nrc

Development of Low-cost Thermoelectric Devices for Energy Harvesting and Co-generation

NRC Grant:  15-119

Dr. N.D. Subasinghe
National Institute of Fundamental Studies

Area of Research:Geophysics, physics, renewable energy
Status:Ongoing

 

objectives

Introducing thermoelectric generation as a small scale, affordable and renewable energy source by designing and building low-cost thermoelectric generators, and improving the overall efficiency of the process by developing advanced material.

Following specific objectives are set up to achieve the above:

1. Experimenting with different designs to improve the output of TEG modules built with already known, cheap material combinations such as iron-aluminium or iron-brass etc.

2. Investigating the effect of different physical parameters on the final output value and comparing the results with theoretically calculated values.

3. Finding out the reasons for difference in theoretical and experimental outputs with a view to improve the design.

4. Developing different designs to be used under different conditions: i.e. solar powered TEGs, rice husk or coconut-shell powered TEGs, waste-heat recovery systems to be used in conventional fire places/hearth and in the small industries such as brick or lime kilns and bakeries.

overview

Thermoelectric energy conversion is one of the technologies with a potential to play a significant role in future energy technology. It incorporates the direct energy conversion from temperature gradients to electric energy using Seebeck effect. Proposed project is to develop material and devices to generate electricity directly from waste heat or cheap renewable fuels using the thermoelectric effect. The outcome of the proposed project will help increase the

overall efficiency of numerous existing systems (e.g. an automobile engine) through cogeneration.

Additionally, this will open up a new source of renewable energy.

Introducing thermoelectric generation as a small scale, affordable and renewable energy source by designing and building low-cost thermoelectric generators, and improving the overall efficiency of the process by developing advanced material.

Following specific objectives are set up to achieve the above:

1. Experimenting with different designs to improve the output of TEG modules built with already known, cheap material combinations such as iron-aluminium or iron-brass etc.

2. Investigating the effect of different physical parameters on the final output value and comparing the results with theoretically calculated values.

3. Finding out the reasons for difference in theoretical and experimental outputs with a view to improve the design.

4. Developing different designs to be used under different conditions: i.e. solar powered TEGs, rice husk or coconut-shell powered TEGs, waste-heat recovery systems to be used in conventional fire places/hearth and in the small industries such as brick or lime kilns and bakeries.