Using the compatibility factor to design high efficiency segmented thermoelectric generators

G. Jeffrey Snyder*, T. Caillat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using thermoelectric compatibility, efficient thermoelectric generators are rationally designed. With examples, compatible and incompatible systems are explained and materials proposed for targeted development. The compatibility factor explains why segmentation of TAGS with SnTe or PbTe produces little extra power, while filled skutterudite increases the efficiency from 10.5% to 13.6%. High efficiency generators are designed with compatible n-type La 2Te 3, and similar p-type material, while incompatible SiGe alloys actually reduce the efficiency. A refractory metal with high p-type thermopower (> 100 V/K) is required for development. The Chevrel compound Cu 4Mo 6Se 8 is a compatible p-type metal that provides a modest increase in efficiency. A fully segmented generator using Bi 2Te 3-typs, PbTe, TAGS, Zn 4Sb 3, skutterudite, La 2Te 3, and Chevrel compounds between 25°C and 1000°C will achieve 18.1% conversion efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
Volume793
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003
EventThermoelectric Materials 2003 - Research and Applications - Boston, MA., United States
Duration: Dec 1 2003Dec 3 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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