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A Thin-film Thermoelectric Generator will be Developed Using a Novel…

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
03 b
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
1180 La Eda Lane Fort Collins, CO 80526-4415
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: A Thin-film Thermoelectric Generator will be Developed Using a Novel Manufacturing Approach
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-10ER85906
Award Amount: $999,800.00


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.

Principal Investigator:

Casey Farnell

Business Contact:

Casey Farnell
Small Business Information at Submission:

Plasma Controls, Llc
1180 La Eda Lane Fort Collins, CO 80526-4415

EIN/Tax ID: 261535334
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No