of space, its in-air storage often requires special protection from contaminants such as dust, moisture and other gases. One of these components, the radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) which powers the missions, was deemed particularly vulnerable to pre-launch aging because the generators remain operational at core temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees centigrade throughout the storage period. Any oxygen permitted to enter the devices will react with thermally hot components, preferentially with molybdenum in the insulating foils, and with graphites to form CO/CO{sub 2} gases which are corrosive to the thermopile. It was important therefore to minimize the amount of oxygen which could enter, by either limiting the effective in-leakage areas on the generators themselves, or by reducing the relative amount of oxygen within the environment around the generators, or both. With the generators already assembled and procedures in place to assure minimal in-leakage in handling, the approach of choice was to provide a storage environment which contains significantly less oxygen than normal air. 2 refs.

  10. Nanoengineered Materials for Thermoelectric Energy Conversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shakouri, Ali; Zebarjadi, Mona

    In this chapter we review recent advances in nanoengineered materials for thermoelectric energy conversion. We start by a brief overview of the fundamental interactions between heat and electricity, i.e., thermoelectric effects. A key requirement to improve the energy conversion efficiency is to increase the Seebeck coefficient (S) and the electrical conductivity (? ), while reducing the thermal conductivity (?). Nanostructures make it possible to modify the fundamental trade-offs between the bulk material properties through the changes in the density of states and interface effects on the electron and phonon transport. We will review recent experimental and theoretical results on superlattice and quantum dot thermoelectrics, nanowires, thin-film microrefrigerators, and solid-state thermionic power generation devices. In the latter case, the latest experimental results for semimetal rare-earth nanoparticles in a III-V semiconductor matrix as well as nitride metal/semiconductor multilayers will be discussed. We will briefly describe recent developments in nonlinear thermoelectrics, as well as electrically pumped optical refrigeration and graded thermoelectric materials. It is important to note that, while the material thermoelectric figure of merit (Z = S2? /? ) is a key parameter to optimize, one has to consider the whole system in an energy conversion application, and system optimization sometimes places other constraints on the materials.We will also review challenges in the experimental characterization of thin film thermoelectric materials. Finally, we will assess the potential of some of the more exotic techniques such as thermotunneling and bipolar thermoelectric effects.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Development of thermoelectric materials based on Fe2VAl Heusler compound for energy harvesting applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishino, Y.

    2011-05-01

    The Heusler-type Fe2VAl compound is a nonmagnetic semimetal with a sharp pseudogap at the Fermi level. Doping of quaternary elements causes a large enhancement in the Seebeck coefficient, in parallel with a significant decrease in the electrical resistivity. Since the Seebeck coefficient varies systematically with the valence electron concentration (VEC), irrespective of doping elements, the net effect of doping is most likely to cause a rigid-bandlike shift of the Fermi level from the central region in the pseudogap. Further increase in the Seebeck coefficient can be expected for the off-stoichiometric Fe2-xV1+xAl alloys due to tuning of the Fermi level by doping. The Fe2VAl-based compounds are a promising candidate for thermoelectric power generation near room temperature, because of the possession of higher thermoelectric power factor than that of Bi-Te system.

  17. 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.

  18. 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%.

  19. Thermoelectric generator and solid-state battery for stand-alone microsystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carmo, J. P.; Ribeiro, J. F.; Silva, M. F.; Goncalves, L. M.; Correia, J. H.

    2010-08-01

    This paper presents a thermoelectric (TE) generator and a solid-state battery for powering microsystems. Prototypes of TE generators were fabricated and characterized. The TE generator is a planar microstructure based on thin films of n-type bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) and p-type antimony telluride (Sb2Te3), which were deposited using co-evaporation. The measurements on selected samples of Bi2Te3 and Sb2Te3 thin films indicated a Seebeck coefficient in the range of 90-250 µV K-1 and an in-plane electrical resistivity in the range of 7-17 µ? m. The measurements also showed TE figures-of-merit, ZT, at room temperatures (T = 300 K) of 0.97 and 0.56, for thin films of Bi2Te3 and Sb2Te3, respectively (equivalent to a power factor, PF, of 4.87 mW K-2 m-1 and 2.81 mW K-2 m-1). The solid-state battery is based on thin films of: an anode of tin dioxide (SnO2), an electrolyte of lithium phosphorus oxynitride (LixPOyNz, known as LiPON) and a cathode of lithium cobaltate (LiCoO2, known as LiCO), which were deposited using the reactive RF (radio-frequency) sputtering. The deposition and characterization results of these thin-films layers are also reported in this paper.

  20. Comparison of maximum power point control methods for thermoelectric power generator

    Microsoft Academic Search

    H. Nagayoshi; T. Kajikawa; T. Sugiyama

    2002-01-01

    This paper describes the comparison of operating point control methods such as maximum power point tracking control (MPPT) and a constant voltage control applied to the thermoelectric devices. To experimentally evaluate the power control methods, a one-chip micro controller controlled DC-DC converter was inserted between the thermoelectric module and a load. The derived power from the module by constant voltage

  1. Laboratory development TPV generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmquist, Glenn A.; Wong, Eva M.; Waldman, Cye 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% 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.

  2. Aggregated modeling and control of a boost-buck cascade converter for maximum power point tracking of a thermoelectric generator

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Rae-Young Kim; Jih-Sheng Lai

    2008-01-01

    For a wide output voltage ranged thermoelectric generator, it is necessary to have a DC-DC converter that allows voltage boost and buck functions. In this paper, a boost-buck cascade DC-DC converter is adopted to allow input voltage range from near 0 V to 25 V and output voltage range from 12.3 V to 16.5 V, needed for vehicle battery charging.

