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Sample records for 5-kwe reactor thermoelectric

  1. The 5-kwe reactor thermoelectric system summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanosdol, J. H. (Editor)

    1973-01-01

    Design of the 5-kwe reactor thermoelectric system was initiated in February 1972 and extended through the conceptual design phase into the preliminary design phase. Design effort was terminated in January, 1973. This report documents the system and component requirements, design approaches, and performance and design characteristics for the 5-kwe system. Included is summary information on the reactor, radiation shields, power conversion systems, thermoelectric pump, radiator/structure, liquid metal components, and the control system.

  2. Thermoelectric pump performance analysis computer code

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, J. L.

    1973-01-01

    A computer program is presented that was used to analyze and design dual-throat electromagnetic dc conduction pumps for the 5-kwe ZrH reactor thermoelectric system. In addition to a listing of the code and corresponding identification of symbols, the bases for this analytical model are provided.

  3. Thermoelectric converter for SP-100 space reactor power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Terrill, W. R.; Haley, V. F.

    1986-01-01

    Conductively coupling the thermoelectric converter to the heat source and the radiator maximizes the utilization of the reactor and radiator temperatures and thereby minimizes the power system weight. This paper presents the design for the converter and the individual thermoelectric cells that are the building block modules for the converter. It also summarizes progress on the fabrication of initial cells and the results obtained from the preparation of a manufacturing plan. The design developed for the SP-100 system utilizes thermally conductive compliant pads that can absorb the displacement and distortion caused by the combinations of temperatures and thermal expansion coefficients. The converter and cell designs provided a 100 kWe system which met the system requirements. Initial cells were fabricated and tested.

  4. Zirconium Hydride Space Power Reactor design.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Asquith, J. G.; Mason, D. G.; Stamp, S.

    1972-01-01

    The Zirconium Hydride Space Power Reactor being designed and fabricated at Atomics International is intended for a wide range of potential applications. Throughout the program a series of reactor designs have been evaluated to establish the unique requirements imposed by coupling with various power conversion systems and for specific applications. Current design and development emphasis is upon a 100 kilowatt thermal reactor for application in a 5 kwe thermoelectric space power generating system, which is scheduled to be fabricated and ground tested in the mid 70s. The reactor design considerations reviewed in this paper will be discussed in the context of this 100 kwt reactor and a 300 kwt reactor previously designed for larger power demand applications.

  5. Lunar Nuclear Power Plant With Solid Core Reactor, Heatpipes and Thermoelectric Conversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sayre, Edwin D.; Ring, Peter J.; Brown, Neil; Elsner, Norbert B.; Bass, John C.

    2008-01-01

    This is a lunar nuclear power plant with the advantages of minimum mass, with no moving parts, no pumped liquid coolant, a solid metal rugged core, with no single point of failure. The electrical output is 100 kilowatts with a 500 kilowatt thermal reactor. The thermoelectric converters surround the potassium heatpipes from the core and water heatpipes surround the converter and connect to the radiator. The solid core reactor is made from HT9 alloy. The fuel is uranium oxide with 90% enrichment. The thermoelectric converter is bonded to the outside of the 1.10 inch ID heat pipe and is 30 inches long. The thermoelectric couple is Si/SiGe-Si/SiC Quantum Well with over 20% efficiency with an 890 K hot side and a 490 K cold side and produces 625 Watts. 176 converters produce 110 kWe. With less than 10% loss in controls this yields 100 kWe for use. The cylindrical thermoelectric converter is designed and fabricated by HIPing to keep brittle materials in compression and to ensure conductivity. The solid core is fabricated by machining the heatpipe tubes with 6 grooves that are diffusion bonded together by HIPing to form the fuel tubes. The maximum temperature of the heat pipes is 940 K and the return flow temperature is 890 K. The reactor core is hexagonal shaped, 61 cm. wide and 76.2 cm high with 12 rotating control drums surrounding it. There is shielding to protect components and human habitation. The radiator is daisy shaped at 45 degrees with each petal 5.5 meters long. The design life is ten years.

  6. Lunar Nuclear Power Plant With Solid Core Reactor, Heatpipes and Thermoelectric Conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Sayre, Edwin D.; Ring, Peter J.; Brown, Neil; Elsner, Norbert B.; Bass, John C.

    2008-01-21

    This is a lunar nuclear power plant with the advantages of minimum mass, with no moving parts, no pumped liquid coolant, a solid metal rugged core, with no single point of failure. The electrical output is 100 kilowatts with a 500 kilowatt thermal reactor. The thermoelectric converters surround the potassium heatpipes from the core and water heatpipes surround the converter and connect to the radiator. The solid core reactor is made from HT9 alloy. The fuel is uranium oxide with 90% enrichment. The thermoelectric converter is bonded to the outside of the 1.10 inch ID heat pipe and is 30 inches long. The thermoelectric couple is Si/SiGe-Si/SiC Quantum Well with over 20% efficiency with an 890 K hot side and a 490 K cold side and produces 625 Watts. 176 converters produce 110 kWe. With less than 10% loss in controls this yields 100 kWe for use. The cylindrical thermoelectric converter is designed and fabricated by HIPing to keep brittle materials in compression and to ensure conductivity. The solid core is fabricated by machining the heatpipe tubes with 6 grooves that are diffusion bonded together by HIPing to form the fuel tubes. The maximum temperature of the heat pipes is 940 K and the return flow temperature is 890 K. The reactor core is hexagonal shaped, 61 cm. wide and 76.2 cm high with 12 rotating control drums surrounding it. There is shielding to protect components and human habitation. The radiator is daisy shaped at 45 degrees with each petal 5.5 meters long. The design life is ten years.

  7. High Energy Density Thermal Batteries: Thermoelectric Reactors for Efficient Automotive Thermal Storage

    SciTech Connect

    2011-11-15

    HEATS Project: Sheetak is developing a new HVAC system to store the energy required for heating and cooling in EVs. This system will replace the traditional refrigerant-based vapor compressors and inefficient heaters used in today’s EVs with efficient, light, and rechargeable hot-and-cold thermal batteries. The high energy density thermal battery—which does not use any hazardous substances—can be recharged by an integrated solid-state thermoelectric energy converter while the vehicle is parked and its electrical battery is being charged. Sheetak’s converters can also run on the electric battery if needed and provide the required cooling and heating to the passengers—eliminating the space constraint and reducing the weight of EVs that use more traditional compressors and heaters.

  8. Thermoelectric converter

    DOEpatents

    Kim, C.K.

    1974-02-26

    This invention relates in general to thermoelectric units and more particularly to a tubular thermoelectric unit which includes an array of tandemly arranged radially tapered annular thermoelectric pellets having insulation material of a lower density than the thermoelectric pellets positioned between each pellet. (Official Gazette)

  9. Thermoelectric module

    DOEpatents

    Kortier, William E.; Mueller, John J.; Eggers, Philip E.

    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.

  10. Thermoelectric system

    DOEpatents

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

    2007-10-30

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

  11. 300 WATT PORTABLE THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    THERMOELECTRICITY, POWER SUPPLIES), (* GENERATORS , THERMOELECTRICITY), (*ELECTRIC POWER PRODUCTION, THERMOELECTRICITY), PORTABLE EQUIPMENT, THERMOCOUPLES, ENERGY CONVERSION, HEAT EXCHANGERS, WIRING DIAGRAMS

  12. 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.

  13. REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Szilard, L.

    1963-09-10

    A breeder reactor is described, including a mass of fissionable material that is less than critical with respect to unmoderated neutrons and greater than critical with respect to neutrons of average energies substantially greater than thermal, a coolant selected from sodium or sodium--potassium alloys, a control liquid selected from lead or lead--bismuth alloys, and means for varying the quantity of control liquid in the reactor. (AEC)

  14. REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Roman, W.G.

    1961-06-27

    A pressurized water reactor in which automatic control is achieved by varying the average density of the liquid moderator-cooiant is patented. Density is controlled by the temperature and power level of the reactor ftself. This control can be effected by the use of either plate, pellet, or tubular fuel elements. The fuel elements are disposed between upper and lower coolant plenum chambers and are designed to permit unrestricted coolant flow. The control chamber has an inlet opening communicating with the lower coolant plenum chamber and a restricted vapor vent communicating with the upper coolant plenum chamber. Thus, a variation in temperature of the fuel elements will cause a variation in the average moderator density in the chamber which directly affects the power level of the reactor.

  15. REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Spitzer, L. Jr.

    1961-10-01

    Thermonuclear reactors, methods, and apparatus are described for controlling and confining high temperature plasma. Main axial confining coils in combination with helical windings provide a rotational transform that avoids the necessity of a figure-eight shaped reactor tube. The helical windings provide a multipolar helical magnetic field transverse to the axis of the main axial confining coils so as to improve the effectiveness of the confining field by counteracting the tendency of the more central lines of force in the stellarator tube to exchange positions with the magnetic lines of force nearer the walls of the tube. (AEC)

  16. Correlation of radiation-induced changes in microstructure/microchemistry, density and thermo-electric power of type 304L and 316 stainless steels irradiated in the Phénix reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renault Laborne, Alexandra; Gavoille, Pierre; Malaplate, Joël; Pokor, Cédric; Tanguy, Benoît

    2015-05-01

    Annealed specimens of type 304L and 316 stainless steel and cold-worked 316 specimens were irradiated in the Phénix reactor in the temperature range 381-394 °C and to different damage doses up to 39 dpa. The microstructure and microchemistry of both 304L and 316 have been examined using the combination of the different techniques of TEM to establish the void swelling and precipitation behavior under neutron irradiation. TEM observations are compared with results of measurements of immersion density and thermo-electric power obtained on the same irradiated stainless steels. The similarities and differences in their behavior on different scales are used to understand the factors in terms of the chemical composition and metallurgical state of steels, affecting the precipitation under irradiation and the swelling behavior. Irradiation induces the formation of some precipitate phases (e.g., M6C and M23C6-type carbides, and γ'- and G-phases), Frank loops and cavities. According to the metallurgical state and chemical composition of the steel, the amount of each type of radiation-induced defects is not the same, affecting their density and thermo-electric power.

  17. Thermoelectric refrigerator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  18. A NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Luebke, E.A.; Vandenberg, L.B.

    1959-09-01

    A nuclear reactor for producing thermoelectric power is described. The reactor core comprises a series of thermoelectric assemblies, each assembly including fissionable fuel as an active element to form a hot junction and a thermocouple. The assemblies are disposed parallel to each other to form spaces and means are included for Introducing an electrically conductive coolant between the assemblies to form cold junctions of the thermocouples. An electromotive force is developed across the entire series of the thermoelectric assemblies due to fission heat generated in the fuel causing a current to flow perpendicular to the flow of coolant and is distributed to a load outside of the reactor by means of bus bars electrically connected to the outermost thermoelectric assembly.

  19. High temperature thermoelectrics

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-23

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

  20. Thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Pryslak, N.E.

    1974-02-26

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

  1. Reactor

    DOEpatents

    Evans, Robert M.

    1976-10-05

    1. A neutronic reactor having a moderator, coolant tubes traversing the moderator from an inlet end to an outlet end, bodies of material fissionable by neutrons of thermal energy disposed within the coolant tubes, and means for circulating water through said coolant tubes characterized by the improved construction wherein the coolant tubes are constructed of aluminum having an outer diameter of 1.729 inches and a wall thickness of 0.059 inch, and the means for circulating a liquid coolant through the tubes includes a source of water at a pressure of approximately 350 pounds per square inch connected to the inlet end of the tubes, and said construction including a pressure reducing orifice disposed at the inlet ends of the tubes reducing the pressure of the water by approximately 150 pounds per square inch.

  2. Oxide Thermoelectrics

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, David J

    2008-01-01

    Thermoelectricity in oxides, especially NaxCoO2 and related materials, is discussed from the point of view of first principles calculations and Boltzmann transport theory. The electronic structure of this material is exceptional in that it has a combination of very narrow bands and strong hybridization between metal d states and ligand p states. As shown within the framework of conventional Boltzmann transport theory, this leads to high Seebeck coefficients even at metallic carrier densities. This suggests a strategy of searching for other narrow band oxides that can be doped metallic with mobile carriers. Some possible avenues for finding such materials are suggested.

  3. Thermoelectric materials and devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Park, Yeonjoon (Inventor); Choi, Sang H. (Inventor); King, Glen C. (Inventor); Elliott, James R. (Inventor); Talcott, Noel A. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    New thermoelectric materials comprise highly [111]-oriented twinned group IV alloys on the basal plane of trigonal substrates, which exhibit a high thermoelectric figure of merit and good material performance, and devices made with these materials.

  4. Component for thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Purdy, David L.

    1977-01-01

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

  5. Marine Thermoelectric Devices and Installations,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    thermoelectric devices and units as marine sources of electric power, Prospects for the use of thermoelectric generators in main ship propulsion plants, Electric propulsion complexes for marine thermoelectric plants).

  6. 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.

  7. Thermoelectric materials having porosity

    DOEpatents

    Heremans, Joseph P.; Jaworski, Christopher M.; Jovovic, Vladimir; Harris, Fred

    2014-08-05

    A thermoelectric material and a method of making a thermoelectric material are provided. In certain embodiments, the thermoelectric material comprises at least 10 volume percent porosity. In some embodiments, the thermoelectric material has a zT greater than about 1.2 at a temperature of about 375 K. In some embodiments, the thermoelectric material comprises a topological thermoelectric material. In some embodiments, the thermoelectric material comprises a general composition of (Bi.sub.1-xSb.sub.x).sub.u(Te.sub.1-ySe.sub.y).sub.w, wherein 0.ltoreq.x.ltoreq.1, 0.ltoreq.y.ltoreq.1, 1.8.ltoreq.u.ltoreq.2.2, 2.8.ltoreq.w.ltoreq.3.2. In further embodiments, the thermoelectric material includes a compound having at least one group IV element and at least one group VI element. In certain embodiments, the method includes providing a powder comprising a thermoelectric composition, pressing the powder, and sintering the powder to form the thermoelectric material.

  8. Thermoelectric Materials at 300k.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    Thermoelectric power generation, *Peltier effect, *Semiconductors, Thermoelectricity, Seebeck effect , Tellurides, Selenides, Antimonides, Thermal conductivity, Air conditioning equipment, Bismuth compounds, Band theory of solids

  9. 300 WATT PORTABLE THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    GENERATORS , *ELECTRIC POWER PRODUCTION, POWER SUPPLIES, THERMOELECTRICITY, THERMOELECTRICITY, PORTABLE EQUIPMENT, THERMOCOUPLES, ENERGY CONVERSION, LIFE EXPECTANCY(SERVICE LIFE), HEAT TRANSFER, VOLTAGE REGULATORS.

  10. Universal thermoelectric unit

    SciTech Connect

    Fedorov, M.I.; Engalychev, A.E.; Zaitsev, V.K.; Kaliazin, A.E.; Solomkin, F.Y.

    1994-08-10

    The problems of energy supply of low power electric devices very often can be solved with thermoelectric generator even with low coefficient of performance, when other electric energy sources are not convenient. The problems of thermoelectric and construction choice for such generators are discussed in the paper. A series of domestic thermoelectric generators was designed by the authors. The work is based on designing an universal thermoelectric unit---a battery which consist of ten thermoelements. The coefficient of performance of the unit is about 4%. Any thermoelectric generator can be made as a combination of these units. Principal opportunity of production such thermoelectric generators on industrial scale was proved. {copyright} {ital 1995} {ital American} {ital Institute} {ital of} {ital Physics}.

  11. 100 WATT THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    GENERATORS , *ENERGY CONVERSION, HEAT EXCHANGERS, THERMOELECTRICITY, THERMOCOUPLES, BLOWERS, MODULES(ELECTRONICS), SILICON ALLOYS, GERMANIUM ALLOYS, COMBUSTION, GASOLINE, VAPORIZATION, FUELS, LEAD COMPOUNDS.

  12. 100 WATT THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    GENERATORS , THERMOELECTRICITY, THERMOCOUPLES, HEATERS, HEAT TRANSFER, ENERGY CONVERSION, GASOLINE, VOLTAGE REGULATORS, HEAT EXCHANGERS, LIFE EXPECTANCY(SERVICE LIFE), STARTING, PERFORMANCE(ENGINEERING).

  13. Thermoelectrics: Better half found

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weidenkaff, Anke

    2017-02-01

    Thermoelectric converters built with high thermoelectric activity p-type and n-type materials have the potential to replace mechanical heat-to-electricity converters. Now, efficient n-type SnSe has been prepared, ready to complement its previously reported p-type counterpart.

  14. Lunar base thermoelectric power station study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  15. Lunar Base Thermoelectric Power Station Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  16. Lunar Base Thermoelectric Power Station Study

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-01-20

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

  17. Complex oxides useful for thermoelectric energy conversion

    DOEpatents

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

    2012-07-17

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

  18. Thermoelectricity in strontium titanate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scullin, Matthew Leo

    This dissertation treats the synthesis, experimental characterization, thermoelectric properties, potential applications of, and theoretical basis for strontium titanate thermoelectric materials. It is found that doubly-doped strontium titanate, Sr1-xLaxTiO3-d is an efficient n-type thermoelectric material, yielding a dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit zT higher than other oxides and among the highest of any thermoelectric material in general. The improvement in thermoelectric efficiency of this material over other oxides is attributed in large part to the oxygen vacancy, which increases the electronic effective mass m* and in turn thermopower, increases electrical conductivity through donating electrons, and decreases lattice thermal conductivity. Through proper selection of La and oxygen vacancy doping, m* can be tuned in the material in the range of 2-20 me and thermal conductivity reduced by over a factor of three compared to stoichiometric SrTiO3. The potential applications of thin-film thermoelectrics in energy conversion are explored. In addition, the remarkable oxygen reduction of SrTiO3 single-crystal substrates is reported as resulting from pulsed laser deposition growth of oxide thin-films on their surfaces.

  19. 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.

  20. The best thermoelectric.

    PubMed Central

    Mahan, G D; Sofo, J O

    1996-01-01

    What electronic structure provides the largest figure of merit for thermoelectric materials? To answer that question, we write the electrical conductivity, thermopower, and thermal conductivity as integrals of a single function, the transport distribution. Then we derive the mathematical function for the transport distribution, which gives the largest figure of merit. A delta-shaped transport distribution is found to maximize the thermoelectric properties. This result indicates that a narrow distribution of the energy of the electrons participating in the transport process is needed for maximum thermoelectric efficiency. Some possible realizations of this idea are discussed. PMID:11607692

  1. Thermomechanical response of thermoelectrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Music, Denis; Geyer, Richard W.; Keuter, Philipp

    2016-11-01

    We have theoretically investigated the product of elastic modulus and linear coefficient of thermal expansion for 20 thermoelectrics. The product is inversely proportional to equilibrium volume, which is consistent with the Debye-Grüneisen model. Oxides exhibit larger products, while the products of Te-containing thermoelectrics are considerably smaller. This is likely due to strong bonding in these oxides, which makes them prone to thermal stress, thermal shock, and thermal fatigue. As this product is rarely available in literature and the equilibrium volume is easily measurable, this work provides a quick estimation for the thermomechanical response of thermoelectric phases.

  2. Solar thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

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

    2016-05-03

    Solar thermoelectric generators (STEGs) are solid state heat engines that generate electricity from concentrated sunlight. A novel detailed balance model for STEGs is provided and applied to both state-of-the-art and idealized materials. STEGs can produce electricity by using sunlight to heat one side of a thermoelectric generator. While concentrated sunlight can be used to achieve extremely high temperatures (and thus improved generator efficiency), the solar absorber also emits a significant amount of black body radiation. This emitted light is the dominant loss mechanism in these generators. In this invention, we propose a solution to this problem that eliminates virtually all of the emitted black body radiation. This enables solar thermoelectric generators to operate at higher efficiency and achieve said efficient with lower levels of optical concentration. The solution is suitable for both single and dual axis solar thermoelectric generators.

  3. Thermoelectric Properties of Selenides Spinels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

    Many compounds with the spinel structure type have been analyzed for their thermoelectric properties. Published data was used to augment experimental results presented here to select promising thermoelectric spinels.

  4. A Possible Regenerative, Molten-Salt, Thermoelectric Fuel Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenberg, Jacob; Thaller, Lawrence H.; Weber, Donald E.

    1964-01-01

    Molten or fused salts have been evaluated as possible thermoelectric materials because of the relatively good values of their figures of merit, their chemical stability, their long liquid range, and their ability to operate in conjunction with a nuclear reactor to produce heat. In general, molten salts are electrolytic conductors; therefore, there will be a transport of materials and subsequent decomposition with the passage of an electric current. It is possible nonetheless to overcome this disadvantage by using the decomposition products of the molten-salt electrolyte in a fuel cell. The combination of a thermoelectric converter and a fuel cell would lead to a regenerative system that may be useful.

  5. GROUND POWER THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR INVESTIGATION.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    GENERATORS), (*THERMOELECTRICITY, SEEBECK EFFECT , MANUFACTURING, MATERIALS, TELLURIUM, STRESSES, COPPER, STAINLESS STEEL, ELECTRON BEAM WELDING, TITANIUM, POWER, TEMPERATURE, LEAD COMPOUNDS, TELLURIDES.

  6. 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.

  7. Development of Thermoelectric Power Generation and Peltier Cooling Properties of Materials for Thermoelectric Cryocooling Devices

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-05-12

    nanofabrication to develop nanostructured thermoelectric (TE) materials for application in high-efficiency thermoelectric power generators and solid...Distribution Unlimited Final Report: Development of Thermoelectric Power Generation and Peltier Cooling Properties of Materials for Thermoelectric...Thermoelectric Power Generation and Peltier Cooling Properties of Materials for Thermoelectric Cryocooling Devices Report Title The research

  8. Thermoelectrically cooled water trap

    DOEpatents

    Micheels, Ronald H.

    2006-02-21

    A water trap system based on a thermoelectric cooling device is employed to remove a major fraction of the water from air samples, prior to analysis of these samples for chemical composition, by a variety of analytical techniques where water vapor interferes with the measurement process. These analytical techniques include infrared spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, ion mobility spectrometry and gas chromatography. The thermoelectric system for trapping water present in air samples can substantially improve detection sensitivity in these analytical techniques when it is necessary to measure trace analytes with concentrations in the ppm (parts per million) or ppb (parts per billion) partial pressure range. The thermoelectric trap design is compact and amenable to use in a portable gas monitoring instrumentation.

  9. Synthetic thermoelectric materials comprising phononic crystals

    DOEpatents

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

    2013-08-13

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

  10. Size effect in thermoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Jun; Liu, Zihang; Ren, Zhifeng

    2016-12-01

    Thermoelectric applications have attracted increasing interest recently due to its capability of converting waste heat into electricity without hazardous emissions. Materials with enhanced thermoelectric performance have been reported in recent two decades. The revival of research for thermoelectric materials began in early 1990s when the size effect is considered. Low-dimensional materials with exceptionally high thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) have been presented, which broke the limit of ZT around unity. The idea of size effect in thermoelectric materials even inspired the later nanostructuring and band engineering strategies, which effectively enhanced the thermoelectric performance of bulk materials. In this overview, the size effect in low-dimensional thermoelectric materials is reviewed. We first discuss the quantum confinement effect on carriers, including the enhancement of electronic density of states, semimetal to semiconductor transition and carrier pocket engineering. Then, the effect of assumptions on theoretical calculations is presented. Finally, the effect of phonon confinement and interface scattering on lattice thermal conductivity is discussed.

  11. Superatom Thermoelectric Materials

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-07-30

    147 C, NaCl Structure Becomes Fast Ion Conductor (the silver sub-lattice melts) Ag + 1.15 A (115 pm) I- 2.20 A (220 pm) Enhanced Thermoelectric...nanostructured thermoelectric materials can increase ZT>1, the materials (Bi, Te, Pb, Sb and Ag ) and processes used are not often easy to scale to practically...500 1000 1500 Raman shift / cm-1 0 5000 10000 15000 C ou nt s Raman Modes in Neutral C60 Hg(7) Ag (2) Ag (1) Hg(2) Raman Spectroscopy of ZnxC60

  12. Nanowire Thermoelectric Devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  13. Thermoelectrics from silicon nanoparticles: the influence of native oxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petermann, Nils; Stötzel, Julia; Stein, Niklas; Kessler, Victor; Wiggers, Hartmut; Theissmann, Ralf; Schierning, Gabi; Schmechel, Roland

    2015-06-01

    Thermoelectric materials were synthesized by current-assisted sintering of doped silicon nanoparticles produced in a microwave-plasma reactor. Due to their affinity to oxygen, the nanoparticles start to oxidize when handled in air and even a thin surface layer of native silicon oxide leads to a significant increase in the oxide volume ratio. This results in a considerable incorporation of oxygen into the sintered pellets, thus affecting the thermoelectric performance. To investigate the necessity of inert handling of the raw materials, the thermoelectric transport properties of sintered nanocrystalline silicon samples were characterized with respect to their oxygen content. An innovative method allowing a quantitative silicon oxide analysis by means of electron microscopy was applied: the contrast between areas of high and low electrical conductivity was attributed to the silicon matrix and silicon oxide precipitates, respectively. Thermoelectric characterization revealed that both, electron mobility and thermal conductivity decrease with increasing silicon oxide content. A maximum figure of merit with zT = 0.45 at 950 °C was achieved for samples with a silicon oxide mass fraction of 9.5 and 21.4% while the sample with more than 25% of oxygen clearly indicates a negative impact of the oxygen on the electron mobility. Contribution to the Topical Issue "Silicon and Silicon-related Materials for Thermoelectricity", edited by Dario Narducci.

  14. Thermoelectric Cooler Design

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-12-01

    coefficient of performance which is the term to the left of the brackets in equation (36) Egli (Ref. 4: p. 31] and Tipler [Ref. 5:pp 575-576]. H. CASCADED...Thermoelectricity, John Wiley and Sons Inc., 1960. 5. Tipler , P. A., Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 3rd ed., Worth Publishers, 1991. 70 BIBLIOGRAPHY 1

  15. Ionic thermoelectric gating organic transistors

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Dan; Fabiano, Simone; Berggren, Magnus; Crispin, Xavier

    2017-01-01

    Temperature is one of the most important environmental stimuli to record and amplify. While traditional thermoelectric materials are attractive for temperature/heat flow sensing applications, their sensitivity is limited by their low Seebeck coefficient (∼100 μV K−1). Here we take advantage of the large ionic thermoelectric Seebeck coefficient found in polymer electrolytes (∼10,000 μV K−1) to introduce the concept of ionic thermoelectric gating a low-voltage organic transistor. The temperature sensing amplification of such ionic thermoelectric-gated devices is thousands of times superior to that of a single thermoelectric leg in traditional thermopiles. This suggests that ionic thermoelectric sensors offer a way to go beyond the limitations of traditional thermopiles and pyroelectric detectors. These findings pave the way for new infrared-gated electronic circuits with potential applications in photonics, thermography and electronic-skins. PMID:28139738

  16. Ionic thermoelectric gating organic transistors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Dan; Fabiano, Simone; Berggren, Magnus; Crispin, Xavier

    2017-01-01

    Temperature is one of the most important environmental stimuli to record and amplify. While traditional thermoelectric materials are attractive for temperature/heat flow sensing applications, their sensitivity is limited by their low Seebeck coefficient (~100 μV K-1). Here we take advantage of the large ionic thermoelectric Seebeck coefficient found in polymer electrolytes (~10,000 μV K-1) to introduce the concept of ionic thermoelectric gating a low-voltage organic transistor. The temperature sensing amplification of such ionic thermoelectric-gated devices is thousands of times superior to that of a single thermoelectric leg in traditional thermopiles. This suggests that ionic thermoelectric sensors offer a way to go beyond the limitations of traditional thermopiles and pyroelectric detectors. These findings pave the way for new infrared-gated electronic circuits with potential applications in photonics, thermography and electronic-skins.

  17. 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.

  18. Encapsulated Thermoelectric Modules for Advanced Thermoelectric Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kambe, Mitsuru; Jinushi, Takahiro; Ishijima, Zenzo

    2014-06-01

    An encapsulated thermoelectric (TE) module consists of a vacuum-tight stainless-steel container in which an SiGe or BiTe TE module is encapsulated. This construction enables maximum performance and durability because: the thermal expansion mismatch between the hot and cold sides of the container can be accommodated by a sliding sheet in the container; the TE module inside is always kept in a vacuum environment, therefore no oxidation can occur; and the pressure difference between the inside and outside of the container reduces thermal contact resistance inside the container. Our encapsulated SiGe module features higher operating temperature—up to 650°C for both hot and cold sides. Other high-temperature modules and conventional BiTe modules, including both-sides and one-side skeleton types, have been encapsulated. Several variants of the encapsulated module are available. Encapsulated thermoelectric modules with integrated coolers contain cooling panels through which water can pass. If the module hot side is heated by a radiating heat source (radiation coupling) or convection of a hot gas or fluid (convection coupling), no pressing force on the module is necessary. It therefore features minimum contact resistance with the cooling duct, because no pressure is applied, maximum TE power, and minimum installation cost. Another, larger, variant is a quadruple flexible container in which four modules (each of maximum size 40 mm × 40 mm) are encapsulated. These encapsulated modules were used in a powder metallurgy furnace and were in use for more than 3000 h. Application to cryogenic temperatures simulating the liquid nitrogen gas vaporizer has been also attempted.

  19. Superconducting thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

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

    1998-01-01

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

  20. Rare earth thermoelectrics

    SciTech Connect

    Mahan, G.D.

    1997-09-01

    The author reviews the thermoelectric properties of metallic compounds which contain rare-earth atoms. They are the group of metals with the largest value ever reported of the Seebeck coefficient. An increase by 50% of the Seebeck would make these compounds useful for thermoelectric devices. The largest Seebeck coefficient is found for compounds of cerium (e.g., CePd{sub 3}) and ytterbium (e.g., YbAl{sub 3}). Theoretical predictions are in agreement with the maximum observed Seebeck. The author discusses the theoretical model which has been used to calculate the Seebeck coefficient. He is solving this model for other configurations (4f){sup n} of rare-earth ground states.

  1. Superconducting thermoelectric generator

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-05-05

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

  2. Superconducting thermoelectric generator

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Modular Isotopic Thermoelectric Generator

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1981-04-03

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

  5. Nanostructured Bulk Thermoelectric Generator for Efficient Power Harvesting for Self-powered Sensor Networks

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Yanliang; Butt, Darryl; Agarwal, Vivek

    2015-07-01

    The objective of this Nuclear Energy Enabling Technology research project is to develop high-efficiency and reliable thermoelectric generators for self-powered wireless sensors nodes utilizing thermal energy from nuclear plant or fuel cycle. The power harvesting technology has crosscutting significance to address critical technology gaps in monitoring nuclear plants and fuel cycle. The outcomes of the project will lead to significant advancement in sensors and instrumentation technology, reducing cost, improving monitoring reliability and therefore enhancing safety. The self-powered wireless sensor networks could support the long-term safe and economical operation of all the reactor designs and fuel cycle concepts, as well as spent fuel storage and many other nuclear science and engineering applications. The research is based on recent breakthroughs in high-performance nanostructured bulk (nanobulk) thermoelectric materials that enable high-efficiency direct heat-to-electricity conversion over a wide temperature range. The nanobulk thermoelectric materials that the research team at Boise State University and University of Houston has developed yield up to a 50% increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, compared with state-of-the-art bulk counterparts. This report focuses on the selection of optimal thermoelectric materials for this project. The team has performed extensive study on two thermoelectric materials systems, i.e. the half-Heusler materials, and the Bismuth-Telluride materials. The report contains our recent research results on the fabrication, characterization and thermoelectric property measurements of these two materials.

  6. High performance thermoelectric nanocomposite device

    DOEpatents

    Yang, Jihui; Snyder, Dexter D.

    2011-10-25

    A thermoelectric device includes a nanocomposite material with nanowires of at least one thermoelectric material having a predetermined figure of merit, the nanowires being formed in a porous substrate having a low thermal conductivity and having an average pore diameter ranging from about 4 nm to about 300 nm.

  7. Methods of synthesizing thermoelectric materials

    DOEpatents

    Ren, Zhifeng; Chen, Shuo; Liu, Wei-Shu; Wang, Hengzhi; Wang, Hui; Yu, Bo; Chen, Gang

    2016-04-05

    Methods for synthesis of thermoelectric materials are disclosed. In some embodiments, a method of fabricating a thermoelectric material includes generating a plurality of nanoparticles from a starting material comprising one or more chalcogens and one or more transition metals; and consolidating the nanoparticles under elevated pressure and temperature, wherein the nanoparticles are heated and cooled at a controlled rate.

  8. An inconvenient truth about thermoelectrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vining, Cronin B.

    2009-02-01

    Despite recent advances, thermoelectric energy conversion will never be as efficient as steam engines. That means thermoelectrics will remain limited to applications served poorly or not at all by existing technology. Bad news for thermoelectricians, but the climate crisis requires that we face bad news head on.

  9. An inconvenient truth about thermoelectrics.

    PubMed

    Vining, Cronin B

    2009-02-01

    Despite recent advances, thermoelectric energy conversion will never be as efficient as steam engines. That means thermoelectrics will remain limited to applications served poorly or not at all by existing technology. Bad news for thermoelectricians, but the climate crisis requires that we face bad news head on.

  10. Thermoelectrics: Carbon nanotubes get high

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crispin, Xavier

    2016-04-01

    Waste heat can be converted to electricity by thermoelectric generators, but their development is hindered by the lack of cheap materials with good thermoelectric properties. Now, carbon-nanotube-based materials are shown to have improved properties when purified to contain only semiconducting species and then doped.

  11. Thermoelectric system for an engine

    SciTech Connect

    Mcgilvray, Andrew N.; Vachon, John T.; Moser, William E.

    2010-06-22

    An internal combustion engine that includes a block, a cylinder head having an intake valve port and exhaust valve port formed therein, a piston, and a combustion chamber defined by the block, the piston, and the head. At least one thermoelectric device is positioned within either or both the intake valve port and the exhaust valve port. Each of the valves is configured to move within a respective intake and exhaust valve port thereby causing said valves to engage the thermoelectric devices resulting in heat transfer from the valves to the thermoelectric devices. The intake valve port and exhaust valve port are configured to fluidly direct intake air and exhaust gas, respectively, into the combustion chamber and the thermoelectric device is positioned within the intake valve port, and exhaust valve port, such that the thermoelectric device is in contact with the intake air and exhaust gas.

  12. Electronic cooling using thermoelectric devices

    SciTech Connect

    Zebarjadi, M.

    2015-05-18

    Thermoelectric coolers or Peltier coolers are used to pump heat in the opposite direction of the natural heat flux. These coolers have also been proposed for electronic cooling, wherein the aim is to pump heat in the natural heat flux direction and from hot spots to the colder ambient temperature. In this manuscript, we show that for such applications, one needs to use thermoelectric materials with large thermal conductivity and large power factor, instead of the traditionally used high ZT thermoelectric materials. We further show that with the known thermoelectric materials, the active cooling cannot compete with passive cooling, and one needs to explore a new set of materials to provide a cooling solution better than a regular copper heat sink. We propose a set of materials and directions for exploring possible materials candidates suitable for electronic cooling. Finally, to achieve maximum cooling, we propose to use thermoelectric elements as fins attached to copper blocks.

  13. 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..

  14. Advanced high temperature thermoelectrics for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lockwood, A.; Ewell, R.; Wood, C.

    1981-01-01

    Preliminary results from a spacecraft system study show that an optimum hot junction temperature is in the range of 1500 K for advanced nuclear reactor technology combined with thermoelectric conversion. Advanced silicon germanium thermoelectric conversion is feasible if hot junction temperatures can be raised roughly 100 C or if gallium phosphide can be used to improve the figure of merit, but the performance is marginal. Two new classes of refractory materials, rare earth sulfides and boron-carbon alloys, are being investigated to improve the specific weight of the generator system. Preliminary data on the sulfides have shown very high figures of merit over short temperature ranges. Both n- and p-type doping have been obtained. Pure boron-carbide may extrapolate to high figure of merit at temperatures well above 1500 K but not lower temperature; n-type conduction has been reported by others, but not yet observed in the JPL program. Inadvertant impurity doping may explain the divergence of results reported.

  15. Superlattices in thermoelectric applications

    SciTech Connect

    Sofo, J.O.; Mahan, G.D. |

    1994-08-01

    The electrical conductivity, thermopower and the electronic contribution to the thermal conductivity of a superlattice, are calculated with the electric field and the thermal gradient applied parallel to the interfaces. Tunneling between quantum wells is included. The broadening of the lowest subband when the period of the superlattice is decreased produces a reduction of the thermoelectric figure of merit. However, we found that a moderate increase of the figure of merit may be expected for intermediate values of the period, due to the enhancement of the density of states produced by the superlattice structure.

  16. Carbon Nanotube Thermoelectric Coolers

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-02-06

    The cooling cycle : The electric current pulls out the electron and hole excitations from the central region of the nanotube. (c) The heating cycle ...thermoelectric heating and cooling cycles . The sharp features in the  eG V curve corresponding to energy levels EC localized in the active region...liquid nitrogen temperature 77T  K up to hot 134 8T  K, or decreases from 77T  K down to about cold 20 6T  K, thus evidencing a strong

  17. Band engineering of thermoelectric materials.

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-04

    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.

  18. Thermoelectric efficiency of molecular junctions.

    PubMed

    Perroni, C A; Ninno, D; Cataudella, V

    2016-09-21

    Focus of the review is on experimental set-ups and theoretical proposals aimed to enhance thermoelectric performances of molecular junctions. In addition to charge conductance, the thermoelectric parameter commonly measured in these systems is the thermopower, which is typically rather low. We review recent experimental outcomes relative to several junction configurations used to optimize the thermopower. On the other hand, theoretical calculations provide estimations of all the thermoelectric parameters in the linear and non-linear regime, in particular of the thermoelectric figure of merit and efficiency, completing our knowledge of molecular thermoelectricity. For this reason, the review will mainly focus on theoretical studies analyzing the role of not only electronic, but also of the vibrational degrees of freedom. Theoretical results about thermoelectric phenomena in the coherent regime are reviewed focusing on interference effects which play a significant role in enhancing the figure of merit. Moreover, we review theoretical studies including the effects of molecular many-body interactions, such as electron-vibration couplings, which typically tend to reduce the efficiency. Since a fine tuning of many parameters and coupling strengths is required to optimize the thermoelectric conversion in molecular junctions, new theoretically proposed set-ups are discussed in the conclusions.

  19. Thermoelectric device exhibiting decreased stress

    SciTech Connect

    Heath, D.L.; Chou, D.J.

    1985-02-05

    A thermoelectric device exhibiting both structural integrity and decreased stress across the device notwithstanding the application of thermally cycled temperature differentials thereacross includes, electrically interconnected thermoelectric elements and a rigidly affixed substrate. Thermal stress is relieved by using flexible conductors to interconnect the thermoelectric elements, and by the use of a flexile joint to attach a second substrate to the remainder of the device. Complete elimination of the second substrate may also be used to eliminate stress. Presence of the rigidly affixed substrate gives the device sufficient structural integrity to enable it to withstand rugged conditions.

  20. 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.

  1. Thermoelectric generator for motor vehicle

    DOEpatents

    Bass, John C.

    1997-04-29

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

  2. Thermoelectric Generator Design in Dynamic Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiziroglou, M. E.; Becker, Th; Wright, S. W.; Yeatman, E. M.; Evans, J. W.; Wright, P. K.

    2016-11-01

    This paper reports an analysis of thermoelectric generator design for dynamic thermoelectric harvesting. In such devices, the available energy for a given temperature cycle is finite and determined by the heat storage unit capacity. It is shown by simulation and experimentally that specific thermoelectric generator designs can increase the energy output, by optimizing the balance between heat leakage and dynamic response delay. A 3D printed, doublewall heat storage unit is developed for the experiments. Output energy of 30 J from 7.5 gr of phase change material, from a temperature cycle between ± 22 °C is demonstrated, enough to supply typical duty-cycled wireless sensor platforms. These results may serve as guidelines for the design and fabrication of dynamic thermoelectric harvesters for applications involving environments with moderate temperature fluctuations.

  3. Thermoelectricity in molecular junctions.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Pramod; Jang, Sung-Yeon; Segalman, Rachel A; Majumdar, Arun

    2007-03-16

    By trapping molecules between two gold electrodes with a temperature difference across them, the junction Seebeck coefficients of 1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT), 4,4'-dibenzenedithiol, and 4,4''-tribenzenedithiol in contact with gold were measured at room temperature to be +8.7 +/- 2.1 microvolts per kelvin (muV/K), +12.9 +/- 2.2 muV/K, and +14.2 +/- 3.2 muV/K, respectively (where the error is the full width half maximum of the statistical distributions). The positive sign unambiguously indicates p-type (hole) conduction in these heterojunctions, whereas the Au Fermi level position for Au-BDT-Au junctions was identified to be 1.2 eV above the highest occupied molecular orbital level of BDT. The ability to study thermoelectricity in molecular junctions provides the opportunity to address these fundamental unanswered questions about their electronic structure and to begin exploring molecular thermoelectric energy conversion.

  4. Thermoelectric properties of correlated materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomczak, Jan; Haule, Kristjan; Miyake, Takashi; Georges, Antoine; Kotliar, Gabriel

    2011-03-01

    The discovery of large Seebeck coefficients in transition metal compounds such as FeSi, FeSb2, or the iron pnictides, has stirred renewed interest in the potential merits of electronic correlation effects for thermoelectric properties. The notorious sensitivity in this class of materials to small changes in composition (doping, chemical pressure) and external stimuli (temperature, pressure), makes a reliable and, possibly, predictive description cumbersome, while at the same time providing an arena of possibilities in the search for high performance thermoelectrics. Based on state-of-the-art electronic structure methods (density functional theory with the dynamical mean field theory) we here compute the thermoelectric response for several of the above mentioned exemplary materials from first principles. With the ultimate goal to understand the origin of a large thermoelectricity in these systems, we discuss various many-body renormalizations, and identify correlation controlled ingredients that are pivotal for thermopower enhancements.

  5. Resolving thermoelectric "paradox" in superconductors.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  6. Thermoelectrically-cooled quartz microbalance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckeown, D.

    1975-01-01

    Temperature of microbalance can be maintained at ambient temperature or held at some other desired temperature. Microbalance has tow-stage thermoelectric device that controls temperature of quartz crystal. Heat can be pumped to or from balance by Peltier effect.

