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Experimental studies of thermoelectric power generation in dynamic temperature environments

Peter M. Attia, Matthew R. Lewis, Cory C. Bomberger, Ajay K. Prasad and Joshua M.O. Zide

Energy, 2013, vol. 60, issue C, 453-456

Abstract: We show that thermoelectrics can generate power from environments experiencing temporal temperature fluctuations; this source of power is useful for low-power devices in remote locations. We design and characterize devices that employ a thermoelectric module sandwiched between two heat exchangers with significantly different thermal masses and examine the effects of heat exchanger size and material selection, period of oscillation of the environmental temperature fluctuations, and radiative heat transfer on the thermoelectric power output. We report maximum experimental power generation on the order of milliwatts using standard bismuth telluride thermoelectric modules in devices with a size of about 10 cm3.

Keywords: Thermoelectric; Thermoelectric power generation; Heat transfer; Heat exchangers; Heat engines (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:60:y:2013:i:c:p:453-456