  3. 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

  4. Subsea thermoelectric generators. 1- 10-watt peltier effect prototypes - a step towards autonomous electrical control units at subsea wellheads

    SciTech Connect

    Weid, J.P. von der; Silva, J.A.P. da; Gama, A.L.; Sant'Anna, A.C.

    1994-05-01

    Offshore oil production activities require the operation of underwater hydraulic or electric equipment. The high cost of acquisition and installation of umbilical cables to supply power is leading to the development of independently powered cableless equipment, connected to the surface by the transmission and reception of control signals through the water. As a first step toward these autonomous wellhead control systems, the authors designed and successfully tested in laboratory conditions a thermoelectric generator able to supply at least 10 watts of electric power, extracting it from the temperature difference between the oil and the surrounding water. Hydraulic pumps and pressure accumulators, control electronics, and valve actuators for wellhead control units are all technically solved problems, even for seafloors as deep as 1,000 meters. However, an autonomous underwater wellhead control unit can only be conceived if an energy source is available at the seafloor. The development of a reliable and compact power source is indeed a fundamental step towards autonomous wet Christmas tree valve actuators.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.; Martínez, 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.

  7. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-12-31

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sherrell, D.L. (Westinghouse Hanford Company, P.O. Box 1970, Mail Stop N1-42, Richland, Washington 99352 (United States))

    1993-01-15

    A shielded storage rack has been installed as part of the Radioisotope Power Systems Facility (RPSF) at the U.S. 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 processes 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. The strong thermoelectric effect in nanocarbon generated by the ballistic phonon drag of electrons

    Microsoft Academic Search

    E. D. Eidelman; A. Ya Vul

    2007-01-01

    The thermoelectric power and thermoelectric figure of merit for carbon nanostructure consisting of graphite-like (sp2) and diamond-like (sp3) regions have been investigated. The probability of electron collisions with quasi-ballistic phonons in sp2 regions has been analysed for the first time. We have shown that the probability is not small. We have analysed the influence of various factors on the process

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Simple experiments with a thermoelectric module

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Yaakov Kraftmakher

    2005-01-01

    The Seebeck and Peltier effects are explored with a commercially available thermoelectric module and a data-acquisition system. Five topics are presented: (i) thermoelectric heating and cooling, (ii) the Seebeck coefficient, (iii) efficiency of a thermoelectric generator, (iv) the maximum temperature difference provided by a thermoelectric cooler and (v) the Peltier coefficient and the coefficient of performance. Using a data-acquisition system,

  1. Thermoelectric cooler for infrared detectors

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Francois Mongellaz; A. Fillot; R. Griot; J. de Lallee

    1994-01-01

    A thermoelectric Peltier device for cooling HgCdTe 2D focal plane arrays was developed. Reliability, accurate temperature control and absence of vibration while operating make the thermoelectric cooler very attractive for cooling IR components.

  2. Thermoelectric generators from SiO2/SiO2 + Ge nanolayer thin films modified by MeV Si ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budak, S.; Gulduren, E.; Allen, B.; Cole, J.; Lassiter, J.; Colon, T.; Muntele, C.; Alim, M. A.; Bhattacharjee, S.; Johnson, R. B.

    2015-01-01

    We prepared thermoelectric generator devices from 100 alternating layers of SiO2/SiO2 + Ge superlattice thin films using Magnetron DC/RF Sputtering. Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) and RUMP simulation software package were used to determine the proportions of Si and Ge in the grown multilayer films and the thickness of the grown multi-layer films. 5 MeV Si ion bombardments were performed using the AAMU-Pelletron ion beam accelerator, to form quantum clusters in the multi-layer superlattice thin films, in order to tailor the thermoelectrical and optical properties. We characterized the fabricated thermoelectric devices using cross-plane Seebeck coefficient, van der Pauw resistivity, mobility, density (carrier concentration), Hall Effect coefficient, Raman, Fluorescence, Photoluminescence, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Impedance analyzing measurements. Some suitable high energy ion fluences and thermal annealings caused some remarkable thermoelectrical and optical changes in the fabricated multilayer thin film systems.

  3. Development of wafer-scale cooling\\/heating thermoelectric arrays using thin-film superlattice devices

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. Alley; K. Coonley; P. Addepalli; E. Siivola; M. Mantini; R. Venkatasubramanian

    2002-01-01

    Thin-film superlattice thermoelectric material was used to fabricate 2-inch wafer scale thermoelectric module arrays. These arrays employ a promising thermoelectric device technology that exhibits a significant enhancement in the thermoelectric device figure of merit (ZT) at 300 K, cooling\\/heating power densities in excess of 100 Watts\\/cm2, and response times significantly faster than bulk devices. To power and characterize these devices,

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Energy and environmental optimization in thermoelectrical generating processes—application of a carbon dioxide capture system

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ismael García; J. V. M Zorraquino

    2002-01-01

    Increased thermodynamic efficiency coupled with reduced impact on the environment are fundamental aims in the generation and rational use of energy if a contribution is to be made towards sustainable development on both a local and worldwide scale. Technological developments over recent years in the field of thermal electricity generation, together with research and technologies emerging from environmentally friendly systems,

  8. 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..

  9. 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.

