The implementation of micro scale combined heat and power systems is one of the ways to improve the energy security of consumers. In fact, there are many available large and medium scale cogeneration units, which operate according to the Rankine Cycle. Due to European Union demands in the field of using renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency result in the importance of additionally developing systems dedicated for use in residential buildings, farms, schools and other facilities. This paper shows the concept of introducing thermoelectric generators into typical wood stoves: steel plate wood stoves and accumulative wood stoves. Electricity generated in thermoelectric generators (there were studies on both three market available units and a prototypical unit developed by the authors) may be firstly consumed by the system (to power controller, actuators, fans, pumps, etc.). Additional power (if available) may be stored in batteries and then used to power home appliances (light, small electronics and others). It should be noted that commercially available thermoelectric generators are not matched for domestic heating devices – the main problems are connected with an insufficient heat flux transmitted from the stove to the hot side of the generator (caused e.g. by the non -homogeneous temperature distribution of the surface and bad contact between the stove and the generator) and inefficient cooling. To ensure the high efficiency of micro cogeneration systems, developing a dedicated construction both of the generator and the heat source is necessary.
In this study, an oxide reduction process and a reduction-sintering process were employed to synthesize a thermoelectric alloy from three thermoelectric composite oxide powders, and the thermoelectric properties were investigated as a function of the milling duration. Fine grain sizes were analyzed by via X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy, to investigate the influence of the milling duration on the synthesized samples. It was found that microstructural changes, the Seebeck coefficient, and the electrical resistivity of the compounds were highly dependent on the sample milling duration. Additionally, the carrier concentration considerably increased in the samples milled for 6 h; this was attributed to the formation of antisite defects introduced by the accumulated thermal energy. Moreover, the highest value of ZT (=1.05) was achieved at 373K by the 6-h milled samples. The temperature at which the ZT value maximized varied according to the milling duration, which implies that the milling duration of the three thermoelectric composite oxide powders should be carefully optimized for their effective application.
In this article, the authors present a model and a method of determining thermal parameters of a single point of the thermal touch screen for the blind and thermal parameters of selected parts of a human hand. Blind people, by using this device can “see” a pattern of dots by feeling hot spots. The thermal touch screen for the blind was used as a calorimeter and enables to calculate the amount of heat provided to a finger at a temperature ranging from 8°C to 52°C, that is the full range of temperature detected by humans. The authors designated thermal conductivity and heat capacity of both Peltier micromodule and parts of the user's hand. Results of the presented research allow optimizing the construction of the thermal touch screen for the blind and may be helpful for thermal modelling of the human body.
This paper presents the design, fabrication and testing of an improved thin-film thermal converter based on an electro-thermally excited and piezo-resistively detected micro-bridge resonator. The resonant thermal converter comprises a bifilar heater and an opposing micro-bridge resonator. When the micro-bridge resonator absorbs the radiant heat from the heater, its axial strain changes, then its resonant frequency follows. Therefore the alternating voltage or current can be transferred to the equivalent DC quantity. A non-contact temperature sensing mechanism eliminates heat loss from thermopiles and reduces coupling capacitance between the temperature sensor and the heater compared with traditional thin-film thermal converters based on thermopiles. In addition, the quasi-digital output of the resonant thin-film thermal converter eliminates such problems as intensity fluctuations associated with analogue signals output by traditional thin-film thermal converters. Using the fast-reversed DC (FRDC) method, the thermoelectric transfer difference, which determines the frequency-independent part of the ac-dc transfer difference, is evaluated to be as low as 1:1 #1; 10��6. It indicates that the non-contact temperature sensing mechanism is a feasible method to develop a high-performance thermal converter.
The paper deals with an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) facilitating voltage conversion in thermoelectric energy harvesters. The chip is intended to be used to boost up the voltage coming from a thermoelectric module to a level that is required by electronic circuits constituting wireless sensor nodes. The designed charge pump does not need any external parts for its proper operation because all the capacitors, switches and oscillator are integrated on the common silicon die. The topography of the main functional blocks and post-layout simulations of the designed integrated circuit are shown in the article.
This paper provides some information about thermoelectric technology. Some new materials with improved figures of merit are presented. These materials in Peltier modules make it possible to generate electric current thanks to a temperature difference. The paper indicates possible applications of thermoelectric modules as interesting tools for using various waste heat sources. Some zero-dimensional equations describing the conditions of electric power generation are given. Also, operating parameters of Peltier modules, such as voltage and electric current, are analyzed. The paper shows chosen characteristics of power generation parameters. Then, an experimental stand for ongoing research and experimental measurements are described. The authors consider the resistance of a receiver placed in the electric circuit with thermoelectric elements. Finally, both the analysis of experimental results and conclusions drawn from theoretical findings are presented. Voltage generation of about 1.5 to 2.5 V for the temperature difference from 65 to 85 K was observed when a bismuth telluride thermoelectric couple (traditionally used in cooling technology) was used.
In this study, the effect of electroless Pd-P plating on the bonding strength of the Bi-Te thermoelectric elements was investigated. The bonding strength was approximately doubled by electroless Pd-P plating. Brittle Sn-Te intermetallic compounds were formed on the bonding interface of the thermoelectric elements without electroless Pd-P plating, and the fracture of the bond originated from these intermetallic compounds. A Pd-Sn solder reaction layer with a thickness of approximately 20 µm was formed under the Pd-P plating layer in the case of the electroless Pd-P plating, and prevented the diffusion of Bi and Te. In addition, the fracture did not occur on the bonding interface but in the thermoelectric elements for the electroless Pd-P plating because the bonding strength of the Pd-Sn reaction layer was higher than the shear strength of the thermoelectric elements.
Nanostructured thermoelectric materials receiving great attention for its high thermoelectric performance. In this research, nanostructured n-type Bi2Te2.7Se0.3 alloys have prepared using high energy ball milling and followed by spark plasma sintering. Also, we have varied ball milling time to investigate milling time parameter on the thermoelectric properties of n-type Bi2Te2.7Se0.3 powder. The powders were discrete at 10 min milling and later particles tend to agglomerate at higher milling time due to cold welding. The bulk fracture surface display multi-scale grains where small grains intersperse in between large grains. The maximum Seebeck coefficient value was obtained at 20-min milling time due to their lower carrier density. The κ values were decreased with increasing milling time due to the decreasing trend observed in their κL values. The highest ZT of 0.7 at 350 K was observed for 30-min milling time which was ascribed to its lower thermal conductivity. The Vickers hardness values also greatly improved due to their fine microstructure.
The dispersion of nanoparticles in the host matrix is a novel approach to enhance the thermoelectric performance. In this work, we incorporate the TiC (x = 0, 1 and 2 wt.%) nanoparticles into a p-type Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3 matrix, and their effects on microstructure and thermoelectric properties were systematically investigated. The existence of TiC contents in a base matrix was confirmed by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis. The grain size decreases with increasing the addition of TiC content due to grain boundary hardening where the dispersed nanoparticles acted as pinning points in the entire matrix. The electrical conductivity significantly decreased and the Seebeck coefficient was slightly enhanced, which attributes to the decrease in carrier concentration by the addition of TiC content. Meanwhile, the lowest thermal conductivity of 0.97 W/mK for the 2 wt.% TiC nanocomposite sample, which is ~16% lower than 0 wt.% TiC sample. The maximum figure of merit of 0.90 was obtained at 350 K for the 0 wt.% TiC sample due to high electrical conductivity. Moreover, the Vickers hardness was improved with increase the addition of TiC contents.