High Performance Nanoscale Thermoelectric Generators for UAVs
Small Business Information
200 Yellow Place, Pines Industrial Center, Rockledge, FL, -
AbstractAdvancement of thermoelectric (TE) technology has been a major research area for over a century, yet most compositional materials research has not produced TEs with a figure of merit (zT) greater than unity. New methods of enhancing TE efficiency are needed and have been realized through structural alteration of TE materials. Modifying this approach, Mainstream has achieved as high as a 5-fold increase in the effective performance of thermoelectric materials during Phase I. Maintaining this improvement within a full-scale thermoelectric device will lead to at least a 2.5-fold increase in power conversion efficiency. During Phase II, Mainstream will demonstrate ultra-high efficiency TE power generation with an overall system weight that is less than 1.5 kg/kW (3.3 lbs/kW). Mainstream will also demonstrate the observed enhancement with moderate- and high- temperature thermoelectric materials as well as develop circuit- and system- level manufacturing methods for the high efficiency TE generator. Further refinement of Mainstream"s innovative and low-cost approach will lead to even higher zT values and greater efficiencies. In preparation for transition to military and commercial platforms, Mainstream will also concurrently develop aircraft interfaces and system level integration.
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