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136 - Batteries: thermoelectric and photoelectric

136200000 - THERMOELECTRIC

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DocumentTitleDate
20090007950LONGITUDINAL QUANTUM HEAT CONVERTER - A method for the environment heat conversion in coherent electromagnetic energy by a super radiant quantum decay and a thermal excitation of a system of electrons is disclosed. A semiconductor device is also disclosed comprising a system of n-i-p-n transistors, a double array of quantum dots on the two sides of the thin i-layer of the n-i emitter, a system of intermediate n and p layers separating the active quantum region from the n and respectively p regions by potential barriers, a metal front electrode, a heat absorber in intimate contact with this electrode, a semitransparent rear electrode forming with the front electrode a Fabry-Perot resonator tuned with the electron quantum transition frequency through the i-layer, and an output semitransparent mirror of the same transparency as the transparency of the rear electrode, by this forming with the rear electrode a total transmission Fabry-Perot resonator.01-08-2009
20130042899THERMOELECTRIC DEVICE - The present invention relates to a thermoelectric device, in particular an all-organic thermoelectric device, and to an array of such thermoelectric devices. Furthermore, the present invention relates to a method of manufacturing a thermoelectric device, in particular an all-organic thermoelectric device. Moreover, the present invention relates to uses of the thermoelectric device and/or the array in accordance with the present invention.02-21-2013
20090007951QUANTUM INJECTION SYSTEM - A system is disclosed comprising a package of active Fabry-Perot transmitters and an electric charge accumulator for converting a part of coherent electromagnetic power in electric power at the proper voltage of this accumulator. An active Fabry-Perot transmitter is a semiconductor device comprising a packet of p-i-n diodes with double quantum dots on the two sides of the i-layer, separated by potential barriers from the conduction regions. The semiconductor structure is placed in a Fabry-Perot cavity with total transmission. While a resonant coherent electromagnetic beam is crossing the Fabry-Perot cavity, a small part from the electromagnetic energy is captured by resonant electron excitations through the i-layer, injecting an electron current in the device.01-08-2009
20090266393Thermoelectric generator with concentration cell - A thermoelectric generator (10-29-2009
20120180839THERMO-ELECTRIC ENERGY CONVERTER HAVING A THREE-DIMENSIONAL MICRO-STRUCTURE, METHOD FOR PRODUCING THE ENERGY CONVERTER AND USE OF THE ENERGY CONVERTER - A thermo-electric energy converter converts thermal energy into electric energy and vice-versa. A three-dimensional micro-structure has micro-columns with different micro-column materials. The micro-column materials have different Seebeck-coefficients (thermopower). The diameters of said micro-columns which are arranged parallel to each other are from 0.1 μm-200 μm. The micro-columns have, respectively, an aspect ratio between 20-1000. Also, the micro-columns are coupled together as thermo-pairs for building a thermo-voltage. In order to produce the micro-structure, a template has a three-dimensional template structure with column-like template cavities, essentially inverse to the micro-structure micro-column material is inserted in the cavities thus producing micro-columns, and the template material is at least partially removed.07-19-2012
20130048045HEAT RECOVERY SYSTEM FOR PYROMETALLURGICAL VESSEL USING THERMOELECTRIC/THERMOMAGNETIC DEVICES - A method and apparatus for harvesting waste thermal energy from a pyrometallurgical vessel (02-28-2013
20090301539AUTOMATIC CONFIGURATION OF THERMOELECTRIC GENERATION SYSTEM TO LOAD REQUIREMENTS - Apparatus and methods for automatically configuring a thermoelectric power generation system in accordance with the requirements of a load. The apparatus includes a thermoelectric generator that generates electric power when subjected to a temperature differential, at least one configurable component that affects at least one aspect of the power generated by the thermoelectric generator, a monitor that senses at least one aspect of the power generated by the thermoelectric generator and provides at least one signal characterizing the power generated by the thermoelectric generator, and a controller. The controller is configured to receive the at least one signal and configure the at least one configurable component based on the at least one signal in accordance with the requirements of a load to which power is supplied by the thermoelectric generator. The configurable component may be a matrix switch that can reconfigure the interconnections between banks included in the thermoelectric generator.12-10-2009
20090301538Thermoelectric module - A novel thermoelectric module in which the thermoelectric elements are stacked together with thermal and electrical conductors integrated in the stack to perform the dual functions of conducting both heat and electricity.12-10-2009