  10. Zintl phases for thermoelectric devices

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Susan M. Kauzlarich; Shawna R. Brown; G. Jeffrey Snyder

    2007-01-01

    By converting waste heat into electricity and improving the efficiency of refrigeration systems, thermoelectric devices could play a significant role in solving today's energy problems. Increasing the thermoelectric efficiency (as measured by the thermoelectric material's figure-of-merit, zT )i s critical to the development of this technology. Complex Zintl phases, in particular, make ideal candidates for thermoelectric materials because the necessary

  11. A review of thermoelectric refrigeration

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. L. Eichhorn

    1963-01-01

    The advantages of thermoelectric refrigeration, some of its possible applications and its principles of operation are briefly presented. The current state of the art in thermoelectric materials is discussed. The design problems in developing thermoelectric devices and some of the current techniques used to solve them are reviewed. Some information is provided on devices that have been built for the

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Mathematic simulation on thermoelectric power generation with cylindrical multi-tubes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ryosuke O. Suzuki; Daisuke Tanaka

    2003-01-01

    Analytical expression of electric power was deduced in case of the large-scale cylindrical thermoelectric tubes exposed to two thermal fluids. The output powers of the proposed six geometrical arrangements were mathematically solved from heat transfer theory, and compared with the flat panel systems. The maximum output was the largest in the ideally cooled systems. In the other realistic systems, it

  15. Mathematical simulation of thermoelectric power generation with the multi-panels

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ryosuke O. Suzuki; Daisuke Tanaka

    2003-01-01

    Electric power was estimated in case of the large-scale flat thermoelectric panels exposed to two thermal fluids. The output powers of the proposed 15 systems were analytically deduced from heat transfer theory, and written by non-dimensional functions to reflect the characteristics of system design. The maximum output was the largest in the ideal isothermal systems. In the other realistic systems,

  16. Recent Advances in the Development of Skutterudites as Efficient Power Conversion Thermoelectrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uher, Ctirad

    2011-04-01

    Ever increasing demand for fossil fuels contrasting with their gradually depleted reserves, coupled with the fact that, on average, 60% of energy in industrial processes turns into heat dictate a new energy strategy relying more on renewable energy sources and recovery of waste industrial heat. Thermoelectric (TE) conversion can play a meaningful role in this new paradigm provided more efficient TE materials can be identified and developed. How efficiently a material converts heat into electricity (or, conversely, electricity into a heat pump) by purely solid state means is judged by the thermoelectric figure of merit defined as ZT = (S^2?T)/?, where S, ?, ?, and T stand for the Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and the absolute temperature, respectively. During the past dozen or so years, the worldwide search has brought to light several novel and prospective TE materials. Among them, perhaps the most promising for mid-temperature (500K-900K) energy conversion are cubic, open structure materials called skutterudites. In this talk I describe their structure and relate it to transport properties that govern efficient TE conversion. Nanometer-scale inclusions in a bulk matrix have recently been vigorously explored as a means of enhancing scattering of heat-carrying phonons as well as attempting to enhance the Seebeck coefficient by carrier confinement. I discuss criteria the nanostructure should satisfy in order to improve the figure of merit and illustrate the concepts on skutterudite nanocomposite structures grown recently by highly non-equilibrium processes. Finally, I discuss virtues of skutterudites as power conversion thermoelectrics in the recovery of waste heat in automotive operations.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Organic thermoelectric materials: emerging green energy materials converting heat to electricity directly and efficiently.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qian; Sun, Yimeng; Xu, Wei; Zhu, Daoben

    2014-10-29

    The abundance of solar thermal energy and the widespread demands for waste heat recovery make thermoelectric generators (TEGs) very attractive in harvesting low-cost energy resources. Meanwhile, thermoelectric refrigeration is promising for local cooling and niche applications. In this context there is currently a growing interest in developing organic thermoelectric materials which are flexible, cost-effective, eco-friendly and potentially energy-efficient. In particular, the past several years have witnessed remarkable progress in organic thermoelectric materials and devices. In this review, thermoelectric properties of conducting polymers and small molecules are summarized, with recent progresses in materials, measurements and devices highlighted. Prospects and suggestions for future research efforts are also presented. The organic thermoelectric materials are emerging candidates for green energy conversion. PMID:24687930

  2. Determination of Thermoelectric Module Efficiency A Survey

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Hsin [ORNL; McCarty, Robin [Marlow Industries, Inc; Salvador, James R. [GM R& D and Planning, Warren, Michigan; Yamamoto, Atsushi [AIST, Japan; Konig, Jan [Fraunhofer-Institute, Freiburg, Germany

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    None

    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.

  4. NaTaO 3 composite ceramics – A new thermoelectric material for energy generation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Wilfried Wunderlich

    2009-01-01

    Increasing energy demand requires the energy harvesting of any dispersed energy in combustion machines, nuclear, geothermal, photovoltaic or solar-thermal devices by thermoelectric materials. NaTaO3 composite material is suggested in this paper for the first time as such material with reasonable high figure-of-merit in the temperature range from 750 to 1273K. While pure NaTaO3 with perovskite crystal structure is an insulator,

  5. Thermoelectric generation and related properties of conventional type module based on SiGe alloy

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Masakazu KOBAYASHI; Keiko IKOMA; Kenji FURUYA; Kazuhiko SHINOHARA; Hiroshi TAKAO; Makoto MIYOSHI; Yuichiro IMANISHI; Tetsuo WATANABE

    1996-01-01

    A conventional type thermoelectric module based on Si2Ge has been made for power use. The module consists of 10 pairs of p- and n-type Si2Ge elements in which B and P were doped (~1020 cm-3) respectively. The elements electrically connected in series using Mo electrodes are sandwiched between AIN plates. Each plate is 20 mm×44 mm in area, and the

  6. PV-hybrid and thermoelectric collectors

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Gunter Rockendorf; Roland Sillmann; Lars Podlowski; Bernd Litzenburger

    1999-01-01

    Two different principles of thermoelectric cogeneration solar collectors have been realized and investigated. Concerning the first principle, the thermoelectric collector (TEC) delivers electricity indirectly by first producing heat and subsequently generating electricity by means of a thermoelectric generator. Concerning the second principle, the photovoltaic-hybrid collector (PVHC) uses photovoltaic cells, which are cooled by a liquid heat-transfer medium. The characteristics of

  7. Thin Films for Thermoelectric Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, M. F.; Ribeiro, J. F.; Carmo, J. P.; Gonçalves, L. M.; Correia, J. H.

