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Thermoelectric power generation: Properties, application and novel TCAD simulation

GOULD, Christopher and SHAMMAS, NYA and GRAINGER, Stephen and TAYLOR, Ian (2011) Thermoelectric power generation: Properties, application and novel TCAD simulation. In: Power Electronics and Applications (EPE 2011), Proceedings of the 2011-14th European Conference on, 30 Aug 2011-1 Sep 2011, Birmingham.

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Abstract or description

This paper documents the testing of commercial thermoelectric modules when they are connected for thermoelectric power generation, the design of a thermoelectric energy harvesting system, and the novel 3D TCAD simulation of a thermoelectric couple when it is connected for thermoelectric power generation. A standard thermoelectric module will generate a small amount of electrical power, typically in the milli-watt range, if a temperature difference is maintained between two sides of the device. With the addition of relatively simple electronic signal-conditioning techniques - for example low power step-up DC to DC conversion, coupled with electrical energy storage in supercapacitors, the electrical power output from a thermoelectric power generation system can be increased to a useful and stable level. The electrical power generated by a thermoelectric energy harvesting system, designed in this way, can be used to provide electrical power to other low power electronic systems - for example electronic sensors, low power microcontrollers, and replace or recharge batteries in many applications. The 3D TCAD simulation model of a thermoelectric couple successfully demonstrates the basic principle of thermoelectric power generation, and how the application of a temperature gradient to a thermoelectric couple results in a small amount of electrical power being generated at a load resistor. The 3D TCAD simulation model will enable further investigation in the future into different material structures, thermoelectric couple and module designs, and the improvement in thermoelectric performance and efficiency.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Thermoelectric Energy, Generation of Electrical Energy, Renewable Energy Systems, Device Modeling, Device Simulation.
Subjects: H100 General Engineering
H600 Electronic and Electrical Engineering
H900 Others in Engineering
Faculty: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences > Engineering
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Rakesh YEDLA
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2012 09:52
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2012 09:52
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/149

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