  7. Thermoelectric materials: The anharmonicity blacksmith

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heremans, Joseph P.

    2015-12-01

    Anharmonicity is a property of lattice vibrations governing how they interact and how well they conduct heat. Experiments on tin selenide, the most efficient thermoelectric material known, now provide a link between anharmonicity and electronic orbitals.

  8. Topological Insulator and Thermoelectric Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Yong

    The recent discovery of topological insulator (TI) offers new opportunities for the development of thermoelectricity, because many TIs (like Bi2Te3) are excellent thermoelectric materials. In this talk, I will first introduce our theoretical predictions of anomalous Seebeck effect and strong size effect in TI [PRL 112, 226801 (2014)]. Then I will report our recent proof experiments, which find in TI thin films that (i) the hole-type Seebeck effect and the electron-type Hall effect coexist in the same TI sample for all the measured temperatures (up to 300 K), and (ii) the thermoelectric properties depend sensitively on the film thickness. The unconventional phenomena are revealed to be closely related to the topological nature of the material. These findings may inspire new ideas for designing TI-based high-efficiency thermoelectric devices.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Zintl Phases for Thermoelectric Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, G. Jeffrey (Inventor); Toberer, Eric (Inventor); Zevalkink, Alex (Inventor)

    2014-01-01

    The inventors demonstrate herein that various Zintl compounds can be useful as thermoelectric materials for a variety of applications. Specifically, the utility of Ca3AlSb3, Ca5Al2Sb6, Ca5In2Sb6, Ca5Ga2Sb6, is described herein. Carrier concentration control via doping has also been demonstrated, resulting in considerably improved thermoelectric performance in the various systems described herein.

  12. Static conversion systems. [for space power reactors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ewell, R.; Mondt, J.

    1985-01-01

    Historically, all space power systems that have actually flown in space have relied on static energy conversion technology. Thus, static conversion is being considered for space nuclear power systems as well. There are four potential static conversion technologies which should be considered. These include: the alkali metal thermoelectric converter (AMTEC), the thermionic converter, the thermoelectric converter, and the thermophotovoltaic converter (TPV). These four conversion technologies will be described in brief detail along with their current status and development needs. In addition, the systems implications of using each of these conversion technologies with a space nuclear reactor power system will be evaluated and some comparisons made.

  13. Efficient thermoelectric device

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ila, Daryush (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    A high efficiency thermo electric device comprising a multi nanolayer structure of alternating insulator and insulator/metal material that is irradiated across the plane of the layer structure with ionizing radiation. The ionizing radiation produces nanocrystals in the layered structure that increase the electrical conductivity and decrease the thermal conductivity thereby increasing the thermoelectric figure of merit. Figures of merit as high as 2.5 have been achieved using layers of co-deposited gold and silicon dioxide interspersed with layers of silicon dioxide. The gold to silicon dioxide ratio was 0.04. 5 MeV silicon ions were used to irradiate the structure. Other metals and insulators may be substituted. Other ionizing radiation sources may be used. The structure tolerates a wide range of metal to insulator ratio.

  14. Thermoelectric energy system

    SciTech Connect

    Peck, R.

    1980-07-08

    A thermoelectric energy system is described comprising: (A) at least first and second separated electrodes, said electrodes including copper; (B) a liquid electrolyte comprising a source of copper ions and a material for complexing the ions, the complexing material being selected from the group consisting of one or a combination of a source of tartrate, a source of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid,a source of gluconate, lactic acid, malic acid, citric acid, oxalic acid, and a source of silicon dioxide, the electrolyte being disposed between and in contact with the electrodes to provide a metal ion conduction path which extends substantially the entire distance between the electrodes; (C) an electric circuit connected to the electrodes for removal of electrical energy from the system; and (D) means for establishing a temperature gradient within said electrolyte whereby the average temperature of one of said electrodes will be greater than that of the other of said electrodes to thereby produce a voltage across the electrodes.

  15. Ruthenium Sesquisilicide: A Promising Thermoelectric Material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vining, Cronin B.

    1993-01-01

    Report describes experimental investigation of thermoelectric properties of ruthenium sesquisilicide (RU2Si3). Suggests suitably doped Ru2Si3 could have thermoelectric figures of merit two or more times as large as SiGe.

  16. Solar thermoelectric generators: Pushing the efficiency up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toberer, Eric

    2016-11-01

    Concentrated thermoelectric generators convert solar energy to electricity, but historically their conversion efficiency has lagged behind their potential. Now, full system efficiencies of 7.4% are achieved by segmentation of two thermoelectric materials and a spectrally selective surface.

  17. Improved Thermoelectric Devices: Advanced Semiconductor Materials for Thermoelectric Devices

    SciTech Connect

    2009-12-11

    Broad Funding Opportunity Announcement Project: Phononic Devices is working to recapture waste heat and convert it into usable electric power. To do this, the company is using thermoelectric devices, which are made from advanced semiconductor materials that convert heat into electricity or actively remove heat for refrigeration and cooling purposes. Thermoelectric devices resemble computer chips, and they manage heat by manipulating the direction of electrons at the nanoscale. These devices aren’t new, but they are currently too inefficient and expensive for widespread use. Phononic Devices is using a high-performance, cost-effective thermoelectric design that will improve the device’s efficiency and enable electronics manufacturers to more easily integrate them into their products.

  18. Thermoelectric transport in topological insulators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Ryuji; Murakami, Shuichi

    2012-12-01

    Thermoelectric transport in topological insulators (TIs) is theoretically studied. TIs have gapless edge states in two dimensions, and do surface states in three dimensions. Both of the states have backscattering-free nature, and they remain gapless in the presence of nonmagnetic impurities. In particular, the edge states in two-dimensional TIs form perfect conducting channels. In this study, we calculate system-size dependence of thermoelectric properties in two-dimensional TIs, and evaluate the inelastic scattering length of the edge states by phonons, which affects the thermoelectric properties sensitively. We also study thermoelectric transport in three-dimensional (3D) TIs and compare with two dimensions. In both two- and three-dimensional TIs, there is a competition between the surface/edge and bulk transports in the thermoelectric phenomena. The surface transport in 3D TIs is relatively weak compared with the bulk transport due to impurities. Furthermore, we also study gapped 3D TIs in thin slab geometry and show large values of the figure of merit in the gapped system. This result is consistent with the previous work.

  19. Thermoelectric materials with filled skutterudite structure for thermoelectric devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, Jean-Pierre (Inventor); Borshchevsky, Alex (Inventor); Caillat, Thierry (Inventor); Morelli, Donald T. (Inventor); Meisner, Gregory P. (Inventor)

    2002-01-01

    A class of thermoelectric compounds based on the skutterudite structure with heavy filling atoms in the empty octants and substituting transition metals and main-group atoms. High Seebeck coefficients and low thermal conductivities are achieved in combination with large electrical conductivities in these filled skutterudites for large ZT values. Substituting and filling methods are disclosed to synthesize skutterudite compositions with desired thermoelectric properties. A melting and/or sintering process in combination with powder metallurgy techniques is used to fabricate these new materials.

  20. Thermoelectric materials with filled skutterudite structure for thermoelectric devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, Jean-Pierre (Inventor); Borshchevsky, Alex (Inventor); Caillat, Thierry (Inventor); Morelli, Donald T. (Inventor); Meisner, Gregory P. (Inventor)

    2000-01-01

    A class of thermoelectric compounds based on the skutterudite structure with heavy filling atoms in the empty octants and substituting transition metals and main-group atoms. High Seebeck coefficients and low thermal conductivities are achieved in combination with large electrical conductivities in these filled skutterudites for large ZT values. Substituting and filling methods are disclosed to synthesize skutterudite compositions with desired thermoelectric properties. A melting and/or sintering process in combination with powder metallurgy techniques is used to fabricate these new materials.

  1. Classification of Valleytronics in Thermoelectricity.

    PubMed

    Norouzzadeh, Payam; Vashaee, Daryoosh

    2016-03-14

    The theory of valleytronics as a material design tool for engineering both thermal and electrical transport properties is presented. It is shown that the interplay among the valleytronics parameters such as the degeneracy of the band, intervalley transitions, effective mass, scattering exponent, and the Fermi energy may deteriorate or ameliorate any or all of the main thermoelectric properties. A flowchart classifying the different paths through which the valleytronics can influence the thermoelectric figure-of-merit ZT is derived and discussed in detail. To exemplify the application of the flowchart, valleytronics in four different semiconductors, Mg2Si, Si0.8Ge0.2, Al(x)Ga(1-x)As and clathrate Si46-VIII were studied, which showed different trends. Therefore, a degenerate multivalley bandstructure, which is typically anticipated for a good thermoelectric material, cannot be a general design rule for ZT enhancement and a detailed transport study is required to engineer the optimum bandstructure.

  2. Thermoelectric transport in monolayer phosphorene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zare, Moslem; Rameshti, Babak Zare; Ghamsari, Farnood G.; Asgari, Reza

    2017-01-01

    We apply the generalized Boltzmann theory to describe thermoelectric transport properties of monolayer phosphorene in the presence of short- and long-range charged impurity interactions. First, we propose a low-energy Hamiltonian to explore the accurate electronic band structure of phosphorene in comparison with those results obtained by density-functional simulations. We explain the effect of the coupling between the conduction and valence bands on the thermoelectric properties. We show that the electric conductivity of phosphorene is highly anisotropic, while the Seebeck coefficient and figure of merit, without being influenced via either the presence or absence of the coupling term, are nearly isotropic. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the conductivity for the n type of doping is more influenced by the coupling term than that of the p type. Along with thermopower sign change, profound thermoelectric effects can be achieved.

  3. Nanostructured materials for thermoelectric applications.

    PubMed

    Bux, Sabah K; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Kaner, Richard B

    2010-11-28

    Recent studies indicate that nanostructuring can be an effective method for increasing the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) in materials. Most of the enhancement in ZT can be attributed to large reductions in the lattice thermal conductivity due to increased phonon scattering at interfaces. Although significant gains have been reported, much higher ZTs in practical, cost-effective and environmentally benign materials are needed in order for thermoelectrics to become effective for large-scale, wide-spread power and thermal management applications. This review discusses the various synthetic techniques that can be used in the production of bulk scale nanostructured materials. The advantages and disadvantages of each synthetic method are evaluated along with guidelines and goals presented for an ideal thermoelectric material. With proper optimization, some of these techniques hold promise for producing high efficiency devices.

  4. Classification of Valleytronics in Thermoelectricity

    PubMed Central

    Norouzzadeh, Payam; Vashaee, Daryoosh

    2016-01-01

    The theory of valleytronics as a material design tool for engineering both thermal and electrical transport properties is presented. It is shown that the interplay among the valleytronics parameters such as the degeneracy of the band, intervalley transitions, effective mass, scattering exponent, and the Fermi energy may deteriorate or ameliorate any or all of the main thermoelectric properties. A flowchart classifying the different paths through which the valleytronics can influence the thermoelectric figure-of-merit ZT is derived and discussed in detail. To exemplify the application of the flowchart, valleytronics in four different semiconductors, Mg2Si, Si0.8Ge0.2, AlxGa1−xAs and clathrate Si46-VIII were studied, which showed different trends. Therefore, a degenerate multivalley bandstructure, which is typically anticipated for a good thermoelectric material, cannot be a general design rule for ZT enhancement and a detailed transport study is required to engineer the optimum bandstructure. PMID:26972331

  5. Control system for thermoelectric refrigerator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, John L. (Inventor); Criscuolo, Lance (Inventor); Gilley, Michael D. (Inventor); Park, Brian V. (Inventor)

    1996-01-01

    Apparatus including a power supply (202) and control system is provided for maintaining the temperature within an enclosed structure (40) using thermoelectric devices (92). The apparatus may be particularly beneficial for use with a refrigerator (20) having superinsulation materials (46) and phase change materials (112) which cooperate with the thermoelectric device (92) to substantially enhance the overall operating efficiency of the refrigerator (20). The electrical power supply (202) and control system allows increasing the maximum power capability of the thermoelectric device (92) in response to increased heat loads within the refrigerator (20). The electrical power supply (202) and control system may also be used to monitor the performance of the cooling system (70) associated with the refrigerator (20).

  6. Thermoelectrical manipulation of nanomagnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadigrobov, A. M.; Andersson, S.; Radić, D.; Shekhter, R. I.; Jonson, M.; Korenivski, V.

    2010-06-01

    We investigate the interplay between the thermodynamic properties and spin-dependent transport in a mesoscopic device based on a magnetic multilayer (F/f/F), in which two strongly ferromagnetic layers (F) are exchange-coupled through a weakly ferromagnetic spacer (f) with the Curie temperature in the vicinity of room temperature. We show theoretically that the Joule heating produced by the spin-dependent current allows a spin-thermoelectronic control of the ferromagnetic-to-paramagnetic (f/N) transition in the spacer and, thereby, of the relative orientation of the outer F-layers in the device (spin-thermoelectric manipulation of nanomagnets). Supporting experimental evidence of such thermally-controlled switching from parallel to antiparallel magnetization orientations in F/f(N)/F sandwiches is presented. Furthermore, we show theoretically that local Joule heating due to a high concentration of current in a magnetic point contact or a nanopillar can be used to reversibly drive the weakly ferromagnetic spacer through its Curie point and thereby exchange couple and decouple the two strongly ferromagnetic F-layers. For the devices designed to have an antiparallel ground state above the Curie point of the spacer, the associated spin-thermionic parallel to antiparallel switching causes magnetoresistance oscillations whose frequency can be controlled by proper biasing from essentially dc to GHz. We discuss in detail an experimental realization of a device that can operate as a thermomagnetoresistive switch or oscillator.

  7. Coupled improvement between thermoelectric and piezoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery, David; Hewitt, Corey; Dun, Chaochao; Carroll, David

    A novel coupling effect in a thermoelectric and piezoelectric meta-structure is discussed. Thermo-piezoelectric generators (TPEGs) exhibit a synergistic effect that amplifies output voltage, and has been observed to increase piezoelectric voltages over 500% of initial values a time dependent thermoelectric/pyroelectric effect. The resulting improvement in voltage has been observed in carbon nanotubes as well as inorganics such as two-dimensional Bismuth Selenide platelets and Telluride nanorods thin-film thermoelectrics. TPEGs are built by integrating insulating layers of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) piezoelectric films between flexible thin film p-type and n-type thermoelectrics. The physical phenomena arising in the interaction between thermoelectric and piezoelectrics is discussed and a model is presented to quantify the expected coupling voltage as a function of stress, thermal gradient, and different thermoelectric materials. TPEG are ideal to capture waste heat and vibrational energy while creating larger voltages and minimizing space when compared with similar thermoelectric or piezoelectric generators.

  8. Thermoelectric refrigerator having improved temperature stabilization means

    DOEpatents

    Falco, Charles M.

    1982-01-01

    A control system for thermoelectric refrigerators is disclosed. The thermoelectric refrigerator includes at least one thermoelectric element that undergoes a first order change at a predetermined critical temperature. The element functions as a thermoelectric refrigerator element above the critical temperature, but discontinuously ceases to function as a thermoelectric refrigerator element below the critical temperature. One example of such an arrangement includes thermoelectric refrigerator elements which are superconductors. The transition temperature of one of the superconductor elements is selected as the temperature control point of the refrigerator. When the refrigerator attempts to cool below the point, the metals become superconductors losing their ability to perform as a thermoelectric refrigerator. An extremely accurate, first-order control is realized.

  9. Semimetal/Semiconductor Nanocomposites for Thermoelectrics

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-04-15

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

  10. Semimetal/semiconductor nanocomposites for thermoelectrics.

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-24

    In this work, we present research on semimetal-semiconductor nanocomposites grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) for thermoelectric applications. We study several different III-V semiconductors embedded with semimetallic rare earth-group V (RE-V) compounds, but focus is given here to ErSb:In(x)Ga(1−x)Sb as a promising p-type thermoelectric material. Nanostructures of RE-V compounds are formed and embedded within the III-V semiconductor matrix. By co-doping the nanocomposites with the appropriate dopants, both n-type and p-type materials have been made for thermoelectric applications. The thermoelectric properties have been engineered for enhanced thermoelectric device performance. Segmented thermoelectric power generator modules using 50 μ m thick Er-containing nanocomposites have been fabricated and measured. Research on different rare earth elements for thermoelectrics is discussed.

  11. Thermoelectric effects in graphene nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dollfus, Philippe; Nguyen, Viet Hung; Saint-Martin, Jérôme

    2015-04-01

    The thermoelectric properties of graphene and graphene nanostructures have recently attracted significant attention from the physics and engineering communities. In fundamental physics, the analysis of Seebeck and Nernst effects is very useful in elucidating some details of the electronic band structure of graphene that cannot be probed by conductance measurements alone, due in particular to the ambipolar nature of this gapless material. For applications in thermoelectric energy conversion, graphene has two major disadvantages. It is gapless, which leads to a small Seebeck coefficient due to the opposite contributions of electrons and holes, and it is an excellent thermal conductor. The thermoelectric figure of merit ZT of a two-dimensional (2D) graphene sheet is thus very limited. However, many works have demonstrated recently that appropriate nanostructuring and bandgap engineering of graphene can concomitantly strongly reduce the lattice thermal conductance and enhance the Seebeck coefficient without dramatically degrading the electronic conductance. Hence, in various graphene nanostructures, ZT has been predicted to be high enough to make them attractive for energy conversion. In this article, we review the main results obtained experimentally and theoretically on the thermoelectric properties of graphene and its nanostructures, emphasizing the physical effects that govern these properties. Beyond pure graphene structures, we discuss also the thermoelectric properties of some hybrid graphene structures, as graphane, layered carbon allotropes such as graphynes and graphdiynes, and graphene/hexagonal boron nitride heterostructures which offer new opportunities. Finally, we briefly review the recent activities on other atomically thin 2D semiconductors with finite bandgap, i.e. dichalcogenides and phosphorene, which have attracted great attention for various kinds of applications, including thermoelectrics.

  12. Polymer composites for thermoelectric applications.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-02

    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.

  13. Concentrated Solar Thermoelectric Power

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Gang; Ren, Zhifeng

    2015-07-09

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

  14. High Performance Bulk Thermoelectric Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Ren, Zhifeng

    2013-03-31

    Over 13 plus years, we have carried out research on electron pairing symmetry of superconductors, growth and their field emission property studies on carbon nanotubes and semiconducting nanowires, high performance thermoelectric materials and other interesting materials. As a result of the research, we have published 104 papers, have educated six undergraduate students, twenty graduate students, nine postdocs, nine visitors, and one technician.

  15. High Efficiency Thermoelectric Generator: Integration

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-02-25

    included: − material barriers such as thermal blankets, glass bubbles and aerogels , − encapsulation with high molecular weight gases (e.g. Xenon... aerogels impregnated with radiation scattering particles (investigated at the thermoelectric group in the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Thrust

  16. Fast Reactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, S.; Pisanti, O.

    The following sections are included: * Elementary Considerations * The Integral Equation to the Neutron Distribution * The Critical Size for a Fast Reactor * Supercritical Reactors * Problems and Exercises

  17. Effect of cracking on the thermoelectric conversion efficiency of thermoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, A. B.; Wang, B. L.; Wang, J.; Du, J. K.; Xie, C.

    2017-01-01

    Analytical solutions for a rectangular thermoelectric plate with a crack under combined electrical and temperature loadings are obtained. The electric current density and energy flux intensity factors at the crack tip are calculated. The effective thermoelectric properties are obtained. From the results, it is found that both effective electric and heat conductivities are reduced by increasing the crack size. However, the thermoelectric conversion efficiency of the thermoelectric plate is independent of the crack size if the crack face boundary conditions are assumed to be electrically and thermally insulated. In addition, the effect of thermoelectric properties and size of an inclusion on the thermoelectric conversion efficiency is also discussed, and the condition for high efficiency thermoelectric materials is identified. This is the first theoretical paper to study the effect of cracking on the thermoelectric properties by a rigorous inference of mathematics and physics.

  18. Probabilistic Mechanical Reliability Prediction of Thermoelectric Legs

    SciTech Connect

    Jadaan, Osama M.; Wereszczak, Andrew A

    2009-05-01

    The probability of failure, Pf, for various square-arrayed thermoelectric device designs using bismuth telluride, lead telluride, or skutterudite thermoelectric materials were estimated. Only volume- or bulk-based Pf analysis was considered in this study. The effects of the choice of the thermoelectric material, the size of the leg array, the height of the thermoelectric legs, and the boundary conditions on the Pf of thermoelectric devices were investigated. Yielding of the solder contacts and mounting layer was taken into account. The modeling results showed that the use of longer legs, using skutterudites, allowing the thermoelectric device to freely deform while under a thermal gradient, and using smaller arrays promoted higher probabilities of survival.

  19. The Homogenization and Optimization of Thermoelectric Composites

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-04-17

    AFRL-OSR-VA-TR-2015-0090 The Homogenization and Optimization of Thermoelectric Composites Jiangyu Li UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON Final Report 04/17/2015...SUBTITLE The Homogenization and Optimization of Thermoelectric Composites 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER FA9550-12-1-0325 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT...behavior of thermoelectric composites using rigorous homogenization technique in this project. In the last three years, our accomplishment includes: (1

  20. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Fermi, E.; Zinn, W.H.; Anderson, H.L.

    1958-09-16

    Means are presenied for increasing the reproduction ratio of a gaphite- moderated neutronic reactor by diminishing the neutron loss due to absorption or capture by gaseous impurities within the reactor. This means comprised of a fluid-tight casing or envelope completely enclosing the reactor and provided with a valve through which the casing, and thereby the reactor, may be evacuated of atmospheric air.

  1. Boron nitride zigzag nanoribbons: optimal thermoelectric systems.

    PubMed

    Zberecki, K; Swirkowicz, R; Barnaś, J

    2015-09-14

    Conventional and spin related thermoelectric effects in zigzag boron nitride nanoribbons are studied theoretically within the Density Functional Theory (DFT) approach. Nanoribbons with edges passivated with hydrogen, as well as those with bare edges are analyzed. It is shown that one spin channel in the nanoribbons of 0HB-0HN and 2HB-1HN types becomes nonconductive slightly above the Fermi level, and therefore such nanoribbons reveal remarkable spin related thermoelectric phenomena and are promising materials for thermoelectric nanodevices. Thermoelectricity in BN nanoribbons of other types is less efficient and therefore these materials are less interesting for applications.

  2. 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.

  3. LIGHTWEIGHT HIGH-POWER THERMOELECTRIC MODULE DEVELOPMENT.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    THERMOELECTRICITY, MODULES(ELECTRONICS), SEEBECK EFFECT , LEAD(METAL), TELLURIUM, DIFFUSION BONDING, METALLURGY, THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY, TEST METHODS, LIFE EXPECTANCY(SERVICE LIFE), RELIABILITY(ELECTRONICS), MANUFACTURING.

  4. Thermoelectric Polymers and their Elastic Aerogels.

    PubMed

    Khan, Zia Ullah; Edberg, Jesper; Hamedi, Mahiar Max; Gabrielsson, Roger; Granberg, Hjalmar; Wågberg, Lars; Engquist, Isak; Berggren, Magnus; Crispin, Xavier

    2016-06-01

    Electronically conducting polymers constitute an emerging class of materials for novel electronics, such as printed electronics and flexible electronics. Their properties have been further diversified to introduce elasticity, which has opened new possibility for "stretchable" electronics. Recent discoveries demonstrate that conducting polymers have thermoelectric properties with a low thermal conductivity, as well as tunable Seebeck coefficients - which is achieved by modulating their electrical conductivity via simple redox reactions. Using these thermoelectric properties, all-organic flexible thermoelectric devices, such as temperature sensors, heat flux sensors, and thermoelectric generators, are being developed. In this article we discuss the combination of the two emerging fields: stretchable electronics and polymer thermoelectrics. The combination of elastic and thermoelectric properties seems to be unique for conducting polymers, and difficult to achieve with inorganic thermoelectric materials. We introduce the basic concepts, and state of the art knowledge, about the thermoelectric properties of conducting polymers, and illustrate the use of elastic thermoelectric conducting polymer aerogels that could be employed as temperature and pressure sensors in an electronic-skin.

  5. A Methodology for the Neutronics Design of Space Nuclear Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    King, Jeffrey C.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.

    2004-02-04

    A methodology for the neutronics design of space power reactors is presented. This methodology involves balancing the competing requirements of having sufficient excess reactivity for the desired lifetime, keeping the reactor subcritical at launch and during submersion accidents, and providing sufficient control over the lifetime of the reactor. These requirements are addressed by three reactivity values for a given reactor design: the excess reactivity at beginning of mission, the negative reactivity at shutdown, and the negative reactivity margin in submersion accidents. These reactivity values define the control worth and the safety worth in submersion accidents, used for evaluating the merit of a proposed reactor type and design. The Heat Pipe-Segmented Thermoelectric Module Converters space reactor core design is evaluated and modified based on the proposed methodology. The final reactor core design has sufficient excess reactivity for 10 years of nominal operation at 1.82 MW of fission power and is subcritical at launch and in all water submersion accidents.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, Jean-Pierre

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Thermoelectric Properties of Graphene Ribbons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munoz, Enrique

    2011-03-01

    Several theoretical and experimental studies have been recently concerned with electric and thermal transport in graphene layers and ribbons, where propagation of electrons and phonons seems to be dominated by a ballistic mechanism. Of particular interest in this context is the identification and characterization of thermoelectric effects, which represent a promising alternative for energy recovery in technological applications. In the present work, the effect of the electron- phonon interaction over a predominantly ballistic transport mechanism in graphene ribbons is studied in the context of thermoelectricity. Theoretical estimations of the thermopower S, and the corresponding figure of merit ZT, are presented for this system as a function of temperature. I acknowledge financial support from the grant Fondecyt de Iniciacion 11100064.

  8. 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.

  9. Thermoelectric Study of Copper Selenide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Mengliang; Liu, Weishu; Ren, Zhifeng; Opeil, Cyril

    2014-03-01

    Nanostructuring has been shown to be an effective approach in reducing lattice thermal conductivity and improving the figure of merit of thermoelectric materials. Copper selenide is a layered structure material, which has a low thermal conductivity and p-type Seebeck coefficient at low temperatures. We have evaluated several hot-pressed, nanostructured copper selenide samples with different dopants for their thermoelectric properties. The phenomenon of the charge-density wave observed in the nanocomposite, resistivity, Seebeck, thermal conductivity and carrier mobility will be discussed. Funding for this research was provided by the Solid State Solar - Thermal Energy Conversion Center (S3TEC), an Energy Frontier Research Center sponsored by the DOE, Office of Basic Energy Science, Award No. DE-SC0001299/ DE-FG02-09ER46577.

  10. Thermoelectric Devices Advance Thermal Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Giant thermoelectric effect in graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragoman, D.; Dragoman, M.

    2007-11-01

    The paper predicts a giant thermoelectric coefficient in a nanostructure consisting of metallic electrodes periodically patterned over graphene, which is deposited on a silicon dioxide substrate. The Seebeck coefficient in this device attains 30mV/K, this value being among the largest reported ever. The calculations are based on a transfer matrix approach that takes a particular form for graphene-based devices. The results are important for future nanogenerators with applications in the area of sensors, energy harvesting, and scavenging.

  12. Thermoelectric Properties of Lanthanum Sulfide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, C.; Lockwood, R.; Parker, J. B.; Zoltan, A.; Zoltan, L. D.; Danielson, L.; Raag, V.

    1987-01-01

    Report describes measurement of Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity, thermal conductivity, and Hall effect in gamma-phase lanthanum sulfide with composition of La3-x S4. Results of study, part of search for high-temperature thermoelectric energy-conversion materials, indicate this sulfide behaves like extrinsic semiconductor over temperature range of 300 to 1,400 K, with degenerate carrier concentration controlled by stoichiometric ratio of La to S.

  13. Mechanical Response of Thermoelectric Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Wereszczak, Andrew A.; Case, Eldon D.

    2015-05-01

    A sufficient mechanical response of thermoelectric materials (TEMats) to structural loadings is a prerequisite to the exploitation of any candidate TEMat's thermoelectric efficiency. If a TEMat is mechanically damaged or cracks from service-induced stresses, then its thermal and electrical functions can be compromised or even cease. Semiconductor TEMats tend to be quite brittle and have a high coefficient of thermal expansion; therefore, they can be quite susceptible to mechanical failure when subjected to operational thermal gradients. Because of this, sufficient mechanical response (vis-a-vis, mechanical properties) of any candidate TEMat must be achieved and sustained in the context of the service-induced stress state to which it is subjected. This report provides an overview of the mechanical responses of state-of-the-art TEMats; discusses the relevant properties that are associated with those responses and their measurement; and describes important, nonequilibrium phenomena that further complicate their use in thermoelectric devices. For reference purposes, the report also includes several appendixes that list published data on elastic properties and strengths of a variety of TEMats.

  14. Towards Improved Thermoelectric Generator Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Julian Goldsmid, H.

    2016-07-01

    Over recent years, new thermoelectric materials have been developed with values for the dimensionless figure of merit, zT, substantially greater than unity. This has opened up the possibility of many new applications, particularly those involving the utilisation of waste heat. However, further improvements are necessary if thermoelectric generation is to have a significant impact on the world's energy problems. It is well known that zT for a single energy band can be related to the Fermi energy and a parameter (μ/λ L) (m*/m)3/2, where μ is the carrier mobility, m*/m is the ratio of the carrier effective mass to the mass of a free electron and λ L is the lattice thermal conductivity. However, even when this parameter tends towards infinity, zT does not become much greater than 1 unless the Fermi level lies within the energy gap, far from the appropriate band edge. Thus, the magnitude of the energy gap is becoming of increasing importance. The two-fold requirements of a high value of (μ/λ L) (m*/m)3/2 and a sufficiently large energy gap are discussed. It is also shown that the likelihood of the required conditions being met at elevated temperatures can be predicted from low-temperature observations. It is, of course, much more difficult to make accurate determinations of the thermoelectric properties at higher temperatures.

  15. Towards a Microbial Thermoelectric Cell

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Barreiro, Raúl; Abendroth, Christian; Vilanova, Cristina; Moya, Andrés; Porcar, Manuel

    2013-01-01

    Microbial growth is an exothermic process. Biotechnological industries produce large amounts of heat, usually considered an undesirable by-product. In this work, we report the construction and characterization of the first microbial thermoelectric cell (MTC), in which the metabolic heat produced by a thermally insulated microbial culture is partially converted into electricity through a thermoelectric device optimized for low ΔT values. A temperature of 41°C and net electric voltage of around 250–600 mV was achieved with 1.7 L baker’s yeast culture. This is the first time microbial metabolic energy has been converted into electricity with an ad hoc thermoelectric device. These results might contribute towards developing a novel strategy to harvest excess heat in the biotechnology industry, in processes such as ethanol fermentation, auto thermal aerobic digestion (ATAD) or bioremediation, which could be coupled with MTCs in a single unit to produce electricity as a valuable by-product of the primary biotechnological product. Additionally, we propose that small portable MTCs could be conceived and inoculated with suitable thermophilic of hyperthermophilic starter cultures and used for powering small electric devices. PMID:23468862

  16. Nanostructures having high performance thermoelectric properties

    DOEpatents

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

    2014-05-20

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

  17. Heat reflecting tape for thermoelectric converter

    DOEpatents

    Purdy, David L.

    1977-01-01

    Threads are interlaced with thermoelectric wires to provide a woven cloth in tape form, there being an intermediate layer of heat radiation reflecting material (e.g., aluminum foil) insulated electrically from said wires, which are of opposite thermoelectric polarity and connected as a plurality of thermocouples.

  18. 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.

  19. Boron Carbides As Thermo-electric Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, Charles

    1988-01-01

    Report reviews recent theoretical and experimental research on thermoelectric materials. Recent work with narrow-band semiconductors demonstrated possibility of relatively high thermoelectric energy-conversion efficiencies in materials withstanding high temperatures needed to attain such efficiencies. Among promising semiconductors are boron-rich borides, especially boron carbides.

  20. Nanostructures having high performance thermoelectric properties

    DOEpatents

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

    2015-12-22

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

  1. Review of nanostructured devices for thermoelectric applications.

    PubMed

    Pennelli, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    A big research effort is currently dedicated to the development of thermoelectric devices capable of a direct thermal-to-electrical energy conversion, aiming at efficiencies as high as possible. These devices are very attractive for many applications in the fields of energy recovery and green energy harvesting. In this paper, after a quick summary of the fundamental principles of thermoelectricity, the main characteristics of materials needed for high efficiency thermoelectric conversion will be discussed, and a quick review of the most promising materials currently under development will be given. This review paper will put a particular emphasis on nanostructured silicon, which represents a valid compromise between good thermoelectric properties on one side and material availability, sustainability, technological feasibility on the other side. The most important bottom-up and top-down nanofabrication techniques for large area silicon nanowire arrays, to be used for high efficiency thermoelectric devices, will be presented and discussed.

  2. Review of nanostructured devices for thermoelectric applications

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Summary A big research effort is currently dedicated to the development of thermoelectric devices capable of a direct thermal-to-electrical energy conversion, aiming at efficiencies as high as possible. These devices are very attractive for many applications in the fields of energy recovery and green energy harvesting. In this paper, after a quick summary of the fundamental principles of thermoelectricity, the main characteristics of materials needed for high efficiency thermoelectric conversion will be discussed, and a quick review of the most promising materials currently under development will be given. This review paper will put a particular emphasis on nanostructured silicon, which represents a valid compromise between good thermoelectric properties on one side and material availability, sustainability, technological feasibility on the other side. The most important bottom-up and top-down nanofabrication techniques for large area silicon nanowire arrays, to be used for high efficiency thermoelectric devices, will be presented and discussed. PMID:25247111

  3. Development concept for a small, split-core, heat-pipe-cooled nuclear reactor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lantz, E.; Breitwieser, R.; Niederauer, G. F.

    1974-01-01

    There have been two main deterrents to the development of semiportable nuclear reactors. One is the high development costs; the other is the inability to satisfy with assurance the questions of operational safety. This report shows how a split-core, heat-pipe cooled reactor could conceptually eliminate these deterrents, and examines and summarizes recent work on split-core, heat-pipe reactors. A concept for a small reactor that could be developed at a comparatively low cost is presented. The concept would extend the technology of subcritical radioisotope thermoelectric generators using 238 PuO2 to the evolution of critical space power reactors using 239 PuO2.

  4. Thermoelectric generator having a resiliently mounted removable thermoelectric module

    DOEpatents

    Purdy, David L.; Shapiro, Zalman M.; Hursen, Thomas F.; Maurer, Gerould W.

    1976-11-02

    An electrical generator having an Isotopic Heat Capsule including radioactive fuel rod 21 as a primary heat source and Thermoelectric Modules 41 and 43 as converters. The Biological Shield for the Capsule is suspended from Spiders at each end each consisting of pretensioned rods 237 and 239 defining planes at right angles to each other. The Modules are mounted in cups 171 of transition members 173 of a heat rejection Fin Assembly whose fins 195 and 197 extend from both sides of the transition member 173 for effective cooling.

  5. BOILING REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Untermyer, S.

    1962-04-10

    A boiling reactor having a reactivity which is reduced by an increase in the volume of vaporized coolant therein is described. In this system unvaporized liquid coolant is extracted from the reactor, heat is extracted therefrom, and it is returned to the reactor as sub-cooled liquid coolant. This reduces a portion of the coolant which includes vaporized coolant within the core assembly thereby enhancing the power output of the assembly and rendering the reactor substantially self-regulating. (AEC)

  6. Autonomous Control and Diagnostics of Space Reactor Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Upadhyaya, B.R.; Xu, X.; Perillo, S.R.P.; Na, M.G.

    2006-07-01

    This paper describes three key features of the development of an autonomous control strategy for space reactor systems. These include the development of a reactor simulation model for transient analysis, development of model-predictive control as part of the autonomous control strategy, and a fault detection and isolation module. The latter is interfaced with the control supervisor as part of a hierarchical control system. The approach has been applied to the nodal model of the SP-100 reactor with a thermo-electric generator. The results of application demonstrate the effectiveness of the control approach and its ability to reconfigure the control mode under fault conditions. (authors)

  7. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Daniels, F.

    1959-10-27

    A reactor in which at least a portion of the moderator is in the form of movable refractory balls is described. In addition to their moderating capacity, these balls may serve as carriers for fissionable material or fertile material, or may serve in a coolant capacity to remove heat from the reactor. A pneumatic system is used to circulate the balls through the reactor.

  8. NUCLEAR REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Treshow, M.

    1961-09-01

    A boiling-water nuclear reactor is described wherein control is effected by varying the moderator-to-fuel ratio in the reactor core. This is accomplished by providing control tubes containing a liquid control moderator in the reactor core and providing means for varying the amount of control moderatcr within the control tubes.

  9. Revisiting some chalcogenides for thermoelectricity.

    PubMed

    Maignan, Antoine; Guilmeau, Emmanuel; Gascoin, Franck; Bréard, Yohann; Hardy, Vincent

    2012-10-01

    Thermoelectric materials that are efficient well above ambient temperature are needed to convert waste-heat into electricity. Many thermoelectric oxides were investigated for this purpose, but their power factor (PF) values were too small (∼10(-4) W m(-1) K(-2)) to yield a satisfactory figure of merit zT. Changing the anions from O(2-) to S(2-) and then to Se(2-) is a way to increase the covalency. In this review, some examples of sulfides (binary Cr-S or derived from layered TiS2) and an example of selenides, AgCrSe2, have been selected to illustrate the characteristic features of their physical properties. The comparison of the only two semiconducting binary chromium sulfides and of a layered AgCrSe2 selenide shows that the PF values are also in the same order of magnitude as those of transition metal oxides. In contrast, the PF values of the layered sulfides TiS2 and Cu0.1TiS2 are higher, reaching ∼10(-3) W m(-1) K(-2). Apparently the magnetism related to the Cr-S network is detrimental for the PF when compared to the d(0) character of the Ti(4+) based sulfides. Finally, the very low PF in AgCrSe2 (PF = 2.25 × 10(-4) W m(1) K(-2) at 700 K) is compensated by a very low thermal conductivity (κ = 0.2 W m(-1) K(-1) from the measured Cp) leading to the highest zT value among the reviewed compounds (zT700K = 0.8). The existence of a glassy-like state for the Ag(+) cations above 475 K is believed to be responsible for this result. This result demonstrates that the phonon engineering in open frameworks is a very interesting way to generate efficient thermoelectric materials.

  10. Revisiting some chalcogenides for thermoelectricity

    PubMed Central

    Maignan, Antoine; Guilmeau, Emmanuel; Gascoin, Franck; Bréard, Yohann; Hardy, Vincent

    2012-01-01

    Thermoelectric materials that are efficient well above ambient temperature are needed to convert waste-heat into electricity. Many thermoelectric oxides were investigated for this purpose, but their power factor (PF) values were too small (∼10−4 W m−1 K−2) to yield a satisfactory figure of merit zT. Changing the anions from O2− to S2− and then to Se2− is a way to increase the covalency. In this review, some examples of sulfides (binary Cr–S or derived from layered TiS2) and an example of selenides, AgCrSe2, have been selected to illustrate the characteristic features of their physical properties. The comparison of the only two semiconducting binary chromium sulfides and of a layered AgCrSe2 selenide shows that the PF values are also in the same order of magnitude as those of transition metal oxides. In contrast, the PF values of the layered sulfides TiS2 and Cu0.1TiS2 are higher, reaching ∼10−3 W m−1 K−2. Apparently the magnetism related to the Cr–S network is detrimental for the PF when compared to the d0 character of the Ti4+ based sulfides. Finally, the very low PF in AgCrSe2 (PF = 2.25 × 10−4 W m1 K−2 at 700 K) is compensated by a very low thermal conductivity (κ = 0.2 W m−1 K−1 from the measured Cp) leading to the highest zT value among the reviewed compounds (zT700K = 0.8). The existence of a glassy-like state for the Ag+ cations above 475 K is believed to be responsible for this result. This result demonstrates that the phonon engineering in open frameworks is a very interesting way to generate efficient thermoelectric materials. PMID:27877513

  11. Catalytic converter with thermoelectric generator

    SciTech Connect

    Parise, R.J.

    1998-07-01

    The unique design of an electrically heated catalyst (EHC) and the inclusion of an ECO valve in the exhaust of an internal combustion engine will meet the strict new emission requirements, especially at vehicle cold start, adopted by several states in this country as well as in Europe and Japan. The catalytic converter (CC) has been a most useful tool in pollution abatement for the automobile. But the emission requirements are becoming more stringent and, along with other improvements, the CC must be improved to meet these new standards. Coupled with the ECO valve, the EHC can meet these new emission limits. In an internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV), approximately 80% of the energy consumed leaves the vehicle as waste heat: out the tail pipe, through the radiator, or convected/radiated off the engine. Included with the waste heat out the tail pipe are the products of combustion which must meet strict emission requirements. The design of a new CC is presented here. This is an automobile CC that has the capability of producing electrical power and reducing the quantity of emissions at vehicle cold start, the Thermoelectric Catalytic Power Generator. The CC utilizes the energy of the exothermic reactions that take place in the catalysis substrate to produce electrical energy with a thermoelectric generator. On vehicle cold start, the thermoelectric generator is used as a heat pump to heat the catalyst substrate to reduce the time to catalyst light-off. Thus an electrically heated catalyst (EHC) will be used to augment the abatement of tail pipe emissions. Included with the EHC in the exhaust stream of the automobile is the ECO valve. This valve restricts the flow of pollutants out the tail pipe of the vehicle for a specified amount of time until the EHC comes up to operating temperature. Then the ECO valve opens and allows the full exhaust, now treated by the EHC, to leave the vehicle.

  12. Thermoelectric materials development. Final report

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-09-01

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

  13. Thermoelectric properties of inverse opals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahan, G. D.; Poilvert, N.; Crespi, V. H.

    2016-02-01

    Rayleigh's method [Philos. Mag. Ser. 5 34, 481 (1892)] is used to solve for the classical thermoelectric equations in inverse opals. His theory predicts that in an inverse opal, with periodic holes, the Seebeck coefficient and the figure of merit are identical to that of the bulk material. We also provide a major revision to Rayleigh's method, in using the electrochemical potential as an important variable, instead of the electrostatic potential. We also show that in some cases, the thermal boundary resistance is important in the effective thermal conductivity.

