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The thermoelectric process

Abstract

The efficiency of thermoelectric technology today is limited by the properties of available thermoelectric materials and a wide variety of new approaches to developing better materials have recently been suggested. The key goal is to find a material with a large ZT, the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit. However, if an analogy is drawn between thermoelectric technology and gas-cycle engines then selecting different materials for the thermoelements is analogous to selecting a different working gas for the mechanical engine. And an attempt to improve ZT is analogous to an attempt to improve certain thermodynamic properties of the working-gas. An alternative approach is to focus on the thermoelectric process itself (rather than on ZT), which is analogous to considering alternate cycles such as Stirling vs. Brayton vs. Rankine etc., rather than merely considering alternative gases. Focusing on the process is a radically different approach compared to previous studies focusing on ZT. Aspects of the thermoelectric process and alternative approaches to efficient thermoelectric conversion are discussed.
Authors:
Publication Date:
Jul 01, 1997
Product Type:
Conference
Reference Number:
EDB-00:007276
Resource Relation:
Conference: 1997 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting, San Francisco, CA (US), 03/31/1997--04/03/1997; Other Information: Single article reprints are available through University Microfilms Inc., 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106; PBD: 1997; Related Information: In: Thermoelectric materials -- New directions and approaches. Materials Research Society symposium proceedings, Volume 478, by Tritt, T.M.; Kanatzidis, M.G.; Lyon, H.B. Jr.; Mahan, G.D. [eds.], 359 pages.
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; THERMOELECTRIC CONVERSION; THERMOELECTRIC PROPERTIES; THERMOELECTRIC MATERIALS; THERMODYNAMIC CYCLES; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; THERMOELECTRICITY
OSTI ID:
20014235
Research Organizations:
ZT Service, Inc., Auburn, AL (US)
Country of Origin:
United States
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: ISBN 1-55899-382-7; TRN: IM200012%%163
Availability:
Materials Research Society, 506 Keystone Drive, Warrendale, PA 15086 (US); $71.00. Prices may become outdated.
Submitting Site:
DELTA
Size:
page(s) 3-13
Announcement Date:

Citation Formats

Vining, C B. The thermoelectric process. United States: N. p., 1997. Web.
Vining, C B. The thermoelectric process. United States.
Vining, C B. 1997. "The thermoelectric process." United States.
@misc{etde_20014235,
title = {The thermoelectric process}
author = {Vining, C B}
abstractNote = {The efficiency of thermoelectric technology today is limited by the properties of available thermoelectric materials and a wide variety of new approaches to developing better materials have recently been suggested. The key goal is to find a material with a large ZT, the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit. However, if an analogy is drawn between thermoelectric technology and gas-cycle engines then selecting different materials for the thermoelements is analogous to selecting a different working gas for the mechanical engine. And an attempt to improve ZT is analogous to an attempt to improve certain thermodynamic properties of the working-gas. An alternative approach is to focus on the thermoelectric process itself (rather than on ZT), which is analogous to considering alternate cycles such as Stirling vs. Brayton vs. Rankine etc., rather than merely considering alternative gases. Focusing on the process is a radically different approach compared to previous studies focusing on ZT. Aspects of the thermoelectric process and alternative approaches to efficient thermoelectric conversion are discussed.}
place = {United States}
year = {1997}
month = {Jul}
}