SBIR Phase I: Improved Thermoelectric Generators through the use of Aerogels

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0740005
Agency Tracking Number: 0740005
Amount: $99,998.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: AM
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
DUNS: 012924069
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Wendell Rhine
 (508) 466-3130
Business Contact
 Wendell Rhine
Title: PhD
Phone: (508) 466-3130
Research Institution
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will demonstrate the feasibility of incorporating aerogels into thermoelectric devices to improve their efficiency and lifetime. The proposed work will develop and evaluate aerogel-filled thermoelectric generators for converting waste heat into electrical energy. For internal combustion engines, ~38% of the generated power is lost as waste heat through the exhaust system. Adding aerogels into thermoelectric (TE) devices will improve their efficiency by eliminating heat transfer from the hot side to the cold side. Furthermore, the TE generator's lifetime will be improved by reducing the sublimation of the TE material at elevated temperatures. Success in the proposed Phase I program will demonstrate the feasibility of using aerogels in TE generators for the hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) market. The inclusion of aerogels is anticipated to provide a 21% improvement in power generation over typical TE devices. This development will improve the power density of the HEV, ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 150,000 metric tons during the lifetime of the vehicle.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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