  14. Thermoelectricity in Confined Liquid Electrolytes.

    PubMed

    Dietzel, Mathias; Hardt, Steffen

    2016-06-03

    The electric field in an extended phase of a liquid electrolyte exposed to a temperature gradient is attributed to different thermophoretic mobilities of the ion species. As shown herein, such Soret-type ion thermodiffusion is not required to induce thermoelectricity even in the simplest electrolyte if it is confined between charged walls. The space charge of the electric double layer leads to selective ion diffusion driven by a temperature-dependent electrophoretic ion mobility, which-for narrow channels-may cause thermovoltages larger in magnitude than for the classical Soret equilibrium.

  15. Thermoelectric properties of cerium monopnictides

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Danielson, L. R.; Alexander, M. N.; Wood, C.; Lockwood, R. A.; Vandersande, J. W.

    1987-01-01

    Several cerium pnictides have been synthesized from the pure elements and hot pressed into test samples. Measurements of Seebeck coefficients and electrical resistivities were performed on these samples from room temperature to 1000 C. Cerium arsenide and cerium antimonide are n-type; cerium nitride changes from p-type to n-type conduction at 800 C. The materials are semimetals with resistivities below 1 mohm/cm. Cerium arsenide is the most favorable of the pnictides studied for high-temperature thermoelectric energy conversion, with an average power factor of 15 microW/cm K sq from 500 to 1000 C.

  16. Thermoelectric effects in nanoscale junctions.

    PubMed

    Dubi, Yonatan; Di Ventra, Massimiliano

    2009-01-01

    Despite its intrinsic nonequilibrium origin, thermoelectricity in nanoscale systems is usually described within a static scattering approach which disregards the dynamical interaction with the thermal baths that maintain energy flow. Using the theory of open quantum systems, we show instead that unexpected properties, such as a resonant structure and large sign sensitivity, emerge if the nonequilibrium nature of this problem is considered. Our approach also allows us to define and study a local temperature, which shows hot spots and oscillations along the system according to the coupling of the latter to the electrodes. This demonstrates that Fourier's lawa paradigm of statistical mechanicsis generally violated in nanoscale junctions.

  17. High-temperature oxide thermoelectrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terasaki, Ichiro

    2011-09-01

    We have evaluated the power factor of transition metal oxides at high temperatures using the Heikes formula and the Ioffe-Regel conductivity. The evaluated power factor is found to be nearly independent of carrier concentration in a wide range of doping, and explains the experimental data for cobalt oxides well. This suggests that the same power factor can be obtained with a thermopower larger than 2kB/e, and also suggests a reasonably high value of the dimensionless figure of merit ZT. We propose an oxide thermoelectric power generator by using materials having a thermopower larger than 300 μV/K.

  18. Thermoelectric transport in nanoscale materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Small, Joshua P.

    Measurements of thermoelectric transport coefficients yield important information regarding fundamental properties of a system in addition to the information supplied from the electronic transport measurements. In this thesis we re port gate dependent and temperature dependent conductance ( G) and thermo-electric power (TEP) measurements made in three different basic nanomaterials: single-walled nanotubes (SWNTs), multi-walled nanotubes (MWNTs), and silicon nanowires (SiNWs). There are two means of generating a thermoelectric voltage: carrier diffusion and phonon drag. Gate dependent measurements of metallic SWNTs verified the use of the mesoscopic Mott formula, the equation governing diffusive thermoelectric voltage, used to relate TEP with the conductance. We find phonon drag negligible in graphene based systems. In the semi-conducting SWNT we observed high valued and variable TEP. In addition, the TEP behaves according to a simple Schottky barrier (SB) controlled transport model where transport takes place by quantum mechanical tunneling through the barrier, or thermal activation over it, depending on the value of the gate electric field. We also observe saw-tooth oscillations of the TEP in weakly contacted SWNTs at temperatures below the charging energy, indicative of Coulomb blockade transport. Importantly, we made quantitative measurements of the TEP oscillation amplitude, agreeing well with theory. In the MWNT, the Mott formula describes well the TEP within a framework of multiple parallel channels. We observe TEP weighting in this parallel system. In conjunction with conductance measurements, by probing the TEP in SWNTs we are able to extract the number of shells participating in electrical transport. These results agree well with figures obtained independently in controlled breakdown experiments, and the temperature dependent results may prove useful for investigation of the intershell interaction energy. We also investigate TEP in the SiNW, where TEP

  19. CONVECTION REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Hammond, R.P.; King, L.D.P.

    1960-03-22

    An homogeneous nuclear power reactor utilizing convection circulation of the liquid fuel is proposed. The reactor has an internal heat exchanger looated in the same pressure vessel as the critical assembly, thereby eliminating necessity for handling the hot liquid fuel outside the reactor pressure vessel during normal operation. The liquid fuel used in this reactor eliminates the necessity for extensive radiolytic gas rocombination apparatus, and the reactor is resiliently pressurized and, without any movable mechanical apparatus, automatically regulates itself to the condition of criticality during moderate variations in temperature snd pressure and shuts itself down as the pressure exceeds a predetermined safe operating value.

  20. Research reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Tonneson, L.C.; Fox, G.J.

    1996-04-01

    There are currently 284 research reactors in operation, and 12 under construction around the world. Of the operating reactors, nearly two-thirds are used exclusively for research, and the rest for a variety of purposes, including training, testing, and critical assembly. For more than 50 years, research reactor programs have contributed greatly to the scientific and educational communities. Today, six of the world`s research reactors are being shut down, three of which are in the USA. With government budget constraints and the growing proliferation concerns surrounding the use of highly enriched uranium in some of these reactors, the future of nuclear research could be impacted.

  1. Thermoelectric standardisation - Reference materials and characterisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziolkowski, P.; Blaschkewitz, P.; Stiewe, C.; Karpinski, G.; Müller, E.

    2012-06-01

    Thermoelectric materials for working temperatures between 300 K and 1000 K become continuously more important for energy recuperation applications. The efficiency is determined by the transport properties (electrical and thermal conductivity and Seebeck coefficient), which form the known thermoelectric figure of merit ZT. The thorough determination of ZT represents the basis for the assessment of thermoelectric materials research. Due to different continuing difficulties measurement errors distinctly higher than 15% can be observed repeatedly, which is still too high for an industrial benchmark and deficient for many scientific investigations and technological developments. Against this background a project was launched in 2011 together with the Fraunhofer Institute of Physical Measurement Techniques (IPM, Freiburg), the Department Temperature of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB, Berlin) and the company Netzsch Gerätebau GbmH (Selb). The aim of the project "Thermoelectric Standardisation" (TEST) is to minimise the measurement uncertainties and to develop traceable, high-accurate thermoelectric characterisation techniques and thermoelectric reference materials for the mentioned temperature range. Here we initially present the project to the thermoelectric society and want to give a survey on the planned activities and the current status of the contributions of the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Cologne).

  2. Dynamic thermoelectricity in uniform bipolar semiconductor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volovichev, I. N.

    2016-07-01

    The theory of the dynamic thermoelectric effect has been developed. The effect lies in an electric current flowing in a closed circuit that consists of a uniform bipolar semiconductor, in which a non-uniform temperature distribution in the form of the traveling wave is created. The calculations are performed for the one-dimensional model in the quasi-neutrality approximation. It was shown that the direct thermoelectric current prevails, despite the periodicity of the thermal excitation, the circuit homogeneity and the lack of rectifier properties of the semiconductor system. Several physical reasons underlining the dynamic thermoelectric effect are found. One of them is similar to the Dember photoelectric effect, its contribution to the current flowing is determined by the difference in the electron and hole mobilities, and is completely independent of the carrier Seebeck coefficients. The dependence of the thermoelectric short circuit current magnitude on the semiconductor parameters, as well as on the temperature wave amplitude, length and velocity is studied. It is shown that the magnitude of the thermoelectric current is proportional to the square of the temperature wave amplitude. The dependence of the thermoelectric short circuit current on the temperature wave length and velocity is the nonmonotonic function. The optimum values for the temperature wave length and velocity, at which the dynamic thermoelectric effect is the greatest, have been deduced. It is found that the thermoelectric short circuit current changes its direction with decreasing the temperature wave length under certain conditions. The prospects for the possible applications of the dynamic thermoelectric effect are also discussed.

  3. Space nuclear system volume accumulator development (SNAP program)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitaker, W. D.; Shimazaki, T. T.

    1973-01-01

    The engineering, design, and fabrication status of the volume accumulator units to be employed in the NaK primary and secondary coolant loops of the 5-kwe reactor thermoelectric system are described. Three identical VAU's are required - two for the primary coolant loop, and one for the secondary coolant loop. The VAU's utilize nested-formed bellows as the flexing member, are hermetically sealed, provide double containment and utilize a combination of gas pressure force and bellows spring force to obtain the desired pressure regulation of the coolant loops. All parts of the VAU, except the NaK inlet tube, are to be fabricated from Inconel 718.

  4. Volume accumulator design analysis computer codes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitaker, W. D.; Shimazaki, T. T.

    1973-01-01

    The computer codes, VANEP and VANES, were written and used to aid in the design and performance calculation of the volume accumulator units (VAU) for the 5-kwe reactor thermoelectric system. VANEP computes the VAU design which meets the primary coolant loop VAU volume and pressure performance requirements. VANES computes the performance of the VAU design, determined from the VANEP code, at the conditions of the secondary coolant loop. The codes can also compute the performance characteristics of the VAU's under conditions of possible modes of failure which still permit continued system operation.

  5. Space nuclear system expansion joints

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitaker, W. D.; Shimazki, T. T.

    1973-01-01

    The engineering, design, and fabrication status of the expansion joint unit (EJU) to be employed in the NaK primary coolant piping loop of the 5-kwe Reactor thermoelectric system are described. Four EJU's are needed in the NaK primary coolant piping loop. The four EJU's which will be identical, utilize bellows as the flexing member, are hermetically sealed, and provide double containment. The bellows are of a nested-formed design, and are to be constructed of 1-ply thickness of 0.010-in. Inconel 718. The EJU's provide a minimum piping load margin of safety of +0.22.

  6. Scanning thermoelectric microscopy of local thermoelectric behaviors in (Bi,Sb)2Te3 films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Kunyu; Zeng, Huarong; Xu, Kunqi; Yu, Huizhu; Li, Guorong; Song, Junqiang; Shi, Xun; Chen, Lidong

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we develop scanning thermoelectric microscopy (STeM) on the basis of commercial atomic force microscope. The nanoscale thermoelectric behaviors of (Bi,Sb)2Te3 (BST) thin films were studied. 3ω-technique was used for thermal conductivity imaging and quantitative thermal characterization. By acquiring the unique Seebeck information from 2ω frequency component, nanoscale thermoelectric images were firstly obtained, exhibiting remarkably inhomogeneous distribution of local Seebeck coefficient in the thin films. Positive thermoelectric response is revealed by the modulation of temperature difference between thermal tip and sample, corresponding to p-type conduction within BST sample.

  7. Silicon-Based Thermoelectrics: Harvesting Low Quality Heat Using Economically Printed Flexible Nanostructured Stacked Thermoelectric Junctions

    SciTech Connect

    2010-03-01

    Broad Funding Opportunity Announcement Project: UIUC is experimenting with silicon-based materials to develop flexible thermoelectric devices—which convert heat into energy—that can be mass-produced at low cost. A thermoelectric device, which resembles a computer chip, creates electricity when a different temperature is applied to each of its sides. Existing commercial thermoelectric devices contain the element tellurium, which limits production levels because tellurium has become increasingly rare. UIUC is replacing this material with microscopic silicon wires that are considerably cheaper and could be equally effective. Improvements in thermoelectric device production could return enough wasted heat to add up to 23% to our current annual electricity production.

  8. Thermoelectric converters for alternating current standards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anatychuk, L. I.; Taschuk, D. D.

    2012-06-01

    Thermoelectric converters of alternating current remain priority instruments when creating standard equipment. This work presents the results of design and manufacture of alternating current converter for a military standard of alternating current in Ukraine. Results of simulation of temperature distribution in converter elements, ways of optimization to improve the accuracy of alternating current signal reproduction are presented. Results of metrological trials are given. The quality of thermoelectric material specially created for alternating current metrology is verified. The converter was used in alternating current standard for the frequency range from 10 Hz to 30 MHz. The efficiency of using thermoelectric signal converters in measuring instruments is confirmed.

  9. Photoresponse in arrays of thermoelectric nanowire junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, T. E.; Scott, R.; Johnson, S.; Brower, T.; Belk, J. H.; Hunt, J. H.

    2013-07-01

    We report the first demonstration of optical detection by thermoelectric nanowire junctions. We employed devices composed of bismuth nanowire arrays which are capped with a transparent indium tin oxide electrode. The incident surface features very low optical reflectivity and enhanced light trapping. The unique attributes of the thermoelectric arrays are the combination of strong temporal and optical wavelength dependences of the photocurrent. Under infrared illumination, the signal can be completely described by thermoelectric effects considering cooling rates given by heat diffusion through the array. In addition, under visible illumination, we observe a photovoltaic response.

  10. Thermoelectricity and thermodiffusion in charged colloids.

    PubMed

    Huang, B T; Roger, M; Bonetti, M; Salez, T J; Wiertel-Gasquet, C; Dubois, E; Cabreira Gomes, R; Demouchy, G; Mériguet, G; Peyre, V; Kouyaté, M; Filomeno, C L; Depeyrot, J; Tourinho, F A; Perzynski, R; Nakamae, S

    2015-08-07

    The Seebeck and Soret coefficients of ionically stabilized suspension of maghemite nanoparticles in dimethyl sulfoxide are experimentally studied as a function of nanoparticle volume fraction. In the presence of a temperature gradient, the charged colloidal nanoparticles experience both thermal drift due to their interactions with the solvent and electric forces proportional to the internal thermoelectric field. The resulting thermodiffusion of nanoparticles is observed through forced Rayleigh scattering measurements, while the thermoelectric field is accessed through voltage measurements in a thermocell. Both techniques provide independent estimates of nanoparticle's entropy of transfer as high as 82 meV K(-1). Such a property may be used to improve the thermoelectric coefficients in liquid thermocells.

  11. Thermoelectric corrections to quantum voltage measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergfield, Justin P.; Stafford, Charles A.

    2014-12-01

    A generalization of Büttiker's voltage probe concept for nonzero temperatures is an open third terminal of a quantum thermoelectric circuit. An explicit analytic expression for the thermoelectric correction to an ideal quantum voltage measurement in linear response is derived and interpreted in terms of local Peltier cooling/heating within the nonequilibrium system. The thermoelectric correction is found to be large (up to ±24 % of the peak voltage) in a prototypical ballistic quantum conductor (graphene nanoribbon). The effects of measurement nonideality are also investigated. Our findings have important implications for precision local electrical measurements.

  12. Thermoelectric properties of WS2 nanotube networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawai, Hideki; Sugahara, Mitsunari; Okada, Ryotaro; Maniwa, Yutaka; Yomogida, Yohei; Yanagi, Kazuhiro

    2017-01-01

    We report the thermoelectric properties of WS2 nanotube networks. By using electrolyte-gating techniques, we turned on a conducting channel in the macroscopic networks of WS2 nanotubes in both the hole and electron regions and evaluated the thermoelectric properties of the networks. We manipulated the P- and N-type Seebeck coefficients in the WS2 nanotube networks by changing the shifts in the gate voltage potentials. The power factor of the WS2 nanotube networks increased as the gate voltage shifted and exhibited a high thermoelectric performance approaching that of single-crystalline WS2 flakes.

  13. Thermoelectric effect in Aharonov-Bohm structures.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xin; Wang, Jian-Sheng; Morrel, William G; Ni, Xiaoxi; Wu, Chang-Qin; Li, Baowen

    2015-01-28

    The thermoelectric effects of a single Aharonov-Bohm (SAB) ring and coupled double Aharonov-Bohm (DAB) rings have been investigated on a theoretical basis, taking into account the contributions of both electrons and phonons to the transport process by using the nonequilibrium Green's function technique. The thermoelectric figure of merit of the coupled DAB rings cannot be predicted directly by combining the values of two SAB ring systems due to the contribution of electron-phonon interaction to coupling between the two sites connecting the rings. We find that thermoelectric efficiency can be optimized by modulating the phases of the magnetic flux threading the two rings.

  14. Bulk dimensional nanocomposites for thermoelectric applications

    DOEpatents

    Nolas, George S

    2014-06-24

    Thermoelectric elements may be used for heat sensors, heat pumps, and thermoelectric generators. A quantum-dot or nano-scale grain size polycrystalline material the effects of size-quantization are present inside the nanocrystals. A thermoelectric element composed of densified Groups IV-VI material, such as calcogenide-based materials are doped with metal or chalcogenide to form interference barriers form along grains. The dopant used is either silver or sodium. These chalcogenide materials form nanoparticles of highly crystal grains, and may specifically be between 1- and 100 nm. The compound is densified by spark plasma sintering.

  15. 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.

  16. In-line thermoelectric module

    DOEpatents

    Pento, Robert; Marks, James E.; Staffanson, Clifford D.

    2000-01-01

    A thermoelectric module with a plurality of electricity generating units each having a first end and a second end, the units being arranged first end to second end along an in-line axis. Each unit includes first and second elements each made of a thermoelectric material, an electrically conductive hot member arranged to heat one side of the first element, and an electrically conductive cold member arranged to cool another side of the first element and to cool one side of the second element. The hot member, the first element, the cold member and the second element are supported in a fixture, are electrically connected respectively to provide an electricity generating unit, and are arranged respectively in positions along the in-line axis. The individual components of each generating unit and the respective generating units are clamped in their in-line positions by a loading bolt at one end of the fixture and a stop wall at the other end of the fixture. The hot members may have a T-shape and the cold members an hourglass shape to facilitate heat transfer. The direction of heat transfer through the hot members may be perpendicular to the direction of heat transfer through the cold members, and both of these heat transfer directions may be perpendicular to the direction of current flow through the module.

  17. Thermoelectric effects and topological insulators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Yong

    2016-11-01

    The recent discovery of topological insulators (TIs) offers new opportunities for the development of thermoelectrics, because many TIs (like Bi2Te3) are excellent thermoelectric (TE) materials. In this review, we will first describe the general TE properties of TIs and show that the coexistence of the bulk and boundary states in TIs introduces unusual TE properties, including strong size effects and an anomalous Seebeck effect. Importantly, the TE figure of merit zT of TIs is no longer an intrinsic property, but depends strongly on the geometric size. The geometric parameters of two-dimensional TIs can be tuned to enhance zT to be significantly greater than 1. Then a few proof-of-principle experiments on three-dimensional TIs will be discussed, which observed unconventional TE phenomena that are closely related to the topological nature of the materials. However, current experiments indicate that the metallic surface states, if their advantage of high mobility is not fully utilized, would be detrimental to TE performance. Finally, we provide an outlook for future work on topological materials, which offers great possibilities to discover exotic TE effects and may lead to significant breakthroughs in improving zT. Project supported by the National Thousand-Young-Talents Program, China and Tsinghua University Initiative Scientific Research Program, China.

  18. In-Line Thermoelectric Module

    SciTech Connect

    Pento, Robert; Marks, James E.; Staffanson, Clifford D.

    1998-07-28

    A thermoelectric module with a plurality of electricity generating units each having a first end and a second end, the units being arranged first end to second end along an-in-line axis. Each unit includes first and second elements each made of a thermoelectric material, an electrically conductive hot member arranged to heat one side of the first element, and an electrically conductive cold member arranged to cool another side of the first element and to cool one side of the second element. The hot member, the first element, the cold member and the second element are supported in a fixture, are electrically connected respectively to provide an electricity generating unit, and are arranged respectively in positions along the in-line axis. The individual components of each generating unit and the respective generating units are clamped in their in-line positions by a loading bolt at one end of the fixture and a stop wall at the other end of the fixture. The hot members may have a T-shape and the cold members an hourglass shape to facilitate heat transfer. The direction of heat transfer through the hot members may be perpendicular to the direction of heat transfer through the cold members, and both of these heat transfer directions maybe perpendicular to the direction-of current flow through the module.

  19. 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.

  20. Thermoelectric device with multiple, nanometer scale, elements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleurial, Jean-Pierre (Inventor); Ryan, Margaret A. (Inventor); Borshchevsky, Alexander (Inventor); Herman, Jennifer (Inventor)

    2006-01-01

    A thermoelectric device formed of nanowires on the nm scale. The nanowires are preferably of a size that causes quantum confinement effects within the wires. The wires are connected together into a bundle to increase the power density.

  1. Heat Management in Thermoelectric Power Generators

    PubMed Central

    Zebarjadi, M.

    2016-01-01

    Thermoelectric power generators are used to convert heat into electricity. Like any other heat engine, the performance of a thermoelectric generator increases as the temperature difference on the sides increases. It is generally assumed that as more heat is forced through the thermoelectric legs, their performance increases. Therefore, insulations are typically used to minimize the heat losses and to confine the heat transport through the thermoelectric legs. In this paper we show that to some extend it is beneficial to purposely open heat loss channels in order to establish a larger temperature gradient and therefore to increase the overall efficiency and achieve larger electric power output. We define a modified Biot number (Bi) as an indicator of requirements for sidewall insulation. We show cooling from sidewalls increases the efficiency for Bi values less than one, and decreases the efficiency for Bi values larger than one. PMID:27033717

  2. LIGHTWEIGHT HIGH-POWER THERMOELECTRIC MODULE DEVELOPMENT.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    ELECTRIC POWER PRODUCTION), *GENERATORS), (*THERMOCOUPLES, (*MODULES(ELECTRONICS), THERMOCOUPLES), (*THERMOELECTRICITY, HEAT, ENERGY CONVERSION, SEEBECK EFFECT , BONDED JOINTS, SILICON ALLOYS, GERMANIUM ALLOYS, LEAD ALLOYS, TELLURIUM ALLOYS, METALLOGRAPHY, SPACECRAFT COMPONENTS, MANUFACTURING.

  3. Heat Management in Thermoelectric Power Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zebarjadi, M.

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Resolving thermoelectric “paradox” in superconductors

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Fraas, A.P.; Mills, C.B.

    1961-11-21

    A neutronic reactor in which neutron moderation is achieved primarily in its reflector is described. The reactor structure consists of a cylindrical central "island" of moderator and a spherical moderating reflector spaced therefrom, thereby providing an annular space. An essentially unmoderated liquid fuel is continuously passed through the annular space and undergoes fission while contained therein. The reactor, because of its small size, is particularly adapted for propulsion uses, including the propulsion of aircraft. (AEC)

  6. Thermoelectric materials and methods for synthesis thereof

    DOEpatents

    Ren, Zhifeng; Zhang, Qinyong; Zhang, Qian; Chen, Gang

    2015-08-04

    Materials having improved thermoelectric properties are disclosed. In some embodiments, lead telluride/selenide based materials with improved figure of merit and mechanical properties are disclosed. In some embodiments, the lead telluride/selenide based materials of the present disclosure are p-type thermoelectric materials formed by adding sodium (Na), silicon (Si) or both to thallium doped lead telluride materials. In some embodiments, the lead telluride/selenide based materials are formed by doping lead telluride/selenides with potassium.

  7. High-Temperature Thermoelectric Energy Conversion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, C.

    1987-01-01

    Theory of thermoelectric energy conversion at high temperatures and status of research on conversion materials reviewed in report. Shows highest values of thermoelectric figure of merit, Z, found in semiconductor materials. Semiconductors keep wide choice of elements and compounds. Electrical properties tailored to particular application by impurity doping and control of stoichiometry. Report develops definition of Z useful for comparing materials and uses it to evaluate potentials of different classes of materialsmetals, semiconductors, and insulators.

  8. Materials for high-temperature thermoelectric conversion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, R. S.; Elwell, D.; Auld, B. A.

    1984-01-01

    The development of materials for high temperature thermoelectric energy conversion devices was investigated. The development of new criteria for the selection of materials which is based on understanding of the fundamental principles governing the behavior of high temperature thermoelectric materials is discussed. The synthesis and characterization of promising new materials and the growth of single crystals to eliminate possible problems associated with grain boundaries and other defects in polycrystalline materials are outlined.

  9. REACTOR COOLING

    DOEpatents

    Quackenbush, C.F.

    1959-09-29

    A nuclear reactor with provisions for selectively cooling the fuel elements is described. The reactor has a plurality of tubes extending throughout. Cylindrical fuel elements are disposed within the tubes and the coolant flows through the tubes and around the fuel elements. The fuel elements within the central portion of the reactor are provided with roughened surfaces of material. The fuel elements in the end portions of the tubes within the reactor are provlded with low conduction jackets and the fuel elements in the region between the central portion and the end portions are provided with smooth surfaces of high heat conduction material.

  10. Superlattice Thermoelectric Materials and Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venkatasubramanian, Rama

    2002-03-01

    We have recently demonstrated a significant enhancement in thermoelectric figure-of-merit (ZT) at 300K, of about 2.4 in p-type Bi2Te3/Sb2Te3 superlattices, using the concept of phonon-blocking electron-transmitting superlattice structures [1]. The phonon blocking arises from a complex localization-like behavior for phonons in nano-structured superlattices and the electron transmission is facilitated by optimal choice of band-offsets in these semiconductor hetero-structures. We will also discuss the ZT 1.2 results in n-type Bi2Te3/Bi2Te3-xSex superlattices and our initial understanding on the reasons behind the less-than-dramatic performance of these materials compared to the p-type superlattices. Due to the high ZT of the material, devices potentially offer high coefficient of performance (COP) in solid-state refrigeration. The thin-film devices, resulting from rather simple microelectronic processing, allow high cooling power densities to be achieved for a variety of high-power electronic applications. We have obtained 32K and 40K sub-ambient cooling at 298K and 353K, respectively, in these superlattice micro-thermoelements with potential localized active-cooling power densities approaching 700 W/cm2. In addition to high-performance (in terms of COP) and power densities, these thin-film microdevices are also extremely fast-acting, within 10 microsec and about a factor of 23,000 better than bulk thermoelectric technology. Thus, these are of significance for preventing thermal run-away in high-power electronics. We will present results to demonstrate this concept with infrared imaging of cooling/heating with superlattice micro-devices. We will also discuss outstanding issues such as heat removal from the heat sink towards the full exploitation of this technology. In addition, we will compare the state-of-the-art with other thin-film superlattice materials and device concepts. [1] R. Venkatasubramanian, E. Siivola, T. Colpitts, and B.C. O’Quinn, Thin

  11. Electrostatic control of thermoelectricity in molecular junctions.

    PubMed

    Kim, Youngsang; Jeong, Wonho; Kim, Kyeongtae; Lee, Woochul; Reddy, Pramod

    2014-11-01

    Molecular junctions hold significant promise for efficient and high-power-output thermoelectric energy conversion. Recent experiments have probed the thermoelectric properties of molecular junctions. However, electrostatic control of thermoelectric properties via a gate electrode has not been possible due to technical challenges in creating temperature differentials in three-terminal devices. Here, we show that extremely large temperature gradients (exceeding 1 × 10(9) K m(-1)) can be established in nanoscale gaps bridged by molecules, while simultaneously controlling their electronic structure via a gate electrode. Using this platform, we study prototypical Au-biphenyl-4,4'-dithiol-Au and Au-fullerene-Au junctions to demonstrate that the Seebeck coefficient and the electrical conductance of molecular junctions can be simultaneously increased by electrostatic control. Moreover, from our studies of fullerene junctions, we show that thermoelectric properties can be significantly enhanced when the dominant transport orbital is located close to the chemical potential (Fermi level) of the electrodes. These results illustrate the intimate relationship between the thermoelectric properties and charge transmission characteristics of molecular junctions and should enable systematic exploration of the recent computational predictions that promise extremely efficient thermoelectric energy conversion in molecular junctions.

  12. TOPICAL REVIEW: Physics of thermoelectric cooling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurevich, Yu G.; Logvinov, G. N.

    2005-12-01

    A new approach is suggested to explain the Peltier effect. It assumes that the Peltier effect is not an isothermal effect. The approach is based on the occurrences of induced thermal fluxes in a structure which consists of two conducting media, through which a dc electric current flows. These induced thermal diffusion fluxes arise to compensate for the change in the thermal flux caused by the electric current (the drift thermal flux) flowing through the junction, in accordance with the general Le Châtelier-Braun principle. The occurrence of these thermal diffusion fluxes leads to temperature heterogeneity in the structure and, as a result, to a cooling or heating of the junction. Within the framework of this concept, the thermoelectric cooling is analysed. It is shown that in the general case the Peltier effect always occurs together with another thermoelectric effect. This thermoelectric effect is predicted for the first time, and we have called it the barrierless thermoelectric effect. Both these effects essentially depend on the junction surface thermal resistance. The Peltier effect disappears in the limiting case of a very large surface thermal resistance, while the barrierless effect disappears in the limiting case of a very small surface thermal resistance. The dependence of thermoelectric cooling on the geometrical dimensions of the structure is noted, and the corresponding interpretation of this fact is discussed. It is shown that the thermoelectric cooling (heating) is a thermodynamically reversible process in the linear approximation of the electric current applied.

  13. Thermoelectric Properties of Complex Oxide Heterostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cain, Tyler Andrew

    Thermoelectrics are a promising energy conversion technology for power generation and cooling systems. The thermal and electrical properties of the materials at the heart of thermoelectric devices dictate conversion efficiency and technological viability. Studying the fundamental properties of potentially new thermoelectric materials is of great importance for improving device performance and understanding the electronic structure of materials systems. In this dissertation, investigations on the thermoelectric properties of a prototypical complex oxide, SrTiO3, are discussed. Hybrid molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) is used to synthesize La-doped SrTiO3 thin films, which exhibit high electron mobilities and large Seebeck coefficients resulting in large thermoelectric power factors at low temperatures. Large interfacial electron densities have been observed in SrTiO3/RTiO 3 (R=Gd,Sm) heterostructures. The thermoelectric properties of such heterostructures are investigated, including the use of a modulation doping approach to control interfacial electron densities. Low-temperature Seebeck coefficients of extreme electron-density SrTiO3 quantum wells are shown to provide insight into their electronic structure.

  14. 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.

  15. Transient Thermoelectric Solution Employing Green's Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mackey, Jon; Sehirlioglu, Alp; Dynys, Fred

    2014-01-01

    The study works to formulate convenient solutions to the problem of a thermoelectric couple operating under a time varying condition. Transient operation of a thermoelectric will become increasingly common as thermoelectric technology permits applications in an increasing number of uses. A number of terrestrial applications, in contrast to steady-state space applications, can subject devices to time varying conditions. For instance thermoelectrics can be exposed to transient conditions in the automotive industry depending on engine system dynamics along with factors like driving style. In an effort to generalize the thermoelectric solution a Greens function method is used, so that arbitrary time varying boundary and initial conditions may be applied to the system without reformulation. The solution demonstrates that in thermoelectric applications of a transient nature additional factors must be taken into account and optimized. For instance, the materials specific heat and density become critical parameters in addition to the thermal mass of a heat sink or the details of the thermal profile, such as oscillating frequency. The calculations can yield the optimum operating conditions to maximize power output andor efficiency for a given type of device.

  16. Shielding considerations for advanced space nuclear reactor systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angelo, J. P., Jr.; Buden, D.

    To meet the anticipated future space power needs, the Los Alamos National Laboratory is developing components for a compact, 100 kW/sub e/-class heat pipe nuclear reactor. The reactor uses uranium dioxide (UO2) as its fuel, and is designed to operate around 1500 k. Heat pipes are used to remove thermal energy from the core without the use of pumps or compressors. The reactor heat pipes transfer mal energy to thermoelectric conversion elements that are advanced versions of the converters used on the enormously successful Voyager missions to the outer planets. Advanced versions of this heat pipe reactor could also be used to provide megawatt-level power plants. The status of this advanced heat pipe reactor is reviewed and the radiation environments and shielding requirements for representative manned and unmanned applications are explored.

  17. Shielding considerations for advanced space nuclear reactor systems

    SciTech Connect

    Angelo, J.P. Jr.; Buden, D.

    1982-01-01

    To meet the anticipated future space power needs, the Los Alamos National Laboratory is developing components for a compact, 100 kW/sub e/-class heat pipe nuclear reactor. The reactor uses uranium dioxide (UO/sub 2/) as its fuel, and is designed to operate around 1500 k. Heat pipes are used to remove thermal energy from the core without the use of pumps or compressors. The reactor heat pipes transfer mal energy to thermoelectric conversion elements that are advanced versions of the converters used on the enormously successful Voyager missions to the outer planets. Advanced versions of this heat pipe reactor could also be used to provide megawatt-level power plants. The paper reviews the status of this advanced heat pipe reactor and explores the radiation environments and shielding requirements for representative manned and unmanned applications.

  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

  19. Compact thermoelectric converter systems technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    A schematic of the developed tubular thermoelectric module is shown. It consists of alternate washers of n- and p-type lead telluride, separated by thin natural mica washers. Electrical continuity within the circuit is accomplished by cylindrical conductor rings located at the I.D. and O.D. of the lead telluride washers. The conductor rings are also separated by the same mica which separate the lead telluride washers. The result is a radially serpentine current path along the length of the module. The circuit is isolated from the structural claddings by thin sleeves of boron nitride. Circuit containment and heat transfer surfaces are provided by the inner and outer cladding, heat being transferred from a heat source at the inner clad, conducted radially outward through the lead telluride to the outer clad where the waste heat is removed by a heat rejection system.

  20. Thermoelectric properties of lanthanum sulfide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, C.; Lockwood, A.; Parker, J.; Zoltan, A.; Zoltan, D.

    1985-01-01

    The Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity, thermal conductivity, and Hall effect have been studied in gamma-phase La(3-x)S4(LaS/y/) for compositions with x in the range from 0.04 to 0.3 (y in the range from 1.35 to 1.48) in order to ascertain its suitability for high-temperature (300 to 1400 K) thermoelectric energy conversion. In this temperature and composition range the material behaves as an extrinsic semiconductor whose degenerate carrier concentration is controlled by the stoichiometric ratio of La to S. A maximum figure-of-merit (Z) of approximately 0.0005 per K at a composition x = 0.3, y = 1.48 (LaS/1.48/) was obtained.

  1. Interface scattering in polycrystalline thermoelectrics

    SciTech Connect

    Popescu, Adrian; Haney, Paul M.

    2014-03-28

    We study the effect of electron and phonon interface scattering on the thermoelectric properties of disordered, polycrystalline materials (with grain sizes larger than electron and phonons' mean free path). Interface scattering of electrons is treated with a Landauer approach, while that of phonons is treated with the diffuse mismatch model. The interface scattering is embedded within a diffusive model of bulk transport, and we show that, for randomly arranged interfaces, the overall system is well described by effective medium theory. Using bulk parameters similar to those of PbTe and a square barrier potential for the interface electron scattering, we identify the interface scattering parameters for which the figure of merit ZT is increased. We find the electronic scattering is generally detrimental due to a reduction in electrical conductivity; however, for sufficiently weak electronic interface scattering, ZT is enhanced due to phonon interface scattering.

  2. Network theory for inhomogeneous thermoelectrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angst, Sebastian; Wolf, Dietrich E.

    2016-04-01

    The Onsager-de Groot-Callen transport theory, implemented as a network model, is used to simulate the transient Harman method, which is widely used experimentally to determine all thermoelectric transport coefficients in a single measurement setup. It is shown that this method systematically overestimates the Seebeck coefficient for samples composed of two different materials. As a consequence, the figure of merit is also overestimated, if the thermal coupling of the measurement setup to the environment is weak. For a mixture of metal and semiconductor particles near metal percolation the figure of merit obtained by the Harman method is more than 100% too large. For a correct interpretation of the experimental data, information on composition and microstructure of the sample are indispensable.

  3. Thermoelectric material development. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Vandersande, J.W.; Allevato, C.; Caillat, T.

    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)As{sub 3}). Properties of n-type IrSb{sub 3}, CoSb{sub 3}, 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.

  4. Thermoelectric Corrections to Quantum Measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergfield, Justin; Ratner, Mark; Stafford, Charles; di Ventra, Massimiliano

    The voltage and temperature measured by a floating probe of a nonequilibrium quantum system is shown to exhibit nontrivial thermoelectric corrections at finite temperature. Using a realistic model of a scanning thermal microscope to calculate the voltage and temperature distributions, we predict quantum temperature variations along graphene nanoribbons subject to a thermal bias which are not simply related to the local density of states. Experimentally, the wavelength of the oscillations can be tuned over several orders of magnitude by gating/doping, bringing quantum temperature oscillations within reach of the spatial resolution of existing measurement techniques. We also find that the Peltier cooling/heating which causes the temperature oscillations can lead to significant errors in voltage measurements for a wide range of system.

  5. Structural design and manufacture of high packing density micro-thermoelectric power generators using thermoelectric films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wei; Jin, Yi-Teng; Zhu, Yan-Bing; Liao, Xia; Xu, Han; Li, Huan; Gao, Jian-Ping

    2011-05-01

    A new micro-thermoelectric power generator module with high packing density of film thermoelectric legs has been proposed, in which a large number of p-type and n-type thin-film thermoelectric legs are electrically connected in series. A theoretical model has been established to simulate the output voltage and power of the proposed module, and the results shows that much higher output voltage and output power can be obtained simply by integrating more film thermoelectric components. Based on the proposed module, a micro-thermoelectric power generator containing 160 film thermocouples is fabricated with a size of 25mm (length) × 4mm (width) × 1mm (thickness). Its open-circuit voltage, maximum output power and corresponding power density at a temperature difference of 20K are 630mV, 35.73μW and 357.3μW·cm-3, respectively.

  6. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Metcalf, H.E.; Johnson, H.W.

    1961-04-01

    BS>A nuclear reactor incorporating fuel rods passing through a moderator and including tubes of a material of higher Thermal conductivity than the fuel in contact with the fuel is described. The tubes extend beyond the active portion of the reactor into contant with a fiuld coolant.

  7. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Wigner, E.P.

    1958-04-22

    A nuclear reactor for isotope production is described. This reactor is designed to provide a maximum thermal neutron flux in a region adjacent to the periphery of the reactor rather than in the center of the reactor. The core of the reactor is generally centrally located with respect tn a surrounding first reflector, constructed of beryllium. The beryllium reflector is surrounded by a second reflector, constructed of graphite, which, in tune, is surrounded by a conventional thermal shield. Water is circulated through the core and the reflector and functions both as a moderator and a coolant. In order to produce a greatsr maximum thermal neutron flux adjacent to the periphery of the reactor rather than in the core, the reactor is designed so tbat the ratio of neutron scattering cross section to neutron absorption cross section averaged over all of the materials in the reflector is approximately twice the ratio of neutron scattering cross section to neutron absorption cross section averaged over all of the material of the core of the reactor.

  8. Compositional ordering and stability in nanostructured, bulk thermoelectric alloys.

    SciTech Connect

    Hekmaty, Michelle A.; Faleev, S.; Medlin, Douglas L.; Leonard, F.; Lensch-Falk, J.; Sharma, Peter Anand; Sugar, J. D.

    2009-09-01

    Thermoelectric materials have many applications in the conversion of thermal energy to electrical power and in solid-state cooling. One route to improving thermoelectric energy conversion efficiency in bulk material is to embed nanoscale inclusions. This report summarize key results from a recently completed LDRD project exploring the science underpinning the formation and stability of nanostructures in bulk thermoelectric and the quantitative relationships between such structures and thermoelectric properties.

  9. Direct Energy Conversion for Fast Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, N.; Cooper, J.; Vogt, D.; Chapline, G.; Turchi, P.; Barbee Jr., T.; Farmer, J.

    2000-07-01

    Thermoelectric generators (TEG) are a well-established technology for compact low power output long-life applications. Solid state TEGs are the technology of choice for many space missions and have also been used in remote earth-based applications. Since TEGs have no moving parts and can be hermetically sealed, there is the potential for nuclear reactor power systems using TEGs to be safe, reliable and resistant to proliferation. Such power units would be constructed in a manner that would provide decades of maintenance-free operation, thereby minimizing the possibility of compromising the system during routine maintenance operations. It should be possible to construct an efficient direct energy conversion cascade from an appropriate combination of solid-state thermoelectric generators, with each stage in the cascade optimized for a particular range of temperature. Performance of cascaded thermoelectric devices could be further enhanced by exploitation of compositionally graded p-n couples, as well as radial elements to maximize utilization of the heat flux. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena has recently reported segmented unicouples that operate between 300 and 975 K and have conversion efficiencies of 15 percent [Caillat, 2000]. TEGs are used in nuclear-fueled power sources for space exploration, in power sources for the military, and in electrical generators on diesel engines. Second, there is a wide variety of TE materials applicable to a broad range of temperatures. New materials may lead to new TEG designs with improved thermoelectric properties (i.e. ZT approaching 3) and significantly higher efficiencies than in designs using currently available materials. Computational materials science (CMS) has made sufficient progress and there is promise for using these techniques to reduce the time and cost requirements to develop such new TE material combinations. Recent advances in CMS, coupled with increased computational power afforded by the Accelerated

  10. Summary of space nuclear reactor power systems, 1983--1992

    SciTech Connect

    Buden, D.

    1993-08-11

    This report summarizes major developments in the last ten years which have greatly expanded the space nuclear reactor power systems technology base. In the SP-100 program, after a competition between liquid-metal, gas-cooled, thermionic, and heat pipe reactors integrated with various combinations of thermoelectric thermionic, Brayton, Rankine, and Stirling energy conversion systems, three concepts:were selected for further evaluation. In 1985, the high-temperature (1,350 K), lithium-cooled reactor with thermoelectric conversion was selected for full scale development. Since then, significant progress has been achieved including the demonstration of a 7-y-life uranium nitride fuel pin. Progress on the lithium-cooled reactor with thermoelectrics has progressed from a concept, through a generic flight system design, to the design, development, and testing of specific components. Meanwhile, the USSR in 1987--88 orbited a new generation of nuclear power systems beyond the, thermoelectric plants on the RORSAT satellites. The US has continued to advance its own thermionic fuel element development, concentrating on a multicell fuel element configuration. Experimental work has demonstrated a single cell operating time of about 1 1/2-y. Technology advances have also been made in the Stirling engine; an advanced engine that operates at 1,050 K is ready for testing. Additional concepts have been studied and experiments have been performed on a variety of systems to meet changing needs; such as powers of tens-to-hundreds of megawatts and highly survivable systems of tens-of-kilowatts power.