    The introduction of nanotechnology opened new horizons previously unattainable by thermoelectric devices. The nano-scale phenomena began to be exploited through techniques of thin-film depositions to increase the efficiency of thermoelectric films. This chapter reviews the fundamentals of the phenomenon of thermoelectricity and its evolution since it was discovered in 1822. This chapter also reviews the thermoelectric devices, the macro to nano devices, describing the most used techniques of physical vapor depositions to deposit thermoelectric thin-films. A custom made deposition chamber for depositing thermoelectric thin films by the thermal co-evaporation technique, where construction issues and specifications are discussed, is then presented. All the steps for obtaining a thermoelectric generator in flexible substrate with the custom deposition chamber (to incorporate in thermoelectric microsystems) are described. The aim of thermoelectric microsystem relays is to introduce an energy harvesting application to power wireless sensor networks (WSN) or biomedical devices. The scanning probe measuring system for characterization of the thermoelectric thin films are also described in this chapter. Finally, a few of the prototypes of thermoelectric thin films (made of bismuth and antimony tellurides, {Bi}2{Te}3, and {Sb}2{Te}3, respectively) obtained by co-evaporation (using the custom made deposition chamber) and characterized for quality assessment are dealt with. All the issues involved in the co-evaporation and characterization are objects of analysis in this chapter.

  8. Subsurface Ambient Thermoelectric Power for Moles and Penetrators1

    E-print Network

    Lorenz, Ralph D.

    for electrical power generation for planetary exploration applications using thermoelectric conversion of `ground source' thermoelectric generation. #12;2 We may note that although thermoelectric conversion [3] is1 Subsurface Ambient Thermoelectric Power for Moles and Penetrators1 Ralph D. Lorenz, Lunar

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

    SciTech Connect

    Adam Polcyn; Moe Khaleel

    2009-01-06

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  11. HIGH TEMPERATURE SEMICONDUCTING COMPOUNDS FOR THERMOELECTRIC POWER GENERATION. Bi-Monthly Progress Report No. 1, December 15, 1960 to February 15, 1961

    Microsoft Academic Search

    1961-01-01

    The initial report in a project to find high-temperature semiconducting ; compounds for thermoelectric power generation is presented. Systems to be ; studied include combinations of uranium and\\/or thorium with sulfur, selenium and\\/; or tellurium. A short literature survey is included and properties of compounds ; of the elements to be studied are summarized tabularly. (J.R.D.);

  12. TOPICAL REVIEW: Development of novel thermoelectric materials by reduction of lattice thermal conductivity

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Chunlei Wan; Yifeng Wang; Ning Wang; Wataru Norimatsu; Michiko Kusunoki; Kunihito Koumoto

    2010-01-01

    Thermal conductivity is one of the key parameters in the figure of merit of thermoelectric materials. Over the past decade, most progress in thermoelectric materials has been made by reducing their thermal conductivity while preserving their electrical properties. The phonon scattering mechanisms involved in these strategies are reviewed here and divided into three groups, including (i) disorder or distortion of

  13. Development of High Efficiency Segmented Thermoelectric Unicouples T. Caillat, J. -P. Fleurial, G. J. Snyder, and A. Borshchevsky

    E-print Network

    Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under the sponsorship of the U. S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency efficient, segmented thermoelectric unicouples incorporating advanced thermoelectric materials with superior have been measured. Introduction A segmented thermoelectric unicouple incorporating advanced

  14. Sublimation behavior of silicon nitride /Si3N4/ coated silicon germanium /SiGe/ unicouples. [for Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stapfer, G.; Truscello, V. C.

    1975-01-01

    For the Multi-Hundred Watt (MHW) Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG), the silicon germanium unicouples are coated with silicon nitride to minimize degradation mechanisms which are directly attributable to material sublimation effects. A program is under way to determine the effective vapor suppression of this coating as a function of temperature and gas environment. The results of weight loss experiments, using Si3N4 coated hot shoes (SiMo), operating over a temperature range from 900 C to 1200 C, are analyzed and discussed. These experiments were conducted both in high vacuum and at different pressures of carbon monoxide (CO) to determine its effect on the coating. Although the results show a favorable vapor suppression at all operating temperatures, the pressure of the CO and the thickness of the coating have a decided effect on the useful lifetime of the coating.

  15. Shockwave consolidation of nanostructured thermoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  16. Shockwave Consolidation of Nanostructured Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  18. Silicon nanowires as efficient thermoelectric materials

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Akram I. Boukai; Yuri Bunimovich; Jamil Tahir-Kheli; Jen-Kan Yu; William A. Goddard III; James R. Heath

    2008-01-01

    Thermoelectric materials interconvert thermal gradients and electric fields for power generation or for refrigeration. Thermoelectrics currently find only niche applications because of their limited efficiency, which is measured by the dimensionless parameter ZT-a function of the Seebeck coefficient or thermoelectric power, and of the electrical and thermal conductivities. Maximizing ZT is challenging because optimizing one physical parameter often adversely affects

  19. 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.

  20. The thermoelectric process

    SciTech Connect

    Vining, C.B.

