Small thermoelectric generators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thermoelectric generators are all solid-state devices that convert heat into electricity. Unlike traditional dynamic heat engines, thermoelectric generators contain no moving parts and are completely silent. A thermoelectric produces electrical power from heat flow across a temperature gradient. Recently, the field of thermoelectric materials is rapidly growing with the discovery of complex, high-efficiency materials. A diverse array of new approaches, from complexity within the unit cell to nanostructured bulk, nanowire and thin film materials, have all lead to high efficiency materials. The energy density of a combustible fuel is 10 to 100 times that of a battery. Thus in principle, even for low thermal-to-electric conversion efficiencies, a small combustor supplying heat to a thermoelectric generator could provide greater energy density than a battery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-56
Number of pages3
JournalElectrochemical Society Interface
Volume17
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry

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