  11. Alternative Approaches to Group IV Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snedaker, Matthew Loren

    In the pursuit of energy efficiency, there is a demand for systems capable of recovering waste heat. A temperature gradient across a thermoelectric material results in the thermal diffusion of charge carriers from the hot side to the cold side, giving rise to a voltage that can be used to convert waste heat to electricity. Silicon germanium (SiGe) alloys are the standard materials used for thermoelectric generators at high temperatures. We report an alternative method for preparing p-type Si1- xGex alloys from a boron-doped silica-germania nanocomposite. This is the first demonstration of the thermoelectric properties of SiGe-based thermoelectrics prepared at temperatures below the alloy's melting point through a magnesiothermic reduction of the (SiO 2)1-x(GeO2) x. We observe a thermoelectric power factor that is competitive with the literature record for the conventionally prepared SiGe. The large grain size in our hot pressed SiGe limits the thermoelectric figure of merit to 0.5 at 800°C for an optimally doped p-type Si80Ge 20 alloy. A phosphorus-doped oxide can yield n-type Si1- xGex; however, the current processing method introduces a background boron content that compensates ~10% of the donor impurities and limits the thermoelectric power factor. Spark plasma sintering of the nano-Si1-xGe x yields a heterogeneous alloy with thermal conductivity lower than that of the hot pressed homogeneous alloy due to a reduction in the average crystallite size. Magnesiothermic reduction in the presence of molten salts allows some control over crystallite growth and the extent of Si-Ge alloying.

  12. High Temperature Thermoelectric Materials for Waste Heat Regeneration

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    producing such technologies as solar (photovoltaic and solar heating ), geothermal , biomass, and wind energy production. Unfortunately, these still...R.; Carr, D.W.G.; Jones, L. Thermoelectrics: From Space Power Systems to Terrestrial Waste Heat Recovery Appications. in 2011 Thermoelectrics...High Temperature Thermoelectric Materials for Waste Heat Regeneration by Horacio Nochetto, Patrick Taylor, and Jay R. Maddux ARL-TR-6311

  13. High three dimensional thermoelectric performance from low dimensional bands

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, David J; Chen, Xin; Parker, David S

    2013-01-01

    Reduced dimensionality has long been regarded as an important strategy for increasing thermoelectric performance, for example in superlattices and other engineered structures. Here we point out and illustrate by examples that three dimensional bulk materials can be made to behave as if they were two dimensional from the point of view of thermoelectric performance. Implications for the discovery of new practical thermoelectrics are discussed.

  14. Compact Reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, Pharis E.

    2007-01-30

    Weyl's Gauge Principle of 1929 has been used to establish Weyl's Quantum Principle (WQP) that requires that the Weyl scale factor should be unity. It has been shown that the WQP requires the following: quantum mechanics must be used to determine system states; the electrostatic potential must be non-singular and quantified; interactions between particles with different electric charges (i.e. electron and proton) do not obey Newton's Third Law at sub-nuclear separations, and nuclear particles may be much different than expected using the standard model. The above WQP requirements lead to a potential fusion reactor wherein deuterium nuclei are preferentially fused into helium nuclei. Because the deuterium nuclei are preferentially fused into helium nuclei at temperatures and energies lower than specified by the standard model there is no harmful radiation as a byproduct of this fusion process. Therefore, a reactor using this reaction does not need any shielding to contain such radiation. The energy released from each reaction and the absence of shielding makes the deuterium-plus-deuterium-to-helium (DDH) reactor very compact when compared to other reactors, both fission and fusion types. Moreover, the potential energy output per reactor weight and the absence of harmful radiation makes the DDH reactor an ideal candidate for space power. The logic is summarized by which the WQP requires the above conditions that make the prediction of DDH possible. The details of the DDH reaction will be presented along with the specifics of why the DDH reactor may be made to cause two deuterium nuclei to preferentially fuse to a helium nucleus. The presentation will also indicate the calculations needed to predict the reactor temperature as a function of fuel loading, reactor size, and desired output and will include the progress achieved to date.

  15. Space reactors. Progress report, October 1981-March 1982

    SciTech Connect

    Ranken, W.A.

    1983-01-01

    Progress in design studies and technology for the SP-100 Project - successor to the Space Power Advanced Reactor (SPAR) Project - is reported for the period October 1, 1981 to March 31, 1982. The basis for selecting a high-temperature, UO/sub 2/-fueled, heat-pipe-cooled reactor with a thermoelectric conversion system as the 100-kW/sub e/ reference design has been reviewed. Although no change has been made in the general concept, design studies have been done to investigate various reactor/conversion system coupling methods and core design modifications. Thermal and mechanical finite element modeling and three-dimensional Monte Carlo analysis of a core with individual finned fuel elements are reported. Studies of unrestrained fuel irradiation data are discussed that are relevant both to the core modeling work and to the design and fabrication of the first in-pile irradiation test, which is also reported. Work on lithium-filled core heat pipe development is described, including the attainment of 15.6 kW/sub t/ operation at 1525 K for a 2-m-long heat pipe with a 15.7-mm outside diameter. The successful operation of a 5.5-m-long, lightweight potassium/titanium heat pipe at 760 K is described, and test results of a thermoelectric module with GaP-modified SiGe thermoelectric elements are presented.

  16. NUCLEAR REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Moore, R.V.; Bowen, J.H.; Dent, K.H.

    1958-12-01

    A heterogeneous, natural uranium fueled, solid moderated, gas cooled reactor is described, in which the fuel elements are in the form of elongated rods and are dlsposed within vertical coolant channels ln the moderator symmetrically arranged as a regular lattice in groups. This reactor employs control rods which operate in vertical channels in the moderator so that each control rod is centered in one of the fuel element groups. The reactor is enclosed in a pressure vessel which ls provided with access holes at the top to facilitate loading and unloadlng of the fuel elements, control rods and control rod driving devices.

  17. Thermoelectric behavior of conducting polymers: On the possibility of off-diagonal thermoelectricity

    SciTech Connect

    Mateeva, N.; Testardi, L.; Niculescu, H. ||

    1998-12-01

    Non-cubic materials, when structurally aligned, possess sufficient anisotropy to exhibit thermoelectric effects where the electrical and thermal paths can be orthogonal due to off-diagonal thermoelectricity (ODTE). The authors discuss the benefits of this form of thermoelectricity for device applications and describe a search for suitable thermoelectric properties in the air-stable conducting polymers polyaniline and polypyrrole. They find, at 300K for diagonal (ordinary) thermoelectricity (DTE), the general correlation that the logarithm of the electrical conductivity varies linearly with the Seebeck coefficient on doping, but with a proportionality in excess of a prediction from theory. The correlation is unexpected in its universality and unfavorable in its consequences for applications in DTE and ODTE. A standard model suggests that conduction by carriers of both signs occurs in these polymers, which thus leads to reduced thermoelectric efficiency. They also discuss polyacetylene (which is not air-stable), where this ambipolar conduction does not occur, and where properties seem more favorable for thermoelectricity.

  18. Development of thermoelectric fibers for miniature thermoelectric devices

    DOE PAGES

    Ren, Fei; Menchhofer, Paul A.; Kiggans, Jr., James O.; ...

    2016-09-23

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

  19. Development of thermoelectric fibers for miniature thermoelectric devices

    SciTech Connect

    Ren, Fei; Menchhofer, Paul A.; Kiggans, Jr., James O.; Wang, Hsin

    2016-09-23

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

  20. Development of Thermoelectric Fibers for Miniature Thermoelectric Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  1. Determination of Thermoelectric Module Efficiency A Survey

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Expansion Compression Contacts for Thermoelectric Legs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakamoto, Jeffrey

    2009-01-01

    In a proposed alternative to previous approaches to making hot-shoe contacts to the legs of thermoelectric devices, one relies on differential thermal expansion to increase contact pressures for the purpose of reducing the electrical resistances of contacts as temperatures increase. The proposed approach is particularly applicable to thermoelectric devices containing p-type (positive-charge-carrier) legs made of a Zintl compound (specifically, Yb14MnSb11) and n-type (negative charge-carrier) legs made of SiGe. This combination of thermoelectric materials has been selected for further development, primarily on the basis of projected thermoelectric performance. However, it is problematic to integrate, into a practical thermoelectric device, legs made of these materials along with a metal or semiconductor hot shoe that is required to be in thermal and electrical contact with the legs. This is partly because of the thermal-expansion mismatch of these materials: The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of SiGe is 4.5 x 10(exp -6) C (exp -1), while the CTE of Yb14MnSb11 is 20 x 10(exp -6) C(exp -1). Simply joining a Yb14MnSb11 and a SiGe leg to a common hot shoe could be expected to result in significant thermal stresses in either or both legs during operation. Heretofore, such thermal stresses have been regarded as disadvantageous. In the proposed approach, stresses resulting from the CTE mismatch would be turned to advantage.

  3. Silicon Germanium Quantum Well Thermoelectrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, Anthony Lee, III

    Today's growing energy demands require new technologies to provide high efficiency clean energy. Thermoelectrics that convert heat to electrical energy directly can provide a method for the automobile industry to recover waste heat to power vehicle electronics, hence improving fuel economy. If large enough efficiencies can be obtained then the internal combustion engine could even be replaced. Exhaust temperature for automotive application range from 400 to 800 K. In this temperature range the current state of the art materials are bulk Si1-xGex alloys. By alternating layers of Si and Si1-xGex alloy device performance may be enhanced through quantum well effects and variations in material thermal properties. In this study, superlattices designed for in-plane operation with varying period and crystallinity are examined to determine the effect on electrical and thermal properties. In-plane electrical resistivity of these materials was found to be below the bulk material at a similar doping at room temperature, confirming the role of quantum wells in electron transport. As period is reduced in the structures boundary scattering limits electron propagation leading to increased resistivity. The Seebeck coefficient measured at room temperature is higher than the bulk material, additionally lending proof to the effects of quantum wells. When examining cross-plane operation the low doping in the Si layers of the device produce high resistivity resulting from boundary scattering. Thermal conductivity was measured from 77 K up to 674 K and shows little variation due to periodicity and temperature, however an order of magnitude reduction over bulk Si1-xGex is shown in all samples. A model is developed that suggests a combination of phonon dispersion effects and strong boundary scattering. Further study of the phonon dispersion effects was achieved through the examination of the heat capacity by combining thermal diffusivity with thermal conductivity. All superlattices show a

  4. NUCLEAR REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Miller, H.I.; Smith, R.C.

    1958-01-21

    This patent relates to nuclear reactors of the type which use a liquid fuel, such as a solution of uranyl sulfate in ordinary water which acts as the moderator. The reactor is comprised of a spherical vessel having a diameter of about 12 inches substantially surrounded by a reflector of beryllium oxide. Conventionnl control rods and safety rods are operated in slots in the reflector outside the vessel to control the operation of the reactor. An additional means for increasing the safety factor of the reactor by raising the ratio of delayed neutrons to prompt neutrons, is provided and consists of a soluble sulfate salt of beryllium dissolved in the liquid fuel in the proper proportion to obtain the result desired.

  5. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Anderson, H.L.

    1960-09-20

    A nuclear reactor is described comprising fissionable material dispersed in graphite blocks, helium filling the voids of the blocks and the spaces therebetween, and means other than the helium in thermal conductive contact with the graphite for removing heat.

  6. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Hurwitz, H. Jr.; Brooks, H.; Mannal, C.; Payne, J.H.; Luebke, E.A.

    1959-03-24

    A reactor of the heterogeneous, liquid cooled type is described. This reactor is comprised of a central region of a plurality of vertically disposed elongated tubes surrounded by a region of moderator material. The central region is comprised of a central core surrounded by a reflector region which is surrounded by a fast neutron absorber region, which in turn is surrounded by a slow neutron absorber region. Liquid sodium is used as the primary coolant and circulates through the core which contains the fuel elements. Control of the reactor is accomplished by varying the ability of the reflector region to reflect neutrons back into the core of the reactor. For this purpose the reflector is comprised of moderator and control elements having varying effects on reactivity, the control elements being arranged and actuated by groups to give regulation, shim, and safety control.

  7. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Fermi, E.

    1960-04-01

    A nuclear reactor is described consisting of blocks of graphite arranged in layers, natural uranium bodies disposed in holes in alternate layers of graphite blocks, and coolant tubes disposed in the layers of graphite blocks which do not contain uranium.

  8. NEUTRONIC REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Wigner, E.P.

    1960-11-22

    A nuclear reactor is described wherein horizontal rods of thermal- neutron-fissionable material are disposed in a body of heavy water and extend through and are supported by spaced parallel walls of graphite.

  9. REACTOR SHIELD

    DOEpatents

    Wigner, E.P.; Ohlinger, L.E.; Young, G.J.; Weinberg, A.M.

    1959-02-17

    Radiation shield construction is described for a nuclear reactor. The shield is comprised of a plurality of steel plates arranged in parallel spaced relationship within a peripheral shell. Reactor coolant inlet tubes extend at right angles through the plates and baffles are arranged between the plates at right angles thereto and extend between the tubes to create a series of zigzag channels between the plates for the circulation of coolant fluid through the shield. The shield may be divided into two main sections; an inner section adjacent the reactor container and an outer section spaced therefrom. Coolant through the first section may be circulated at a faster rate than coolant circulated through the outer section since the area closest to the reactor container is at a higher temperature and is more radioactive. The two sections may have separate cooling systems to prevent the coolant in the outer section from mixing with the more contaminated coolant in the inner section.

  10. NUCLEAR REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Sherman, J.; Sharbaugh, J.E.; Fauth, W.L. Jr.; Palladino, N.J.; DeHuff, P.G.

    1962-10-23

    A nuclear reactor incorporating seed and blanket assemblies is designed. Means are provided for obtaining samples of the coolant from the blanket assemblies and for varying the flow of coolant through the blanket assemblies. (AEC)

  11. 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).

  12. Alumina Paste Sublimation Suppression Barrier for Thermoelectric Device

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paik, Jong-Ah (Inventor); Caillat, Thierry (Inventor)

    2014-01-01

    Alumina as a sublimation suppression barrier for a Zintl thermoelectric material in a thermoelectric power generation device operating at high temperature, e.g. at or above 1000K, is disclosed. The Zintl thermoelectric material may comprise Yb.sub.14MnSb.sub.11. The alumina may be applied as an adhesive paste dried and cured on a substantially oxide free surface of the Zintl thermoelectric material and polished to a final thickness. The sublimation suppression barrier may be finalized by baking out the alumina layer on the Zintl thermoelectric material until it becomes substantially clogged with ytterbia.

  13. Improved thermoelectric cooling based on the Thomson effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, G. Jeffrey; Khanna, Raghav; Toberer, Eric S.; Heinz, Nicholas A.; Seifert, Wolfgang

    2016-05-01

    Traditional thermoelectric cooling relies on the Peltier effect which produces a temperature drop limited by the figure of merit, zT. This cooling limit is not required from classical thermodynamics but can be traced to problems of thermoelectric compatibility. Alternatively, if a thermoelectric cooler can be designed to achieve full thermoelectric compatibility, lower temperature can be achieved even if the zT is low. In such a device the Thomson effect plays an important role. We present the theoretical concept of a "Thomson cooler," for cryogenic cooling which is designed to maintain thermoelectric compatibility and we derive the requirements for the Seebeck coefficient.

  14. NUCLEAR REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Breden, C.R.; Dietrich, J.R.

    1961-06-20

    A water-soluble non-volatile poison may be introduced into a reactor to nullify excess reactivity. The poison is removed by passing a side stream of the water containing the soluble poison to an evaporation chamber. The vapor phase is returned to the reactor to decrease the concentration of soluble poison and the liquid phase is returned to increase the concentration of soluble poison.

  15. NEUTRONIC REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Vernon, H.C.

    1959-01-13

    A neutronic reactor of the heterogeneous, fluid cooled tvpe is described. The reactor is comprised of a pressure vessel containing the moderator and a plurality of vertically disposed channels extending in spaced relationship through the moderator. Fissionable fuel material is placed within the channels in spaced relationship thereto to permit circulation of the coolant fluid. Separate means are provided for cooling the moderator and for circulating a fluid coolant thru the channel elements to cool the fuel material.

  16. NUCLEAR REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Anderson, C.R.

    1962-07-24

    A fluidized bed nuclear reactor and a method of operating such a reactor are described. In the design means are provided for flowing a liquid moderator upwardly through the center of a bed of pellets of a nentron-fissionable material at such a rate as to obtain particulate fluidization while constraining the lower pontion of the bed into a conical shape. A smooth circulation of particles rising in the center and falling at the outside of the bed is thereby established. (AEC)

  17. NUCLEAR REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Grebe, J.J.

    1959-07-14

    High temperature reactors which are uniquely adapted to serve as the heat source for nuclear pcwered rockets are described. The reactor is comprised essentially of an outer tubular heat resistant casing which provides the main coolant passageway to and away from the reactor core within the casing and in which the working fluid is preferably hydrogen or helium gas which is permitted to vaporize from a liquid storage tank. The reactor core has a generally spherical shape formed entirely of an active material comprised of fissile material and a moderator material which serves as a diluent. The active material is fabricated as a gas permeable porous material and is interlaced in a random manner with very small inter-connecting bores or capillary tubes through which the coolant gas may flow. The entire reactor is divided into successive sections along the direction of the temperature gradient or coolant flow, each section utilizing materials of construction which are most advantageous from a nuclear standpoint and which at the same time can withstand the operating temperature of that particular zone. This design results in a nuclear reactor characterized simultaneously by a minimum critiral size and mass and by the ability to heat a working fluid to an extremely high temperature.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Thermoelectricity in natural and synthetic hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Brown, Brandon R; Hughes, Mary E; Russo, Clementina

    2004-09-01

    We describe a technique for measuring a Seebeck effect in gels and present data for three systems. Notably distinct signals are obtained for gel originating in the electrosensitive organs of marine sharks, synthetic collagen-based gel, and as a control, seawater, the gels' solvent. Only the gel of sharks shows a reversible thermoelectric signal. The difference between gel samples and seawater simply confirms that gels suppress mass transport. The difference between synthetic gel and the gel of sharks shows that the charged polymers of the shark gel restrict mass transport much more successfully than the polymers of the collagen gel, and we submit that this sort of ion localization is key to the emergence of thermoelectricity in a gelatinous substance. We compare the properties of the natural gel to those of established thermoelectrics.

  1. Heavily Doped PBSE with High Thermoelectric Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, G. Jeffrey (Inventor); Wang, Heng (Inventor); Pei, Yanzhong (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    The present invention discloses heavily doped PbSe with high thermoelectric performance. Thermoelectric property measurements disclosed herein indicated that PbSe is high zT material for mid-to-high temperature thermoelectric applications. At 850 K a peak zT (is) greater than 1.3 was observed when n(sub H) approximately 1.0 X 10(exp 20) cm(exp -3). The present invention also discloses that a number of strategies used to improve zT of PbTe, such as alloying with other elements, nanostructuring and band modification may also be used to further improve zT in PbSe.

  2. The thermoelectric working fluid: Thermodynamics and transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benenti, Giuliano; Ouerdane, Henni; Goupil, Christophe

    2016-12-01

    Thermoelectric devices are heat engines, which operate as generators or refrigerators using the conduction electrons as a working fluid. The thermoelectric heat-to-work conversion efficiency has always been typically quite low, but much effort continues to be devoted to the design of new materials boasting improved transport properties that would make them of the electron crystal-phonon glass type of systems. On the other hand, there are comparatively few studies where a proper thermodynamic treatment of the electronic working fluid is proposed. The present article aims at contributing to bridge this gap by addressing both the thermodynamic and transport properties of the thermoelectric working fluid covering a variety of models, including interacting systems.

  3. Fiber-based flexible thermoelectric power generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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 μV K per thermocouple junction is measured for Ni-Ag thin films, and a maximum power of 2 nW for 7 couples at Δ T = 6.6 K is measured. Heat transfer analysis is used to project performance for several other material systems, with a predicted power output of 1 μW per couple for Bi 2Te 3/Sb 2Te 3-based fiber coatings with a hot junction temperature of 100 °C. Considering the performance of woven thermoelectric cloths or fiber composites, relevant properties and dimensions of individual thermoelectric fibers are optimized.

  4. 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 η = 0.273 %.

  5. Method of operating a thermoelectric generator

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, Michael G; Cowgill, Joshua D

    2013-11-05

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

  6. 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.

  7. Functional theories of thermoelectric phenomena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eich, F. G.; Di Ventra, M.; Vignale, G.

    2017-02-01

    We review the progress that has been recently made in the application of time-dependent density functional theory to thermoelectric phenomena. As the field is very young, we emphasize open problems and fundamental issues. We begin by introducing the formal structure of thermal density functional theory, a density functional theory with two basic variables—the density and the energy density—and two conjugate fields—the ordinary scalar potential and Luttinger’s thermomechanical potential. The static version of this theory is contrasted with the familiar finite-temperature density functional theory, in which only the density is a variable. We then proceed to constructing the full time-dependent non equilibrium theory, including the practically important Kohn-Sham equations that go with it. The theory is shown to recover standard results of the Landauer theory for thermal transport in the steady state, while showing greater flexibility by allowing a description of fast thermal response, temperature oscillations and related phenomena. Several results are presented here for the first time, i.e. the proof of invertibility of the thermal response function in the linear regime, the full expression of the thermal currents in the presence of Luttinger’s thermomechanical potential, an explicit prescription for the evaluation of the Kohn-Sham potentials in the adiabatic local density approximation, a detailed discussion of the leading dissipative corrections to the adiabatic local density approximation and the thermal corrections to the resistivity that follow from it.

  8. Method of Suppressing Sublimation in Advanced Thermoelectric Devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakamoto, Jeffrey S. (Inventor); Caillat, Thierry (Inventor); Fleurial, Jean-Pierre (Inventor); Snyder, G. Jeffrey (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    A method of applying a physical barrier to suppress thermal decomposition near a surface of a thermoelectric material including applying a continuous metal foil to a predetermined portion of the surface of the thermoelectric material, physically binding the continuous metal foil to the surface of the thermoelectric material using a binding member, and heating in a predetermined atmosphere the applied and physically bound continuous metal foil and the thermoelectric material to a sufficient temperature in order to promote bonding between the continuous metal foil and the surface of the thermoelectric material. The continuous metal foil forms a physical barrier to enclose a predetermined portion of the surface. Thermal decomposition is suppressed at the surface of the thermoelectric material enclosed by the physical barrier when the thermoelectric element is in operation.

  9. Holey Silicon as an Efficient Thermoelectric Material

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Jinyao; Wang, Hung-Ta; Hyun Lee, Dong; Fardy, Melissa; Huo, Ziyang; Russell, Thomas P.; Yang, Peidong

    2010-09-30

    This work investigated the thermoelectric properties of thin silicon membranes that have been decorated with high density of nanoscopic holes. These ?holey silicon? (HS) structures were fabricated by either nanosphere or block-copolymer lithography, both of which are scalable for practical device application. By reducing the pitch of the hexagonal holey pattern down to 55 nm with 35percent porosity, the thermal conductivity of HS is consistently reduced by 2 orders of magnitude and approaches the amorphous limit. With a ZT value of 0.4 at room temperature, the thermoelectric performance of HS is comparable with the best value recorded in silicon nanowire system.

  10. Compatibility of Segments of Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, G. Jeffrey; Ursell, Tristan

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Transport in charged colloids driven by thermoelectricity.

    PubMed

    Würger, Alois

    2008-09-05

    We study the thermal diffusion coefficient D{T} of a charged colloid in a temperature gradient, and find that it is to a large extent determined by the thermoelectric response of the electrolyte solution. The thermally induced salinity gradient leads in general to a strong increase with temperature. The difference of the heat of transport of coions and counterions gives rise to a thermoelectric field that drives the colloid to the cold or to the warm, depending on the sign of its charge. Our results provide an explanation for recent experimental findings on thermophoresis in colloidal suspensions.

  12. Chiral Thermoelectrics with Quantum Hall Edge States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez, Rafael; Sothmann, Björn; Jordan, Andrew N.

    2015-04-01

    The thermoelectric properties of a three-terminal quantum Hall conductor are investigated. We identify a contribution to the thermoelectric response that relies on the chirality of the carrier motion rather than on spatial asymmetries. The Onsager matrix becomes maximally asymmetric with configurations where either the Seebeck or the Peltier coefficients are zero while the other one remains finite. Reversing the magnetic field direction exchanges these effects, which originate from the chiral nature of the quantum Hall edge states. The possibility to generate spin-polarized currents in quantum spin Hall samples is discussed.

  13. Efficient thermoelectric van der Pauw measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Boor, Johannes; Schmidt, Volker

    2011-07-01

    The development of powerful thermoelectric materials requires fast and simple characterization techniques. We combine three measurements to obtain a complete thermoelectric characterization. The electrical conductivity is measured by the van der Pauw method, while ZT is determined directly by means of a Harman measurement. Finally, exploiting the analogy between electrical and thermal physics, a thermal van der Pauw measurement is performed and the sample Seebeck coefficient and thermal conductivity can be determined. No temperature differences need to be measured; all quantities can be deduced from voltage measurements concurrently on the same sample which allows for quick and convenient material screening.

  14. Alkaline earth filled nickel skutterudite antimonide thermoelectrics

    DOEpatents

    Singh, David Joseph

    2013-07-16

    A thermoelectric material including a body centered cubic filled skutterudite having the formula A.sub.xFe.sub.yNi.sub.zSb.sub.12, where A is an alkaline earth element, x is no more than approximately 1.0, and the sum of y and z is approximately equal to 4.0. The alkaline earth element includes guest atoms selected from the group consisting of Be, Mb, Ca, Sr, Ba, Ra and combinations thereof. The filled skutterudite is shown to have properties suitable for a wide variety of thermoelectric applications.

  15. Thermoelectric Nanowire Arrays Response to Illumination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, Tito; Scott, Reum; Johnson, Scott; Brower, Tina; Nikolaeva, Albina; Konopko, Leonid

    Bismuth nanowire arrays configured on devices where they are capped with a transparent indium tin oxide electrode generate electric power when exposed to light. The arrays feature poor optical reflectivity and, possibly, light trapping. We show experimental results that indicate that the arrays respond to illumination owing to the thermoelectric conversion of heat absorbed at the surface. The unique features of the energy pathway are manifested through a strong temporal and photon wavelength dependence of the photoresponse. Energy conversion in thermoelectrics with light trapping surfaces is a path to fast infrared light detection and across-the-spectrum solar energy harvesting.

  16. Vaporizable Scaffolds for Fabricating Thermoelectric Modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakamoto, Jeffrey; Yen, Shiao-pin; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Paik, Jong-Ah

    2006-01-01

    A process for fabricating thermoelectric modules with vacuum gaps separating the thermoelectric legs has been conceived, and the feasibility of some essential parts of the process has been demonstrated. The vacuum gaps are needed to electrically insulate the legs from each other. The process involves the use of scaffolding in the form of sheets of a polymer to temporarily separate the legs by the desired distance, which is typically about 0.5 mm. During a bonding subprocess that would take place in a partial vacuum at an elevated temperature, the polymer would be vaporized, thereby creating the vacuum gaps.

  17. Thermoelectric power generator with intermediate loop

    DOEpatents

    Bell, Lon E; Crane, Douglas Todd

    2013-05-21

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

  18. Thermoelectric power generator with intermediate loop

    DOEpatents

    Bel,; Lon E.; Crane, Douglas Todd

    2009-10-27

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

  19. Chiral thermoelectrics with quantum Hall edge states.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Rafael; Sothmann, Björn; Jordan, Andrew N

    2015-04-10

    The thermoelectric properties of a three-terminal quantum Hall conductor are investigated. We identify a contribution to the thermoelectric response that relies on the chirality of the carrier motion rather than on spatial asymmetries. The Onsager matrix becomes maximally asymmetric with configurations where either the Seebeck or the Peltier coefficients are zero while the other one remains finite. Reversing the magnetic field direction exchanges these effects, which originate from the chiral nature of the quantum Hall edge states. The possibility to generate spin-polarized currents in quantum spin Hall samples is discussed.

  20. Peltier coefficient measurement in a thermoelectric module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garrido, Javier; Casanovas, Alejandro; María Chimeno, José

    2013-09-01

    A new method for measuring the Peltier coefficient in a thermocouple X/Y based on the energy balance at the junction has been proposed recently. This technique needs only the hot and cold temperatures of a thermoelectric module when an electric current flows through it as the operational variables. The temperature evolutions of the two module sides provide an evident and accurate idea of the Peltier effect. From these temperatures, the heat transfer between the module and the ambient is also evaluated. The thermoelectric phenomena are described in the framework of an observable theory. Based on this procedure, an experiment is presented for a university teaching laboratory at the undergraduate level.

  1. Optimal Number of Thermoelectric Couples in a Heat Pipe Assisted Thermoelectric Generator for Waste Heat Recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Tongjun; Wang, Tongcai; Luan, Weiling; Cao, Qimin

    2017-01-01

    Waste heat recovery through thermoelectric generators is a promising way to improve energy conversion efficiency. This paper proposes a type of heat pipe assisted thermoelectric generator (HP-TEG) system. The expandable evaporator and condenser surface of the heat pipe facilitates the intensive assembly of thermoelectric (TE) modules to compose a compact device. Compared with a conventional layer structure thermoelectric generator, this system is feasible for the installment of more TE couples, thus increasing power output. To investigate the performance of the HP-TEG and the optimal number of TE couples, a theoretical model was presented and verified by experiment results. Further theoretical analysis results showed the performance of the HP-TEG could be further improved by optimizing the parameters, including the inlet air temperature, the thermal resistance of the heating section, and thermal resistance of the cooling structure. Moreover, applying a proper number of TE couples is important to acquire the best power output performance.

  2. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Ohlinger, L.A.; Wigner, E.P.; Weinberg, A.M.; Young, G.J.

    1958-09-01

    This patent relates to neutronic reactors of the heterogeneous water cooled type, and in particular to a fuel element charging and discharging means therefor. In the embodiment illustrated the reactor contains horizontal, parallel coolant tubes in which the fuel elements are disposed. A loading cart containing a magnzine for holding a plurality of fuel elements operates along the face of the reactor at the inlet ends of the coolant tubes. The loading cart is equipped with a ram device for feeding fuel elements from the magazine through the inlot ends of the coolant tubes. Operating along the face adjacent the discharge ends of the tubes there is provided another cart means adapted to receive irradiated fuel elements as they are forced out of the discharge ends of the coolant tubes by the incoming new fuel elements. This cart is equipped with a tank coataining a coolant, such as water, into which the fuel elements fall, and a hydraulically operated plunger to hold the end of the fuel element being discharged. This inveation provides an apparatus whereby the fuel elements may be loaded into the reactor, irradiated therein, and unloaded from the reactor without stopping the fiow of the coolant and without danger to the operating personnel.

  3. POWER REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Zinn, W.H.

    1958-07-01

    A fast nuclear reactor system ls described for producing power and radioactive isotopes. The reactor core is of the heterogeneous, fluid sealed type comprised of vertically arranged elongated tubular fuel elements having vertical coolant passages. The active portion is surrounded by a neutron reflector and a shield. The system includes pumps and heat exchangers for the primary and secondary coolant circuits. The core, primary coolant pump and primary heat exchanger are disposed within an irapenforate tank which is filled with the primary coolant, in this case a liquid metal such as Na or NaK, to completely submerge these elements. The tank is completely surrounded by a thick walled concrete shield. This reactor system utilizes enriched uranium or plutonium as the fissionable material, uranium or thorium as a diluent and thorium or uranium containing less than 0 7% of the U/sup 235/ isotope as a fertile material.

  4. REACTOR CONTROL

    DOEpatents

    Fortescue, P.; Nicoll, D.

    1962-04-24

    A control system employed with a high pressure gas cooled reactor in which a control rod is positioned for upward and downward movement into the neutron field from a position beneath the reactor is described. The control rod is positioned by a coupled piston cylinder releasably coupled to a power drive means and the pressurized coolant is directed against the lower side of the piston. The coolant pressure is offset by a higher fiuid pressure applied to the upper surface of the piston and means are provided for releasing the higher pressure on the upper side of the piston so that the pressure of the coolant drives the piston upwardly, forcing the coupled control rod into the ncutron field of the reactor. (AEC)

  5. Bioconversion reactor

    DOEpatents

    McCarty, Perry L.; Bachmann, Andre

    1992-01-01

    A bioconversion reactor for the anaerobic fermentation of organic material. The bioconversion reactor comprises a shell enclosing a predetermined volume, an inlet port through which a liquid stream containing organic materials enters the shell, and an outlet port through which the stream exits the shell. A series of vertical and spaced-apart baffles are positioned within the shell to force the stream to flow under and over them as it passes from the inlet to the outlet port. The baffles present a barrier to the microorganisms within the shell causing them to rise and fall within the reactor but to move horizontally at a very slow rate. Treatment detention times of one day or less are possible.

  6. NUCLEAR REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Christy, R.F.

    1958-07-15

    A nuclear reactor of the homogeneous liquid fuel type is described wherein the fissionable isotope is suspended or dissolved in a liquid moderator such as water. The reactor core is comprised essentially of a spherical vessel for containing the reactive composition surrounded by a reflector, preferably of beryllium oxide. The reactive composition may be an ordinary water solution of a soluble salt of uranium, the quantity of fissionable isotope in solution being sufficient to provide a critical mass in the vessel. The liquid fuel is stored in a tank of non-crtttcal geometry below the reactor vessel and outside of the reflector and is passed from the tank to the vessel through a pipe connecting the two by air pressure means. Neutron absorbing control and safety rods are operated within slots in the reflector adjacent to the vessel.

  7. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Metcalf, H.E.

    1957-10-01

    A reactor of the type which preferably uses plutonium as the fuel and a liquid moderator, preferably ordinary water, and which produces steam within the reactor core due to the heat of the chain reaction is described. In the reactor shown the fuel elements are essentially in the form of trays and are ventically stacked in spaced relationship. The water moderator is continuously supplied to the trays to maintain a constant level on the upper surfaces of the fuel element as it is continually evaporated by the heat. The steam passes out through the spaces between the fuel elements and is drawn off at the top of the core. The fuel elements are clad in aluminum to prevent deterioration thereof with consequent contamimation of the water.

  8. NEUTRONIC REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Wigner, E.P.; Young, G.J.

    1958-10-14

    A method is presented for loading and unloading rod type fuel elements of a neutronic reactor of the heterogeneous, solld moderator, liquid cooled type. In the embodiment illustrated, the fuel rods are disposed in vertical coolant channels in the reactor core. The fuel rods are loaded and unloaded through the upper openings of the channels which are immersed in the coolant liquid, such as water. Unloading is accomplished by means of a coffer dam assembly having an outer sleeve which is placed in sealing relation around the upper opening. A radiation shield sleeve is disposed in and reciprocable through the coffer dam sleeve. A fuel rod engaging member operates through the axial bore in the radiation shield sleeve to withdraw the fuel rod from its position in the reactor coolant channel into the shield, the shield snd rod then being removed. Loading is accomplished in the reverse procedure.

  9. Catalytic reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Aaron, Timothy Mark; Shah, Minish Mahendra; Jibb, Richard John

    2009-03-10

    A catalytic reactor is provided with one or more reaction zones each formed of set(s) of reaction tubes containing a catalyst to promote chemical reaction within a feed stream. The reaction tubes are of helical configuration and are arranged in a substantially coaxial relationship to form a coil-like structure. Heat exchangers and steam generators can be formed by similar tube arrangements. In such manner, the reaction zone(s) and hence, the reactor is compact and the pressure drop through components is minimized. The resultant compact form has improved heat transfer characteristics and is far easier to thermally insulate than prior art compact reactor designs. Various chemical reactions are contemplated within such coil-like structures such that as steam methane reforming followed by water-gas shift. The coil-like structures can be housed within annular chambers of a cylindrical housing that also provide flow paths for various heat exchange fluids to heat and cool components.

  10. Thermoelectric devices and applications for the same

    SciTech Connect

    DeSteese, John G; Olsen, Larry C; Martin, Peter M

    2010-12-14

    High performance thin film thermoelectric couples and methods of making the same are disclosed. Such couples allow fabrication of at least microwatt to watt-level power supply devices operating at voltages greater than one volt even when activated by only small temperature differences.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Interference enhanced thermoelectricity in quinoid type structures

    SciTech Connect

    Strange, M. Solomon, G. C.; Seldenthuis, J. S.; Verzijl, C. J. O.; Thijssen, J. M.

    2015-02-28

    Quantum interference (QI) effects in molecular junctions may be used to obtain large thermoelectric responses. We study the electrical conductance G and the thermoelectric response of a series of molecules featuring a quinoid core using density functional theory, as well as a semi-empirical interacting model Hamiltonian describing the π-system of the molecule which we treat in the GW approximation. Molecules with a quinoid type structure are shown to have two distinct destructive QI features close to the frontier orbital energies. These manifest themselves as two dips in the transmission, that remain separated, even when either electron donating or withdrawing side groups are added. We find that the position of the dips in the transmission and the frontier molecular levels can be chemically controlled by varying the electron donating or withdrawing character of the side groups as well as the conjugation length inside the molecule. This feature results in a very high thermoelectric power factor S{sup 2}G and figure of merit ZT, where S is the Seebeck coefficient, making quinoid type molecules potential candidates for efficient thermoelectric devices.

  14. Interference enhanced thermoelectricity in quinoid type structures.

    PubMed

    Strange, M; Seldenthuis, J S; Verzijl, C J O; Thijssen, J M; Solomon, G C

    2015-02-28

    Quantum interference (QI) effects in molecular junctions may be used to obtain large thermoelectric responses. We study the electrical conductance G and the thermoelectric response of a series of molecules featuring a quinoid core using density functional theory, as well as a semi-empirical interacting model Hamiltonian describing the π-system of the molecule which we treat in the GW approximation. Molecules with a quinoid type structure are shown to have two distinct destructive QI features close to the frontier orbital energies. These manifest themselves as two dips in the transmission, that remain separated, even when either electron donating or withdrawing side groups are added. We find that the position of the dips in the transmission and the frontier molecular levels can be chemically controlled by varying the electron donating or withdrawing character of the side groups as well as the conjugation length inside the molecule. This feature results in a very high thermoelectric power factor S(2)G and figure of merit ZT, where S is the Seebeck coefficient, making quinoid type molecules potential candidates for efficient thermoelectric devices.

  15. 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.

  16. Molybdenum oxide electrodes for thermoelectric generators

    DOEpatents

    Schmatz, Duane J.

    1989-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Titanium nitride electrodes for thermoelectric generators

    DOEpatents

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

    1987-12-22

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

  19. Thermoelectric devices and applications for the same

    DOEpatents

    Olsen, Larry C.; DeSteese, John G.; Martin, Peter M.; Johnston, John W.; Peters, Timothy J.

    2016-03-08

    High performance thin film thermoelectric couples and methods of making the same are disclosed. Such couples allow fabrication of at least microwatt to watt-level power supply devices operating at voltages greater than one volt even when activated by only small temperature differences.

  20. Development of advanced thermoelectric materials, phase A

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

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

  1. Thermoelectric Generators used as Cryogenic Heat Engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1997-03-01

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

  2. Copper ion liquid-like thermoelectrics.

    PubMed

    Liu, Huili; Shi, Xun; Xu, Fangfang; Zhang, Linlin; Zhang, Wenqing; Chen, Lidong; Li, Qiang; Uher, Ctirad; Day, Tristan; Snyder, G Jeffrey

    2012-03-11

    Advanced thermoelectric technology offers a potential for converting waste industrial heat into useful electricity, and an emission-free method for solid state cooling. Worldwide efforts to find materials with thermoelectric figure of merit, zT values significantly above unity, are frequently focused on crystalline semiconductors with low thermal conductivity. Here we report on Cu(2-x)Se, which reaches a zT of 1.5 at 1,000 K, among the highest values for any bulk materials. Whereas the Se atoms in Cu(2-x)Se form a rigid face-centred cubic lattice, providing a crystalline pathway for semiconducting electrons (or more precisely holes), the copper ions are highly disordered around the Se sublattice and are superionic with liquid-like mobility. This extraordinary 'liquid-like' behaviour of copper ions around a crystalline sublattice of Se in Cu(2-x)Se results in an intrinsically very low lattice thermal conductivity which enables high zT in this otherwise simple semiconductor. This unusual combination of properties leads to an ideal thermoelectric material. The results indicate a new strategy and direction for high-efficiency thermoelectric materials by exploring systems where there exists a crystalline sublattice for electronic conduction surrounded by liquid-like ions.

  3. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Fermi, E.; Szilard, L.

    1957-09-24

    Reactors of the type employing plates of natural uranium in a moderator are discussed wherein the plates are um-formly disposed in parallel relationship to each other thereby separating the moderator material into distinct and individual layers. Each plate has an uninterrupted sunface area substantially equal to the cross-sectional area of the active portion of the reactor, the particular size of the plates and the volume ratio of moderator to uranium required to sustain a chain reaction being determinable from the known purity of these materials and other characteristics such as the predictable neutron losses due to the formation of radioactive elements of extremely high neutron capture cross section.

  4. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Wigner, E.P.; Weinberg, A.W.; Young, G.J.

    1958-04-15

    A nuclear reactor which uses uranium in the form of elongated tubes as fuel elements and liquid as a coolant is described. Elongated tubular uranium bodies are vertically disposed in an efficient neutron slowing agent, such as graphite, for example, to form a lattice structure which is disposed between upper and lower coolant tanks. Fluid coolant tubes extend through the uranium bodies and communicate with the upper and lower tanks and serve to convey the coolant through the uranium body. The reactor is also provided with means for circulating the cooling fluid through the coolant tanks and coolant tubes, suitable neutron and gnmma ray shields, and control means.