    1997-07-01

    The efficiency of thermoelectric technology today is limited by the properties of available thermoelectric materials and a wide variety of new approaches to developing better materials have recently been suggested. The key goal is to find a material with a large ZT, the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit. However, if an analogy is drawn between thermoelectric technology and gas-cycle engines then selecting different materials for the thermoelements is analogous to selecting a different working gas for the mechanical engine. And an attempt to improve ZT is analogous to an attempt to improve certain thermodynamic properties of the working-gas. An alternative approach is to focus on the thermoelectric process itself (rather than on ZT), which is analogous to considering alternate cycles such as Stirling vs. Brayton vs. Rankine etc., rather than merely considering alternative gases. Focusing on the process is a radically different approach compared to previous studies focusing on ZT. Aspects of the thermoelectric process and alternative approaches to efficient thermoelectric conversion are discussed.

  1. Energy transport in one-dimensional thermoelectric systems

    Microsoft Academic Search

    K. A. Chao; Magnus Larsson

    2006-01-01

    The efficiency of thermoelectric power generators and the coefficient of performance of thermoelectric refrigerators increase rapidly in the region of small ZT, and then level off to a flat curve in the region of large ZT, where ZT is the figure of merit. Therefore, simply because one-dimensional thermoelectric materials have high ZT predicted theoretically does not imply that efficient thermoelectric

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Chang Nyung; Kim, Jeongho

    2015-05-01

    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.

  4. Skutterudites: promising power conversion thermoelectrics

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ctirad Uher

    2003-01-01

    The past dozen years or so have witnessed a major resurgence of interest in thermoelectrics and specifically in identifying novel, potentially promising materials that might deliver better performance than the existing thermoelectric structures. Among the materials that have generated considerable interest are skutterudites. The open crystal environment of skutterudite compounds typified by the presence of structural voids offers a terrific

  5. 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.

  6. Present state of R&D on thermoelectric technology in Japan

    Microsoft Academic Search

    T. Kajikawa

    2001-01-01

    Thermoelectric technology, in particular, thermoelectric power generation technology, has been recognized as one of the major energy conservation technologies in Japan. Recent outstanding results on the thermoelectric performance for various kinds of thermoelectric materials such as layered Co-based oxides, filled skutterudites etc. show a good potential for achieving high ZT values. These results encouraged and accelerated R&D activities of thermoelectric

  7. Determination of Thermoelectric Module Efficiency: A Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

    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 TE, 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 end-users with realistic values for how much power can be generated under specific conditions. We conducted a general survey of efficiency testing devices and their performance. The results indicated a 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, different systems often showed large differences that are likely caused by uncertain heat loss and thermal resistance. Efficiency testing is an important capability for the thermoelectric community to improve. A follow-up international standardization effort is planned.

  8. Atomistic calculations of the electronic, thermal, and thermoelectric properties of ultra-thin Si layers

    E-print Network

    nanostructures are promising candidates for next generation thermoelectric (TE) applications because1 Atomistic calculations of the electronic, thermal, and thermoelectric properties of ultra-thin Si are considered promising candidates for thermoelectric applications with enhanced performance because

  9. www.ceramics.org | American Ceramic Society Bulletin, Vol. 91, No. 334 thermoelectric

    E-print Network

    McGaughey, Alan

    that thermoelectric devic- es can compete with traditional refrigeration and power generation technologies.1- tion suggest thermoelectric devices can be competitive with existing refrigeration and power generationwww.ceramics.org | American Ceramic Society Bulletin, Vol. 91, No. 334 Modeling thermoelectric

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

    PubMed

    Kraemer, D; Chen, G

    2014-04-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Modal Analysis and Study of the Vibration Characteristics of the Thermoelectric Modules of Vehicle Exhaust Power-Generation Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Gang; Mu, Yu; Zhai, Pengcheng; Yu, Rui; Li, Guodong; Zhang, Qingjie

    2014-06-01

    Thermoelectric (TE) materials and modules are important components of vehicle exhaust power-generation systems. The road and the engine, the main sources of vibration of TE modules, have substantial effects on the vibration characteristics of TE modules. In this work, modal analysis and the vibration characteristics of TE modules were investigated in detail. On the basis of the TE modules and their service environment, simulations for modal analysis were performed by use of the finite-element method, and the natural frequencies and mode shapes of the TE modules were obtained. The numerical results were used to compare the natural frequencies of TE modules under different contact stiffness with the range of excitation frequencies of road and engine, in an attempt to prevent severe resonance. The effects on the vibration characteristics of geometric dimensions, service temperature, and thermal stress of the TE modules are also discussed in detail. The results reveal the vibration characteristics of the TE modules and provide theoretical guidance for structure optimization in the design of vehicle exhaust power-generation systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Dresselhaus, Mildred (MIT) [MIT

    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. NiO-based thermoelectric materials

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Woosuck Shin; N. Murayama

    1999-01-01

    The thermoelectric oxide materials were developed especially for high temperature applications in air. Thermoelectric properties of ceramic samples of nickel oxide doped with lithium are studied at high temperature up to 1280 K in air. The substitution of lithium for nickel atoms in cubic nickel oxide lattice results in a high thermoelectric power factor over a wide temperature range. Furthermore,

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

    E-print Network

    Minnich, Austin (Austin Jerome)

    2008-01-01

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

  18. The design of a source to simulate the gamma-ray spectrum emitted by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reier, M.

