A Thin-film Thermoelectric Generator will be Developed Using a Novel Manufacturing Approach
The Department of Energy is interested in increasing the performance and cost-effectiveness of thermoelectric generator modules intended for waste heat recovery systems. Although high-efficiency small-scale thermoelectric materials have been demonstrated in the laboratory, scaling to production-level devices has proven difficult. A team of researchers from Plasma Controls, LLC, Colorado State University, Ceramatec, Inc., and the University of Denver will develop a thermoelectric generator module appropriate for waste heat recovery applications using a unique manufacturing approach. The module is based on thermoelectric materials that have high thermoelectric figures of merit and are formed from low-cost materials appropriate for large-scale manufacturing. In Phase I, thermoelectrics were created over a range of conditions, and experiments were used to test their performance, obtaining Seebeck, resistivity, and thermal conductivity values. A thermoelectric device based on these materials was designed. In Phase II, we will construct and test sub-scale thermoelectric generator couples to establish the module design. A scaled-up module will be constructed for final demonstration. Computational analysis will accompany the experimental lab work. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The thermoelectric generator module is being designed for waste heat recovery in smaller-scale diesel and natural gas engines. These include engines used in distributed power generation, pipeline pumping stations, long-haul trucks, marine vessels, locomotives, and lighter duty vehicles among others. A waste heat recovery system utilizing both thermoelectric generator modules and an organic Rankine cycle has the potential to increase power production efficiency by five percent or more.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Plasma Controls, Llc
1180 La Eda Lane Fort Collins, CO 80526-4415
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