  5. Current Pulses Momentarily Enhance Thermoelectric Cooling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, G. Jeffrey; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Caillat, Thierry; Chen, Gang; Yang, Rong Gui

    2004-01-01

    The rates of cooling afforded by thermoelectric (Peltier) devices can be increased for short times by applying pulses of electric current greater than the currents that yield maximum steady-state cooling. It has been proposed to utilize such momentary enhancements of cooling in applications in which diode lasers and other semiconductor devices are required to operate for times of the order of milliseconds at temperatures too low to be easily obtainable in the steady state. In a typical contemplated application, a semiconductor device would be in contact with the final (coldest) somewhat taller stage of a multistage thermoelectric cooler. Steady current would be applied to the stages to produce steady cooling. Pulsed current would then be applied, enhancing the cooling of the top stage momentarily. The principles of operation are straightforward: In a thermoelectric device, the cooling occurs only at a junction at one end of the thermoelectric legs, at a rate proportional to the applied current. However, Joule heating occurs throughout the device at a rate proportional to the current squared. Hence, in the steady state, the steady temperature difference that the device can sustain increases with current only to the point beyond which the Joule heating dominates. If a pulse of current greater than the optimum current (the current for maximum steady cooling) is applied, then the junction becomes momentarily cooled below its lowest steady temperature until thermal conduction brings the resulting pulse of Joule heat to the junction and thereby heats the junction above its lowest steady temperature. A theoretical and experimental study of such transient thermoelectric cooling followed by transient Joule heating in response to current pulses has been performed. The figure presents results from one of the experiments. The study established the essential parameters that characterize the pulse cooling effect, including the minimum temperature achieved, the maximum

  6. Simulations for the Development of Thermoelectric Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  7. Nanoscale thermal and thermoelectric transport in silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryu, Hyuk Ju

    Hotspots on microchips are a major challenge for the semiconductor industry. To understand heat conduction from hotspots on silicon, measurements of the thermal resistance and transfer function have been performed using patterned nanoheater/sensor pairs with width from 100 nm up to 5000 nm at temperature range of 30 ˜ 300 K. Calculations of the thermal resistance based on a simple thermal model, considering resistances by spreading, interface, and localized heating match with the measurements. The results reveal several important trends indicating the prevalence of localized heating or sub-continuum transport phenomena in the vicinity of a nanoscale hotspot. Thermoelectric cooling is a possible solution to cope with the hotspot issue. Silicon, in a nanostructured form, is an interesting thermoelectric material, because of significantly reduced thermal conductivity. However, further improvement in thermoelectric efficiency is highly desirable. Thermopower measurements of silicon nanoribbons with an integrated gate have been performed. The gate in the device is used to provide strong carrier confinement and enable tunability of the carrier density over a wide range, which is fully compatible with conventional silicon processing and microelectronics. It therefore offers a promising alternative to doping when considering the thermoelectric engineering of nanostructures. An enhancement of thermoelectric power factor has been observed in silicon nanoribbons. This enhancement can be understood by considering its behavior as a function of carrier density. We identify the underlying mechanisms for the power factor in the nanoribbon, which include quantum confinement, low scattering due to the absence of dopants, and, at low temperatures, a significant phonon drag contribution.

  8. Enhanced thermoelectric performance of rough silicon nanowires.

    PubMed

    Hochbaum, Allon I; Chen, Renkun; Delgado, Raul Diaz; Liang, Wenjie; Garnett, Erik C; Najarian, Mark; Majumdar, Arun; Yang, Peidong

    2008-01-10

    Approximately 90 per cent of the world's power is generated by heat engines that use fossil fuel combustion as a heat source and typically operate at 30-40 per cent efficiency, such that roughly 15 terawatts of heat is lost to the environment. Thermoelectric modules could potentially convert part of this low-grade waste heat to electricity. Their efficiency depends on the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT of their material components, which is a function of the Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity, thermal conductivity and absolute temperature. Over the past five decades it has been challenging to increase ZT > 1, since the parameters of ZT are generally interdependent. While nanostructured thermoelectric materials can increase ZT > 1 (refs 2-4), the materials (Bi, Te, Pb, Sb, and Ag) and processes used are not often easy to scale to practically useful dimensions. Here we report the electrochemical synthesis of large-area, wafer-scale arrays of rough Si nanowires that are 20-300 nm in diameter. These nanowires have Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity values that are the same as doped bulk Si, but those with diameters of about 50 nm exhibit 100-fold reduction in thermal conductivity, yielding ZT = 0.6 at room temperature. For such nanowires, the lattice contribution to thermal conductivity approaches the amorphous limit for Si, which cannot be explained by current theories. Although bulk Si is a poor thermoelectric material, by greatly reducing thermal conductivity without much affecting the Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity, Si nanowire arrays show promise as high-performance, scalable thermoelectric materials.

  9. Ion beam irradiation effect on thermoelectric properties of Bi2Te3 and Sb2Te3 thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Gaosheng; Zuo, Lei; Lian, Jie; Wang, Yongqiang; Chen, Jie; Longtin, Jon; Xiao, Zhigang

    2015-09-01

    Thermoelectric energy harvesting is a very promising application in nuclear power plants for self-maintained wireless sensors. However, the effects of intensive radiation on the performance of thermoelectric materials under relevant reactor environments such as energetic neutrons are not fully understood. In this work, radiation effects of bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) and antimony telluride (Sb2Te3) thermoelectric thin film samples prepared by E-beam evaporation are investigated using Ne2+ ion irradiations at different fluences of 5 × 1014, 1015, 5 × 1015 and 1016 ions/cm2 with the focus on the transport and structural properties. Electrical conductivities, Seebeck coefficients and power factors are characterized as ion fluence changes. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of the samples are obtained to assess how phase and microstructure influence the transport properties. Carrier concentration and Hall mobility are obtained from Hall effect measurements, which provide further insight into the electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient mechanisms. Positive effects of ion irradiations from Ne2+ on thermoelectric material property are observed to increase the power factor to 208% for Bi2Te3 and 337% for Sb2Te3 materials between fluence of 1 and 5 × 1015 cm2, due to the increasing of the electrical conductivity as a result of ionization radiation-enhanced crystallinity. However, under a higher fluence, 5 × 1015 cm2 in this case, the power factor starts to decrease accordingly, limiting the enhancements of thermoelectric materials properties under intensive radiation environment.

  10. Neutronic reactor

    DOEpatents

    Wende, Charles W. J.

    1976-08-17

    A safety rod for a nuclear reactor has an inner end portion having a gamma absorption coefficient and neutron capture cross section approximately equal to those of the adjacent shield, a central portion containing materials of high neutron capture cross section and an outer end portion having a gamma absorption coefficient at least equal to that of the adjacent shield.

  11. Neutronic reactor

    DOEpatents

    Carleton, John T.

    1977-01-25

    A graphite-moderated nuclear reactor includes channels between blocks of graphite and also includes spacer blocks between adjacent channeled blocks with an axis of extension normal to that of the axis of elongation of the channeled blocks to minimize changes in the physical properties of the graphite as a result of prolonged neutron bombardment.

  12. Sonochemical Reactors.

    PubMed

    Gogate, Parag R; Patil, Pankaj N

    2016-10-01

    Sonochemical reactors are based on the generation of cavitational events using ultrasound and offer immense potential for the intensification of physical and chemical processing applications. The present work presents a critical analysis of the underlying mechanisms for intensification, available reactor configurations and overview of the different applications exploited successfully, though mostly at laboratory scales. Guidelines have also been presented for optimum selection of the important operating parameters (frequency and intensity of irradiation, temperature and liquid physicochemical properties) as well as the geometric parameters (type of reactor configuration and the number/position of the transducers) so as to maximize the process intensification benefits. The key areas for future work so as to transform the successful technique at laboratory/pilot scale into commercial technology have also been discussed. Overall, it has been established that there is immense potential for sonochemical reactors for process intensification leading to greener processing and economic benefits. Combined efforts from a wide range of disciplines such as material science, physics, chemistry and chemical engineers are required to harness the benefits at commercial scale operation.

  13. NEUTRONIC REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Anderson, H.L.

    1958-10-01

    The design of control rods for nuclear reactors are described. In this design the control rod consists essentially of an elongated member constructed in part of a neutron absorbing material and having tube means extending therethrough for conducting a liquid to cool the rod when in use.

  14. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Creutz, E.C.; Ohlinger, L.A.; Weinberg, A.M.; Wigner, E.P.; Young, G.J.

    1959-10-27

    BS>A reactor cooled by water, biphenyl, helium, or other fluid with provision made for replacing the fuel rods with the highest plutonium and fission product content without disassembling the entire core and for promptly cooling the rods after their replacement in order to prevent build-up of heat from fission product activity is described.

  15. Automotive Thermoelectric Waste Heat Recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meisner, Gregory P.

    2015-03-01

    Considerable fuel energy, as much as 70%, is not converted to useful work by internal combustion engines but is instead rejected as waste heat, and more than half of the waste heat, nearly 40% of fuel energy, is contained in vehicle exhaust gas. This provides an opportunity to recover some of the wasted fuel energy and convert it from heat into useful work, subject to the laws of thermodynamics, and thereby improve vehicle energy efficiency. Thermoelectric (TE) materials have been extensively researched and TE devices are now being developed for operation at high temperatures corresponding to automotive exhaust gases for direct solid-state conversion of heat into electricity. This has stimulated substantial progress in the development of practical TE generator (TEG) systems for large-scale commercialization. A significant enabler of this progress has been the US Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program through funding for low cost solutions for automotive TE waste heat recovery to improve fuel economy. Our current project at General Motors has culminated in the identification of the potential supply chain for all components and assembly of an automotive TEG. A significant focus has been to develop integrated and iterative modeling tools for a fully optimized TEG design that includes all components and subsystems (TE modules, heat exchangers, thermal interfaces, electrical interconnects, power conditioning, and vehicle integration for maximal use of TEG power). We have built and tested a new, low-cost Initial TEG prototype based on state-of-the-art production-scale skutterudite TE modules, novel heat exchanger designs, and practical solutions to the many technical challenges for optimum TEG performance. We will use the results for our Initial TEG prototype to refine our modeling and design tools for a Final automotive TEG system prototype. Our recent results will be presented. Thanks to: J.R. Salvador, E.R. Gundlach, D. Thompson, N.K. Bucknor, M

  16. Thermoelectricity in atom-sized junctions at room temperatures

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Morikawa, Takanori; Arima, Akihide; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2013-01-01

    Atomic and molecular junctions are an emerging class of thermoelectric materials that exploit quantum confinement effects to obtain an enhanced figure of merit. An important feature in such nanoscale systems is that the electron and heat transport become highly sensitive to the atomic configurations. Here we report the characterization of geometry-sensitive thermoelectricity in atom-sized junctions at room temperatures. We measured the electrical conductance and thermoelectric power of gold nanocontacts simultaneously down to the single atom size. We found junction conductance dependent thermoelectric voltage oscillations with period 2e2/h. We also observed quantum suppression of thermovoltage fluctuations in fully-transparent contacts. These quantum confinement effects appeared only statistically due to the geometry-sensitive nature of thermoelectricity in the atom-sized junctions. The present method can be applied to various nanomaterials including single-molecules or nanoparticles and thus may be used as a useful platform for developing low-dimensional thermoelectric building blocks. PMID:24270238

  17. Enhanced Thermoelectric Power in Dual-Gated Bilayer Graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Chang-Ran; Lu, Wen-Sen; Hao, Lei; Lee, Wei-Li; Lee, Ting-Kuo; Lin, Feng; Cheng, I.-Chun; Chen, Jian-Zhang

    2011-10-01

    The thermoelectric power of a material, typically governed by its band structure and carrier density, can be varied by chemical doping that is often restricted by solubility of the dopant. Materials showing large thermoelectric power are useful for many industrial applications, such as the heat-to-electricity conversion and the thermoelectric cooling device. Here we show a full electric-field tuning of thermoelectric power in a dual-gated bilayer graphene device resulting from the opening of a band gap by applying a perpendicular electric field on bilayer graphene. We uncover a large enhancement in thermoelectric power at a low temperature, which may open up a new possibility in low temperature thermoelectric application using graphene-based device.

  18. Enhanced thermoelectric power in dual-gated bilayer graphene.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chang-Ran; Lu, Wen-Sen; Hao, Lei; Lee, Wei-Li; Lee, Ting-Kuo; Lin, Feng; Cheng, I-Chun; Chen, Jian-Zhang

    2011-10-28

    The thermoelectric power of a material, typically governed by its band structure and carrier density, can be varied by chemical doping that is often restricted by solubility of the dopant. Materials showing large thermoelectric power are useful for many industrial applications, such as the heat-to-electricity conversion and the thermoelectric cooling device. Here we show a full electric-field tuning of thermoelectric power in a dual-gated bilayer graphene device resulting from the opening of a band gap by applying a perpendicular electric field on bilayer graphene. We uncover a large enhancement in thermoelectric power at a low temperature, which may open up a new possibility in low temperature thermoelectric application using graphene-based device.

  19. Thermoelectricity in atom-sized junctions at room temperatures.

    PubMed

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Morikawa, Takanori; Arima, Akihide; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2013-11-25

    Atomic and molecular junctions are an emerging class of thermoelectric materials that exploit quantum confinement effects to obtain an enhanced figure of merit. An important feature in such nanoscale systems is that the electron and heat transport become highly sensitive to the atomic configurations. Here we report the characterization of geometry-sensitive thermoelectricity in atom-sized junctions at room temperatures. We measured the electrical conductance and thermoelectric power of gold nanocontacts simultaneously down to the single atom size. We found junction conductance dependent thermoelectric voltage oscillations with period 2e(2)/h. We also observed quantum suppression of thermovoltage fluctuations in fully-transparent contacts. These quantum confinement effects appeared only statistically due to the geometry-sensitive nature of thermoelectricity in the atom-sized junctions. The present method can be applied to various nanomaterials including single-molecules or nanoparticles and thus may be used as a useful platform for developing low-dimensional thermoelectric building blocks.

  20. Designing high-performance layered thermoelectric materials through orbital engineering

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jiawei; Song, Lirong; Madsen, Georg K. H.; Fischer, Karl F. F.; Zhang, Wenqing; Shi, Xun; Iversen, Bo B.

    2016-01-01

    Thermoelectric technology, which possesses potential application in recycling industrial waste heat as energy, calls for novel high-performance materials. The systematic exploration of novel thermoelectric materials with excellent electronic transport properties is severely hindered by limited insight into the underlying bonding orbitals of atomic structures. Here we propose a simple yet successful strategy to discover and design high-performance layered thermoelectric materials through minimizing the crystal field splitting energy of orbitals to realize high orbital degeneracy. The approach naturally leads to design maps for optimizing the thermoelectric power factor through forming solid solutions and biaxial strain. Using this approach, we predict a series of potential thermoelectric candidates from layered CaAl2Si2-type Zintl compounds. Several of them contain nontoxic, low-cost and earth-abundant elements. Moreover, the approach can be extended to several other non-cubic materials, thereby substantially accelerating the screening and design of new thermoelectric materials. PMID:26948043

  1. Performance of Novel Thermoelectric Cooling Module Depending on Geometrical Factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Derebasi, Naim; Eltez, Muhammed; Guldiken, Fikret; Sever, Aziz; Kallis, Klaus; Kilic, Halil; Ozmutlu, Emin N.

    2015-06-01

    A geometrical shape factor was investigated for optimum thermoelectric performance of a thermoelectric module using finite element analysis. The cooling power, electrical energy consumption, and coefficient of performance were analyzed using simulation with different current values passing through the thermoelectric elements for varying temperature differences between the two sides. A dramatic increase in cooling power density was obtained, since it was inversely proportional to the length of the thermoelectric legs. An artificial neural network model for each thermoelectric property was also developed using input-output relations. The models including the shape factor showed good predictive capability and agreement with simulation results. The correlation of the models was found to be 99%, and the overall prediction error was in the range of 1.5% and 1.0%, which is within acceptable limits. A thermoelectric module was produced based on the numerical results and was shown to be a promising device for use in cooling systems.

  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. Novel Transition Metal Compounds with Promising Thermoelectric Properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

    Progress in the search for new high temperature thermoelectric materials at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is reviewed. Novel transition metal compounds were selected as potential new high performance thermoelectric materials and criteria of selection are presented and discussed. Samples of these new compounds were prepared at JPL by a variety of techniques. Encouraging experimental results obtained on several of these compounds are reported and show that they have the potential to be the next generation of thermoelectric materials.

  4. Reactor Lithium Heat Pipes for HP-STMCs Space Reactor Power System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tournier, Jean-Michel; El-Genk, Mohamed S.

    2004-02-01

    Design and performance analysis of the nuclear reactor's lithium heat pipes for a 110-kWe Heat Pipes-Segmented Thermoelectric Module Converters (HP-STMCs) Space Reactor Power system (SRPS) are presented. The evaporator length of the heat pipes is the same as the active core height (0.45 m) and the C-C finned condenser is of the same length as the STMC panels (1.5 m). The C-C finned condenser section is radiatively coupled to the collector shoes of the STMCs placed on both sides. The lengths of the adiabatic section, the values of the power throughput and the evaporator wall temperature depend on the radial location of the heat pipe in the reactor core and the number and dimensions of the potassium heat pipes in the heat rejection radiator. The reactor heat pipes have a total length that varies from 7.57 to 7.73 m, and a 0.2 mm thick Mo-14%Re wick with an average pore radius of 12 μm. The wick is separated from the Mo-14%Re wall by a 0.5 mm annulus filled with liquid lithium, to raise the prevailing capillary limit. The nominal evaporator (or reactor) temperature varies from 1513 to 1591 K and the thermal power of the reactor is 1.6 MW, which averages 12.7 kW for each of the 126 reactor heat pipes. The power throughput per heat pipe increase to a nominal 15.24 kW at the location of the peak power in the core and to 20.31 kW when an adjacent heat pipe fails. The prevailing capillary limit of the reactor heat pipes is 28.3 kW, providing a design margin >= 28%.

  5. Printable Graphene-based Thermoelectric Device with High Temperature Capability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Tian; Chen, Yanan; Drew, Dennis; Hu, Liangbing; NanomaterialsEmerging Devices Collaboration

    Thermoelectric devices are of particular interest due to their capability to convert heat into electrical power. We demonstrate the use of a Graphene-based thermoelectric device that can generate output voltages of hundreds of millivolts with an illuminating Graphene strip as the blackbody source. Our proposed device is superior for thermoelectric conversion mainly due to its high temperature capability that yields a maximum Carnot efficiency limit of 90% (referenced to room temperature) and a high Seebeck coefficient. Our device is also macroscopic with good mechanical strength and stabilized performance, making it attractive for large scale and reliable thermoelectric devices.

  6. Anomalous thermoelectricity in strained Bi2Te3 films.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yucong; Chen, Jiadong; Deng, Huiyong; Hu, Gujin; Zhu, Daming; Dai, Ning

    2016-09-07

    Bi2Te3-based alloys have been intensively used for thermoelectric coolers and generators due to their high Seebeck coefficient S. So far, efforts to improve the S have been made mostly on changing the structures and components. Herein, we demonstrate an anomalous thermoelectricity in strained Bi2Te3 films, i.e., the value of S is obviously changed after reversing the direction of temperature gradient. Further theoretical and experimental analysis shows that it originates from the coupling of thermoelectric and flexoelectric effects caused by a stress gradient. Our finding provides a new avenue to adjust the S of Bi2Te3-based thermoelectric materials through flexoelectric polarization.

  7. Anomalous thermoelectricity in strained Bi2Te3 films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yucong; Chen, Jiadong; Deng, Huiyong; Hu, Gujin; Zhu, Daming; Dai, Ning

    2016-09-01

    Bi2Te3-based alloys have been intensively used for thermoelectric coolers and generators due to their high Seebeck coefficient S. So far, efforts to improve the S have been made mostly on changing the structures and components. Herein, we demonstrate an anomalous thermoelectricity in strained Bi2Te3 films, i.e., the value of S is obviously changed after reversing the direction of temperature gradient. Further theoretical and experimental analysis shows that it originates from the coupling of thermoelectric and flexoelectric effects caused by a stress gradient. Our finding provides a new avenue to adjust the S of Bi2Te3-based thermoelectric materials through flexoelectric polarization.

  8. Perspective: n-type oxide thermoelectrics via visual search strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xing, Guangzong; Sun, Jifeng; Ong, Khuong P.; Fan, Xiaofeng; Zheng, Weitao; Singh, David J.

    2016-05-01

    We discuss and present search strategies for finding new thermoelectric compositions based on first principles electronic structure and transport calculations. We illustrate them by application to a search for potential n-type oxide thermoelectric materials. This includes a screen based on visualization of electronic energy isosurfaces. We report compounds that show potential as thermoelectric materials along with detailed properties, including SrTiO3, which is a known thermoelectric, and appropriately doped KNbO3 and rutile TiO2.

  9. NUCLEAR REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Treshow, M.

    1958-08-19

    A neuclear reactor is described of the heterogeneous type and employing replaceable tubular fuel elements and heavy water as a coolant and moderator. A pluraltty of fuel tubesa having their axes parallel, extend through a tank type pressure vessel which contatns the liquid moderator. The fuel elements are disposed within the fuel tubes in the reaetive portion of the pressure vessel during normal operation and the fuel tubes have removable plug members at each end to permit charging and discharging of the fuel elements. The fuel elements are cylindrical strands of jacketed fissionable material having helical exterior ribs. A bundle of fuel elements are held within each fuel tube with their longitudinal axes parallel, the ribs serving to space them apart along their lengths. Coolant liquid is circulated through the fuel tubes between the spaced fuel elements. Suitable control rod and monitoring means are provided for controlling the reactor.

  10. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Wade, E.J.

    1958-09-16

    This patent relates to a reflector means for a neutronic reactor. A reflector comprised of a plurality of vertically movable beryllium control members is provided surrounding the sides of the reactor core. An absorber of fast neutrons comprised of natural uramum surrounds the reflector. An absorber of slow neutrons surrounds the absorber of fast neutrons and is formed of a plurality of beryllium blocks having natural uranium members distributcd therethrough. in addition, a movable body is positioned directly below the core and is comprised of a beryllium reflector and an absorbing member attached to the botiom thereof, the absorbing member containing a substance selected from the goup consisting of natural urantum and Th/sup 232/.

  11. NUCLEAR REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Grebe, J.J.

    1959-12-15

    A reactor which is particularly adapted tu serve as a heat source for a nuclear powered alrcraft or rocket is described. The core of this reactor consists of a porous refractory modera;or body which is impregnated with fissionable nuclei. The core is designed so that its surface forms tapered inlet and outlet ducts which are separated by the porous moderator body. In operation a gaseous working fluid is circulated through the inlet ducts to the surface of the moderator, enters and passes through the porous body, and is heated therein. The hot gas emerges into the outlet ducts and is available to provide thrust. The principle advantage is that tremendous quantities of gas can be quickly heated without suffering an excessive pressure drop.

  12. Nuclear reactor

    DOEpatents

    Wade, Elman E.

    1979-01-01

    A nuclear reactor including two rotatable plugs and a positive top core holddown structure. The top core holddown structure is divided into two parts: a small core cover, and a large core cover. The small core cover, and the upper internals associated therewith, are attached to the small rotating plug, and the large core cover, with its associated upper internals, is attached to the large rotating plug. By so splitting the core holddown structures, under-the-plug refueling is accomplished without the necessity of enlarging the reactor pressure vessel to provide a storage space for the core holddown structure during refueling. Additionally, the small and large rotating plugs, and their associated core covers, are arranged such that the separation of the two core covers to permit rotation is accomplished without the installation of complex lifting mechanisms.

  13. REACTOR UNLOADING

    DOEpatents

    Leverett, M.C.

    1958-02-18

    This patent is related to gas cooled reactors wherein the fuel elements are disposed in vertical channels extending through the reactor core, the cooling gas passing through the channels from the bottom to the top of the core. The invention is a means for unloading the fuel elements from the core and comprises dump values in the form of flat cars mounted on wheels at the bottom of the core structure which support vertical stacks of fuel elements. When the flat cars are moved, either manually or automatically, for normal unloading purposes, or due to a rapid rise in the reproduction ratio within the core, the fuel elements are permtted to fall by gravity out of the core structure thereby reducing the reproduction ratio or stopping the reaction as desired.

  14. NUCLEAR REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Koch, L.J.; Rice, R.E. Jr.; Denst, A.A.; Rogers, A.J.; Novick, M.

    1961-12-01

    An active portion assembly for a fast neutron reactor is described wherein physical distortions resulting in adverse changes in the volume-to-mass ratio are minimized. A radially expandable locking device is disposed within a cylindrical tube within each fuel subassembly within the active portion assembly, and clamping devices expandable toward the center of the active portion assembly are disposed around the periphery thereof. (AEC)

  15. Neutronic reactor

    DOEpatents

    Lewis, Warren R.

    1978-05-30

    A graphite-moderated, water-cooled nuclear reactor including a plurality of rectangular graphite blocks stacked in abutting relationship in layers, alternate layers having axes which are normal to one another, alternate rows of blocks in alternate layers being provided with a channel extending through the blocks, said channeled blocks being provided with concave sides and having smaller vertical dimensions than adjacent blocks in the same layer, there being nuclear fuel in the channels.

  16. NUCLEAR REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Grebe, J.J.

    1961-01-24

    A core structure for neutronic reactors adapted for the propulsion of aircraft and rockets is offered. The core is designed for cooling by gaseous media, and comprises a plurality of hollow tapered tubular segments of a porous moderating material impregniated with fissionable fuel nested about a common axis. Alternate ends of the segments are joined. In operation a coolant gas passes through the porous structure and is heated.

  17. NUCLEAR REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Long, E.; Ashby, J.W.

    1958-09-16

    ABS>A graphite moderator structure is presented for a nuclear reactor compriscd of an assembly of similarly orientated prismatic graphite blocks arranged on spaced longitudinal axes lying in common planes wherein the planes of the walls of the blocks are positioned so as to be twisted reintive to the planes of said axes so thatthe unlmpeded dtrect paths in direction wholly across the walls of the blocks are limited to the width of the blocks plus spacing between the blocks.

  18. System statistical reliability model and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lekach, V. S.; Rood, H.

    1973-01-01

    A digital computer code was developed to simulate the time-dependent behavior of the 5-kwe reactor thermoelectric system. The code was used to determine lifetime sensitivity coefficients for a number of system design parameters, such as thermoelectric module efficiency and degradation rate, radiator absorptivity and emissivity, fuel element barrier defect constant, beginning-of-life reactivity, etc. A probability distribution (mean and standard deviation) was estimated for each of these design parameters. Then, error analysis was used to obtain a probability distribution for the system lifetime (mean = 7.7 years, standard deviation = 1.1 years). From this, the probability that the system will achieve the design goal of 5 years lifetime is 0.993. This value represents an estimate of the degradation reliability of the system.

  19. REACTOR CONTROL

    DOEpatents

    Ruano, W.J.

    1957-12-10

    This patent relates to nuclear reactors of the type which utilize elongited rod type fuel elements immersed in a liquid moderator and shows a design whereby control of the chain reaction is obtained by varying the amount of moderator or reflector material. A central tank for containing liquid moderator and fuel elements immersed therein is disposed within a surrounding outer tank providing an annular space between the two tanks. This annular space is filled with liquid moderator which functions as a reflector to reflect neutrons back into the central reactor tank to increase the reproduction ratio. Means are provided for circulating and cooling the moderator material in both tanks and additional means are provided for controlling separately the volume of moderator in each tank, which latter means may be operated automatically by a neutron density monitoring device. The patent also shows an arrangement for controlling the chain reaction by injecting and varying an amount of poisoning material in the moderator used in the reflector portion of the reactor.

  20. Improving Thermoelectric Properties of Nanowires Through Inhomogeneity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González, J. Eduardo; Sánchez, Vicenta; Wang, Chumin

    2016-10-01

    Inhomogeneity in nanowires can be present in the cross-section and/or by breaking the translational symmetry along the nanowire. In particular, the quasiperiodicity introduces an unusual class of electronic and phononic transport with a singular continuous eigenvalue spectrum and critically localized wave functions. In this work, the thermoelectricity in periodic and quasiperiodically segmented nanobelts and nanowires is addressed within the Boltzmann formalism by using a real-space renormalization plus convolution method developed for the Kubo-Greenwood formula, in which tight-binding and Born models are, respectively, used for the calculation of electric and lattice thermal conductivities. For periodic nanowires, we observe a maximum of the thermoelectric figure-of-merit (ZT) in the temperature space, as occurred in the carrier concentration space. This maximum ZT can be improved by introducing into nanowires periodically arranged segments and an inhomogeneous cross-section. Finally, the quasiperiodically segmented nanowires reveal an even larger ZT in comparison with the periodic ones.

  1. Thermoelectric Properties of Solution Synthesized Nanostructured Materials.

    PubMed

    Finefrock, Scott W; Yang, Haoran; Fang, Haiyu; Wu, Yue

    2015-01-01

    Thermoelectric nanocomposites made by solution synthesis and compression of nanostructured chalcogenides could potentially be low-cost, scalable alternatives to traditional solid-state synthesized materials. We review the progress in this field by comparing the power factor and/or the thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, of four classes of materials: (Bi,Sb)2(Te,Se)3, PbTe, ternary and quaternary copper chalcogenides, and silver chalcogenides. We also discuss the thermal conductivity reduction associated with multiphased nanocomposites. The ZT of the best solution synthesized materials are, in several cases, shown to be equal to or greater than the corresponding bulk materials despite the generally reduced mobility associated with solution synthesized nanocomposites. For the solution synthesized materials with the highest performance, the synthesis and processing conditions are summarized to provide guidance for future work.

  2. Nanocomposites with high thermoelectric figures of merit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Gang (Inventor); Ren, Zhifeng (Inventor); Dresselhaus, Mildred (Inventor)

    2008-01-01

    The present invention is generally directed to nanocomposite thermoelectric materials that exhibit enhanced thermoelectric properties. The nanocomposite materials include two or more components, with at least one of the components forming nano-sized structures within the composite material. The components are chosen such that thermal conductivity of the composite is decreased without substantially diminishing the composite's electrical conductivity. Suitable component materials exhibit similar electronic band structures. For example, a band-edge gap between at least one of a conduction band or a valence band of one component material and a corresponding band of the other component material at interfaces between the components can be less than about 5k.sub.BT, wherein k.sub.B is the Boltzman constant and T is an average temperature of said nanocomposite composition.

  3. A thermoelectric heat engine with ultracold atoms.

    PubMed

    Brantut, Jean-Philippe; Grenier, Charles; Meineke, Jakob; Stadler, David; Krinner, Sebastian; Kollath, Corinna; Esslinger, Tilman; Georges, Antoine

    2013-11-08

    Thermoelectric effects, such as the generation of a particle current by a temperature gradient, have their origin in a reversible coupling between heat and particle flows. These effects are fundamental probes for materials and have applications to cooling and power generation. Here, we demonstrate thermoelectricity in a fermionic cold atoms channel in the ballistic and diffusive regimes, connected to two reservoirs. We show that the magnitude of the effect and the efficiency of energy conversion can be optimized by controlling the geometry or disorder strength. Our observations are in quantitative agreement with a theoretical model based on the Landauer-Büttiker formalism. Our device provides a controllable model system to explore mechanisms of energy conversion and realizes a cold atom-based heat engine.

  4. Thermoelectric effects in topological crystalline insulators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rameshti, Babak Zare; Asgari, Reza

    2016-11-01

    We investigate the electrical conductivity and thermoelectric effects in topological crystalline insulators in the presence of short- and long-range impurity interactions. We employ the generalized Boltzmann formalism for anisotropic Fermi surface systems. The conductivity exhibits a local minimum as doping varies owing to the Van Hove singularity in the density of states originated from the saddle point in the surface states' band structure. Suppression of the interband scattering of the charge carriers at high-energy Dirac points results in a maximum in the electrical conductivity. Whenever the Fermi level passes an extremum in the conductivity, the Seebeck coefficient changes sign. In addition, it is revealed that profound thermoelectric effects can be attained around these extrema points.

  5. Transport in Old and New Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, David

    2012-02-01

    There is increasing interest in thermoelectric materials motivated in part by recent progress and in part by the potential of these materials in various energy technologies. Thermoelectric performance is a multiply contra-indicated property of matter. For example, it requires (1) high thermopower and high electrical conductivity, (2) high electrical conductivity and low thermal conductivity and (3) low thermal conductivity and high melting point. The key is finding an optimal balance. In this talk, I discuss some of the issues involved in the context of recent results. These include the surprising doping dependence of the thermopower in PbTe and PbSe, and the interplay between acoustic and optical phonons in PbTe. The potential of some new materials is discussed. This work was done in collaboration with David Parker, Olivier Delaire and Mao-Hua Du.

  6. Large thermoelectric effect in ballistic Andreev interferometers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalenkov, Mikhail S.; Zaikin, Andrei D.

    2017-01-01

    Employing quasiclassical theory of superconductivity combined with Keldysh technique we investigate large thermoelectric effect in multiterminal ballistic normal-superconducting hybrid structures. We argue that this effect is caused by electron-hole asymmetry generated by coherent Andreev reflection of quasiparticles at interfaces of two different superconductors with nonzero phase difference. Within our model we derive a general expression for thermoelectric voltages VT 1 ,2 induced in two different normal terminals exposed to a thermal gradient. Our results apply at any temperature difference in the subgap regime and allow us to explicitly analyze both temperature and phase dependencies of VT 1 ,2, demonstrating that in general there exists no fundamental relation between these voltages and the equilibrium Josephson current in superconducting-normal-superconducting junction.

  7. Enclosure for thermoelectric refrigerator and method

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Park, Brian V. (Inventor); McGrath, Ralph D. (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    An enclosed structure is provided for use with a refrigerator having a door assembly. The enclosed structure preferably contains superinsulation materials and a plurality of matching drawers. The enclosed structure preferably includes corner joints which minimize thermal energy transfer between adjacent superinsulation panels. The refrigerator may include a cooling system having a thermoelectric device for maintaining the temperature within the refrigerator at selected values. If desired, a fluid cooling system and an active gasket may also be provided between the door assembly and the enclosed structure. The fluid cooling system preferably includes a second thermoelectric device to maintain the temperature of fluid flowing through the active gasket at a selected value. The drawers associated with the refrigerator may be used for gathering, processing, shipping and storing food or other perishable items.

  8. Thermoelectric integrated membrane evaporation water recovery technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1982-01-01

    The recently developed Thermoelectric Integrated Membrane Evaporation Subsystem (TIMES) offers a highly competitive approach to water recovery from waste fluids for future on-orbit stations such as the Space Operations Center. Low power, compactness and gravity insensitive operation are featured in this vacuum distillation subsystem that combines a hollow fiber membrane evaporator with a thermoelectric heat pump. The hollow fiber elements provide positive liquid/gas phase control with no moving parts other than pumps and an accumulator, thus solving problems inherent in other reclamation subsystem designs. In an extensive test program, over 850 hours of operation were accumulated during which time high quality product water was recovered from both urine and wash water at an average steady state production rate of 2.2 pounds per hour.

  9. Nanocomposites with high thermoelectric figures of merit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Gang (Inventor); Dresselhaus, Mildred (Inventor); Ren, Zhifeng (Inventor)

    2012-01-01

    The present invention is generally directed to nanocomposite thermoelectric materials that exhibit enhanced thermoelectric properties. The nanocomposite materials include two or more components, with at least one of the components forming nano-sized structures within the composite material. The components are chosen such that thermal conductivity of the composite is decreased without substantially diminishing the composite's electrical conductivity. Suitable component materials exhibit similar electronic band structures. For example, a band-edge gap between at least one of a conduction band or a valence band of one component material and a corresponding band of the other component material at interfaces between the components can be less than about 5k.sub.BT, wherein k.sub.B is the Boltzman constant and T is an average temperature of said nanocomposite composition.

  10. Nanocomposites with High Thermoelectric Figures of Merit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Gang (Inventor); Dresselhaus, Mildred (Inventor); Ren, Zhifeng (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    The present invention is generally directed to nanocomposite thermoelectric materials that exhibit enhanced thermoelectric properties. The nanocomposite materials include two or more components, with at least one of the components forming nano-sized structures within the composite material. The components are chosen such that thermal conductivity of the composite is decreased without substantially diminishing the composite's electrical conductivity. Suitable component materials exhibit similar electronic band structures. For example, a band-edge gap between at least one of a conduction band or a valence band of one component material and a corresponding band of the other component material at interfaces between the components can be less than about 5k(sub B)T, wherein k(sub B) is the Boltzman constant and T is an average temperature of said nanocomposite composition.

  11. Chalcopyrite Nanoparticles as a Sustainable Thermoelectric Material

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Maninder; Miyata, Masanobu; Nishino, Shunsuke; Mott, Derrick; Koyano, Mikio; Maenosono, Shinya

    2015-01-01

    In this report, copper iron sulfide nanoparticles with various composition were synthesized by a thermolysis based wet chemical method. These inherently sustainable nanoparticles were then fully characterized in terms of composition, structure, and morphology, as well as for suitability as a thermoelectric material. The merits of the material preparation include a straightforward bulk material formation where particles do not require any specialized treatment, such as spark plasma sintering or thermal heating. The Seebeck coefficient of the materials reveals P-type conductivity with a maximum value of 203 µV/K. The results give insight into how to design and create a new class of sustainable nanoparticle material for thermoelectric applications. PMID:28347097

  12. The thermoelectric generator test program at JPL.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stapfer, G.; Rouklove, P.

    1972-01-01

    Discussion of the test results and analysis performed on data obtained from eight thermoelectric generators exhibiting a total combined operating time of about 21 years. Three (3) SNAP-19 type generators are discussed. Generator SN-20, the engineering model of the units presently operating on the Nimbus S/C, has been in operation for over 4 years and has shown drastic degradation after losing the internal cover gas. Generator SN-21, with more than four years of operating time, is operated in an air environment. The performance of this generator appears predictable and stable. For the last 2 years of operation generator degradation has been negligible. Generator SN-31, which utilizes the TAGS material for the P thermoelectric leg, is similar in design to the units to be used on the Pioneer S/C and has operated for over two years in an all-argon atmosphere.

  13. The thermodynamics of reversible thermoelectric nanomaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphrey, Tammy; Linke, Heiner

    2005-03-01

    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 via the same physical mechanism utilized in the three-level amplifier (thermally pumped laser) and idealized thermophotovoltaic and thermionic devices. From a broader physical perspective, the most interesting aspect of this work is that it suggests that all of the above-mentioned solid-state devices may be unified as a single `type' of heat engine which achieves reversibility when heat transfer via particle exchange between reservoirs is isentropic (but non-isothermal), in contrast to heat engines such as Carnot, Otto or Brayton cycles, which achieve reversibility when heat transfer between the working gas and heat reservoirs is isothermal.

  14. Thermoelectric properties of rare earth chalcogenides

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Danielson, L. R.; Raag, V.; Wood, C.

    1985-01-01

    The rare earth chalcogenides are important thermoelectric materials due to their high melting points, self-doping capabilities, and low thermal conductivities. Lanthanum sulfides and lanthanum tellurides have been synthesized in quartz ampules, hot-pressed into samples, and measured. The n-type Seebeck coefficients, electrical resistivities, and power factors generally all increased as the temperature increased from 200 to 1000 C. The figure-of-merit for nonstoichiometric lanthanum telluride was 0.001/deg C at 1000 C, considerably higher than for silicon-germanium. Thermoelectric measurements were made for LaTe(2) and YbS(1.4), and p-type behavior was observed for these compounds from 300 to 1100 C.

  15. Thermoelectric Integrated Membrane Evaporation Subsystem operational improvements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dehner, G. F.; Winkler, H. E.; Reysa, R. P.

    1984-01-01

    A three-man preprototype Thermoelectric Integrated Membrane Evaporation Subsystem (TIMES) has been developed to provide high quality water recovery from waste fluids on extended duration space flights. In the most recent effort, a number of improvements have been made to simplify subsystem operation and increase performance. These modifications include changes to the hollow fiber membrane evaporator, the condensing section of the thermoelectric heat pump, and the electronic controller logic and display. This paper describes the results of the test program that was conducted to evaluate the implemented improvements. In addition, an advanced design concept is discussed that will provide lower electrical power consumption, greater water production capacity, lower weight, and a smaller package than the present subsystem configuration.

  16. Amorphous/epitaxial superlattice for thermoelectric application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishida, Akihiro; Thao, Hoang Thi Xuan; Shibata, Mamoru; Nakashima, Seisuke; Tatsuoka, Hirokazu; Yamamoto, Hidenari; Kinoshita, Yohei; Ishikiriyama, Mamoru; Nakamura, Yoshiaki

    2016-08-01

    An amorphous/epitaxial superlattice system is proposed for application to thermoelectric devices, and the superlattice based on a PbGeTeS system was prepared by the alternate deposition of PbS and GeTe using a hot wall epitaxy technique. The structure was analyzed by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and X-ray analysis, and it was found that the superlattice consists of an epitaxial PbTe-based layer and a GeS-based amorphous layer by the reconstruction of the constituents. A reduction in thermal conductivity due to the amorphous/epitaxial system was confirmed by a 2ω method. Electrical and thermoelectric properties were measured for the samples.

  17. Bridging silicon nanoparticles and thermoelectrics: phenylacetylene functionalization.

    PubMed

    Ashby, Shane P; Thomas, Jason A; García-Cañadas, Jorge; Min, Gao; Corps, Jack; Powell, Anthony V; Xu, Hualong; Shen, Wei; Chao, Yimin

    2014-01-01

    Silicon is a promising alternative to current thermoelectric materials (Bi(2)Te(3)). Silicon nanoparticle based materials show especially low thermal conductivities due to their high number of interfaces, which increases the observed phonon scattering. The major obstacle with these materials is maintaining high electrical conductivity. Surface functionalization with phenylacetylene shows an electrical conductivity of 18.1 S m(-1) and Seebeck coefficient of 3228.8 μV K(-1) as well as maintaining a thermal conductivity of 0.1 W K(-1) m(-1). This gives a ZT of 0.6 at 300 K which is significant for a bulk silicon based material and is similar to that of other thermoelectric materials such as Mg(2)Si, PbTe and SiGe alloys.

  18. High figure of merit thermoelectrics - Theoretical considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vining, Cronin B.

    1990-01-01

    The thermoelectric figure of merit of a semiconductor, ZT, can be calculated from a small number of microscopic material parameters, the material composition, the doping level, and the temperature. The functional dependence of ZT on these parameters has been studied for a range of material parameters using a recently developed model which accurately and self-consistently describes the thermoelectric properties of n-type silicon-germanium alloys. ZT values several times larger than current state-of-the-art values of ZT of about 1 are shown to be entirely consistent with existing theory, even using material parameters already observed. A search for materials with much higher figure of merit values therefore remains of interest, in spite of several decades of relatively slow progress in this area.

  19. Space reactors. Progress report, July-September 1981

    SciTech Connect

    Ranken, W.A.