    1972-01-01

    A simulated source was designed to duplicate the gamma spectrum of a uniform cylindrical 2200-watt Pu02 radioisotope thermoelectric generator containing 81% Pu-238 and 1.2 ppm Pu-236. Gamma rays from the decay of Pu-238, Am-241, Pu-239, and the 0-18(alpha,n)Ne-21 reaction were catalogued in broad energy groups. Two 46- and one 22-mc Th-228 sources provided simulation at various times in the life of the fuel capsule up to 18 years, which covers the time span of an outer planet mission. Emission from Th-228 represents the overwhelming contribution of the gamma spectrum after the first few years. The sources, in the form of 13-inch rods, were placed in a concentric hole in a cylinder of depleted uranium, which provided shielding equivalent to the self-shielding of the fuel capsule. The thickness of the U-238 cylinder (0.55cm) was determined by Monte Carlo calculations to insure that the spectrum emerging from the simulated source matched that of the fuel capsule.

  19. 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.

  20. An Introduction to System-Level, Steady-State and Transient Modeling and Optimization of High-Power-Density Thermoelectric Generator Devices Made of Segmented Thermoelectric Elements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crane, D. T.

    2011-05-01

    High-power-density, segmented, thermoelectric (TE) elements have been intimately integrated into heat exchangers, eliminating many of the loss mechanisms of conventional TE assemblies, including the ceramic electrical isolation layer. Numerical models comprising simultaneously solved, nonlinear, energy balance equations have been created to simulate these novel architectures. Both steady-state and transient models have been created in a MATLAB/Simulink environment. The models predict data from experiments in various configurations and applications over a broad range of temperature, flow, and current conditions for power produced, efficiency, and a variety of other important outputs. Using the validated models, devices and systems are optimized using advanced multiparameter optimization techniques. Devices optimized for particular steady-state operating conditions can then be dynamically simulated in a transient operating model. The transient model can simulate a variety of operating conditions including automotive and truck drive cycles.

  1. Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems Segmented Thermoelectric Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caillat, Thierry

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Application of thermoelectric cooling to electronic equipment: a review and analysis

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. E. Simons; R. C. Chu

    2000-01-01

    This paper provides a review of thermoelectric cooling and its application to the cooling of electronic equipment. A background discussion of thermoelectric cooling is provided briefly citing early history, current developments, and the defining thermoelectric heat pumping equations. Several examples are provided of early IBM applications of thermoelectric cooling. An analysis to assess thermoelectric cooling enhancement in terms of increases

  3. Thermoelectrics run hot and cold

    SciTech Connect

    Tritt, T.M. [Naval Research Lab., Washington, DC (United States)

    1996-05-31

    Thermoelectricity, or the Seebeck effect, is the physical phenomenon used in thermocouples for temperature measurement. Over the past 2-3 years there has been renewed interest in the field for use in electronic refrigeration or power generation. This article summarizes information on new materials and new concepts for materials with some possibilities of higher performance than existing materials. Thermoelectric energy conversion utilizes the heat generated when an electric current is passed through a thermoelectric material to provide a temperature gradient. Advantages of thermoelectric solid state energy conversion are compactness, quietness, and localized heating or cooling. Possible automotive uses range from power generation to seat coolers. One group of materials receiving a lot of attention is the skutterudite materials. 8 refs., 1 fig.

  4. Nano-materials enabled thermoelectricity from window glasses.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Nano-materials Enabled Thermoelectricity from Window Glasses

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Thermoelectric, thermionic and thermophotovoltaic energy conversion Ali Shakouri

    E-print Network

    more easily. Linear/Nolinear Transport Regime Conventional thermoelectric coolers and power generators is for thermoelectric cooling and power generation applications. Energy Hot electron Cold electron Cathode Barrier AnodeThermoelectric, thermionic and thermophotovoltaic energy conversion Ali Shakouri Jack Baskin School

  8. Thermal management of a medical device using thermoelectric coolers

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Kuang-yu Wang

    2004-01-01

    A thermal management system was developed and validated to meet the cooling need of a medical device generating a continuous 60 Watt of heat. Due to the operational and geometric constraints, thermoelectric modules combined with air-to-liquid heat exchanger became the viable solution. Measurements were conducted to validate the design. It was concluded that with proper arrangement, the system actually exceeded

  9. New nano structure approaches for bulk thermoelectric materials

    E-print Network

    Kim, Jeonghoon

    2010-01-01

    refrigeration and power generation based on thermoelectricThermoelectric materials can directly convert wasted heat energy into electricity; environmentally friendly refrigerationthermoelectric materials are becoming more and more suitable for many areas including energy harvesting, clean energy refrigeration,

  10. Test System for Thermoelectric Modules and Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Oligodendrocyte generation during mouse development.

    PubMed

    Takebayashi, Hirohide; Ikenaka, Kazuhiro

    2015-08-01

    Oligodendrocytes (OLs) are glial cells, which generate myelin in the central nervous system. Their interesting developmental features attract many neurobiologists eager to study cell differentiation, gene expression regulation, or dynamic morphogenesis. Their primary role in protecting the axons has major impacts in the medical research field: in multiple sclerosis, a demyelinating disease in which remyelination is blocked. Oligodendrogenesis is involved in higher brain function including motor skill learning and cognitive function. Here, we review advances in the research on OL development and highlight areas where questions remain to be answered in both developmental biology and neurobiology related aspects. GLIA 2015;63:1350-1356. PMID:26013243

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higgins, Jeremy Michael

    2011-12-01

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

  14. 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.).

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrell, P.C.; Moody, D.A. [Westinghouse Hanford Company, P.O. Box 1970, Richland, Washington 99352 (United States)

    1996-03-01

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

  16. 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.).

  17. 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.

