Shockwave Fabrication of High Performance Thermoelectrics
Thermoelectric (TE) generators/refrigerators have the advantages of lack of moving parts, quiet operation, and flexibility in deployment, but their use has been limited because of their relatively low conversion efficiency. Two major loss components are conductive (phonon) heat transfer through the TE lattice and parasitic losses at fabrication interfaces. Shock wave consolidation of thermoelectric nanopowders to produce TE devices will reduce both loss sources, leading to enhanced efficiency devices.
The conversion efficiency of a TE device will always be thermodynamically limited by the Carnot ratio of (Th-Tc)/Th, where Th and Tc are the temperatures of the hot and cold junctions. Present technology thermoelectric devices can provide conversion efficiencies up to a third of the Carnot limit. With the restrictions on phonon transport acruing from nanopowder consolidation, conversion efficiencies of over 50% of the Carnot limit should be possible.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Business Contact:David Nemir
Research Institution Information:
TXL Group, Inc.
2000 Wyoming Avenue El Paso, TX 79903
Number of Employees:
University of Texas at El Paso
500 W. University Avenue
El Paso, TX 79968
Nonprofit college or university