    1982-06-01

    Progress in technology development for the Space Power Advanced Reactor (SPAR) project is reported for the period July 1-September 30, 1981. The weights of neutron and gamma shields required to protect the SPAR system payloads for a range of permissible exposures have been determined, and initial results are reported. SPAR reactor safety in the case of water immersion has been modeled. Approval-in-Principle has been received for the SPAR fuel test in the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II (EBR-II); the heat pipe developed for this test is performing well. SPAR system design variations are being examined under the possibility of using long core heat pipes. Testing of the initial molybdenum/sodium artery heat pipe continued, with ambiguous results. Fabrication of the first all-bonded thermoelectric units has been completed and testing has been initiated.

  20. 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.

  1. Thermoelectricity of interacting particles: a numerical approach.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shunda; Wang, Jiao; Casati, Giulio; Benenti, Giuliano

    2015-09-01

    A method for computing the thermopower in interacting systems is proposed. This approach, which relies on Monte Carlo simulations, is illustrated first for a diatomic chain of hard-point elastically colliding particles and then in the case of a one-dimensional gas with (screened) Coulomb interparticle interaction. Numerical simulations up to N>10^{4} particles confirm the general theoretical arguments for momentum-conserving systems and show that the thermoelectric figure of merit increases linearly with the system size.

  2. Optimal performance of a thermoelectric refrigerator

    SciTech Connect

    Goektun, S.

    1996-07-01

    By employing an externally and internally irreversible Carnot-like reversed heat engine model, the coefficient of performance and maximum cooling rate have been determined for a thermoelectric refrigerator. The irreversibilities can be characterized by a single parameter called the device-design parameter. The coefficient of performance and the cooling rate increase with an increase of the device-design parameter, which appears in the equations for maximum cooling rate and coefficient of performance.

  3. 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.

  4. Revisiting Feynman's ratchet with thermoelectric transport theory.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    We show how the formalism used for thermoelectric transport may be adapted to Smoluchowski's seminal thought experiment, also known as Feynman's ratchet and pawl system. Our analysis rests on the notion of useful flux, which for a thermoelectric system is the electrical current and for Feynman's ratchet is the effective jump frequency. Our approach yields original insight into the derivation and analysis of the system's properties. In particular we define an entropy per tooth in analogy with the entropy per carrier or Seebeck coefficient, and we derive the analog to Kelvin's second relation for Feynman's ratchet. Owing to the formal similarity between the heat fluxes balance equations for a thermoelectric generator (TEG) and those for Feynman's ratchet, we introduce a distribution parameter γ that quantifies the amount of heat that flows through the cold and hot sides of both heat engines. While it is well established that γ = 1/2 for a TEG, it is equal to 1 for Feynman's ratchet. This implies that no heat may be rejected in the cold reservoir for the latter case. Further, the analysis of the efficiency at maximum power shows that the so-called Feynman efficiency corresponds to that of an exoreversible engine, with γ = 1. Then, turning to the nonlinear regime, we generalize the approach based on the convection picture and introduce two different types of resistance to distinguish the dynamical behavior of the considered system from its ability to dissipate energy. We finally put forth the strong similarity between the original Feynman ratchet and a mesoscopic thermoelectric generator with a single conducting channel.

  5. Design and development of thermoelectric generator

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-04-24

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

  6. 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.

  7. Spin-crossover molecule based thermoelectric junction

    SciTech Connect

    Ghosh, Dibyajyoti; Parida, Prakash; Pati, Swapan K.

    2015-05-11

    Using ab-initio numerical methods, we explore the spin-dependent transport and thermoelectric properties of a spin-crossover molecule (i.e., iron complex of 2-(1H-pyrazol-1-yl)-6-(1H-tetrazole-5-yl)pyridine) based nano-junction. We demonstrate a large magnetoresistance, efficient conductance-switching, and spin-filter activity in this molecule-based two-terminal device. The spin-crossover process also modulates the thermoelectric entities. It can efficiently switch the magnitude as well as spin-polarization of the thermocurrent. We find that thermocurrent is changed by ∼4 orders of magnitude upon spin-crossover. Moreover, it also substantially affects the thermopower and consequently, the device shows extremely efficient spin-crossover magnetothermopower generation. Furthermore, by tuning the chemical potential of electrodes into a certain range, a pure spin-thermopower can be achieved for the high-spin state. Finally, the reasonably large values of figure-of-merit in the presence and absence of phonon demonstrate a large heat-to-voltage conversion efficiency of the device. We believe that our study will pave an alternative way of tuning the transport and thermoelectric properties through the spin-crossover process and can have potential applications in generation of spin-dependent current, information storage, and processing.

  8. Hybrid thermoelectric solar collector design and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, A. S., Jr.; Shaheen, K. E.

    1982-01-01

    A flat-plate solar collector is conceived where energy cascades through thermoelectric power modules generating direct-current electricity. The intent of this work was to choose a collector configuration and to perform a steady-state thermal performance assessment. A set of energy balance equations were written and solved numerically for the purpose of optimizing collector thermal and electrical performance. The collector design involves finned columns of thermoelectric modules imbedded in the absorber plate (hot junction) over a parallel array of vertical tubes. The thermoelectric power output is limited by the small hot-junction/cold-junction temperature difference which can be maintained under steady-state conditions. The electric power per unit tube pass area is found to have a maximum as a function of a geometric parameter, while electric power is maximized with respect to an electric resistance ratio. Although the electric power efficiency is small, results indicate that there is sufficient electric power production to drive a coolant circulator, suggesting the potential for a stand-alone system.

  9. Thermal and thermoelectric properties of graphene.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yong; Li, Zuanyi; Duan, Wenhui

    2014-06-12

    The subject of thermal transport at the mesoscopic scale and in low-dimensional systems is interesting for both fundamental research and practical applications. As the first example of truly two-dimensional materials, graphene has exceptionally high thermal conductivity, and thus provides an ideal platform for the research. Here we review recent studies on thermal and thermoelectric properties of graphene, with an emphasis on experimental progresses. A general physical picture based on the Landauer transport formalism is introduced to understand underlying mechanisms. We show that the superior thermal conductivity of graphene is contributed not only by large ballistic thermal conductance but also by very long phonon mean free path (MFP). The long phonon MFP, explained by the low-dimensional nature and high sample purity of graphene, results in important isotope effects and size effects on thermal conduction. In terms of various scattering mechanisms in graphene, several approaches are suggested to control thermal conductivity. Among them, introducing rough boundaries and weakly-coupled interfaces are promising ways to suppress thermal conduction effectively. We also discuss the Seebeck effect of graphene. Graphene itself might not be a good thermoelectric material. However, the concepts developed by graphene research might be applied to improve thermoelectric performance of other materials.

  10. Special Application Thermoelectric Micro Isotope Power Sources

    SciTech Connect

    Heshmatpour, Ben; Lieberman, Al; Khayat, Mo; Leanna, Andrew; Dobry, Ted

    2008-01-21

    Promising design concepts for milliwatt (mW) size micro isotope power sources (MIPS) are being sought for use in various space and terrestrial applications, including a multitude of future NASA scientific missions and a range of military applications. To date, the radioisotope power sources (RPS) used on various space and terrestrial programs have provided power levels ranging from one-half to several hundred watts. In recent years, the increased use of smaller spacecraft and planned new scientific space missions by NASA, special terrestrial and military applications suggest the need for lower power, including mW level, radioisotope power sources. These power sources have the potential to enable such applications as long-lived meteorological or seismological stations distributed across planetary surfaces, surface probes, deep space micro-spacecraft and sub-satellites, terrestrial sensors, transmitters, and micro-electromechanical systems. The power requirements are in the range of 1 mW to several hundred mW. The primary technical requirements for space applications are long life, high reliability, high specific power, and high power density, and those for some special military uses are very high power density, specific power, reliability, low radiological induced degradation, and very low radiation leakage. Thermoelectric conversion is of particular interest because of its technological maturity and proven reliability. This paper summarizes the thermoelectric, thermal, and radioisotope heat source designs and presents the corresponding performance for a number of mW size thermoelectric micro isotope power sources.

  11. Thermoelectrics in an array of molecular junctions.

    PubMed

    Müller, K-H

    2008-07-28

    The room temperature thermoelectric properties of a three-dimensional array of molecular junctions are calculated. The array is composed of n-doped silicon nanoparticles where the surfaces are partially covered with polar molecules and the nanoparticles are bridged by trans-polyacetylene molecules. The role of the polar molecules is to reduce the band bending in the n-doped silicon nanoparticles and to shift the electronic resonances of the bridging molecules to the nanoparticle conduction band edges where the molecular resonances act as electron energy filters. The transmission coefficients of the bridging molecules that appear in the formulas for the Seebeck coefficient, the electrical conductance, and the electronic thermal conductance, are calculated using the nonequilibrium Green's function technique. A simple tight-binding Hamiltonian is used to describe the bridging molecules, and the self-energy term is calculated using the parabolic conduction band approximation. The dependencies of the thermoelectric properties of the molecular junctions on the silicon doping concentration and on the molecule-nanoparticle coupling are discussed. The maximal achievable thermoelectric figure of merit ZT of the array is estimated as a function of the phononic thermal conductance of the bridging molecules and the doping of the nanoparticles. The power factor of the array is also calculated. For sufficiently small phononic thermal conductances of the bridging molecules, very high ZT values are predicted.

  12. Performance evaluation of an automotive thermoelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubitsky, Andrei O.

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

  13. Thermoelectric Property Dependence and Geometry Optimization of Peltier Current Leads Using Highly Electrically Conductive Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujii, Tomohiro; Fukuda, Shinji; Emoto, Masahiko; Osada, Koudai; Kawahara, Toshio; Hamabe, Makoto; Watanabe, Hirofumi; Ivanov, Yury; Sun, Jian; Yamaguchi, Satarou

    2011-05-01

    Thermoelectric materials are promising candidates for use in energy-saving devices in many fields. They are also useful in superconducting applications such as those using Peltier current leads (PCLs) to reduce system heat loss. In the case of PCLs, consideration must be given to Joule heating. Furthermore, the performance of PCLs is intricately dependent on their thermoelectric properties. In addition to the figure of merit Z, consideration of the electrical conductivity is also important for the design of high-performance PCLs. In this paper, we discuss the resistivity dependence of the performance of PCLs using model parameters obtained from real devices.

  14. Nuclear Reactors. Revised.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hogerton, John F.

    This publication is one of a series of information booklets for the general public published by the United States Atomic Energy Commission. Among the topics discussed are: How Reactors Work; Reactor Design; Research, Teaching, and Materials Testing; Reactors (Research, Teaching and Materials); Production Reactors; Reactors for Electric Power…

  15. 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

  16. Linear and nonlinear mesoscopic thermoelectric transport with coupling with heat baths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Jian-Hua; Imry, Yoseph

    2016-12-01

    Decades of research on thermoelectrics stimulated by the fact that nano- and meso-scale thermoelectric transport could yield higher energy conversion efficiency and output power has recently uncovered a new direction on inelastic thermoelectric effects. We introduce the history, motivation, and perspectives on mesoscopic inelastic thermoelectric effects. xml:lang="fr"

  17. Nuclear reactor

    DOEpatents

    Pennell, William E.; Rowan, William J.

    1977-01-01

    A nuclear reactor in which the core components, including fuel-rod assemblies, control-rod assemblies, fertile rod-assemblies, and removable shielding assemblies, are supported by a plurality of separate inlet modular units. These units are referred to as inlet module units to distinguish them from the modules of the upper internals of the reactor. The modular units are supported, each removable independently of the others, in liners in the supporting structure for the lower internals of the reactor. The core assemblies are removably supported in integral receptacles or sockets of the modular units. The liners, units, sockets and assmblies have inlet openings for entry of the fluid. The modular units are each removably mounted in the liners with fluid seals interposed between the opening in the liner and inlet module into which the fluid enters and the upper and lower portion of the liner. Each assembly is similarly mounted in a corresponding receptacle with fluid seals interposed between the openings where the fluid enters and the lower portion of the receptacle or fitting closely in these regions. As fluid flows along each core assembly a pressure drop is produced along the fluid so that the fluid which emerges from each core assembly is at a lower pressure than the fluid which enters the core assembly. However because of the seals interposed in the mountings of the units and assemblies the pressures above and below the units and assemblies are balanced and the units are held in the liners and the assemblies are held in the receptacles by their weights as they have a higher specific gravity than the fluid. The low-pressure spaces between each module and its liner and between each core assembly and its module is vented to the low-pressure regions of the vessel to assure that fluid which leaks through the seals does not accumulate and destroy the hydraulic balance.

  18. Thermoelectric-Driven Sustainable Sensing and Actuation Systems for Fault-Tolerant Nuclear Incidents

    SciTech Connect

    Longtin, Jon

    2016-02-08

    The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear incident in March 2011 represented an unprecedented stress test on the safety and backup systems of a nuclear power plant. The lack of reliable information from key components due to station blackout was a serious setback, leaving sensing, actuation, and reporting systems unable to communicate, and safety was compromised. Although there were several independent backup power sources for required safety function on site, ultimately the batteries were drained and the systems stopped working. If, however, key system components were instrumented with self-powered sensing and actuation packages that could report indefinitely on the status of the system, then critical system information could be obtained while providing core actuation and control during off-normal status for as long as needed. This research project focused on the development of such a self-powered sensing and actuation system. The electrical power is derived from intrinsic heat in the reactor components, which is both reliable and plentiful. The key concept was based around using thermoelectric generators that can be integrated directly onto key nuclear components, including pipes, pump housings, heat exchangers, reactor vessels, and shielding structures, as well as secondary-side components. Thermoelectric generators are solid-state devices capable of converting heat directly into electricity. They are commercially available technology. They are compact, have no moving parts, are silent, and have excellent reliability. The key components to the sensor package include a thermoelectric generator (TEG), microcontroller, signal processing, and a wireless radio package, environmental hardening to survive radiation, flooding, vibration, mechanical shock (explosions), corrosion, and excessive temperature. The energy harvested from the intrinsic heat of reactor components can be then made available to power sensors, provide bi-directional communication, recharge batteries for other

  19. Water-Processable Polymer-Nanocrystal Hybrids for Thermoelectrics

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-10-05

    thermoelectric characterization of composite nanocrystals composed of a tellurium core functionalized with the conducting polymer poly(3,4...composed of a tellurium core functionalized with the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS). Solution...thermoelectric characterization of composite nanocrystals composed of a tellurium core functionalized with the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene

  20. New Composite Thermoelectric Materials for Macro-size Applications

    ScienceCinema

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

    2016-07-12

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

  1. 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.

  2. Conducting Polymers and Their Hybrids as Organic Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toshima, Naoki; Ichikawa, Shoko

    2015-01-01

    Conducting polymers have received much attention recently as organic thermoelectric materials, because of such advantages as plentiful resources, easy synthesis, easy processing, low cost, low thermal conductivity, and easy fabrication of flexible, light, and printable devices with large area. Many reports on organic thermoelectric materials have recently been published. We have studied conducting polymers as organic thermoelectric materials since 1999. During these investigations, we found that the thermal conductivity of conducting polymers did not increase even though electrical conductivity increased; this was a major advantage of conducting polymers as organic thermoelectric materials. We also observed that molecular alignment was one of the most important factors for improvement of the thermoelectric performance of conducting polymers. Stretching of conducting polymers or their precursors was one of the most common techniques used to achieve good molecular alignment. Recently, alignment of the clusters of conducting polymers by treatment with solvents has been proposed as a means of achieving high electrical conductivity. Hybridization of conducting polymers with inorganic nanoparticles has also been found to improve thermoelectric performance. Here we present a brief history and discuss recent progress of research on conducting polymers as organic thermoelectric materials, and describe the techniques used to improve thermoelectric performance by treatment of conducting polymers with solvents and hybridization of conducting polymers with Bi2Te3 and gold nanoparticles.

  3. Metal-Semiconductor Nanocomposites for High Efficiency Thermoelectric Power Generation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-12-07

    the modified phonon and alloy scattering parameters in the modeling to explain the thermoelectric properties of this material. For example, we...near future. 2. Cross-plane thermoelectric properties of perovskite oxide metal/semiconductor superlattices ( Purdue /UCSC) The cross-plane...It therefore became critical that Purdue optimize this characterization technique to extract material properties which show the potential of metal

  4. New Composite Thermoelectric Materials for Macro-size Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Dresselhaus, Mildred

    2008-09-03

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

  5. Solid Solutions Formation: Improving the Thermoelectric Properties of Skutterudites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1996-01-01

    Materials with skutterudite structure have been known for a long time. Some of them are semiconductors. A typical skutterudite is CoSb(sub 3) and its thermoelectric properties were partially studied in the 1960's. Recently, it has been discovered that many skutterudite compounds are thermoelectrics with promising future.

  6. NUCLEAR REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Long, E.; Ashley, J.W.

    1958-12-16

    A graphite moderator structure is described for a gas-cooled nuclear reactor having a vertical orlentation wherein the structure is physically stable with regard to dlmensional changes due to Wigner growth properties of the graphite, and leakage of coolant gas along spaces in the structure is reduced. The structure is comprised of stacks of unlform right prismatic graphite blocks positioned in layers extending in the direction of the lengths of the blocks, the adjacent end faces of the blocks being separated by pairs of tiles. The blocks and tiles have central bores which are in alignment when assembled and are provided with cooperatlng keys and keyways for physical stability.

  7. REACTOR COMPONETN

    DOEpatents

    Creutz, E.C.

    1959-10-27

    A reactor fuel element comprised of a slug of fissionable material disposed in a sheath of corrosion resistantmaterial is described. The sheath is in the form of a tubular container closed at one end and is in tight-fitting engagement with the peripheral sunface of the slug. An inner cap is insented into the open end of the sheath against the slug, which end is then bent around the inner cap and welded thereto. An outer cap is then welded around its peripheny to the bent portion of the container.

  8. Photocatalytic reactor

    DOEpatents

    Bischoff, B.L.; Fain, D.E.; Stockdale, J.A.D.

    1999-01-19

    A photocatalytic reactor is described for processing selected reactants from a fluid medium comprising at least one permeable photocatalytic membrane having a photocatalytic material. The material forms an area of chemically active sites when illuminated by light at selected wavelengths. When the fluid medium is passed through the illuminated membrane, the reactants are processed at these sites separating the processed fluid from the unprocessed fluid. A light source is provided and a light transmitting means, including an optical fiber, for transmitting light from the light source to the membrane. 4 figs.

  9. Tailored semiconducting carbon nanotube networks with enhanced thermoelectric properties

    SciTech Connect

    Avery, Azure D.; Zhou, Ben H.; Lee, Jounghee; Lee, Eui -Sup; Miller, Elisa M.; Ihly, Rachelle; Wesenberg, Devin; Mistry, Kevin S.; Guillot, Sarah L.; Zink, Barry L.; Kim, Yong -Hyun; Blackburn, Jeffrey L.; Ferguson, Andrew J.

    2016-04-04

    Thermoelectric power generation, allowing recovery of part of the energy wasted as heat, is emerging as an important component of renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolios. Although inorganic semiconductors have traditionally been employed in thermoelectric applications, organic semiconductors garner increasing attention as versatile thermoelectric materials. Here we present a combined theoretical and experimental study suggesting that semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes with carefully controlled chirality distribution and carrier density are capable of large thermoelectric power factors, higher than 340 μW m-1 K-2, comparable to the best-performing conducting polymers and larger than previously observed for carbon nanotube films. Furthermore, we demonstrate that phonons are the dominant source of thermal conductivity in the networks, and that our carrier doping process significantly reduces the thermal conductivity relative to undoped networks. As a result, these findings provide the scientific underpinning for improved functional organic thermoelectric composites with carbon nanotube inclusions.

  10. Tailored semiconducting carbon nanotube networks with enhanced thermoelectric properties

    DOE PAGES

    Avery, Azure D.; Zhou, Ben H.; Lee, Jounghee; ...

    2016-04-04

    Thermoelectric power generation, allowing recovery of part of the energy wasted as heat, is emerging as an important component of renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolios. Although inorganic semiconductors have traditionally been employed in thermoelectric applications, organic semiconductors garner increasing attention as versatile thermoelectric materials. Here we present a combined theoretical and experimental study suggesting that semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes with carefully controlled chirality distribution and carrier density are capable of large thermoelectric power factors, higher than 340 μW m-1 K-2, comparable to the best-performing conducting polymers and larger than previously observed for carbon nanotube films. Furthermore, we demonstrate thatmore » phonons are the dominant source of thermal conductivity in the networks, and that our carrier doping process significantly reduces the thermal conductivity relative to undoped networks. As a result, these findings provide the scientific underpinning for improved functional organic thermoelectric composites with carbon nanotube inclusions.« less

  11. Half-Heusler thermoelectrics: a complex class of materials.

    PubMed

    Bos, Jan-Willem G; Downie, Ruth A

    2014-10-29

    Half-Heusler thermoelectrics first attracted interest in the late-1990s and are currently undergoing a renaissance. This has been driven by improved synthesis, processing and characterisation methods, leading to increases in the thermoelectric figure of merit and the observation of novel phenomena such as carrier filtering in nanocomposite samples. The difficulty in extracting good thermoelectric performance is at first glance surprising given the relative simplicity of the ideal crystal structure with only site occupancies and lattice parameter as crystallographic variables. However, the observed thermoelectric properties are found to depend sensitively on sample processing. Recent work has shown that prepared ingots can contain a range of inhomogeneities, including interstitials, nano- and micron sized Heusler inclusions and multiple half-Heusler phases. For this reason, the prepared materials are far more complex than initially appreciated and this may offer opportunities to enhance the thermoelectric figure of merit.

  12. Tellurium as a high-performance elemental thermoelectric

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Siqi; Li, Wen; Chen, Zhiwei; Shen, Jiawen; Ge, Binghui; Pei, Yanzhong

    2016-01-01

    High-efficiency thermoelectric materials require a high conductivity. It is known that a large number of degenerate band valleys offers many conducting channels for improving the conductivity without detrimental effects on the other properties explicitly, and therefore, increases thermoelectric performance. In addition to the strategy of converging different bands, many semiconductors provide an inherent band nestification, equally enabling a large number of effective band valley degeneracy. Here we show as an example that a simple elemental semiconductor, tellurium, exhibits a high thermoelectric figure of merit of unity, not only demonstrating the concept but also filling up the high performance gap from 300 to 700 K for elemental thermoelectrics. The concept used here should be applicable in general for thermoelectrics with similar band features. PMID:26751919

  13. The Prevalence of Standard Large Modules in Thermoelectric Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharp, J.; Bierschenk, J.

    2015-06-01

    The thermoelectric industry serves a broad range of applications using, mainly, a few standard module designs. This paper first briefly describes types of modules and two types of thermoelectric material used by the industry, after which the focus is on selected features of the standard designs and reasons for their prevalence. Whereas cost reduction and the need to maximize reliability drive the adoption of standard modules, other factors contribute to shaping the particular features of the standard thermoelectric cooling modules. These factors include the magnitude of heat loads, heat-sink performance, durability and performance expectations, and relative ease of manufacture. This discussion of the features and prevalence of standard modules relates to broader aspects of both the production and implementation of thermoelectric modules, and an estimate of current thermoelectric industry output is included.

  14. Thermoelectric behavior of segregated-network polymer nanocomposites.

    PubMed

    Yu, Choongho; Kim, Yeon Seek; Kim, Dasaroyong; Grunlan, Jaime C

    2008-12-01

    Segregated-network carbon nanotube (CNT)-polymer composites were prepared, and their thermoelectric properties were measured as a function of CNT concentration at room temperature. This study shows that electrical conductivity can be dramatically increased by creating a network of CNTs in the composite, while the thermal conductivity and thermopower remain relatively insensitive to the filler concentration. This behavior results from thermally disconnected, but electrically connected, junctions in the nanotube network, which makes it feasible to tune the properties in favor of a higher thermoelectric figure of merit. With a CNT concentration of 20 wt %, these composites exhibit an electrical conductivity of 4800 S/m, thermal conductivity of 0.34 W/m x K and a thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) greater than 0.006 at room temperature. This study suggests that polymeric thermoelectrics are possible and provides the basis for further development of lightweight, low-cost, and nontoxic polymer composites for thermoelectric applications in the future.

  15. Tailored semiconducting carbon nanotube networks with enhanced thermoelectric properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avery, Azure D.; Zhou, Ben H.; Lee, Jounghee; Lee, Eui-Sup; Miller, Elisa M.; Ihly, Rachelle; Wesenberg, Devin; Mistry, Kevin S.; Guillot, Sarah L.; Zink, Barry L.; Kim, Yong-Hyun; Blackburn, Jeffrey L.; Ferguson, Andrew J.

    2016-04-01

    Thermoelectric power generation, allowing recovery of part of the energy wasted as heat, is emerging as an important component of renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolios. Although inorganic semiconductors have traditionally been employed in thermoelectric applications, organic semiconductors garner increasing attention as versatile thermoelectric materials. Here we present a combined theoretical and experimental study suggesting that semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes with carefully controlled chirality distribution and carrier density are capable of large thermoelectric power factors, higher than 340 μW m-1 K-2, comparable to the best-performing conducting polymers and larger than previously observed for carbon nanotube films. Furthermore, we demonstrate that phonons are the dominant source of thermal conductivity in the networks, and that our carrier doping process significantly reduces the thermal conductivity relative to undoped networks. These findings provide the scientific underpinning for improved functional organic thermoelectric composites with carbon nanotube inclusions.

  16. Tellurium as a high-performance elemental thermoelectric.

    PubMed

    Lin, Siqi; Li, Wen; Chen, Zhiwei; Shen, Jiawen; Ge, Binghui; Pei, Yanzhong

    2016-01-11

    High-efficiency thermoelectric materials require a high conductivity. It is known that a large number of degenerate band valleys offers many conducting channels for improving the conductivity without detrimental effects on the other properties explicitly, and therefore, increases thermoelectric performance. In addition to the strategy of converging different bands, many semiconductors provide an inherent band nestification, equally enabling a large number of effective band valley degeneracy. Here we show as an example that a simple elemental semiconductor, tellurium, exhibits a high thermoelectric figure of merit of unity, not only demonstrating the concept but also filling up the high performance gap from 300 to 700 K for elemental thermoelectrics. The concept used here should be applicable in general for thermoelectrics with similar band features.

  17. Rare earth-doped materials with enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit

    DOEpatents

    Venkatasubramanian, Rama; Cook, Bruce Allen; Levin, Evgenii M.; Harringa, Joel Lee

    2016-09-06

    A thermoelectric material and a thermoelectric converter using this material. The thermoelectric material has a first component including a semiconductor material and a second component including a rare earth material included in the first component to thereby increase a figure of merit of a composite of the semiconductor material and the rare earth material relative to a figure of merit of the semiconductor material. The thermoelectric converter has a p-type thermoelectric material and a n-type thermoelectric material. At least one of the p-type thermoelectric material and the n-type thermoelectric material includes a rare earth material in at least one of the p-type thermoelectric material or the n-type thermoelectric material.

  18. Hybrid adsorptive membrane reactor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsotsis, Theodore T. (Inventor); Sahimi, Muhammad (Inventor); Fayyaz-Najafi, Babak (Inventor); Harale, Aadesh (Inventor); Park, Byoung-Gi (Inventor); Liu, Paul K. T. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    A hybrid adsorbent-membrane reactor in which the chemical reaction, membrane separation, and product adsorption are coupled. Also disclosed are a dual-reactor apparatus and a process using the reactor or the apparatus.

  19. Hybrid adsorptive membrane reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Tsotsis, Theodore T.; Sahimi, Muhammad; Fayyaz-Najafi, Babak; Harale, Aadesh; Park, Byoung-Gi; Liu, Paul K. T.

    2011-03-01

    A hybrid adsorbent-membrane reactor in which the chemical reaction, membrane separation, and product adsorption are coupled. Also disclosed are a dual-reactor apparatus and a process using the reactor or the apparatus.

  20. Optimization of thermoelectric performance in semiconducting polymers for understanding charge transport and flexible thermoelectric applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaudell, Anne; Chabinyc, Michael

    2014-03-01

    Organic electronic materials have been widely considered for a variety of energy conversion applications, from photovoltaics to LEDs. Only very recently have organic materials been considered for thermoelectric applications - converting between temperature gradients and electrical potential. The intrinsic disorder in semiconducting polymers leads to an inherently low thermal conductivity, a key parameter in thermoelectric performance. The ability to solution deposit on flexible substrates opens up niche applications including personal cooling and conformal devices. Here work is presented on the electrical conductivity and thermopower of thin film semiconducting polymers, including P3HT and PBTTT-C14. Thermoelectric properties are explored over a wide range of conductivities, from nearly insulating to beyond 100 S/cm, enabled by employing different doping mechanisms, including molecular charge-transfer doping with F4TCNQ and vapor doping with a fluoroalkyl trichlorosilane (FTS). Temperature-dependent measurements suggest competing charge transport mechanisms, likely due to the mixed ordered/disordered character of these polymers. These results show promise for organic materials for thermoelectric applications, and recent results on thin film devices will also be presented.

  1. A Novel Photo-Thermoelectric Generator Integrating Dye-sensitized Solar Cells with Thermoelectric Modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Ho; Kao, Mu-Jung; Huang, Kouhsiu David; Chen, Sih-Li; Yu, Zhi-Rong

    2010-06-01

    In this study, we adopt two different morphologies of self-made nano-TiO2 powder to prepare a double-layer photoelectrode for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Further, DSSC module and thermoelectric generator (TEG) coated with nano-Cu thin film were integrated with a novel photo-thermoelectric generator. For the fabrication of photoelectric conversion modules, TiO2 nanoparticles (H200) fabricated by the hydrothermal method and the powder of TiO2 nanofluid prepared by the submerged arc nanofluid synthesis system (SANSS) were utilized to prepare a double-layer thin film using a surgical blade as the photoelectrode of DSSCs. And then, commercial nano-Cu powder was coated on two sides of TEG to fabricate thermoelectric conversion module by surgical blade. Nano-Cu thin film, as the medium of thermal conductivity, can effectively transfer heat produced by sunlight on the surface of DSSC to the two sides of TEG. Finally, the two modules were combined into the optical thermoelectric generator. The overall experiment utilizes the intensity of 100 mW/cm2 illumination of simulated sunlight, which can produce 4.97 mW/cm2, an increase of 2.87% output compared with merely employing the DSSCs.

  2. Control Means for Reactor

    DOEpatents

    Manley, J. H.

    1961-06-27

    An apparatus for controlling a nuclear reactor includes a tank just below the reactor, tubes extending from the tank into the reactor, and a thermally expansible liquid neutron absorbent material in the tank. The liquid in the tank is exposed to a beam of neutrons from the reactor which heats the liquid causing it to expand into the reactor when the neutron flux in the reactor rises above a predetermincd danger point. Boron triamine may be used for this purpose.

  3. Molten gallium flux synthesis of known thermoelectric and novel magnetic inorganic clathrate compounds: Improving thermoelectric performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bryan, John Daniel

    Molten gallium metal has been used as a solvent to grow large single crystals of known inorganic thermoelectric clathrates Sr8Ga 16Ge30, Ba8Ga16Ge30, and Ba8Ga16Si30. X-ray diffraction, thermal analysis, electron microprobe, Glow Discharge Mass Spectrometry, temperature dependent electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient measurements characterized the single crystals. The Thermoelectric performance was shown to be heavily dependent on the synthetic conditions including container choice, thermal history and impurity concentration. Inorganic Clathrates have attracted intense interest in last several years as potential new materials for thermoelectric devices. If a small to moderate increase in thermoelectric performance over the currently used materials is realized, substantial environmental and technological gains could be achieved. Since thermoelectric refrigeration modules require no moving parts or heat exchange gas (freon) they offer significant advantages over conventional refrigeration technology that tends to fail due to the finite lifetime of the pumping equipment. High temperature devices are also extremely useful for power generation in harsh unforgiving environments where excess heat is available. The thermoelectric performance, primarily at room temperature, of these compounds was found to be heavily dependent on the synthetic procedures used to obtain them. A flux growth procedure was developed to overcome the problems of the traditional melt-quench-anneal solid-state chemical approach. This procedure yielded large single crystals of the Sr8Ga16Ge 30, Ba8Ga16Ge30 and Ba8Ga 16Si30 compounds which ready facilitated their chemical and electronic study. Finally, an outlook on the application of these compounds as thermoelectric devices is given. Application of the flux method to other systems was also successful in the discovery of two new inorganic clathrate compounds: type IV Eu4Ga 8Ge16 and type V Yb8Ga16Ge14. The Eu4Ga8Ge16 compound was found to

  4. Fabrication of Thermoelectric Devices Using Additive-Subtractive Manufacturing Techniques: Application to Waste-Heat Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tewolde, Mahder

    optimizing cutting speed and power while maintaining surface quality and interface properties. Key parameters are obtained from these experiments and used to develop a process that can be used to fabricate a working TEG directly onto the waste-heat component surface. A TEG module has been fabricated for the first time entirely by using thermal spray technology and laser micromachining. The target applications include automotive exhaust systems and other high-volume industrial waste heat sources. The application of TEGs for thermoelectrically powered sensors for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) is presented. In conclusion, more ways to improve the fabrication process of TEGs are suggested.

  5. Synthesis and Characterization of New Ceramic Thermoelectrics Implemented in a Thermoelectric Oxide Module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomeš, P.; Robert, R.; Trottmann, M.; Bocher, L.; Aguirre, M. H.; Bitschi, A.; Hejtmánek, J.; Weidenkaff, A.

    2010-09-01

    Novel thermoelectric oxides were developed, produced, and characterized to demonstrate their promising thermoelectric conversion potential in a thermoelectric converter. Four-leg thermoelectric oxide modules were fabricated by combining p- and n-type oxide thermoelements made of pressed polycrystalline GdCo0.95Ni0.05O3 and CaMn0.98Nb0.02O3, respectively. In these modules, the p- and n-type thermoelements were connected electrically in series and thermally in parallel. The materials were joined by electrical contacts consisting of a Ag/CuO composite material. Fairly good thermal contacts were ensured by pressing the thermoelements between alumina substrates. Cross-sections of the alumina/Ag-CuO mixture/thermoelement interface were investigated by scanning electron microscopy. The temperature distribution across the module was monitored using K-type thermocouples and a micro-infrared (IR) camera. The open-circuit voltage and the load voltages of the module were measured up to a temperature difference of Δ T = 500 K while keeping the temperature of the cold side at 300 K. The output power and internal resistance were calculated. The characteristics of the module evaluated from electrical measurements were compared with respective values of the p- and n-type leg materials. An output power of 0.04 W at Δ T = 500 K led to a power density of ~0.125 W/cm3, where the volume of thermoelectric material was determined by a cross-section of 4 mm × 4 mm and a leg length of 5 mm.

  6. Space reactor power 1986 - A year of choices and transition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiley, R. L.; Verga, R. L.; Schnyer, A. D.; Sholtis, J. A., Jr.; Wahlquist, E. J.

    1986-01-01

    Both the SP-100 and Multimegawatt programs have made significant progress over the last year and that progress is the focus of this paper. In the SP-100 program the thermoelectric energy conversion concept powered by a compact, high-temperature, lithium-cooled, uranium-nitride-fueled fast spectrum reactor was selected for engineering development and ground demonstration testing at an electrical power level of 300 kilowatts. In the Multimegawatt program, activities moved from the planning phase into one of technology development and assessment with attendant preliminary definition and evaluation of power concepts against requirements of the Strategic Defense Initiative.

  7. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Daniels, F.

    1962-12-18

    A power plant is described comprising a turbine and employing round cylindrical fuel rods formed of BeO and UO/sub 2/ and stacks of hexagonal moderator blocks of BeO provided with passages that loosely receive the fuel rods so that coolant may flow through the passages over the fuels to remove heat. The coolant may be helium or steam and fiows through at least one more heat exchanger for producing vapor from a body of fluid separate from the coolant, which fluid is to drive the turbine for generating electricity. By this arrangement the turbine and directly associated parts are free of particles and radiations emanating from the reactor. (AEC)

  8. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    McGarry, R.J.

    1958-04-22

    Fluid-cooled nuclear reactors of the type that utilize finned uranium fuel elements disposed in coolant channels in a moderater are described. The coolant channels are provided with removable bushings composed of a non- fissionable material. The interior walls of the bushings have a plurality of spaced, longtudinal ribs separated by grooves which receive the fins on the fuel elements. The lands between the grooves are spaced from the fuel elements to form flow passages, and the size of the now passages progressively decreases as the dlstance from the center of the core increases for the purpose of producing a greater cooling effect at the center to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the core.

  9. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Stewart, H.B.

    1958-12-23

    A nuclear reactor of the type speclfically designed for the irradiation of materials is discussed. In this design a central cyllndrical core of moderating material ls surrounded by an active portlon comprlsed of an annular tank contalning fissionable material immersed ln a liquid moderator. The active portion ls ln turn surrounded by a reflector, and a well ls provided in the center of the core to accommodate the materlals to be irradiated. The over-all dimensions of the core ln at least one plane are equal to or greater than twice the effective slowing down length and equal to or less than twlce the effective diffuslon length for neutrons in the core materials.

  10. Nuclear reactor

    DOEpatents

    Yant, Howard W.; Stinebiser, Karl W.; Anzur, Gregory C.

    1977-01-01

    A nuclear reactor, particularly a liquid-metal breeder reactor, whose upper internals include outlet modules for channeling the liquid-metal coolant from selected areas of the outlet of the core vertically to the outlet plenum. The modules are composed of a highly-refractory, high corrosion-resistant alloy, for example, INCONEL-718. Each module is disposed to confine and channel generally vertically the coolant emitted from a subplurality of core-component assemblies. Each module has a grid with openings, each opening disposed to receive the coolant from an assembly of the subplurality. The grid in addition serves as a holdown for the assemblies of the corresponding subplurality preventing their excessive ejection upwardly from the core. In the region directly over the core the outlet modules are of such peripheral form that they nest forming a continuum over the core-component assemblies whose outlet coolant they confine. Each subassembly includes a chimney which confines the coolant emitted by its corresponding subassemblies to generally vertical flow between the outlet of the core and the outlet plenum. Each subplurality of assemblies whose emitted coolant is confined by an outlet module includes assemblies which emit lower-temperature coolant, for example, a control-rod assembly, or fertile assemblies, and assemblies which emit coolant of substantially higher temperature, for example, fuel-rod assemblies. The coolants of different temperatures are mixed in the chimneys reducing the effect of stripping (hot-cold temperature fluctuations) on the remainder of the upper internals which are composed typically of AISI-304 or AISI-316 stainless steel.

  11. Thermoelectricity in fullerene-metal heterojunctions.

    PubMed

    Yee, Shannon K; Malen, Jonathan A; Majumdar, Arun; Segalman, Rachel A

    2011-10-12

    Thermoelectricty in heterojunctions, where a single-molecule is trapped between metal electrodes, has been used to understand transport properties at organic-inorganic interfaces. (1) The transport in these systems is highly dependent on the energy level alignment between the molecular orbitals and the Fermi level (or work function) of the metal contacts. To date, the majority of single-molecule measurements have focused on simple small molecules where transport is dominated through the highest occupied molecular orbital. (2, 3) In these systems, energy level alignment is limited by the absence of electrode materials with low Fermi levels (i.e., large work functions). Alternatively, more controllable alignment between molecular orbitals and the Fermi level can be achieved with molecules whose transport is dominated by the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) because of readily available metals with lower work functions. Herein, we report molecular junction thermoelectric measurements of fullerene molecules (i.e., C(60), PCBM, and C(70)) trapped between metallic electrodes (i.e., Pt, Au, Ag). Fullerene junctions demonstrate the first strongly n-type molecular thermopower corresponding to transport through the LUMO, and the highest measured magnitude of molecular thermopower to date. While the electronic conductance of fullerenes is highly variable, due to fullerene's variable bonding geometries with the electrodes, the thermopower shows predictable trends based on the alignment of the LUMO with the work function of the electrodes. Both the magnitude and trend of the thermopower suggest that heterostructuring organic and inorganic materials at the nanoscale can further enhance thermoelectric performance, therein providing a new pathway for designing thermoelectric materials.

  12. Thermoelectric Properties of Complex Zintl Phases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, G. Jeffrey

    2008-03-01

    Complex Zintl phases make ideal thermoelectric materials because they can exhibit the necessary ``electron-crystal, phonon-glass'' properties required for high thermoelectric efficiency. Complex crystal structures can lead to high thermoelectric figure of merit (zT) by having extraordinarily low lattice thermal conductivity. A recent example is the discovery that Yb14MnSb11, a complex Zintl compound, has twice the zT as the SiGe based material currently in use at NASA. The high temperature (300K - 1300K) electronic properties of Yb14MnSb11 can be understood using models for heavily doped semiconductors. The free hole concentration, confirmed by Hall effect measurements, is set by the electron counting rules of Zintl and the valence of the transition metal (Mn^+2). Substitution of nonmagnetic Zn^+2 for the magnetic Mn^+2 reduces the spin-disorder scattering and leads to increased zT (10%). The reduction of spin-disorder scattering is consistent with the picture of Yb14MnSb11 as an underscreened Kondo lattice as derived from low temperature measurements. The hole concentration can be reduced by the substitution of Al^+3 for Mn^+2, which leads to an increase in the Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity consistent with models for degenerate semiconductors. This leads to further improvements (about 25%) in zT and a reduction in the temperature where the zT peaks. The peak in zT is due to the onset of minority carrier conduction and can be correlated with reduction in Seebeck coefficient, increase in electrical conductivity and increase in thermal conductivity due to bipolar thermal conduction.

  13. Automated Weld Characterization Using the Thermoelectric Method

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fulton, J. P.; Wincheski, B.; Namkung, M.

    1992-01-01

    The effective assessment of the integrity of welds is a complicated NDE problem that continues to be a challenge. To be able to completely characterize a weld, detailed knowledge of its tensile strength, ductility, hardness, microstructure, macrostructure, and chemical composition is needed. NDE techniques which can provide information on any of these features are extremely important. In this paper, we examine a seldom used approach based on the thermoelectric (TE) effect for characterizing welds and their associated heat affected zone (HAZ). The thermoelectric method monitors the thermoelectric power which is sensitive to small changes in the kinetics of the conduction electrons near the Fermi surface that can be caused by changes in the local microstructure. The technique has been applied to metal sorting, quality testing, flaw detection, thickness gauging of layers, and microscopic structural analysis. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the technique for characterizing welds, a series of tungsten-inert-gas welded Inconel-718 samples were scanned with a computer controlled TE probe. The samples were then analyzed using a scanning electron microscope and Rockwell hardness tests to characterize the weld and the associated HAZ. We then correlated the results with the TE measurements to provide quantitative information on the size of the HAZ and the degree of hardness of the material in the weld region. This provides potentially valuable information on the strength and fatigue life of the weld. We begin the paper by providing a brief review of the TE technique and then highlight some of the factors that can effect the measurements. Next, we provide an overview of the experimental procedure and discuss the results. Finally, we summarize our findings and consider areas for future research.