20090272416INCREASING THE SEEBECK COEFFICIENT OF SEMICONDUCTORS BY HPHT SINTERING - A method for increasing the Seebeck coefficient of a semiconductor involves creating a reaction cell including a semiconductor in a pressure-transmitting medium, exposing the reaction cell to elevated pressure and elevated temperature for a time sufficient to increase the Seebeck coefficient of the semiconductor, and recovering the semiconductor with an increased Seebeck coefficient.11-05-2009
20090293928Process For Altering Thermoelectric Properties Of A Material - A process for altering the thermoelectric properties of an electrically conductive material is provided. The process includes providing an electrically conducting material and a substrate. The electrically conducting material is brought into contact with the substrate. A thermal gradient can be applied to the electrically conducting material and a voltage applied to the substrate. In this manner, the electrical conductivity, the thermoelectric power and/or the thermal conductivity of the electrically conductive material can be altered and the figure of merit increased.12-03-2009
20110277801METHOD FOR CONVERTING THERMAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY - The invention relates to a device for converting thermal energy into electrical energy with at least one thermocouple, which thermocouple comprises two thermoelectric branches (A, B) electrically connected in series, and the thermocouple has a first passage surface (F11-17-2011
20090205694Thermoelectric Generation Device for Energy Recovery - A thermoelectric generation device is configured for mounting on cooling tubes of a heat exchanger of a computer room air conditioning unit in a data center. A first type of Seebeck material and a second type of Seebeck material are arranged in a matrix and connected in series. An electrically insulating, but thermally conducting plate is located on either side of the device. The device is mounted physically on cooling tubes of the heat exchanger and exposed on the other side to the warm air environment. As a result of the temperature difference a voltage is generated that may be used to power an electrical load connected thereto.08-20-2009
20100065096THERMO ELECTRIC GENERATOR AND METHOD - A thermo-electric generator that utilizes statistically driven electric currents to create potential differences in a circuit. These statistically driven electric currents are endothermic and absorb thermal energy. The created potential differences are utilized to generate electric field driven electric currents to perform useful work in an electrical load. The energy supplied to the load is the net thermal energy absorbed in the circuit.03-18-2010
20090314324THERMOELECTRIC CONVERSION MATERIAL AND METHOD OF PRODUCING THE SAME - A thermoelectric conversion material wherein at least a part of the insulating material contained in the thermoelectric conversion material has a particle size not larger than a mean free path of the phonons in the insulating material or wherein a dispersion gap of the insulating material is not larger than a mean free path of the phonons in the thermoelectric conversion material, and a method of producing the thermoelectric conversion material comprising the steps of forming composite nano particles by reducing and precipitating starting particles of a thermoelectric conversion material on the nano particles constituted by an insulating material, followed by a heat treatment to coat the nano particles with the thermoelectric conversion material; and packing and sintering the composite nano particles.12-24-2009
20090151766METHOD OF PRODUCING THERMOELECTRIC CONVERSION ELEMENT - A method of producing a thermoelectric conversion element includes preparing a dispersion liquid by mixing slurry containing ceramic particles With salts of at least two elements that constitute a thermoelectric conversion material, and then, precipitating the at least two elements that constitute the thermoelectric conversion material on the ceramic particles in the dispersion liquid; performing washing; performing heating treatment; and performing sintering. Contact between a solution with a pH lower than 1 among solutions of the salts and the slurry containing the ceramic particles is avoided, or the solution with the pH lower than 1 contacts the slurry containing the ceramic particles for a first time when the at least two elements that constitute the thermoelectric conversion material are precipitated.06-18-2009
20110197941ENERGY CONVERSION DEVICES AND METHODS - An energy conversion device may include at least one hot source chamber (08-18-2011
