Low-Cost Thermoelectric Subsytem for Self-Powered Equipment
Department of Defense
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Small Business Information
Alphabet Energy, Inc.
239 8th street, Suite 12, San Francisco, CA, -
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractAlphabet Energy, Inc., is commercializing a breakthrough thermoelectric material from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for waste heat recovery. Waste heat recovery is a US$50 billion opportunity in the US per year for the generation of electricity from waste heat in power plants, factories, and automobiles. In addition, waste heat from cookstoves as per this US Army SBIR project can be used to charge batteries and power local devices. Thermoelectrics are materials that, in the solid state, produce electricity directly from a temperature gradient. To date, existing thermoelectrics--based almost entirely on bismuth telluride--have seen poor adoption due to their prohibitively high costs. Alphabet's technology is the first thermoelectric entirely based on silicon, enabling devices 50-100x cheaper than existing ones at similar performance (~10% efficiency, or ZT=1.5). Alphabet saw progress during its Phase I award in building a structure incorporating this novel silicon-based nano material into a thermoelectric device. Alphabet will use a Phase II award to deliver working prototype thermoelectric devices to the Army for testing, and to prepare our devices for manufacturing using only existing semiconductor processing technology.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.