  14. Reactor and method of operation

    DOEpatents

    Wheeler, John A.

    1976-08-10

    A nuclear reactor having a flattened reactor activity curve across the reactor includes fuel extending over a lesser portion of the fuel channels in the central portion of the reactor than in the remainder of the reactor.

  15. 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.

  16. Energy harvesting using a thermoelectric material

    DOEpatents

    Nersessian, Nersesse; Carman, Gregory P.; Radousky, Harry B.

    2008-07-08

    A novel energy harvesting system and method utilizing a thermoelectric having a material exhibiting a large thermally induced strain (TIS) due to a phase transformation and a material exhibiting a stress induced electric field is introduced. A material that exhibits such a phase transformation exhibits a large increase in the coefficient of thermal expansion over an incremental temperature range (typically several degrees Kelvin). When such a material is arranged in a geometric configuration, such as, for a example, a laminate with a material that exhibits a stress induced electric field (e.g. a piezoelectric material) the thermally induced strain is converted to an electric field.

  17. Thermal Conductivity Measurement using Thermoelectric Module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ajiwiguna, T. A.; Kim, S. Y.

    2016-11-01

    In this study, thermoelectric module is used as a heater for thermal conductivity measurement of solid materials. Principle of temperature gradient is adopted in this measurement. Stainless steel is utilized as a reference material. Each temperatures are measured by t-type thermocouple and the thermal conductivity is then calculated. The result shows that the thermal conductivity of tested materials is 0.303 W/mK with maximum uncertainty of 3.79%. To assure the result of this measurement, the thermal conductivity of tested material is also measured by laser flash method. The difference result of both measurement is below 5%.

  18. Thermoelectric Powered High Temperature Wireless Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kucukkomurler, Ahmet

    This study describes use of a thermoelectric power converter to transform waste heat into electrical energy to power an RF receiver and transmitter, for use in harsh environment wireless temperature sensing and telemetry. The sensing and transmitting module employs a DS-1820 low power digital temperature sensor to perform temperature to voltage conversion, an ATX-34 RF transmitter, an ARX-34 RF receiver module, and a PIC16f84A microcontroller to synchronize data communication between them. The unit has been tested in a laboratory environment, and promising results have been obtained for an actual automotive wireless under hood temperature sensing and telemetry implementation.

  19. Improved Thermoelectrically Cooled Laser-Diode Assemblies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glesne, Thomas R.; Schwemmer, Geary K.; Famiglietti, Joe

    1994-01-01

    Cooling decreases wavelength and increases efficiency and lifetime. Two improved thermoelectrically cooled laser-diode assemblies incorporate commercial laser diodes providing combination of both high wavelength stability and broad wavelength tuning which are broadly tunable, highly stable devices for injection seeding of pulsed, high-power tunable alexandrite lasers used in lidar remote sensing of water vapor at wavelengths in vicinity of 727 nanometers. Provide temperature control needed to take advantage of tunability of commercial AlGaAs laser diodes in present injection-seeding application.

  20. Temperature dependent phonon properties of thermoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hellman, Olle; Broido, David; Fultz, Brent

    2015-03-01

    We present recent developments using the temperature dependent effective potential technique (TDEP) to model thermoelectric materials. We use ab initio molecular dynamics to generate an effective Hamiltonian that reproduce neutron scattering spectra, thermal conductivity, phonon self energies, and heat capacities. Results are presented for (among others) SnSe, Bi2Te3, and Cu2Se proving the necessity of careful modelling of finite temperature properties for strongly anharmonic materials. Supported by the Swedish Research Council (VR) Project Number 637-2013-7296.

  1. Electrodes For Alkali-Metal Thermoelectric Converters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Roger M.; Wheeler, Bob L.; Jeffries-Nakamura, Barbara; Lamb, James L.; Bankston, C. Perry; Cole, Terry

    1989-01-01

    Combination of thin, porous electrode and overlying collector grid reduces internal resistance of alkali-metal thermoelectric converter cell. Low resistance of new electrode and grid boosts power density nearly to 1 W/cm2 of electrode area at typical operating temperatures of 1,000 to 1,300 K. Conductive grid encircles electrode film on alumina tube. Bus wire runs along tube to collect electrical current from grid. Such converters used to transform solar, nuclear, and waste heat into electric power.

  2. Coating Thermoelectric Devices To Suppress Sublimation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakamoto, Jeffrey; Caillat, Thierry; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Snyder, G. Jeffrey

    2007-01-01

    A technique for suppressing sublimation of key elements from skutterudite compounds in advanced thermoelectric devices has been demonstrated. The essence of the technique is to cover what would otherwise be the exposed skutterudite surface of such a device with a thin, continuous film of a chemically and physically compatible metal. Although similar to other sublimation-suppression techniques, this technique has been specifically tailored for application to skutterudite antimonides. The primary cause of deterioration of most thermoelectric materials is thermal decomposition or sublimation - one or more elements sublime from the hot side of a thermoelectric couple, changing the stoichiometry of the device. Examples of elements that sublime from their respective thermoelectric materials are Ge from SiGe, Te from Pb/Te, and now Sb from skutterudite antimonides. The skutterudite antimonides of primary interest are CoSb3 [electron-donor (n) type] and CeFe(3-x)Co(x)Sb12 [electron-acceptor (p) type]. When these compounds are subjected to typical operating conditions [temperature of 700 C and pressure <10(exp -5) torr (0.0013 Pa)], Sb sublimes from their surfaces, with the result that Sb depletion layers form and advance toward their interiors. As the depletion layer advances in a given device, the change in stoichiometry diminishes the thermal-to-electric conversion efficiency of the device. The problem, then, is to prevent sublimation, or at least reduce it to an acceptably low level. In preparation for an experiment on suppression of sublimation, a specimen of CoSb3 was tightly wrapped in a foil of niobium, which was selected for its chemical stability. In the experiment, the wrapped specimen was heated to a temperature of 700 C in a vacuum of residual pressure <10(exp -5) torr (0.0013 Pa), then cooled and sectioned. Examination of the sectioned specimen revealed that no depletion layer had formed, indicating the niobium foil prevented sublimation of antimony at 700 C

  3. Mechanical Alloying for Making Thermoelectric Compounds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, Chen-Kuo; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Snyder, Jeffrey; Blair, Richard; May, Andrew

    2007-01-01

    An economical room-temperature mechanical alloying process has been shown to be an effective means of making a homogeneous powder that can be hot-pressed to synthesize a thermoelectric material having reproducible chemical composition. The synthesis of a given material consists of the room temperature thermomechanical-alloying process followed b y a hot-pressing process. Relative to synthesis of nominally the same material by a traditional process that includes hot melting, this s ynthesis is simpler and yields a material having superior thermoelect ric properties.

  4. Solid state transport-based thermoelectric converter

    DOEpatents

    Hu, Zhiyu

    2010-04-13

    A solid state thermoelectric converter includes a thermally insulating separator layer, a semiconducting collector and an electron emitter. The electron emitter comprises a metal nanoparticle layer or plurality of metal nanocatalyst particles disposed on one side of said separator layer. A first electrically conductive lead is electrically coupled to the electron emitter. The collector layer is disposed on the other side of the separator layer, wherein the thickness of the separator layer is less than 1 .mu.m. A second conductive lead is electrically coupled to the collector layer.

  5. Fabrication and characterization of nanostructured III-V thermoelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novotny, Clint; Sharifi, Fred

    2013-09-01

    Approximately two thirds of all fossil fuel used is lost as heat. Thermoelectric materials, which convert heat into electrical energy, may provide a solution to partially recover some of this lost energy. To date, most commercial thermoelectric materials are too inefficient to be a viable option for most waste heat applications. This research proposes to investigate the fabrication and characterization of nanostructured III-V semiconductor thermoelectric materials with the goal of increasing the performance of existing technology. In order to improve thermoelectric material efficiency, either the lattice thermal conductivity must be lowered or the thermoelectric power factor must be increased. This research will focus on the latter by modifying the density of states of the semiconductor material and studying the effect of quantum confinement on the material's thermoelectric properties. Using focused ion beam milling, nanostructured cantilevers are fabricated from single crystal wafers. An all around gate dielectric and electrode are deposited to create a depletion region along the outer core of the cantilever, thus creating an inner conductive core. The Seebeck coefficient can then be measured as a function of confinement by varying the gate voltage. This technique can be applied to various material systems to investigate the effects of confinement on their thermoelectric properties.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maneewan, S.; Chindaruksa, S.

    2009-07-01

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

  7. Reactor safety method

    DOEpatents

    Vachon, Lawrence J.

    1980-03-11

    This invention relates to safety means for preventing a gas cooled nuclear reactor from attaining criticality prior to start up in the event the reactor core is immersed in hydrogenous liquid. This is accomplished by coating the inside surface of the reactor coolant channels with a neutral absorbing material that will vaporize at the reactor's operating temperature.

  8. Enhancing the thermoelectric figure of merit in engineered graphene nanoribbons

    PubMed Central

    Sangtarash, Sara; Lambert, Colin J

    2015-01-01

    Summary We demonstrate that thermoelectric properties of graphene nanoribbons can be dramatically improved by introducing nanopores. In monolayer graphene, this increases the electronic thermoelectric figure of merit ZT e from 0.01 to 0.5. The largest values of ZT e are found when a nanopore is introduced into bilayer graphene, such that the current flows from one layer to the other via the inner surface of the pore, for which values as high as ZT e = 2.45 are obtained. All thermoelectric properties can be further enhanced by tuning the Fermi energy of the leads. PMID:26171293

  9. Engineering Nanostructural Routes for Enhancing Thermoelectric Performance: Bulk to Nanoscale.

    PubMed

    Mohanraman, Rajeshkumar; Lan, Tian-Wey; Hsiung, Te-Chih; Amada, Dedi; Lee, Ping-Chung; Ou, Min-Nan; Chen, Yang-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Thermoelectricity is a very important phenomenon, especially its significance in heat-electricity conversion. If thermoelectric devices can be effectively applied to the recovery of the renewable energies, such as waste heat and solar energy, the energy shortage, and global warming issues may be greatly relieved. This review focusses recent developments on the thermoelectric performance of a low-dimensional material, bulk nanostructured materials, conventional bulk materials etc. Particular emphasis is given on, how the nanostructure in nanostructured composites, confinement effects in one-dimensional nanowires and doping effects in conventional bulk composites plays an important role in ZT enhancement.

  10. Engineering Nanostructural Routes for Enhancing Thermoelectric Performance: Bulk to Nanoscale

    PubMed Central

    Mohanraman, Rajeshkumar; Lan, Tian-Wey; Hsiung, Te-Chih; Amada, Dedi; Lee, Ping-Chung; Ou, Min-Nan; Chen, Yang-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Thermoelectricity is a very important phenomenon, especially its significance in heat-electricity conversion. If thermoelectric devices can be effectively applied to the recovery of the renewable energies, such as waste heat and solar energy, the energy shortage, and global warming issues may be greatly relieved. This review focusses recent developments on the thermoelectric performance of a low-dimensional material, bulk nanostructured materials, conventional bulk materials etc. Particular emphasis is given on, how the nanostructure in nanostructured composites, confinement effects in one-dimensional nanowires and doping effects in conventional bulk composites plays an important role in ZT enhancement. PMID:26913280

  11. Optimizing the thermoelectric performance of zigzag and chiral carbon nanotubes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Using nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations and nonequilibrium Green's function method, we investigate the thermoelectric properties of a series of zigzag and chiral carbon nanotubes which exhibit interesting diameter and chirality dependence. Our calculated results indicate that these carbon nanotubes could have higher ZT values at appropriate carrier concentration and operating temperature. Moreover, their thermoelectric performance can be significantly enhanced via isotope substitution, isoelectronic impurities, and hydrogen adsorption. It is thus reasonable to expect that carbon nanotubes may be promising candidates for high-performance thermoelectric materials. PMID:22325623

  12. Research Update: Phonon engineering of nanocrystalline silicon thermoelectrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiomi, Junichiro

    2016-10-01

    Nanocrystalline silicon thermoelectrics can be a solution to improve the cost-effectiveness of thermoelectric technology from both material and integration viewpoints. While their figure-of-merit is still developing, recent advances in theoretical/numerical calculations, property measurements, and structural synthesis/fabrication have opened up possibilities to develop the materials based on fundamental physics of phonon transport. Here, this is demonstrated by reviewing a series of works on nanocrystalline silicon materials using calculations of multiscale phonon transport, measurements of interfacial heat conduction, and synthesis from nanoparticles. Integration of these approaches allows us to engineer phonon transport to improve the thermoelectric performance by introducing local silicon-oxide structures.

  13. Research Update: Oxide thermoelectrics: Beyond the conventional design rules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terasaki, Ichiro

    2016-10-01

    Materials' design for high-performance thermoelectric oxides is discussed. Since chemical stability at high temperature in air is a considerable advantage in oxides, we evaluate thermoelectric power factor in the high temperature limit. We show that highly disordered materials can be good thermoelectric materials at high temperatures, and the effects of strong correlation can further enhance the figure of merit by adding thermopower arising from the spin and orbital degrees of freedom. We also discuss the Kelvin formula as a promising expression for strongly correlated materials and show that the calculation based on the Kelvin formula can be directly compared with the cross-layer thermopower of layered materials.

  14. Nanoscale heat transfer and thermoelectrics for alternative energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Richard

    2011-03-01

    In the area of alternative energy, thermoelectrics have experienced an unprecedented growth in popularity because of their ability to convert waste heat into electricity. Wired in reverse, thermoelectrics can act as refrigeration devices, where they are promising because they are small in size and lightweight, have no moving parts, and have rapid on/off cycles. However, due to their low efficiencies bulk thermoelectrics have historically been a niche market. Only in the last decade has thermoelectric efficiency exceeded ~ 20 % due to fabrication of nanostructured materials. Nanoscale materials have this advantage because electronic and acoustic confinement effects can greatly increase thermoelectric efficiency beyond bulk values. In this talk, I will introduce our work in the area of nanoscale heat transfer with the goal of more efficient thermoelectrics. I will discuss our experiments and methods to study acoustic confinement in nanostructures and present some of our new nanostructured thermoelectric materials. To study acoustic confinement we are building a nanoscale phonon spectrometer. The instrument can excite phonon modes in nanostructures in the ~ 100 s of GHz. Ballistic phonons from the generator are used to probe acoustic confinement and surface scattering effects. Transmission studies using this device will help optimize materials and morphologies for more efficient nanomaterial-based thermoelectrics. For materials, our group has synthesized nano-layer superlattices of Na x Co O2 . Sodium cobaltate was recently discovered to have a high Seebeck coeficent and is being studied as an oxide thermoelectric material. The thickness of our nano-layers ranges from 5 nm to 300 nm while the lengths can be varied between 10 μ m and 4 mm. Typical aspect ratios are 40 nm: 4 mm, or 1:100,000. Thermoelectric characterization of samples with tilted multiple-grains along the measurement axis indicate a thermoelectric efficiency on par with current polycrystalline samples

  15. BiSb and spin-related thermoelectric phenomena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heremans, Joseph P.; Jin, Hyungyu; Zheng, Yuanhua; Watzman, Sarah J.; Prakash, Arati

    2016-05-01

    This article reviews the factors limiting the figure of merit zT of conventional thermoelectrics especially at cryogenic temperatures and then highlights modern approaches used to increase zT below 200 K. Two type of materials are discussed. The first are BiSb alloys, relatively conventional thermoelectrics in which the zT is enhanced by using resonant levels. The second is the spin- Seebeck effect (SSE), a new solid-state energy conversion technology. Classical thermoelectric and SSE physics are combined to provide new concepts, like magnon-drag, in which we hope to increase the performance of solid-state coolers by exploiting the spin degree of freedom.

  16. Solar thermoelectricity via advanced latent heat storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, M. L.; Rea, J.; Glatzmaier, G. C.; Hardin, C.; Oshman, C.; Vaughn, J.; Roark, T.; Raade, J. W.; Bradshaw, R. W.; Sharp, J.; Avery, A. D.; Bobela, D.; Bonner, R.; Weigand, R.; Campo, D.; Parilla, P. A.; Siegel, N. P.; Toberer, E. S.; Ginley, D. S.

    2016-05-01

    We report on a new modular, dispatchable, and cost-effective solar electricity-generating technology. Solar ThermoElectricity via Advanced Latent heat Storage (STEALS) integrates several state-of-the-art technologies to provide electricity on demand. In the envisioned STEALS system, concentrated sunlight is converted to heat at a solar absorber. The heat is then delivered to either a thermoelectric (TE) module for direct electricity generation, or to charge a phase change material for thermal energy storage, enabling subsequent generation during off-sun hours, or both for simultaneous electricity production and energy storage. The key to making STEALS a dispatchable technology lies in the development of a "thermal valve," which controls when heat is allowed to flow through the TE module, thus controlling when electricity is generated. The current project addresses each of the three major subcomponents, (i) the TE module, (ii) the thermal energy storage system, and (iii) the thermal valve. The project also includes system-level and techno- economic modeling of the envisioned integrated system and will culminate in the demonstration of a laboratory-scale STEALS prototype capable of generating 3kWe.

  17. Developing instrumentation to characterize thermoelectric generator modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  18. Thermoelectric infrared imaging sensors for automotive applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirota, Masaki; Nakajima, Yasushi; Saito, Masanori; Satou, Fuminori; Uchiyama, Makoto

    2004-07-01

    This paper describes three low-cost thermoelectric infrared imaging sensors having a 1,536, 2,304, and 10,800 element thermoelectric focal plane array (FPA) respectively and two experimental automotive application systems. The FPAs are basically fabricated with a conventional IC process and micromachining technologies and have a low cost potential. Among these sensors, the sensor having 2,304 elements provide high responsivity of 5,500 V/W and a very small size with adopting a vacuum-sealed package integrated with a wide-angle ZnS lens. One experimental system incorporated in the Nissan ASV-2 is a blind spot pedestrian warning system that employs four infrared imaging sensors. This system helps alert the driver to the presence of a pedestrian in a blind spot by detecting the infrared radiation emitted from the person"s body. The system can also prevent the vehicle from moving in the direction of the pedestrian. The other is a rearview camera system with an infrared detection function. This system consists of a visible camera and infrared sensors, and it helps alert the driver to the presence of a pedestrian in a rear blind spot. Various issues that will need to be addressed in order to expand the automotive applications of IR imaging sensors in the future are also summarized. This performance is suitable for consumer electronics as well as automotive applications.

  19. Nonlinear phenomena in quantum thermoelectrics and heat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez, David; López, Rosa

    2016-12-01

    We review recent developments in nonlinear quantum transport through nanostructures and mesoscopic systems driven by thermal gradients or in combination with voltage biases. Low-dimensional conductors are excellent platforms for analyzing both the thermoelectric and heat dynamics beyond the linear response because, due to their small size, a small temperature difference applied across regions gives rise to large thermal biases. We offer a theoretical discussion based on the scattering approach to highlight the differences between the linear and the nonlinear regimes of transport. We discuss recent experiments on quantum dots and molecular junctions subjected to strong temperature differences. Theoretical predictions concerning the Kondo effect and heat rectification proposals are briefly examined. An important issue is the calculation of thermoelectric efficiencies including nonlinearities. Cross Seebeck effects and nonlinear spin filtering arise in superconductors and topological insulators, while mixed noises between charge and heat currents are also considered. Finally, we provide an outlook on the possible future directions of the field. xml:lang="fr"

  20. Thermoelectrics with Coulomb-coupled quantum dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thierschmann, Holger; Sánchez, Rafael; Sothmann, Björn; Buhmann, Hartmut; Molenkamp, Laurens W.

    2016-12-01

    In this article we review the thermoelectric properties of three terminal devices with Coulomb-coupled quantum dots (QDs) as observed in recent experiments [1,2]. The system we consider consists of two Coulomb-blockade QDs, one of which can exchange electrons with only a single reservoir (heat reservoir), while the other dot is tunnel coupled with two reservoirs at a lower temperature (conductor). The heat reservoir and the conductor interact only via the Coulomb coupling of the quantum dots. It has been found that two regimes have to be considered. In the first one, the heat flow between the two systems is small. In this regime, thermally driven occupation fluctuations of the hot QD modify the transport properties of the conductor system. This leads to an effect called thermal gating. Experiments have shown how this can be used to control charge flow in the conductor by means of temperature in a remote reservoir. We further substantiate the observations with model calculations, and implications for the realisation of an all-thermal transistor are discussed. In the second regime, the heat flow between the two systems is relevant. Here the system works as a nanoscale heat engine, as proposed recently (Sánchez and Büttiker [3]). We review the conceptual idea, its experimental realisation and the novel features arising in this new kind of thermoelectric device such as decoupling of heat and charge flow. xml:lang="fr"

  1. Thermoelectric Figure of Merit in Anisotropic Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bies, W.; Radtke, R. J.; Ehrenreich, H.

    1998-03-01

    General expressions for the electrical conductivity, thermopower, and electronic thermal conductivity are derived for anisotropic materials including their full tensorial character and properly treating the effects of the sample boundaries. The thermoelectric figure of merit ZT constructed from these quantities is proved to be maximal only when the electric field (in thermoelectric coolers) or thermal gradient (in power generators) is applied along the direction of highest conductivity. Fields applied along directions for which the conductivity tensor is non-diagonal induce transverse electric fields and thermal gradients which may be larger in magnitude than the applied fields. These fields reduce ZT below that expected from anisotropy alone. Numerical results are presented for bulk n-type Bi_2Te3 and quantum well and quantum wire geometries using semiclassical transport theory in the effective mass and relaxation time approximations. The effects of multi-valley conduction and confinement-induced splitting of the valley degeneracy are included. Surprisingly, this model predicts generally that the thermopower and hence ZT are independent of the direction of the applied fields in the limit of vanishing lattice thermal conductivity.

  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. Solar Thermoelectricity via Advanced Latent Heat Storage

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, Michele L.; Rea, J.; Glatzmaier, Greg C.; Hardin, C.; Oshman, C.; Vaughn, J.; Roark, T.; Raade, J. W.; Bradshaw, R. W.; Sharp, J.; Avery, Azure D.; Bobela, David; Bonner, R.; Weigand, R.; Campo, D.; Parilla, Philip A.; Siegel, N. P.; Toberer, Eric S.; Ginley, David S.

    2016-05-31

    We report on a new modular, dispatchable, and cost-effective solar electricity-generating technology. Solar ThermoElectricity via Advanced Latent heat Storage (STEALS) integrates several state-of-the-art technologies to provide electricity on demand. In the envisioned STEALS system, concentrated sunlight is converted to heat at a solar absorber. The heat is then delivered to either a thermoelectric (TE) module for direct electricity generation, or to charge a phase change material for thermal energy storage, enabling subsequent generation during off-sun hours, or both for simultaneous electricity production and energy storage. The key to making STEALS a dispatchable technology lies in the development of a 'thermal valve,' which controls when heat is allowed to flow through the TE module, thus controlling when electricity is generated. The current project addresses each of the three major subcomponents, (i) the TE module, (ii) the thermal energy storage system, and (iii) the thermal valve. The project also includes system-level and techno- economic modeling of the envisioned integrated system and will culminate in the demonstration of a laboratory-scale STEALS prototype capable of generating 3kWe.

  4. Microscreen radiation shield for thermoelectric generator

    DOEpatents

    Hunt, Thomas K.; Novak, Robert F.; McBride, James R.

    1990-01-01

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

  5. A new thermoelectric alloy for cooling applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ettenberg, Martin Harris

    In the last twenty years no improvements in bulk materials has been achieved for cooling in the thermoelectrics industry that has surpassed the cooling capabilities of the alloys developed at RCA by Yim and Rosi. In that work they achieved a DeltaT of 77.6K from room temperature. This work focuses on the development of a new n-type and improving the p-type alloy from the Bisb2Tesb3-Sbsb2Tesb3-Sbsb2Sesb3 pseudo-ternary alloy system. Improvements in the alloy have allowed the construction of a cooling device that achieves a DeltaT of 79.2K. In bulk material growth the highest figure of merit material, Z, for room temperature cooling applications is a p-type material (Bisb2Tesb3)sb{25}(Sbsb2Tesb3)sb{72}(Sbsb2Sesb3)sb3 that has a Z = 3.6× 10sp{-3}/K and an n-type material (Bisb2Tesb3)sb{90}(Sbsb2Tesb3)sb5(Sbsb2Sesb3)sb5 with a Z = 3.2× 10sp{-3}/K developed at the University of Virginia. The present work improves on these results by developing a new n-type material (Bisb2Tesb3)sb{70}(Sbsb2Tesb3)sb{25}(Sbsb2Sesb2)sb5 with a Z = 3.4× 10sp{-3}/K. The improvement in this new alloy is due to a lower thermal conductivity with equivalent electrical properties to the old n-type alloy (Bisb2Tesb3)sb{90}(Sbsb2Tesb3)sb5(Sbsb2Sesb3)sb5. The temperature dependent properties from 250K-400K of the three alloys with various dopant concentrations was measured to study temperature effects on the thermoelectric properties. Studies were also conducted on ohmic contacts, including measuring the contact resistivity size and the resistivity of the solder. The contact resistivity is an effect that is critical to device performance in small modules. This work also found that the dopant material is relevant to the overall thermoelectric properties of the alloy. In the p-type material (Bisb2Tesb3)sb{25}(Sbsb2Tesb3)sb{72}(Sbsb2Sesb3)sb3 the figure of merit was lowered when SbIsb3 was used instead of Te as a compensator of excess holes. This effect was not apparent in the new n-type alloy (Bisb2

  6. Nuclear reactor

    DOEpatents

    Thomson, Wallace B.

    2004-03-16

    A nuclear reactor comprising a cylindrical pressure vessel, an elongated annular core centrally disposed within and spaced from the pressure vessel, and a plurality of ducts disposed longitudinally of the pressure vessel about the periphery thereof, said core comprising an annular active portion, an annular reflector just inside the active portion, and an annular reflector just outside the active a portion, said annular active portion comprising rectangular slab, porous fuel elements radially disposed around the inner reflector and extending the length of the active portion, wedge-shaped, porous moderator elements disposed adjacent one face of each fuel element and extending the length of the fuel element, the fuel and moderator elements being oriented so that the fuel elements face each other and the moderator elements do likewise, adjacent moderator elements being spaced to provide air inlet channels, and adjacent fuel elements being spaced to provide air outlet channels which communicate with the interior of the peripheral ducts, and means for introducing air into the air inlet channels which passes through the porous moderator elements and porous fuel elements to the outlet channel.

  7. A high-throughput thermoelectric power-factor screening tool for rapid construction of thermoelectric property diagrams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otani, M.; Lowhorn, N. D.; Schenck, P. K.; Wong-Ng, W.; Green, M. L.; Itaka, K.; Koinuma, H.

    2007-09-01

    The authors have developed a high-throughput screening tool that maps out thermoelectric power factors of combinatorial composition-spread film libraries. The screening tool allows one to measure the electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient of over 1000 sample points within 6h. Seebeck coefficients of standard films measured with the screening tool are in good agreement with those measured by traditional thermoelectric measurement apparatus. The rapid construction of thermoelectric property diagrams is illustrated for two systems: (Zn, Al)-O binary composition-spread film on Al2O3 (0001) and (Ca,Sr,La)3Co4O9 ternary composition-spread film on Si (100).

  8. Thermoelectric properties of pressure-sintered Si(0.8)Ge(0.2) thermoelectric alloys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vining, Cronin B.; Laskow, William; Hanson, Jack O.; Van Der Beck, Roland R.; Gorsuch, Paul D.

    1991-01-01

    The thermoelectric properties of 28 sintered Si(0.8)Ge(0.2) alloys, heavily doped with either B or P and prepared from powders with median particle sizes ranging from about 1 to over 100 microns, have been determined from 300 to 1300 K. The thermal conductivity decreases with decreasing particle size; however, the figure of merit is not significantly increased due to a compensating reduction in the electrical conductivity. The thermoelectric figure of merit is in good agreement with results of Dismukes et al. (1964) on similarly doped alloys prepared by zone-leveling techniques. The electrical and thermal conductivity are found to be sensitive to preparation procedure while the Seebeck coefficient and figure of merit are much less sensitive. The high-temperature electrical properties are consistent with charge carrier scattering by acoustic or optical phonons.

  9. Thermoelectrics. Dense dislocation arrays embedded in grain boundaries for high-performance bulk thermoelectrics.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sang Il; Lee, Kyu Hyoung; Mun, Hyeon A; Kim, Hyun Sik; Hwang, Sung Woo; Roh, Jong Wook; Yang, Dae Jin; Shin, Weon Ho; Li, Xiang Shu; Lee, Young Hee; Snyder, G Jeffrey; Kim, Sung Wng

    2015-04-03

    The widespread use of thermoelectric technology is constrained by a relatively low conversion efficiency of the bulk alloys, which is evaluated in terms of a dimensionless figure of merit (zT). The zT of bulk alloys can be improved by reducing lattice thermal conductivity through grain boundary and point-defect scattering, which target low- and high-frequency phonons. Dense dislocation arrays formed at low-energy grain boundaries by liquid-phase compaction in Bi(0.5)Sb(1.5)Te3 (bismuth antimony telluride) effectively scatter midfrequency phonons, leading to a substantially lower lattice thermal conductivity. Full-spectrum phonon scattering with minimal charge-carrier scattering dramatically improved the zT to 1.86 ± 0.15 at 320 kelvin (K). Further, a thermoelectric cooler confirmed the performance with a maximum temperature difference of 81 K, which is much higher than current commercial Peltier cooling devices.

  10. The Law of Thermoelectric Induction and Extending the Capabilities of Its Application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anatychuk, L. I.

    2010-09-01

    Fundamental consideration of the law of thermoelectric induction is presented. The concept of similarity between the law of thermoelectric induction in electricity and Faraday’s law in electrical engineering is considered. Theoretical foundations for the use of the law of thermoelectric induction are discussed. Computer methods for the discovery of new thermoelement types different from thermocouples are described. New types of thermoelectric power converters are considered, and their advantages over thermocouples are demonstrated. Further progress in thermoelectricity due to the use of the law of thermoelectric induction is predicted.

  11. Space reactors. Progress report, April-June 1981

    SciTech Connect

    Ranken, W.A.

    1982-01-01

    Significant progress has been made in the Space Reactors design and experimental programs. Further analysis of the space reactor reactivity has shown that 2 to 3 kg of B/sub 4/C must be evenly distributed throughout the core to prevent criticality in the case of water immersion. A new core heat pipe processing, filling, and confirmatory testing system has significantly reduced the time required for these operations. The first dual-artery molybdenum/sodium heat pipe has been fabricated successfully. Fabrication of the in-pile test capsules and fuel tiles has begun. Experiments to develop methods of strengthening wicks and reducing wick pore size through chemical vapor deposition have yielded good results using tungsten. Thermoelectric couple redesign for fabrication and assembly methods prove-in has been completed, as has the test facility for these units.

  12. Oxychalcogenides as New Efficient p-TYPE Thermoelectric Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barreteau, Celine; Pan, Lin; Pei, Yan-Ling; Zhao, Li-Dong; Berardan, David; Dragoe, Nita

    2013-07-01

    During the past two years, we have underlined the great potential of p-type oxychalcogenides, with parent compound BiCuSeO, for thermoelectric applications in the medium temperature range (400-650°C). These materials, which do not contain lead and are less expensive than Te containing materials, exhibit large thermoelectric figure of merit, exceeding 1 in a wide temperature range, mainly due to an intrinsically very low thermal conductivity. This paper summarizes the main chemical and crystallographic features of this system, as well as the thermoelectric properties. It also gives new directions to improve these properties, and discuss the potential of these materials for wide scale applications in thermoelectric conversion system in the medium temperature range.

  13. Amplification and reversal of Knudsen force by thermoelectric heating

    SciTech Connect

    O'Neill, William J.; Wada, Mizuki; Strongrich, Andrew D.; Cofer, Anthony; Alexeenko, Alina A.

    2014-12-09

    We show that the Knudsen thermal force generated by a thermally-induced flow over a heated beam near a colder wall could be amplified significantly by thermoelectric heating. Bidirectional actuation is achieved by switching the polarity of the thermoelectric device bias voltage. The measurements of the resulting thermal forces at different rarefaction regimes, realized by changing geometry and gas pressure, are done using torsional microbalance. The repulsive or attractive forces between a thermoelectrically heated or cooled plate and a substrate are shown to be up to an order of magnitude larger than for previously studied configurations and heating methods due to favorable coupling of two thermal gradients. The amplification and reversal of the Knudsen force is confirmed by numerical solution of the Boltzmann-ESBGK kinetic model equation. Because of the favorable scaling with decreasing system size, the Knudsen force with thermoelectric heating offers a novel actuation and sensing mechanism for nano/microsystems.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Fiber optic signal amplifier using thermoelectric power generation

    DOEpatents

    Hart, Mark M.

    1995-01-01

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

  17. High-performance thermoelectric nanocomposites from nanocrystal building blocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibáñez, Maria; Luo, Zhishan; Genç, Aziz; Piveteau, Laura; Ortega, Silvia; Cadavid, Doris; Dobrozhan, Oleksandr; Liu, Yu; Nachtegaal, Maarten; Zebarjadi, Mona; Arbiol, Jordi; Kovalenko, Maksym V.; Cabot, Andreu

    2016-03-01

    The efficient conversion between thermal and electrical energy by means of durable, silent and scalable solid-state thermoelectric devices has been a long standing goal. While nanocrystalline materials have already led to substantially higher thermoelectric efficiencies, further improvements are expected to arise from precise chemical engineering of nanoscale building blocks and interfaces. Here we present a simple and versatile bottom-up strategy based on the assembly of colloidal nanocrystals to produce consolidated yet nanostructured thermoelectric materials. In the case study on the PbS-Ag system, Ag nanodomains not only contribute to block phonon propagation, but also provide electrons to the PbS host semiconductor and reduce the PbS intergrain energy barriers for charge transport. Thus, PbS-Ag nanocomposites exhibit reduced thermal conductivities and higher charge carrier concentrations and mobilities than PbS nanomaterial. Such improvements of the material transport properties provide thermoelectric figures of merit up to 1.7 at 850 K.

  18. High Temperature Stable Nanocrystalline SiGe Thermoelectric Material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yang, Sherwin (Inventor); Matejczyk, Daniel Edward (Inventor); Determan, William (Inventor)

    2013-01-01

    A method of forming a nanocomposite thermoelectric material having microstructural stability at temperatures greater than 1000 C. The method includes creating nanocrystalline powder by cryomilling. The method is particularly useful in forming SiGe alloy powder.

  19. High-Pressure Torsion to Improve Thermoelectric Efficiency of Clathrates?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, X.; Falmbigl, M.; Rogl, G.; Grytsiv, A.; Prokofiev, A.; Bauer, E.; Rogl, P.; Zehetbauer, M.; Paschen, S.

    2013-07-01

    High-pressure torsion (HPT), as a technique to produce severe plastic deformation, has been proven effective to improve the thermoelectric performance of skutterudites. In this report, we present microstructural and thermoelectric properties of the clathrate Ba8Cu3.5Ge41In1.5 processed by HPT. The sample was synthesized from high-purity elements, subsequently annealed, ball milled, and hot pressed, and finally subject to HPT. Compared with the ball-milled and hot-pressed sample, the HPT-processed sample has higher electrical resistivity and Seebeck coefficient, and lower thermal conductivity, electron concentration, and mobility, which is attributed to the reduced grain size and increased density of dislocations, point defects, and cracks. No essential improvement of the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit is observed in the investigated temperature range, questioning the universal versatility of this technique for improvement of thermoelectric materials.

  20. Amplification and reversal of Knudsen force by thermoelectric heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Neill, William J.; Wada, Mizuki; Strongrich, Andrew D.; Cofer, Anthony; Alexeenko, Alina A.

    2014-12-01

    We show that the Knudsen thermal force generated by a thermally-induced flow over a heated beam near a colder wall could be amplified significantly by thermoelectric heating. Bidirectional actuation is achieved by switching the polarity of the thermoelectric device bias voltage. The measurements of the resulting thermal forces at different rarefaction regimes, realized by changing geometry and gas pressure, are done using torsional microbalance. The repulsive or attractive forces between a thermoelectrically heated or cooled plate and a substrate are shown to be up to an order of magnitude larger than for previously studied configurations and heating methods due to favorable coupling of two thermal gradients. The amplification and reversal of the Knudsen force is confirmed by numerical solution of the Boltzmann-ESBGK kinetic model equation. Because of the favorable scaling with decreasing system size, the Knudsen force with thermoelectric heating offers a novel actuation and sensing mechanism for nano/microsystems.

  1. Thermoelectric properties of gated graphene ribbons in the ballistic regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kliros, G. S.; Divari, P. C.

    2012-08-01

    We investigate the thermoelectric properties of gated graphene ribbons in the ballistic transport limit using linear response theory and the Landauer formalism. The dependence of the electronic conductance, thermopower as well as electronic thermal conductance on both Fermi level and temperature are clarified and the validity of Wiedemann-Franz law is examined. The electronic part of thermoelectric figure of merit ZTel which gives an upper bound for the thermoelectric efficiency of the gated ribbons, is also calculated. It is shown that ZTel of wide and short gated ribbons is directly related to geometric aspect ratio of the graphene ribbon and for very short ribbons can exceed unity at room temperature. Our results could be useful in the design of efficient graphene-based thermoelectric devices.

  2. Boosting thermoelectric efficiency using time-dependent control

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Hangbo; Thingna, Juzar; Hänggi, Peter; Wang, Jian-Sheng; Li, Baowen

    2015-01-01

    Thermoelectric efficiency is defined as the ratio of power delivered to the load of a device to the rate of heat flow from the source. Till date, it has been studied in presence of thermodynamic constraints set by the Onsager reciprocal relation and the second law of thermodynamics that severely bottleneck the thermoelectric efficiency. In this study, we propose a pathway to bypass these constraints using a time-dependent control and present a theoretical framework to study dynamic thermoelectric transport in the far from equilibrium regime. The presence of a control yields the sought after substantial efficiency enhancement and importantly a significant amount of power supplied by the control is utilised to convert the wasted-heat energy into useful-electric energy. Our findings are robust against nonlinear interactions and suggest that external time-dependent forcing, which can be incorporated with existing devices, provides a beneficial scheme to boost thermoelectric efficiency. PMID:26464021

  3. High-Temperature High-Efficiency Solar Thermoelectric Generators

    SciTech Connect

    Baranowski, LL; Warren, EL; Toberer, ES

    2014-03-01

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

  4. Anomalous thermoelectricity in strained Bi2Te3 films

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yucong; Chen, Jiadong; Deng, Huiyong; Hu, Gujin; Zhu, Daming; Dai, Ning

    2016-01-01

    Bi2Te3-based alloys have been intensively used for thermoelectric coolers and generators due to their high Seebeck coefficient S. So far, efforts to improve the S have been made mostly on changing the structures and components. Herein, we demonstrate an anomalous thermoelectricity in strained Bi2Te3 films, i.e., the value of S is obviously changed after reversing the direction of temperature gradient. Further theoretical and experimental analysis shows that it originates from the coupling of thermoelectric and flexoelectric effects caused by a stress gradient. Our finding provides a new avenue to adjust the S of Bi2Te3-based thermoelectric materials through flexoelectric polarization. PMID:27600406

  5. Thermoelectric Skutterudite Compositions and Methods for Producing the Same

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ren, Zhifeng (Inventor); Yang, Jian (Inventor); Yan, Xiao (Inventor); He, Qinyu (Inventor); Chen, Gang (Inventor); Hao, Qing (Inventor)

    2014-01-01

    Compositions related to skutterudite-based thermoelectric materials are disclosed. Such compositions can result in materials that have enhanced ZT values relative to one or more bulk materials from which the compositions are derived. Thermoelectric materials such as n-type and p-type skutterudites with high thermoelectric figures-of-merit can include materials with filler atoms and/or materials formed by compacting particles (e.g., nanoparticles) into a material with a plurality of grains each having a portion having a skutterudite-based structure. Methods of forming thermoelectric skutterudites, which can include the use of hot press processes to consolidate particles, are also disclosed. The particles to be consolidated can be derived from (e.g., grinded from), skutterudite-based bulk materials, elemental materials, other non-Skutterudite-based materials, or combinations of such materials.

  6. Electronic, phononic, and thermoelectric properties of graphyne sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Sevinçli, Hâldun; Sevik, Cem

    2014-12-01

    Electron, phonon, and thermoelectric transport properties of α-, β-, γ-, and 6,6,12-graphyne sheets are compared and contrasted with those of graphene. α-, β-, and 6,6,12-graphynes, with direction dependent Dirac dispersions, have higher electronic transmittance than graphene. γ-graphyne also attains better electrical conduction than graphene except at its band gap. Vibrationally, graphene conducts heat much more efficiently than graphynes, a behavior beyond an atomic density differences explanation. Seebeck coefficients of the considered Dirac materials are similar but thermoelectric power factors decrease with increasing effective speeds of light. γ-graphyne yields the highest thermoelectric efficiency with a thermoelectric figure of merit as high as ZT = 0.45, almost an order of magnitude higher than that of graphene.

  7. High-Temperature High-Efficiency Solar Thermoelectric Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Organic thermoelectric materials for energy harvesting and temperature control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russ, Boris; Glaudell, Anne; Urban, Jeffrey J.; Chabinyc, Michael L.; Segalman, Rachel A.

    2016-10-01

    Conjugated polymers and related processing techniques have been developed for organic electronic devices ranging from lightweight photovoltaics to flexible displays. These breakthroughs have recently been used to create organic thermoelectric materials, which have potential for wearable heating and cooling devices, and near-room-temperature energy generation. So far, the best thermoelectric materials have been inorganic compounds (such as Bi2Te3) that have relatively low Earth abundance and are fabricated through highly complex vacuum processing routes. Molecular materials and hybrid organic-inorganic materials now demonstrate figures of merit approaching those of these inorganic materials, while also exhibiting unique transport behaviours that are suggestive of optimization pathways and device geometries that were not previously possible. In this Review, we discuss recent breakthroughs for organic materials with high thermoelectric figures of merit and indicate how these materials may be incorporated into new module designs that take advantage of their mechanical and thermoelectric properties.