20090205696Thermoelectric Heat Pumps Providing Active Thermal Barriers and Related Devices and Methods - An electronic device may include a heat generating component and a surface adjacent the heat generating component. A temperature of the heat generating component may be greater than a temperature of the surface adjacent the heat generating component during operation of the electronic device. A thermoelectric heat pump between the surface and the heat generating component may be configured to pump heat from a cold side of the thermoelectric heat pump adjacent the surface toward the heat generating component. Related methods are also discussed.08-20-2009
20090205695Energy Conversion Device - An improved design for maintaining nanometer separation between electrodes in tunneling, thermo-tunneling, diode, thermionic, thermoelectric, thermo-photovoltaic and other devices is disclosed. At least one electrode is of a curved shape. All embodiments reduce the thermal conduction between the two electrodes when compared to the prior art. Some embodiments provide a large tunneling area surrounding a small contact area. Other embodiments remove the contact area completely. The end result is an electronic device that maintains two closely spaced parallel electrodes in stable equilibrium with a nanometer gap there-between over a large area in a simple configuration for simplified manufacturability and use to convert heat to electricity or electricity to cooling.08-20-2009
20090090409System and Method for Assembling a Microthermoelectric Device - A method for creating an array of thermoelectric elements may include providing a rigid block including P-type material layers and N-type material layers stacked in an alternating relationship and bonded together by an adhesive. First channels may be formed in the block parallel to the P-type material layers and the N-type material layers and may partially extend through a depth of the block leaving an uncut bottom on the block. The first channels may be filled with an electrically and thermally insulating material and second channels may be formed in the block, transverse to the first channels. The second channels may partially extend through the depth of the block. The second channels may be filled with the electrically and thermally insulating material and the uncut bottom may be removed from the block.04-09-2009
20090283124METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ELECTRIC POWER SUPPLY USING THERMOELECTRIC CONVERSION - An electric power supply method and apparatus using thermoelectric conversion include an electric power supply apparatus that converts thermal energy, which is generated from a plurality of thermal sources of a device when the device operates using electric power stored in a first power source unit that supplies external power to the device, into electricity; stores the obtained electricity in a second power source unit; and supplies the stored electricity to the device. Accordingly, it is possible to recycle thermal energy generated when the device operates, thereby minimizing consumption of electric power in the device.11-19-2009
20090151765ASSISTANT POWER SUPPLY UNIT, POWER SUPPLIER HAVING ASSISTANT POWER SUPPLY UNIT, ELECTRONIC DEVICE HAVING POWER SUPPLY UNIT, AND METHOD OF OPERATING ELECTRONIC DEVICE USING POWER SUPPLIER IN POWER-SAVING MODE - Provided are, a power supplier including an assistant power supply unit, an electronic device including the power supplier, and a method of operating the electronic device using the power supplier in a power-saving mode. The assistant power supply unit includes: a heat source to generate heat during operation of the electronic device; a cooler to dissipate the heat generated by the heat source; a thermoelectric generator interposed between the heat source and the cooler; and a secondary battery to store power generated by the thermoelectric generator.06-18-2009
20090044848Nanostructured Material-Based Thermoelectric Generators - A thermoelectric device that can exhibit substantially high specific power density is provided. The device includes core having a p-type element made from carbon nanotube and an n-type element. The device also includes a heat plate in and a cool plate, between which the core can be positioned. The design of the thermoelectric device allows the device to operate at substantially high temperature and to generate substantially high power output, despite being light weight. A method for making the thermoelectric device is also provided.02-19-2009
20090277489Thermoelectric Device - A thermoelectric device is provided which comprises a plurality of elements of a thermoelectric material, which are preferably either all of n-type material or all p-type. In this preferred device, each element has a first end region for exposure to a first temperature, and a second end region for exposure to a second temperature, with the temperature gradient being in the same direction in each of the elements, so each element develops a voltage between its end regions in the same direction. The first end regions of the elements are mounted on a substrate, but the second end regions of the elements are at least substantially free to move with respect to one another. The elements are connected electrically in series, so that the series connection produces a net voltage, the electrical connections being designed to produce only a small amount of heat conduction.11-12-2009
