Photovoltaic cells integrated with thermoelectric coolers for critical electronic equipment cooling and thermal management of base camps

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
ARMY 10T024
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
EPIR Technologies Inc
590 Territorial Drive, Suite B, Bolingbrook, IL, 60440
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Silviu Velicu
Director of Research & Development
(630) 771-0203
Business Contact:
Sivalingam Sivananthan
President & CEO
(630) 771-0203
Research Institution:
University of Michigan
Kevin Pipe
2350 Hayward
2146 G.G. Brown Laboratory
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109
(734) 763-6624
Nonprofit college or university
Present thermoelectric devices operate at about 10% of the Carnot efficiency, whereas the efficiency of compressor-based refrigerators is larger than 30%. An increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT above 3 is needed before thermoelectric technology can replace current air conditioning technologies in many applications. Recent models have predicted that ZT can reach 6 in metal/HgCdTe superlattice-based devices. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop the technology required for the fabrication of HgCdTe-based thermoelectric devices with high thermoelectric figures of merit, monolithically integrate them with the silicon-based solar cells currently available at EPIR, and apply the technology to critical electronic equipment cooling and military base camp air conditioning purposes. The feasibility of using HgCdTe-based materials grown on silicon substrates for thermoelectric cooling will be demonstrated during Phase I. We will develop an accurate model for the thermoelectric properties of HgCdTe superlattice structures and perform the molecular beam epitaxy growth and characterization of these materials. In addition to materials development, EPIR will optimize and fabricate test device structures suitable for the extraction of the materials' thermal and electrical characteristics. We will measure device ZT and the coefficient of performance, and compare them with values obtained from modeling.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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