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Progress on the Fabrication and Characterization of High Efficiency Thermoelectric Generators

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Timothy P. Hogan
Affiliation:
hogant@msu.edu, Michigan State University, Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2120 Engineering Building, East Lansing, MI, 48824-1226, United States, (517) 432-3176, (517) 353-1980
Adam D. Downey
Affiliation:
downeyad@egr.msu.edu, Michigan State University, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, United States
Jarrod Short
Affiliation:
shortjar@msu.edu, Michigan State University, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, United States
Jonathan J. D'Angelo
Affiliation:
dangelo4@msu.edu, Michigan State University, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, United States
Eric Quarez
Affiliation:
equarez@msu.edu, Michigan State University, Chemistry Department, United States
John Androulakis
Affiliation:
androula@chemistry.msu.edu, Michigan State University, Chemistry Department, United States
Pierre F. P. Poudeu
Affiliation:
poudeupo@msu.edu, Michigan State University, Chemistry Department, United States
Mercouri G. Kanatzidis
Affiliation:
kanatzidis@chemistry.msu.edu, Michigan State University, Chemistry Department, United States
Ed Timm
Affiliation:
timm@egr.msu.edu, Michigan State University, Mechanical Engineering Department, United States
Kim Sarbo
Affiliation:
sarbokim@msu.edu, Michigan State University, Mechanical Engineering Department, United States
Harold Schock
Affiliation:
schock@msu.edu, Michigan State University, Mechanical Engineering Department, United States
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Abstract

High efficiency thermoelectric modules are of great interest for power generation applications where hot side temperatures of approximately 800K exist. The fabrication of such modules requires a multidisciplinary effort for the optimization of the material compositions, the engineering of the module systems, modeling and fabrication of the devices, and constant feedback from characterization. Pb-Sb-Ag-Te (LAST) and Pb-Sb-Ag-Sn-Te (LASTT) compounds are among the best known materials for this temperature range. Modeling of these materials and possible cascaded structures shows efficiencies of 14% can be achieved for low resistance contacts. Using antimony we have achieved contact resistivities less than 20 µΩ·cm2. Here we give a detailed presentation on the procedures used in the fabrication of thermoelectric generators based on these new materials. We also present the characterization systems and measurements on these generators.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2006

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References

REFERENCES

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