skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Three-Dimensional Analyses of Skutterudite-Based Segmented Unicouples with Metallic Coating

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a 3-D performance analysis of Skutterudite-Based Segmented Unicouple (SKU) with nine {mu}m thick Molybdenum (Mo) coatings on n- and p-legs near the hot junction. The analysis performed at hot and cold junction temperatures of 973 K and 300 K investigated the effect of the coating on lateral distributions of the electric current, voltage, and temperatures in the legs and the conversion efficiency and electric power generated by the unicouple. The p- and n-legs are 20 mm long and have hot and cold segments of CeFe3.5Co0.5Sb12 and Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3, and of CoSb3 and Bi2Te2.95Se0.05, respectively. The cross-section area of the p-leg is 11 mm2. The cross sectional area of the n-leg and the lengths of the Mo coatings and of various segments of the legs are determined for maximum conversion efficiency using a 1-D optimization model. The 3-D analysis performed with ANSYS finite element commercial software used the dimension determined by the 1-D model. Results show that the electric currents near the outer surface of the Mo coatings flow in the opposite direction to those in the n- and p-legs. In very thin parts of legs near the interface with the coatings, electric currents flow inmore » the same direction as in the coatings, but decrease rapidly with inward distance from the interface, eventually becoming zero, then flowing in the same direction as the electric current in the legs. Such current circulation increases joules losses in the coated parts of the hot segments of the legs, decreasing the conversion efficiency. The increased heat flow from the hot shoe through the metallic coatings contributes to decreasing the conversion efficiency, but increasing the electric power generated by SKU.« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Dept., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 87131 (United States)
  2. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20798008
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 813; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: 10. conference on thermophysics applications in microgravity; 23. symposium on space nuclear power and propulsion; 4. conference on human/robotic technology and the national vision for space exploration; 4. symposium on space colonization; 3. symposium on new frontiers and future concepts, Albuquerque, NM (United States), 12-16 Feb 2006; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.2169238; (c) 2006 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; A CODES; COATINGS; DISTRIBUTION; EFFICIENCY; ELECTRIC CURRENTS; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; ELECTRIC POWER; ENERGY CONVERSION; FINITE ELEMENT METHOD; HEAT FLUX; INTERFACES; MOLYBDENUM; MOLYBDENUM ALLOYS; OPTIMIZATION; PERFORMANCE; RADIOISOTOPES; SURFACES; THERMOELECTRIC GENERATORS; NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems

Citation Formats

Saber, Hamed H., El-Genk, Mohamed S., and Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 87131. Three-Dimensional Analyses of Skutterudite-Based Segmented Unicouples with Metallic Coating. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1063/1.2169238.
Saber, Hamed H., El-Genk, Mohamed S., & Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 87131. Three-Dimensional Analyses of Skutterudite-Based Segmented Unicouples with Metallic Coating. United States. doi:10.1063/1.2169238.
Saber, Hamed H., El-Genk, Mohamed S., and Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 87131. Fri . "Three-Dimensional Analyses of Skutterudite-Based Segmented Unicouples with Metallic Coating". United States. doi:10.1063/1.2169238.
@article{osti_20798008,
title = {Three-Dimensional Analyses of Skutterudite-Based Segmented Unicouples with Metallic Coating},
author = {Saber, Hamed H. and El-Genk, Mohamed S. and Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 87131},
abstractNote = {This paper presents the results of a 3-D performance analysis of Skutterudite-Based Segmented Unicouple (SKU) with nine {mu}m thick Molybdenum (Mo) coatings on n- and p-legs near the hot junction. The analysis performed at hot and cold junction temperatures of 973 K and 300 K investigated the effect of the coating on lateral distributions of the electric current, voltage, and temperatures in the legs and the conversion efficiency and electric power generated by the unicouple. The p- and n-legs are 20 mm long and have hot and cold segments of CeFe3.5Co0.5Sb12 and Bi0.4Sb1.6Te3, and of CoSb3 and Bi2Te2.95Se0.05, respectively. The cross-section area of the p-leg is 11 mm2. The cross sectional area of the n-leg and the lengths of the Mo coatings and of various segments of the legs are determined for maximum conversion efficiency using a 1-D optimization model. The 3-D analysis performed with ANSYS finite element commercial software used the dimension determined by the 1-D model. Results show that the electric currents near the outer surface of the Mo coatings flow in the opposite direction to those in the n- and p-legs. In very thin parts of legs near the interface with the coatings, electric currents flow in the same direction as in the coatings, but decrease rapidly with inward distance from the interface, eventually becoming zero, then flowing in the same direction as the electric current in the legs. Such current circulation increases joules losses in the coated parts of the hot segments of the legs, decreasing the conversion efficiency. The increased heat flow from the hot shoe through the metallic coatings contributes to decreasing the conversion efficiency, but increasing the electric power generated by SKU.},
doi = {10.1063/1.2169238},
journal = {AIP Conference Proceedings},
number = 1,
volume = 813,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jan 20 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Fri Jan 20 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}