Thermoelectric devices


The PowerPot:

The PowerPot is a thermoelectric generator that uses heat to generate electricity.  The PowerPot has no moving parts or batteries, and since the thermoelectric technology is built into the bottom of the pot it can produce electricity from a wide variety of heat sources.  Simply add water and place the PowerPot on a fire and it will start generating electricity within seconds.  Just plug in the high temperature cable to the back of the pot and your USB devices begin to charge from a fire.

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An automotive thermoelectric generator (ATEG) is a device that converts some of the waste heat of an internal combustion engine (IC) into electricity using the Seebeck Effect. The Seebeck effect is the conversion of heat directly into electricity at the junction of different types of wire.

The primary goal of ATEGs is to reduce fuel consumption. Forty percent of an IC engine’s energy is lost through exhaust gas heat. By converting the lost heat into electricity, ATEGs decrease fuel consumption by reducing the electric generator load on the engine. ATEGs allow the automobile to generate electricity from the engine’s thermal energy rather than using mechanical energy to power an electric generator. Since the electricity is generated from waste heat that would otherwise be released into the environment, the engine burns less fuel to power the vehicle’s electrical components, such as the headlights. Therefore, the automobile releases fewer emissions.



Thermoelectric generator on glass fabric for wearable electronic devices:

Wearable computers or devices have been hailed as the next generation of mobile electronic gadgets, from smart watches to smart glasses to smart pacemakers.

Byung Jin Cho, a professor of electrical engineering, proposed developing a glass fabric-based thermoelectric (TE) generator that is extremely light and flexible and produces electricity from the heat of the human body.

The organic-based TE generators use polymers that are highly flexible and compatible with human skin, ideal for wearable electronics. The polymers, however, have a low power output. Inorganic-based TE generators produce a high electrical energy, but they are heavy, rigid, and bulky.

Professor Cho came up with a new concept and design technique to build a flexible TE generator that minimizes thermal energy loss but maximizes power output. His team synthesized liquid-like pastes of n-type and p-type TE materials and printed them onto a glass fabric by applying a screen-printing technique. The pastes permeated through the meshes of the fabric and formed films of TE materials in a range of thickness of several hundreds of microns. As a result, hundreds of TE material dots were printed and well arranged on a specific area of the glass fabric. TE generator has a self-sustaining structure, eliminating thick external substrates that hold inorganic TE materials. These substrates have taken away a great portion of thermal energy, a serious setback that causes low output power.



“Thermoelectric generator on glass fabric for wearable electronic devices.” PHYS.ORG. N.p., n.d.    Web. 29 Feb. 2016

“HOW DO THERMOELECTRICS WORK?” Power Practical. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

Thermoelectric Devices Cooling and Power Generation. Print.

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