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Charles D. Griffin

    2006-01-01

    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

  19. Thermoelectric instability induced by single pulses and alternating currents in second-generation superconducting tapes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    P. N. Degtyarenko; I. N. Dul’kin; L. M. Fisher; A. V. Kalinov; I. F. Voloshin; V. A. Yampol’skii

    2011-01-01

    We have studied current flow instabilities in a second-generation superconducting tapes and the transition of the tapes into the resistive state. Contrary to the usual quasisteady instability regimes, here we consider the adiabatic case in which the sample is heated rapidly. Two kinds of measurements of the current-voltage characteristics (CVC) have been made, specifically, with excitation of the tape by

  20. Thermoelectric Products

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    Instead of bulky coils and compressors used in conventional refrigeration systems, UST design engineers drew on thermo-electric technology. UST's precision temperature chambers (PTC's) feature small thermoelectric modules that measure not much more than 1 square inch and operate on unique phenomenon of heat exchange. When electric current flows through specialized metallic crystals, heat is produced; when current direction is reversed cooling is produced.

  1. Development and Evaluation of High-Strength Fe2VAl Thermoelectric Module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikami, Masashi; Kobayashi, Keizo; Kawada, Tetsuya; Kubo, Kazuya; Uchiyama, Naoki

    2008-03-01

    A thermoelectric module was constructed using p-type Fe2V0.9Ti0.1Al and n-type Fe2VAl0.9Si0.1 sintered alloys prepared by pulse-current sintering (PCS). The thermoelectric power factors of the p- and n-type materials were 1.6 and 4.1 mW/mK2, respectively, at 350 K. The bending fracture strength of the sintered alloy was 800 MPa and was 10 times higher than that of the Bi-Te alloy. These sintered alloys were connected in series with a copper electrode. The connection was induced by Joule heating at a high pressure without electrically conductive jointing materials, such as solder and Ag paste. The shear strength of the direct bonding was estimated to be 100 MPa. The electrical resistance of the bonding was negligibly small compared with that of the alloy. The estimated power density of the conventional pi-type unicouple was 378 mW/cm2. The maximum output power of the thermoelectric module consisting of 18 pairs of p-n junction was estimated to be 1.2 W on a hot plate at 573 K in air.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. New materials and devices for thermoelectric applications

    SciTech Connect

    Fleurial, J.P.; Borshchevsky, A.; Caillat, T.; Ewell, R. [California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab.

    1997-12-31

    The development of new, more efficient materials and devices is the key to expanding the range of application of thermoelectric generators and coolers. In the last couple of years, efforts to discover breakthrough thermoelectric materials have intensified, in particular in the US. Recent results on novel materials have already demonstrated that dimensionless figure of merit ZT values 40 to 50% larger than 1.0, the current limit, could be obtained in the 475 to 950 K temperature range. New terrestrial power generation applications have been recently described in the literature. There exists a wide range of heat source temperatures for these applications, from low grade waste heat, at 325--350 K, up to 850 to 1,100 K, such as in the heat recovery from a processing plant of combustible solid waste. The automobile industry has also recently developed a strong interest in a waste exhaust heat recovery power source operating in the 375--750 K temperature range to supplement or replace the alternator and thus decrease fuel consumption. Based on results achieved to date at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on novel materials, the performance of an advanced segmented generator design operating in a large 300--945 K temperature gradient is predicted to achieve about 15% conversion efficiency. This would be a very substantial improvement over state-of-the-art (SOA) thermoelectric power converters. Such a terrestrial power generator could be using waste heat or liquid fuels as a heat source. High performance radioisotope generators (RTG) are still of interest for deep space missions but the shift towards small, light spacecraft has developed a need for advanced power sources in the watt to milliwatt range. The powerstick concept would provide a study, compact, lightweight and low cost answer to this need. The development of thin film thermoelectric devices also offer attractive possibilities. The combination of semiconductor technology, thermoelectric films and high thermal conductivity materials could lead to the fabrication of light weight, high voltage devices with high cooling or high electrical power density characteristics. The use of microcoolers for the thermal management of power electronics is of particular interest.

  5. Waste heat recovery from the exhaust of low-power diesel engine using thermoelectric generators

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Jihad G. Haidar; Jamil I. Ghojel

    2001-01-01

    To meet the increasing world demand for energy, the rate of depletion of non-renewable energy sources must be reduced while developing alternative renewable sources. This can be achieved by increasing the overall thermal efficiency of conventional power plants. One way to do this is by waste heat recovery. Most of the techniques currently available recover waste heat in the form

  6. 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.

  7. Thermoelectric micro power generator utilizing self-standing polysilicon-metal thermopile

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Toshiyuki Toriyama; M. Yajima; S. Sugiyama

    2001-01-01

    A prototype self-standing polysilicon-metal junction thermopile has been developed. In order to realize ideal higher thermal isolation, a thermopile without a membrane and having self-standing structure is proposed. The hot and cold contacts in the proposed thermopile are reversible. The thermocouple is composed of an n-type polysilicon and an Au junction. The thermopile was fabricated by MICS (Micromachine Integrated Chip

  8. 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.