20080245397System and Method of Manufacturing Thermoelectric Devices - A method of forming an P/N-type array of P-type and N-type material includes stacking a plurality of P-type material wafers and a plurality of N-type material wafers into a P/N-type array. At least one spacer is provided between adjacent wafers. The P-type material wafers and the N-type material wafers are boned together the into a composite P/N-type brick. The method may also include providing a second composite P/N-type brick. A plurality of channels and fingers are created in the first and second composite P/N-type bricks. The first and second composite P/N-type bricks are fit together to form a P/N-type mosaic. Alternatively, the method may include providing a single P/N-type brick. A plurality of channels is created in the composite P/N-type brick. The channels are then back filled with an electrically and thermally insulating adhesive so that a P/N-type grid of P-type elements and N-type elements is formed.10-09-2008
20100139730USE OF THERMOELECTRIC MATERIALS FOR LOW TEMPERATURE THERMOELECTRIC PURPOSES - The invention relates to the use of a thermoelectric material for thermoelectric purposes at a temperature of 150 K or less, said thermoelectric material is a material corresponding to the stoichiometric formula FeSb2, wherein all or part of the Fe atoms optionally being substituted by one or more elements selected from the group comprising: Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Y, Zr, Nb, Mo, Tc, Ru, Rh, Pd, Ag, Cd, La, Hf, Ta, W, Re, Os, Tr, Pt, Au, Hg, Ce, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu and a vacancy; and wherein all or part of the Sb atoms optionally being substituted by one or more elements selected from the group comprising: P, As, Bi, S, Se, Te, B, Al, Ga, In, Tl, C, Si, Ge, Sn, Pb and a vacancy; with the proviso that neither one of the elements Fe and Sb in the formula FeSb2 is fully substituted with a vacancy, characterised in that said thermoelectric material exhibits a power factor (S2σ) of 25 μW/cmK2 or more at a temperature of 150 K or less. The invention also relates to thermoelectric materials per se falling within the above definition.06-10-2010
20090178700THERMOELECTRIC FIGURE OF MERIT ENHANCEMENT BY MODIFICATION OF THE ELECTRONIC DENSITY OF STATES - A thermoelectric material and a method of fabricating a thermoelectric material are provided. The thermoelectric material includes a doped compound of at least one Group IV element and at least one Group VI element. The compound is doped with at least one dopant selected from the group consisting of: at least one Group Ia element, at least one Group IIb element, at least one Group IIIa element, at least one Group IIIb element, at least one lanthanide element, and chromium. The at least one Group IV element is on a first sublattice of sites and the at least one Group VI element is on a second sublattice of sites, and the at least one Group IV element includes at least 95% of the first sublattice sites. The compound has a peak thermoelectric figure of merit ZT value greater than 0.7 at temperatures greater than 500 K.07-16-2009
20090025770SEGMENTED THERMOELECTRIC DEVICE - According to some embodiments, a thermoelectric system includes a plurality of thermoelectric elements forming a thermoelectric array, the thermoelectric elements having a cooling side and a heating side. The system further includes at least one heat exchanger on at least one of the cooling side and the heating side, the heat exchanger being in thermal communication with at least some of the thermoelectric elements. In addition, the system includes a substrate generally positioned between the thermoelectric elements and the heat exchange element. The substrate comprises an electrical isolation layer, a support element configured to receive the heat exchanger and a plurality of interconnecting tabs configured to place adjacent thermoelectric elements in electrical communication with one another.01-29-2009
20120067390METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR GENERATING ELECTRICAL ENERGY FROM WATER - Method and system for generating electrical energy from a volume of water.03-22-2012
20080264464Temperature Control Including Integrated Thermoelectric Sensing and Heat Pumping Devices and Related Methods and Systems - A temperature control system may include a thermoelectric device, and a controller electrically coupled to the thermoelectric device. The controller may be configured to apply an AC signal to the thermoelectric device, and to sense an electrical characteristic of the thermoelectric device using the AC signal. The controller may also be configured to generate an electrical control signal to pump heat through the thermoelectric device responsive to sensing the electrical characteristic of the thermoelectric device using the AC signal. Related methods are also discussed.10-30-2008