  10. Universal thermoelectric effect of Dirac fermions in graphene.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Lijun; Ma, Rong; Sheng, Li; Liu, Mei; Sheng, Dong-Ning

    2010-02-19

    We numerically study the thermoelectric transports of Dirac fermions in graphene in the presence of a strong magnetic field and disorder. We find that the thermoelectric transport coefficients demonstrate universal behavior depending on the ratio between the temperature and the width of the disorder-broadened Landau levels (LLs). The transverse thermoelectric conductivity alpha{xy} reaches a universal quantum value at the center of each LL in the high temperature regime, and it has a linear temperature dependence at low temperatures. The calculated Nernst signal has a peak at the central LL with heights of the order of k{B}/e, and changes sign near other LLs, while the thermopower has an opposite behavior, in good agreement with experimental data. The validity of the generalized Mott relation between the thermoelectric and electrical transport coefficients is verified in a wide range of temperatures.

  11. Multilayered carbon nanotube/polymer composite based thermoelectric fabrics.

    PubMed

    Hewitt, Corey A; Kaiser, Alan B; Roth, Siegmar; Craps, Matt; Czerw, Richard; Carroll, David L

    2012-03-14

    Thermoelectrics are materials capable of the solid-state conversion between thermal and electrical energy. Carbon nanotube/polymer composite thin films are known to exhibit thermoelectric effects, however, have a low figure of merit (ZT) of 0.02. In this work, we demonstrate individual composite films of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNT)/polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) that are layered into multiple element modules that resemble a felt fabric. The thermoelectric voltage generated by these fabrics is the sum of contributions from each layer, resulting in increased power output. Since these fabrics have the potential to be cheaper, lighter, and more easily processed than the commonly used thermoelectric bismuth telluride, the overall performance of the fabric shows promise as a realistic alternative in a number of applications such as portable lightweight electronics.

  12. Atomistic design of semiconductor nanostructures with optimal thermoelectric properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galli, Giulia

    2008-03-01

    The search for novel materials with optimal thermoelectric properties (for either thermoelectric power generation or heat dissipation) is an active field of research. We present atomistic and ab-initio simulations of selected nanomaterials, aimed at predicting thermal conductivities and electronic transport properties, and ultimately at designing materials with optimal thermoelectric figure of merit. In particular we focus on carbon nanotubes [1], silicon wires [2] and nanoporous silicon [3] and we discuss both strategies and algorithms to optimize thermoelectric properties at the nanoscale. [1] D. Donadio and G.Galli, Phys. Rev. Lett. 2007 (in press). [2] T.Vo, A.Williamson, V.Lordi and G.Galli (submitted) and J.Reed, A.Williamson, E.Schwegler and G.Galli (submitted). [3] J.-H. Lee, J.C.Grossman, J.Reed and G.Galli, Appl. Phys. Lett. 2007 (in press).

  13. Thermoelectric skutterudite compositions and methods for producing the same

    DOEpatents

    Ren, Zhifeng; Yang, Jian; Yan, Xiao; He, Qinyu; Chen, Gang; Hao, Qing

    2014-11-11

    Compositions related to skutterudite-based thermoelectric materials are disclosed. Such compositions can result in materials that have enhanced ZT values relative to one or more bulk materials from which the compositions are derived. Thermoelectric materials such as n-type and p-type skutterudites with high thermoelectric figures-of-merit can include materials with filler atoms and/or materials formed by compacting particles (e.g., nanoparticles) into a material with a plurality of grains each having a portion having a skutterudite-based structure. Methods of forming thermoelectric skutterudites, which can include the use of hot press processes to consolidate particles, are also disclosed. The particles to be consolidated can be derived from (e.g., grinded from), skutterudite-based bulk materials, elemental materials, other non-Skutterudite-based materials, or combinations of such materials.

  14. Dynamical thermoelectric coefficients of bulk semiconductor crystals: Towards high thermoelectric efficiency at high frequencies

    SciTech Connect

    Ezzahri, Younès Joulain, Karl

    2014-06-14

    We investigate in this work the fundamental behavior of the dynamical thermoelectric coefficients of a bulk cubic semiconductor (SC) crystal. The treatment is based on solving Boltzmann electron transport equation in the frequency domain after simultaneous excitations by dynamical temperature and electric potential gradients, within the framework of the single relaxation time approximation. The SC crystal is assumed to be a linear, elastic homogenous, and isotropic medium having a parabolic energy band structure. We further assume to deal with one type of carriers (electrons or holes) that reside in a single energy band, and we neglect any phonon drag effect. Our approach allows us to obtain very compact expressions for the different dynamical thermoelectric coefficients that nicely capture the essential features of the dynamics of electron transport. We emphasize our study about the dynamical behavior of the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT(Ω) of the SC crystal by considering the coupled electron-phonon transport. Our study revealed a very interesting and compelling result in which ZT increases in the high frequency regime with respect to its steady-state value. The fundamental reason of this enhancement is due to the intrinsic uncoupling in the dynamics of electrons and phonons in the high frequency regime.

  15. Mg2(Si,Sn)-based thermoelectric materials and devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Peng

    Thermoelectric effects are phenomena found in materials that can achieve direct conversion between heat flow and electricity. One important application of thermoelectric effects is thermoelectric generators, which can generate electricity when a temperature gradient is applied. Thermoelectric generators make use of various sources of heat and it is considered a promising solution for waste heat recovery. The conversion efficiency of thermoelectric generators depends on the materials used in the devices. Significant improvement in the performance of thermoelectric materials has been made in the past few decades. However, most of the good thermoelectric materials being investigated have limitations, such as the high materials cost, high materials density and toxicity of the constituent elements. The Mg2(Si,Sn)-based materials studied in this work are promising candidates for thermoelectric generators in the mid-temperature range and have drawn increasing research interest in recent years because these materials are high performance thermoelectrics that are low cost, low-density and non-toxic. In this work, systematic studies were performed on the Mg2(Si,Sn) thermoelectric materials. Thermal phase stability was studied for different compositions of Mg2Si1-xSnx and Mg2Si0.4Sn 0.6 was used as base material for further optimization. Both n-type and p-type samples were obtained by doping the materials with different elements. Peak ZT ˜ 1.5 for the n-type and ZT ˜ 0.7 for the p-type materials were obtained, both of which are among the best reported results so far. Experimental work was also done to study the techniques to develop the Mg2Si 0.4Sn0.6 materials into working devices. Different electrode materials were tested in bonding experiment for this compound, and copper was found to be the best electrode material for Mg2Si 0.4Sn0.6. Preliminary work was done to demonstrate the possibility of fabricating a Mg2Si0.4Sn0.6-based thermoelectric generator and the result is

  16. Power Conditioner with Variable Switching Control for Thermoelectric Generator Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagayoshi, Hiroshi; Maiwa, Hiroshi; Kajikawa, Takenobu

    2013-07-01

    A thermoelectric (TE) power conditioner maintaining high efficiency over a wide input power range has been developed. Variable switching frequency operation is shown to give an improvement in efficient operating range. The input range showing more than 90% conversion efficiency is expanded to more than 25% by introducing a low-power controller circuit and variable switching frequency control. The TE power conditioner showed excellent response against a change in thermoelectric generator (TEG) output and load, making it suitable for automotive applications.

  17. Investigation of the photovoltaic cell/ thermoelectric element hybrid system performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotfas, D. T.; Cotfas, P. A.; Machidon, O. M.; Ciobanu, D.

    2016-06-01

    The PV/TEG hybrid system, consisting of the photovoltaic cells and thermoelectric element, is presented in the paper. The dependence of the PV/TEG hybrid system parameters on the illumination levels and the temperature is analysed. The maxim power values of the photovoltaic cell, of the thermoelectric element and of the PV/TEG system are calculated and a comparison between them is presented and analysed. An economic analysis is also presented.

  18. PHOTOVOLTAIC AND THERMOELECTRIC SOLAR ENERGY CONVERSION USING THIN FILMS,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    Solar energy conversion by the use of thin films in photovoltaic and thermoelectric devices is discussed. Experimental work is presented on the fabrication of a thin film cadmium sulfide cell which utilizes the photovoltaic effect. A theoretical investigation is made of the temperature differences obtainable in space by using thin, light-weight plastic sheets, and the use of such plastics for thermoelectric generators is discussed. Temperature differences of several hundred centrigrade degrees can be obtained. (Author)

  19. Thermoelectric generator and method for the fabrication thereof

    DOEpatents

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

    1984-08-01

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

  20. Thermoelectric device for treatment of radiculitis and spinal massage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anatychuk, L. I.; Kobylyansky, R. R.

    2012-06-01

    Results of development of a thermoelectric device that enables controlled cyclic temperature impact on the damaged area of human organism are presented. Unlike the existing medical devices employing direct supply current for thermoelectric module, the present device controls supply current according to time dependence of temperature change assigned by doctor. It is established that such a device is an efficient means of therapy at herniation of intervertebral disks with marked radiculitis and tunicary syndromes, at meningitis, other spinal diseases and back traumas.

  1. Pressure Tuning of Intermediate Valence and Multiband Semiconductor Thermoelectric Materials

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-05-10

    to 2650 S/cm upon compression to 1.7 GPa in a diamond anvil cell. It is possible to measure thermal conductivity at high pressure , but it is...thermoelectric power under pressure . We developed a diamond anvil cell technique for measuring the thermoelectric power and electrical conductivity...observed to increase by as much as a factor of two or three. To determine ZT at high pressure , it is also necessary to have the electrical

  2. Enhancement of automotive exhaust heat recovery by thermoelectric devices

    SciTech Connect

    Ibrahim, Essam; Szybist, James P; Parks, II, James E

    2010-01-01

    In an effort to improve automobile fuel economy, an experimental study is undertaken to explore practical aspects of implementing thermoelectric devices for exhaust gas energy recovery. A highly instrumented apparatus consisting of a hot (exhaust gas) and a cold (coolant liquid) side rectangular ducts enclosing the thermoelectric elements has been built. Measurements of thermoelectric voltage output and flow and surface temperatures were acquired and analyzed to investigate the power generation and heat transfer properties of the apparatus. Effects of inserting aluminum wool packing material inside the hot side duct on augmentation of heat transfer from the gas stream to duct walls were studied. Data were collected for both the unpacked and packed cases to allow for detection of packing influence on flow and surface temperatures. Effects of gas and coolant inlet temperatures as well as gas flow rate on the thermoelectric power output were examined. The results indicate that thermoelectric power production is increased at higher gas inlet temperature or flow rate. However, thermoelectric power generation decreases with a higher coolant temperature as a consequence of the reduced hot-cold side temperature differential. For the hot-side duct, a large temperature gradient exists between the gas and solid surface temperature due to poor heat transfer through the gaseous medium. Adding the packing material inside the exhaust duct enhanced heat transfer and hence raised hot-side duct surface temperatures and thermoelectric power compared to the unpacked duct, particularly where the gas-to-surface temperature differential is highest. Therefore it is recommended that packing of exhaust duct becomes common practice in thermoelectric waste energy harvesting applications.

  3. High Efficiency Thermoelectric Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed; Saber, Hamed; Caillat, Thierry

    2004-01-01

    The work performed and whose results presented in this report is a joint effort between the University of New Mexico s Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies (ISNPS) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology. In addition to the development, design, and fabrication of skutterudites and skutterudites-based segmented unicouples this effort included conducting performance tests of these unicouples for hundreds of hours to verify theoretical predictions of the conversion efficiency. The performance predictions of these unicouples are obtained using 1-D and 3-D models developed for that purpose and for estimating the actual performance and side heat losses in the tests conducted at ISNPS. In addition to the performance tests, the development of the 1-D and 3-D models and the development of Advanced Radioisotope Power systems for Beginning-Of-Life (BOM) power of 108 We are carried out at ISNPS. The materials synthesis and fabrication of the unicouples are carried out at JPL. The research conducted at ISNPS is documented in chapters 2-5 and that conducted at JP, in documented in chapter 5. An important consideration in the design and optimization of segmented thermoelectric unicouples (STUs) is determining the relative lengths, cross-section areas, and the interfacial temperatures of the segments of the different materials in the n- and p-legs. These variables are determined using a genetic algorithm (GA) in conjunction with one-dimensional analytical model of STUs that is developed in chapter 2. Results indicated that when optimized for maximum conversion efficiency, the interfacial temperatures between various segments in a STU are close to those at the intersections of the Figure-Of-Merit (FOM), ZT, curves of the thermoelectric materials of the adjacent segments. When optimizing the STUs for maximum electrical power density, however, the interfacial temperatures are different from those at the intersections of the ZT curves, but

  4. Aerogel/Particle Composites for Thermoelectric Devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paik, Jong-Ah; Sakamoto, Jeffrey; Jones, Steven

    2006-01-01

    Optimizing solution chemistry and the addition of titania and fumed silica powder reduces shrinkage. These materials would serve to increase thermal efficiency by providing thermal insulation to suppress lateral heat leaks. They would also serve to prolong operational lifetime by suppressing sublimation of certain constituents of thermoelectric materials (e.g., sublimation of Sb from CoSb3) at typical high operating temperatures. [The use of pure silica aerogels as cast-in-place thermal-insulation and sublimation-suppression materials was described in "Aerogels for Thermal Insulation of Thermoelectric Devices" (NPO-40630), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 30, No. 7 (July 2006), page 50.] A silica aerogel is synthesized in a solgel process that includes preparation of a silica sol, gelation of the sol, and drying of the gel in a solvent at a supercritical temperature and pressure. The utility of pure silica aerogel is diminished by a tendency to shrink (and, therefore, also to crack) during the gelation and supercritical-drying stages. Moreover, to increase suppression of sublimation, it is advantageous to make an aerogel having greater density, but shrinkage and cracking tend to increase with density. A composite material of the type under investigation consists mostly of titania oxide powder particles and a small addition of fumed silica powder, which are mixed into the sol along with other ingredients prior to the gelation stage of processing. The silica aerogel and fumed silica act as a binder, gluing the titania particles together. It is believed that the addition of fumed silica stiffens the aerogel network and reduces shrinkage during the supercritical-drying stage. Minimization of shrinkage enables establishment of intimate contact between thermoelectric legs and the composite material, thereby maximizing the effectiveness of the material for thermal insulation and suppression of sublimation. To some extent, the properties of the composite can be tailored via the

  5. Analysis and evaluation of ZPPR (Zero Power Physics Reactor) critical experiments for a 100 kilowatt-electric space reactor

    SciTech Connect

    McFarlane, H.F.; Collins, P.J.; Carpenter, S.G.; Olsen, D.N.; Smith, D.M.; Schaefer, R.W. ); Doncals, R.A.; Andre, S.V.; Porter, C.A. ); Cowan, C.L; Stewart, S.L.; Protsik, R. . Astro Space Div.)

    1990-01-01

    ZPPR critical experiments were used for physics testing the reactor design of the SP-100, a 100-kW thermoelectric LMR that is being developed to provide electrical power for space applications. These tests validated all key physics characteristics of the design, including the ultimate safety in the event of a launch or re-entry accident. Both the experiments and the analysis required the use of techniques not previously applied to fast reactor designs. A few significant discrepancies between the experimental and calculated results leave opportunities for further optimization. An initial investigation has been made into application of the ZPPR-20 results, along with those of other relevant integral data, to the SP-100 design. 13 refs., 5 figs., 7 tabs.

  6. Thermal Design of a Thermoelectric Micro-Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Quantum interference in thermoelectric molecular junctions: A toy model perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Nozaki, Daijiro E-mail: research@nano.tu-dresden.de; Avdoshenko, Stas M.; Sevinçli, Hâldun; Cuniberti, Gianaurelio

    2014-08-21

    Quantum interference (QI) phenomena between electronic states in molecular circuits offer a new opportunity to design new types of molecular devices such as molecular sensors, interferometers, and thermoelectric devices. Controlling the QI effect is a key challenge for such applications. For the development of single molecular devices employing QI effects, a systematic study of the relationship between electronic structure and the quantum interference is needed. In order to uncover the essential topological requirements for the appearance of QI effects and the relationship between the QI-affected line shape of the transmission spectra and the electronic structures, we consider a homogeneous toy model where all on-site energies are identical and model four types of molecular junctions due to their topological connectivities. We systematically analyze their transmission spectra, density of states, and thermoelectric properties. Even without the degree of freedom for on-site energies an asymmetric Fano peak could be realized in the homogeneous systems with the cyclic configuration. We also calculate the thermoelectric properties of the model systems with and without fluctuation of on-site energies. Even under the fluctuation of the on-site energies, the finite thermoelectrics are preserved for the Fano resonance, thus cyclic configuration is promising for thermoelectric applications. This result also suggests the possibility to detect the cyclic configuration in the homogeneous systems and the presence of the QI features from thermoelectric measurements.

  8. Determining factors of thermoelectric properties of semiconductor nanowires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demchenko, Denis O.; Heinz, Peter D.; Lee, Byounghak

    2011-08-01

    It is widely accepted that low dimensionality of semiconductor heterostructures and nanostructures can significantly improve their thermoelectric efficiency. However, what is less well understood is the precise role of electronic and lattice transport coefficients in the improvement. We differentiate and analyze the electronic and lattice contributions to the enhancement by using a nearly parameter-free theory of the thermoelectric properties of semiconductor nanowires. By combining molecular dynamics, density functional theory, and Boltzmann transport theory methods, we provide a complete picture for the competing factors of thermoelectric figure of merit. As an example, we study the thermoelectric properties of ZnO and Si nanowires. We find that the figure of merit can be increased as much as 30 times in 8-Å-diameter ZnO nanowires and 20 times in 12-Å-diameter Si nanowires, compared with the bulk. Decoupling of thermoelectric contributions reveals that the reduction of lattice thermal conductivity is the predominant factor in the improvement of thermoelectric properties in nanowires. While the lattice contribution to the efficiency enhancement consistently becomes larger with decreasing size of nanowires, the electronic contribution is relatively small in ZnO and disadvantageous in Si.

  9. 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.

  10. Tuning Thermoelectric Properties of Chirality Selected Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanagi, Kazuhiro; Oshima, Yuki; Kitamura, Yoshimasa; Maniwa, Yutaka

    Thermoelectrics are a very important technology for efficiently converting waste heat into electric power. Hicks and Dresselhaus proposed an important approach to innovate the performance of thermoelectric devices, which involves using one-dimensional materials and properly tuning their Fermi level (PRB 1993). Therefore, understanding the relationship between the thermoelectric performance and the Fermi level of one-dimensional materials is of great importance to maximize their thermoelectric performance. Single wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) is an ideal model for one-dimensional materials. Previously we reported continuous p-type and n-type control over the Seebeck coefficients of semiconducting SWCNT networks with diameter of 1.4 nm through an electric double layer transistor setup using an ionic liquid as the electrolyte (Yanagi et al., Nano Lett. 14, 6437 2014). We clarified the thermoelectric properties of semiconducting SWCNTs with diameter of 1.4 nm as a function of Fermi level. In this study, we investigated how the chiralities or electronic structures of SWCNTs influence on the thermoelectric properties. We found the significant difference in the line-shape of Seebeck coefficient as a function of gate voltage between the different electronic structures of SWCNTs.

  11. 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.

  12. Evaluation of Thermoelectric Performance and Durability of Functionalized Skutterudite Legs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skomedal, Gunstein; Kristiansen, Nils R.; Sottong, Reinhard; Middleton, Hugh

    2017-04-01

    Thermoelectric generators are a promising technology for waste heat recovery. As new materials and devices enter a market penetration stage, it is of interest to employ fast and efficient measurement methods to evaluate the long-term stability of thermoelectric materials in combination with metallization and coating (functionalized thermoelectric legs). We have investigated a method for measuring several thermoelectric legs simultaneously. The legs are put under a common temperature gradient, and the electrical characteristics of each leg are measured individually during thermal cycling. Using this method, one can test different types of metallization and coating applied to skutterudite thermoelectric legs and look at the relative changes over time. Postcharacterization of these initial tests with skutterudite legs using a potential Seebeck microprobe and an electron microscope showed that oxidation and interlayer diffusion are the main reasons for the gradual increase in internal resistance and the decrease in open-circuit voltage. Although we only tested skutterudite material in this work, the method is fully capable of testing all kinds of material, metallization, and coating. It is thus a promising method for studying the relationship between failure modes and mechanisms of functionalized thermoelectric legs.

  13. Nature of the Thermoelectric Power in Bipolar Semiconductors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, O. Yu; Bulat, L. P.; Gurevich, Yu. G.

    2016-08-01

    Thermoelectricity increasingly draws the attention of researchers because it can provide us with methods to generate environmentally clean energy and solid-state cooling. However, some problems in thermoelectricity's physics remain unsolved. In this paper, a new approach to thermoelectric phenomena is presented, one that uses a linear description of the nonequilibrium charge carrier transport. The role of nonequilibrium carriers of both surface and bulk recombination processes has been shown to be crucial even within the linear approximation. Electron and hole quasi-Fermi levels originated from the thermal field are explicitly obtained in the case of a thermoelectric current flowing through an external circuit; the necessary corresponding boundary conditions are obtained. For the first time, it is shown that the quasi-Fermi level of one of the carriers can be a nonmonotonous function of spatial coordinates. General expressions for the thermoelectric current, the thermo-electromotive force (thermo-emf), and the electrical resistance of bipolar semiconductors have been obtained. Also for the first time, the influence of both surface recombination and surface resistance in thermoelectric phenomena was taken into account.

  14. Decreasing the Effective Thermal Conductivity in Glass Supported Thermoelectric Layers

    PubMed Central

    Bethke, Kevin; Andrei, Virgil; Rademann, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    As thermoelectric devices begin to make their way into commercial applications, the emphasis is put on decreasing the thermal conductivity. In this purely theoretical study, finite element analysis is used to determine the effect of a supporting material on the thermal conductivity of a thermoelectric module. The simulations illustrate the heat transfer along a sample, consisting from Cu, Cu2O and PbTe thermoelectric layers on a 1 mm thick Pyrex glass substrate. The influence of two different types of heating, at a constant temperature and at a constant heat flux, is also investigated. It is revealed that the presence of a supporting material plays an important role on lowering the effective thermal conductivity of the layer-substrate ensemble. By using thinner thermoelectric layers the effective thermal conductivity is further reduced, almost down to the value of the glass substrate. As a result, the temperature gradient becomes steeper for a fixed heating temperature, which allows the production of devices with improved performance under certain conditions. Based on the simulation results, we also propose a model for a robust thin film thermoelectric device. With this suggestion, we invite the thermoelectric community to prove the applicability of the presented concept for practical purposes. PMID:26982458

  15. Decreasing the Effective Thermal Conductivity in Glass Supported Thermoelectric Layers.

    PubMed

    Bethke, Kevin; Andrei, Virgil; Rademann, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    As thermoelectric devices begin to make their way into commercial applications, the emphasis is put on decreasing the thermal conductivity. In this purely theoretical study, finite element analysis is used to determine the effect of a supporting material on the thermal conductivity of a thermoelectric module. The simulations illustrate the heat transfer along a sample, consisting from Cu, Cu2O and PbTe thermoelectric layers on a 1 mm thick Pyrex glass substrate. The influence of two different types of heating, at a constant temperature and at a constant heat flux, is also investigated. It is revealed that the presence of a supporting material plays an important role on lowering the effective thermal conductivity of the layer-substrate ensemble. By using thinner thermoelectric layers the effective thermal conductivity is further reduced, almost down to the value of the glass substrate. As a result, the temperature gradient becomes steeper for a fixed heating temperature, which allows the production of devices with improved performance under certain conditions. Based on the simulation results, we also propose a model for a robust thin film thermoelectric device. With this suggestion, we invite the thermoelectric community to prove the applicability of the presented concept for practical purposes.

  16. 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.

  17. Cooling power of transverse thermoelectrics for cryogenic cooling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Yang; Ma, Ming; Grayson, M.

    2016-05-01

    Transverse Peltier coolers have been experimentally and theoretically studied since 1960s due to their capability of achieving cooling in a single-leg geometry. Recently proposed pxn-type transverse thermoelectrics reveal the possibility of intrinsic or undoped transverse coolers that can, in principle, function at cryogenic temperatures, which has drawn more attention to the performance of such transverse coolers. However, unlike longitudinal thermoelectrics, the equations for transverse thermoelectrics cannot be solved analytically. In this study, we therefore calculate the thermoelectric transport in transverse coolers numerically, and introduce a normalized notation, which reduces the independent parameters in the governing equations to a normalized electric field E* and a hot-side transverse figure of merit zTh, only. A numerical study of the maximum cooling temperature difference and cooling power reveals the superior performance of transverse thermoelectric coolers compared to longitudinal coolers with the same figure of merit, providing another motivation in the search for new transverse thermoelectric materials with large figure of merit.

  18. Theoretical Approach to Predict the Performance of Thermoelectric Generator Modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elarusi, Abdulmunaem H.; Fagehi, Hassan; Lee, Hosung; Attar, Alaa

    2017-02-01

    The aim of this work was to examine the validity of the thermoelectric modules' performance predicted by formulating the effective thermoelectric material properties. The three maximum parameters (output power, current, and efficiency) are defined in terms of the average temperature of the thermoelectric generator (TEG). These three maximum parameters, which are either taken from commercial TEG modules or measurements for particular operating conditions, are used to define the effective material properties (Seebeck coefficient, thermal conductivity, and electrical resistivity). The commercial performance curves provided by the manufacturer were compared with the results obtained here by the effective material properties with the simple standard thermoelectric equations. It has been found that this technique predicts the performance of four commercial thermoelectric modules with fair to good accuracy. The characteristics of the TEGs were represented using the normalized charts constructed by formulating the parameters as a fraction of over the maximum parameters. The normalized charts would be universal for any given TEG module once the thermoelectric material is known.

  19. Tokamak reactor studies

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, C.C.

    1981-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of tokamak reactor studies with particular attention to commercial reactor concepts developed within the last three years. Emphasis is placed on DT fueled reactors for electricity production. A brief history of tokamak reactor studies is presented. The STARFIRE, NUWMAK, and HFCTR studies are highlighted. Recent developments that have increased the commercial attractiveness of tokamak reactor designs are discussed. These developments include smaller plant sizes, higher first wall loadings, improved maintenance concepts, steady-state operation, non-divertor particle control, and improved reactor safety features.

  20. Lossless hybridization between photovoltaic and thermoelectric devices.

    PubMed

    Park, Kwang-Tae; Shin, Sun-Mi; Tazebay, Abdullah S; Um, Han-Don; Jung, Jin-Young; Jee, Sang-Won; Oh, Min-Wook; Park, Su-Dong; Yoo, Bongyoung; Yu, Choongho; Lee, Jung-Ho

    2013-01-01

    The optimal hybridization of photovoltaic (PV) and thermoelectric (TE) devices has long been considered ideal for the efficient harnessing solar energy. Our hybrid approach uses full spectrum solar energy via lossless coupling between PV and TE devices while collecting waste energy from thermalization and transmission losses from PV devices. Achieving lossless coupling makes the power output from the hybrid device equal to the sum of the maximum power outputs produced separately from individual PV and TE devices. TE devices need to have low internal resistances enough to convey photo-generated currents without sacrificing the PV fill factor. Concomitantly, a large number of p-n legs are preferred to drive a high Seebeck voltage in TE. Our simple method of attaching a TE device to a PV device has greatly improved the conversion efficiency and power output of the PV device (~30% at a 15°C temperature gradient across a TE device).

  1. Thermoelectric Fabrics: Toward Power Generating Clothing

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Improved thermoelectrically cooled quartz crystal microbalance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckeown, W. E.; Corbin, W. E., Jr.; Fox, M. G.

    1974-01-01

    Design changes in the thermoelectrically-cooled quartz microbalance, which is used to monitor surface contamination in space simulation chambers, is described in terms of its extended temperature range, increased temperature control, mass sensitivity, and cooling power. The mass sensor uses 20 MHz quartz crystals having a sensitivity of 8.8 x 10 to the minus tenth power g/sq cm - Hz. The crystals are optically polished, metal plated, and overplated with magnesium fluoride to simulate an optical surface. The microbalance temperature circuitry is designed to readout and control surface temperature between 100 C and minus 59 C to plus or minus 0.5 C, and readout only temperature between minus 60 C and minus 199 C using auxiliary liquid nitrogen cooling. Data is included on the measurement of oil contamination of surfaces as a function of temperature in space simulation chambers.

  3. Ballistic thermoelectric transport in structured nanowires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Biao; Zhou, Jun; Yang, Ronggui; Li, Baowen

    2014-06-01

    Thermoelectric (TE) devices are solid-state energy converters that can be used for power generation through the Seebeck effect and TE cooling through the Peltier effect. Nanostructures give great opportunities to engineer TE energy conversion efficiency. In this work, we investigate TE transport properties in structured nanowires (NWs) in the ballistic transport regime, where the NWs are bent, kinked, stubbed and segmented like a superlattice nanowire using the Green’s function method and the Landauer-Büttiker formula. A large Seebeck coefficient is found when the transmission gap appears due to the quantum interference effect of electrons. The sign of the Seebeck coefficient can be controlled by the geometries of these structured NWs. This finding is helpful for the design of nanoscale TE devices, such as thermocouple, with the same type of material doping rather than those comprised of n-type and p-type materials.

  4. Natural Thermoelectric Heat Pump in Social Wasps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishay, Jacob S.; Pertsis, Vitaly; Rave, Eran; Goren, Alon; Bergman, David J.

    2003-05-01

    Photographs of wasps or hornets, taken with different temperature sensitive infrared cameras, reveal body temperatures that are sometimes significantly lower than the ambient temperature. This suggests that the hornets possess an intrinsic biological heat pump mechanism which can be used to achieve such cooling. Evidence is presented to substantiate this novel suggestion and to argue that the heat pump is most likely implemented by exploiting a thermoelectric effect in the hornet cuticle. Such a natural heat pump can conceivably also serve to cool the active hornet, engaged in daytime activities outside the nest at ambient temperatures exceeding 40 °C, to a body temperature that is low enough to allow its survival in extreme thermal conditions. It might also function as a means of raising the body temperature up to a level that enables the hornet to remain active even when the ambient temperature is as low as 10 °C.

  5. Thermoelectric property measurements with computer controlled systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chmielewski, A. B.; Wood, C.

    1984-01-01

    A joint JPL-NASA program to develop an automated system to measure the thermoelectric properties of newly developed materials is described. Consideration is given to the difficulties created by signal drift in measurements of Hall voltage and the Large Delta T Seebeck coefficient. The benefits of a computerized system were examined with respect to error reduction and time savings for human operators. It is shown that the time required to measure Hall voltage can be reduced by a factor of 10 when a computer is used to fit a curve to the ratio of the measured signal and its standard deviation. The accuracy of measurements of the Large Delta T Seebeck coefficient and thermal diffusivity was also enhanced by the use of computers.

  6. 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 (ΔT) of 75.2 K. The potential for using fabric TE devices to harvest body temperature energy has been discussed. Fabric-based TE devices may be useful for the development of new power generating clothing and self-powered wearable electronics.

  7. Thermoelectric properties by high temperature annealing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ren, Zhifeng (Inventor); Chen, Gang (Inventor); Kumar, Shankar (Inventor); Lee, Hohyun (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    The present invention generally provides methods of improving thermoelectric properties of alloys by subjecting them to one or more high temperature annealing steps, performed at temperatures at which the alloys exhibit a mixed solid/liquid phase, followed by cooling steps. For example, in one aspect, such a method of the invention can include subjecting an alloy sample to a temperature that is sufficiently elevated to cause partial melting of at least some of the grains. The sample can then be cooled so as to solidify the melted grain portions such that each solidified grain portion exhibits an average chemical composition, characterized by a relative concentration of elements forming the alloy, that is different than that of the remainder of the grain.

  8. A promising new thermoelectric material - Ruthenium silicide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vining, Cronin B.; Mccormack, Joseph A.; Zoltan, Andrew; Zoltan, Leslie D.

    1991-01-01

    Experimental and theoretical efforts directed toward increasing thermoelectric figure of merit values by a factor of 2 or 3 have been encouraging in several respects. An accurate and detailed theoretical model developed for n-type silicon-germanium (SiGe) indicates that ZT values several times higher than currently available are expected under certain conditions. These new, high ZT materials are expected to be significantly different from SiGe, but not unreasonably so. Several promising candidate materials have been identified which may meet the conditions required by theory. One such candidate, ruthenium silicide, currently under development at JPL, has been estimated to have the potential to exhibit figure of merit values 4 times higher than conventional SiGe materials. Recent results are summarized.

  9. Mercury's magnetic field - A thermoelectric dynamo?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevenson, D. J.

    1987-01-01

    Permanent magnetism and conventional dynamo theory are possible but problematic explanations for the magnitude of the Mercurian magnetic field. A new model is proposed in which thermoelectric currents driven by temperature differences at a bumpy core-mantle boundary are responsible for the (unobserved) toroidal field, and the helicity of convective motions in a thin outer core (thickness of about 100 km) induces the observed poloidal field from the toroidal field. The observed field of about 3 x 10 to the -7th T can be reproduced provided the electrical conductivity of Mercury's semiconducting mantle approaches 1000/ohm per m. This model may be testable by future missions to Mercury because it predicts a more complicated field geometry than conventional dynamo theories. However, it is argued that polar wander may cause the core-mantle topography to migrate so that some aspects of the rotational symmetry may be reflected in the observed field.

  10. Combustion Synthesis of Doped Thermoelectric Oxides

    SciTech Connect

    Selig, Jiri; Lin, Sidney; Lin, Hua-Tay; Johnson, D Ray

    2012-01-01

    Self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) was used to prepare silver doped calcium cobaltates (Ca1.24- xAgxCo1.62O3.86, x = 0.03 - 0.12) powders. SHS is a simple and economic process to synthesize ceramic materials with minimum energy requirements. The heat generated by the SHS reaction can sustain the propagation of the reaction front and convert reactants to desired products. The effect of doping level on thermoelectric properties was investigated in this study. Results show the substitution of calcium by silver decreases the thermal conductivity significantly. XRD and surface area measurements show synthesized powders are phase pure and have large specific surface areas.

  11. μ +SR studies on thermoelectric oxides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugiyama, Jun; Brewer, Jess H.; Ansaldo, Eduardo J.; Itahara, Hiroshi; Hirano, Shingo; Tani, Toshihiko

    2003-05-01

    To investigate the role of magnetism on transport properties of thermoelectric oxides, μ +SR spectroscopy has been used for polycrystalline Ca 3Co 4O 9, Na 0.7CoO 2 and Sr 0.92- yCa yGd 0.08MnO 3 samples in the temperature range between 300 and 2.5 K. It was found that Ca 3Co 4O 9 exhibits an incommensurate spin density wave transition around 100 K, though similar measurements on Na 0.7CoO 2 indicated no magnetic transitions below 250 K. The Sr 0.92- yCa yGd 0.08MnO 3 samples showed a ferro- or an antiferromagnetic transition below 250 K, while a muon precession was not observed even at 2.5 K probably due to an inhomogeneity of an internal magnetic field.

  12. Thermoelectric energy conversion with solid electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, T.

    1983-09-01

    The alkali metal thermoelectric converter (AMTEC) is a device for the direct conversion of heat to electrical energy. The sodium ion conductor beta-double prime-alumina is used to form a high-temperature regenerative concentration cell for elemental sodium. An AMTEC of mature design should have an efficiency of 20 to 40 percent, a power density of 0.5 kilowatt per kilogram or more, no moving parts, low maintenance requirements, high durability, and efficiency independent of size. It should be usable with high-temperature combustion, nuclear, or solar heat sources. Experiments have demonstrated the feasibility of the AMTEC and confirmed the theoretical analysis of the device. A wide range of applications from aerospace power to utility power plants appears possible.

  13. Materials for high-temperature thermoelectric conversion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, R. S.; Elwell, D.

    1983-01-01

    High boron materials of high efficiency for thermoelectric power generation and capable of prolonged operation at temperatures over 1200 C are discussed. Background theoretical studies indicated that the low carrier mobility of materials with beta boron and related structures is probably associated with the high density of traps. Experimental work was mainly concerned with silicon borides in view of promising data from European laboratories. A systematic study using structure determination and lattice constant measurements failed to confirm the existence of an SiBn phase. Only SiB6 and a solid solution of silicon in beta boron with a maximum solid solubility of 5.5-6 at % at 1650 C were found.

  14. Thermoelectric properties of TlPSe

    SciTech Connect

    Karimov, S.K.; Sitamov, S.S.; Umarov, A.

    1988-08-01

    This investigation was conducted to study the thermoelectric properties of thallium selenium phosphide (TlPSe) over a broad temperature range, including the liquid state. The electrical conductivity and Hall constant were determined by contact and noncontact techniques. The coefficient of thermo-emf was measured in a horizontal boat with a temperature drop of 40-50 K along the specimen. As the temperature was raised, the conductivity of the TlPSe increased monotonically at first; it dropped sharply at the melting point (666 K) and again rose monotonically when the temperature of the TlPSe melt was further increased, i.e, TlPSe exhibits semiconductor-semiconductor type melting.

  15. Lossless hybridization between photovoltaic and thermoelectric devices

    PubMed Central

    Park, Kwang-Tae; Shin, Sun-Mi; Tazebay, Abdullah S.; Um, Han-Don; Jung, Jin-Young; Jee, Sang-Won; Oh, Min-Wook; Park, Su-Dong; Yoo, Bongyoung; Yu, Choongho; Lee, Jung-Ho

    2013-01-01

    The optimal hybridization of photovoltaic (PV) and thermoelectric (TE) devices has long been considered ideal for the efficient harnessing solar energy. Our hybrid approach uses full spectrum solar energy via lossless coupling between PV and TE devices while collecting waste energy from thermalization and transmission losses from PV devices. Achieving lossless coupling makes the power output from the hybrid device equal to the sum of the maximum power outputs produced separately from individual PV and TE devices. TE devices need to have low internal resistances enough to convey photo-generated currents without sacrificing the PV fill factor. Concomitantly, a large number of p-n legs are preferred to drive a high Seebeck voltage in TE. Our simple method of attaching a TE device to a PV device has greatly improved the conversion efficiency and power output of the PV device (~30% at a 15°C temperature gradient across a TE device). PMID:23820973

  16. Thermoelectric energy conversion with solid electrolytes.

    PubMed

    Cole, T

    1983-09-02

    The alkali metal thermoelectric converter (AMTEC) is a device for the direct conversion of heat to electrical energy. The sodium ion conductor beta"- alumina is used to form a high-temperature regenerative concentration cell for elemental sodium. An AMTEC of mature design should have an efficiency of 20 to 40 percent, a power density of 0.5 kilowatt per kilogram or more, no moving parts, low maintenance requirements, high durability, and efficiency independent of size. It should be usable with high-temperature combustion, nuclear, or solar heat sources. Experiments have demonstrated the feasibility of the AMTEC and confirmed the theoretical analysis of the device. A wide range of applications from aerospace power to utility power plants appears possible.

  17. Optimal bandwidth for high efficiency thermoelectrics.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jun; Yang, Ronggui; Chen, Gang; Dresselhaus, Mildred S

    2011-11-25

    The thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) in narrow conduction bands of different material dimensionalities is investigated for different carrier scattering models. When the bandwidth is zero, the transport distribution function (TDF) is finite, not infinite as previously speculated by Mahan and Sofo [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 93, 7436 (1996)], even though the carrier density of states goes to infinity. Such a finite TDF results in a zero electrical conductivity and thus a zero ZT. We point out that the optimal ZT cannot be found in an extremely narrow conduction band. The existence of an optimal bandwidth for a maximal ZT depends strongly on the scattering models and the dimensionality of the material. A nonzero optimal bandwidth for maximizing ZT also depends on the lattice thermal conductivity. A larger maximum ZT can be obtained for materials with a smaller lattice thermal conductivity.

  18. High-efficiency thermoelectrics with functionalized graphene.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jeong Yun; Grossman, Jeffrey C

    2015-05-13

    Graphene superlattices made with chemical functionalization offer the possibility of tuning both the thermal and electronic properties via nanopatterning of the graphene surface. Using classical and quantum mechanical calculations, we predict that suitable chemical functionalization of graphene can introduce peaks in the density of states at the band edge that result in a large enhancement in the Seebeck coefficient, leading to an increase in the room-temperature power factor of a factor of 2 compared to pristine graphene, despite the degraded electrical conductivity. Furthermore, the presence of patterns on graphene reduces the thermal conductivity, which when taken together leads to an increase in the figure of merit for functionalized graphene by up to 2 orders of magnitude over that of pristine graphene, reaching its maximum ZT ∼ 3 at room temperature according to our calculations. These results suggest that appropriate chemical functionalization could lead to efficient graphene-based thermoelectric materials.

  19. Impacting Energy Utilization: the Role of Thermoelectrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morelli, Donald

    2010-03-01

    The dawn of the 21^st Century has starkly illuminated new challenges in the area of energy production and use: a rapidly increasing worldwide demand, dwindling supply, and the overarching threat of environmental damage due to energy utilization. These are not temporary inconveniences but rather harsh realities of a new world: energy reserves whose creation took millions of years are being depleted by an increasingly energy-hungry global society. How can science respond to these new challenges? To answer this question it is useful to think in terms of both short-term and long-term strategies. In the long term, we must develop sustainable carbon-free energy technologies. In the short-term, we must impact utilization of traditional sources of energy, especially in terms of increasing the efficiency of energetic processes. Here we note that in terms of overall energy usage in the United States, more than half of the energy produced by traditional energy sources is lost, mostly in the form of heat. This ``lost'' energy, which arises due to the inefficiency of thermal processes, represents a vast amount of energy that can be made available for usage now. Increasing the efficiency of industrial processes thus should be a major goal of a short-term energy research effort. A very promising approach to this problem is the development of new semiconducting thermoelectric materials capable of efficiently converting heat to electricity. A better understanding of the electronic and thermal transport properties of solids, new synthesis methods, and the use of nanotechnology have brought fresh and exciting progress to this old problem. We describe some of the materials science successes and remaining challenges in thermoelectric energy conversion and how these materials might be implemented in future devices and systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arab, Abbas; Li, Qiliang

    2015-09-01

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