  9. Thermoelectric properties of individual electrodeposited bismuth telluride nanowires

    E-print Network

    Shi, Li

    by the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT defined as ZT S2 T/ , where S is the Seebeck coefficient, is the electricalThermoelectric properties of individual electrodeposited bismuth telluride nanowires Jianhua Zhou.1063/1.2058217 The energy efficiency of thermoelectric TE refrigera- tors and power generators is limited

  10. 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. [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 (United States); Lu Hong; Gossard, Arthur C. [Department of Materials, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 (United States); Singer, Suzanne L.; Majumdar, Arun [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720 (United States); Bian, Zhixi; Zebarjadi, Mona; Shakouri, Ali [Department of Electrical Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064 (United States)

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Proposal for a phase-coherent thermoelectric transistor

    SciTech Connect

    Giazotto, F., E-mail: giazotto@sns.it [NEST, Instituto Nanoscienze-CNR and Scuola Normale Superiore, I-56127 Pisa (Italy); Robinson, J. W. A., E-mail: jjr33@cam.ac.uk [Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, 27 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge CB3 0FS (United Kingdom); Moodera, J. S. [Department of Physics and Francis Bitter Magnet Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 (United States); Bergeret, F. S., E-mail: sebastian-bergeret@ehu.es [Centro de Física de Materiales (CFM-MPC), Centro Mixto CSIC-UPV/EHU, Manuel de Lardizabal 4, E-20018 San Sebastián (Spain); Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), Manuel de Lardizabal 5, E-20018 San Sebastián (Spain)

    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.

  13. Proposal for a phase-coherent thermoelectric transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

    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.

  14. 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).

  15. Analysis of the inadvertent reentry of the Cassini Spacecraft{close_quote}s Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators

    SciTech Connect

    Tobery, E.W. [Lockheed Martin Astronautics, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406 (United States); Bhutta, B.A. [AeroTechnologies, Inc, Yorktown, Virginia 23692 (United States)] [Analysis of the inadvertent reentry of the Cassini Spacecrafts Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators

    1999-01-01

    A rigorous multi-discipline approach has been developed to compute the aero/thermal/structural response of the Cassini Spacecraft{close_quote}s G{underscore}eneral P{underscore}urpose H{underscore}eat S{underscore}ource (GPHS) modules in the unlikely event of accidental reentry of the spacecraft during its Earth gravity-assist maneuver. A new r{underscore}eacting, a{underscore}blating, c{underscore}hemical e{underscore}quilibrium/nonequilibrium with r{underscore}adiation (RACER) full Navier-Stokes code is applied, along with an in-depth, transient-heating code, a nonlinear structural analysis code, and a six-degree-of-freedom flight-dynamics code. Attention is focused on the GPHS modules that would breakaway from the R{underscore}adioisotope T{underscore}hermoelectric G{underscore}enerators (RTGs) at high altitude. In addition, detailed analyses are performed to determine the survival/failure of the Graphite Impact Shells that would be released if the GPHS fails. The reentry velocity of the GPHS module (20 km/sec) is higher than any previously analyzed Earth reentry trajectory. {copyright} {ital 1999 American Institute of Physics.}

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Cham [Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), 711-623 Hosan-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu 704-230 (Korea, Republic of) [Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), 711-623 Hosan-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu 704-230 (Korea, Republic of); Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), San 31 Hyoja-dong, Pohang 790-784 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Dong Hwan; Han, Yoon Soo [Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), 711-623 Hosan-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu 704-230 (Korea, Republic of)] [Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), 711-623 Hosan-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu 704-230 (Korea, Republic of); Chung, Jong Shik [Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), San 31 Hyoja-dong, Pohang 790-784 (Korea, Republic of)] [Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), San 31 Hyoja-dong, Pohang 790-784 (Korea, Republic of); Park, SangHa [Daegu Machinery Institute of Components and Materials (DMI), 12 Horim-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu 704-240 (Korea, Republic of)] [Daegu Machinery Institute of Components and Materials (DMI), 12 Horim-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu 704-240 (Korea, Republic of); Park, Soonheum [Department of Nanomaterial Chemistry, Dongguk University, Seokjang-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongbuk 780-714 (Korea, Republic of)] [Department of Nanomaterial Chemistry, Dongguk University, Seokjang-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongbuk 780-714 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Hoyoung, E-mail: hoykim@dgist.ac.kr [Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), 711-623 Hosan-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu 704-230 (Korea, Republic of)] [Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), 711-623 Hosan-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu 704-230 (Korea, Republic of)

    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.

  17. Detection of Thermal Radiation, Sensing of Heat Flux, and Recovery of Waste Heat by the Transverse Thermoelectric Effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

    The transverse thermoelectric effect is unique in that an output voltage can be extracted in the direction perpendicular to the input temperature gradient. This paper describes how this transverse feature can be exploited to realize simple and promising configurations of thermoelectric devices. For detection of thermal radiation, two-dimensional imaging has been demonstrated by a fabricated sensor array of tilt-oriented Ca x CoO2 epitaxial thin film. We have also developed a serpentine heat flux sensor made of multilayered Bi/Cu, and Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3/Ni tubular thermoelectric devices for power generation. The fabrication processes and test results are presented.

  18. 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.

  19. Direct Evaluation of the Figure of Merit of Thermoelectric Devices by Guarded Hot Plate Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwon, Su Yong; Kim, Yong-Gyoo; Lee, Sanghyun; Kim, Jong Chul

    2013-03-01

    An apparatus for the evaluation of the figure of merit (ZT) of thermoelectric devices has been developed and ZT values have been estimated for a thermoelectric device. The most challenging problem in ZT value evaluation in this apparatus was measuring the thermal conductivity of the devices precisely. We have solved the problem by introducing a primary thermal conductivity measurement technique, a guarded hot plate method, which makes it possible to obtain directly and simultaneously four physical parameters related to the ZT, namely the thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, Seebeck coefficient, and absolute temperature. The ZT evaluation was performed by a single scan of the temperature difference between the top and bottom surfaces of the device. We also addressed the thermoelectric properties and the power generation efficiency of a commercial thermoelectric device. The evaluation uncertainty of the ZT value was assessed to secure reliability of the apparatus and was found to be 3.59%.

  20. 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.