20090084421THERMOELECTRIC DEVICES - One or more thin-film layers of thermoelectric material are formed on one or both sides of a substrate (e.g., a flexible substrate). In some embodiments, the thin-film layers have features that scatter phonons. A flexible substrate and its attached layers of thermoelectric material can be rolled up and/or arranged in a serpentine configuration for incorporation into a thermoelectric power source. In some embodiments, thin-film layers on one side of a substrate form a single, continuous thermoelectric element. In particular embodiments, one or more thin-film layers are fabricated on a substrate using an arrangement where the substrate is wrapped around a wheel and rotated one or more times past a sputtering device or other device for depositing material.04-02-2009
20090260667Solar Thermoelectric Conversion - Systems and methods utilizing solar-electrical generators are discussed. Solar-electrical generators are disclosed having a radiation-capture structure and one or more thermoelectric converters. Heat produced in a capture structure via impingement of solar radiation can maintain a portion of a thermoelectric converter at a high temperature, while the use of a low temperature at another portion allows electricity generation. Thus, unlike photovoltaic cells which are generally primarily concerned with optical radiation management, solar thermoelectrics converters are generally concerned with a variety of mechanisms for heat management. Generators can include any number of features including selective radiation surfaces, low emissivity surfaces, flat panel configurations, evacuated environments, and other concepts that can act to provide thermal concentration. Designs utilizing one or more optical concentrators are also disclosed.10-22-2009
20100147348Titania-Half Metal Composites As High-Temperature Thermoelectric Materials - A multiphase thermoelectric material includes a titania-based semiconducting phase and a half-metal conducting phase. The multiphase thermoelectric material is advantageously a nanocomposite material wherein the constituent phases are uniformly distributed and have crystallite sizes ranging from about 10 nm to 800 nm. The titania-based semiconducting phase can be a mixture of sub-stoichiometric phases of titanium oxide that has been partially reduced by the half-metal conducting phase. Methods of forming a multiphase thermoelectric material are also disclosed.06-17-2010
20130213448Thermoelectric Remote Power Source - In one embodiment, a system includes a strap configured to be coupled to a container. The strap includes a plurality of plates arranged to allow the strap to flex. The system also includes a thermoelectric device coupled to the strap. The strap is configured to transfer heat between the thermoelectric device and the container. The system includes a thermal interface situated between the thermoelectric device and the strap.08-22-2013
20100258154THERMOELECTRIC ALLOYS WITH IMPROVED THERMOELECTRIC POWER FACTOR - A thermoelectric material and a method of using a thermoelectric device are provided. The thermoelectric material includes at least one compound having a general composition of (Bi10-14-2010
20090078298DEVICES FOR THERMAL TRANSFER AND POWER GENERATION AND SYSTEM AND METHOD INCORPORATING SAME - A device includes first and second electrically conductive substrates that are positioned opposite from one another. The device also includes a sealing layer disposed between the first and second electrically conductive substrates and a plurality of hollow structures having a conductive material, wherein the plurality of hollow structures is contained by the sealing layer between the first and second electrically conductive substrates.03-26-2009
20090020148METHODS AND DEVICES FOR CONTROLLING THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY AND THERMOELECTRIC POWER OF SEMICONDUCTOR NANOWIRES - Methods and devices for controlling thermal conductivity and thermoelectric power of semiconductor nanowires are described. The thermal conductivity and the thermoelectric power are controlled substantially independently of the electrical conductivity of the nanowires by controlling dimensions and doping, respectively, of the nanowires. A thermoelectric device comprising p-doped and n-doped semiconductor nanowire thermocouples is also shown, together with a method to fabricate alternately p-doped and n-doped arrays of silicon nanowires.01-22-2009
20110056531METHOD FOR ENHANCING THE PERFORMANCE OF THERMOELECTRIC MATERIALS BY IRRADIATION-PROCESSING - One embodiment includes a method for enhancing thermoelectric properties in a thermoelectric material including irradiation processing.03-10-2011
20090139556THERMOELECTRIC POWER GENERATOR WITH INTERMEDIATE LOOP - A thermoelectric power generator is disclosed for use to generate electrical power from heat, typically waste heat. An intermediate heat transfer loop forms a part of the system to permit added control and adjustability in the system. This allows the thermoelectric power generator to more effectively and efficiently generate power in the face of dynamically varying temperatures and heat flux conditions, such as where the heat source is the exhaust of an automobile, or any other heat source with dynamic temperature and heat flux conditions.06-04-2009
20090107535SOLID STATE TRANSPORT-BASED THERMOELECTRIC CONVERTER - A solid state thermoelectric converter includes a thermally insulating separator layer, a semiconducting collector and an electron emitter. The electron emitter comprises a metal nanoparticle layer or plurality of metal nanocatalyst particles disposed on one side of said separator layer. A first electrically conductive lead is electrically coupled to the electron emitter. The collector layer is disposed on the other side of the separator layer, wherein the thickness of the separator layer is less than 1 μm. A second conductive lead is electrically coupled to the collector layer.04-30-2009
20110240080METHOD OF CONTROLLING TEMPERATURE OF A THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR IN AN EXHAUST SYSTEM - A method of controlling the temperature of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) in an exhaust system of an engine is provided. The method includes determining the temperature of the heated side of the TEG, determining exhaust gas flow rate through the TEG, and determining the exhaust gas temperature through the TEG. A rate of change in temperature of the heated side of the TEG is predicted based on the determined temperature, the determined exhaust gas flow rate, and the determined exhaust gas temperature through the TEG. Using the predicted rate of change of temperature of the heated side, exhaust gas flow rate through the TEG is calculated that will result in a maximum temperature of the heated side of the TEG less than a predetermined critical temperature given the predicted rate of change in temperature of the heated side of the TEG. A corresponding apparatus is provided.10-06-2011
20110030753CONTROL OF POWER GENERATION SYSTEM HAVING THERMAL ENERGY AND THERMODYNAMIC ENGINE COMPONENTS - A thermal source provides heat to a heat engine and or one or more thermal demands, including space and water heating and heat storage. Additionally the output of the heat engine may be used for local in situ electricity needs, or directed out over the grid. A system controller monitors conditions of the components of the system, and operates that system in modes that maximize a particular benefit, such as a total accrued desired benefit obtained such as reduced electricity cost, reduced fossil fuel use, maximized return on investment and other factors. The controller may use past history of use of the system to optimize the next mode of operation, or both past and future events such as predicted solar insolation.02-10-2011
20100037931Method and Apparatus for Generating Electric Power Using Solar Energy - In a method and apparatus for generating electric power using solar energy, a solar energy collecting unit collects solar energy to generate a first power. A thermoelectric semiconductor unit generates a second power from heat dissipated by the solar energy collecting unit. A circuit unit is coupled to the solar energy collecting unit and the thermoelectric semiconductor unit for receiving the first power and the second power and for providing a power output obtained from the first power and the second power.02-18-2010
20100065097Systems configured to deliver energy out of a living subject, and related appartusesand methods - Embodiments disclosed herein are directed to systems configured to deliver energy out of a living subject to power at least one external device, and related apparatuses, and methods of use.03-18-2010
20110048484THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR AND FUEL CELL FOR ELECTRIC POWER CO-GENERATION - Systems and methods of electric power generation are disclosed. A particular method includes generating electric power using a fuel cell. The method also includes generating additional electric power using a thermoelectric generator (TE) by routing exhaust from the fuel cell to a hot side of the TE and routing fuel cell intake gases to a cold side of the TE. The method also includes preheating the fuel cell intake gases by routing the fuel cell intake gases from the TE through a heat exchanger (HX).03-03-2011
20110146740THERMOELECTRIC DEVICE ARCHITECTURE - A thermoelectric device (06-23-2011
20080314430Line-Voltage-Powered Thermoelectric Device - An apparatus, which may be a heater or cooler, includes a thermoelectric device group having at least one thermoelectric device and an electrical subsystem. The electrical subsystem interfaces the thermoelectric device group to an alternating current (AC) line voltage without utilizing a magnetically coupled structure. In some embodiments the electrical subsystem supplies a rectified signal having a voltage approximately equal to the magnitude of the AC line voltage. In some embodiments the AC line voltage is a standard line voltage of about 90 V to about 250 V.12-25-2008
20100319746HIGH EFFICIENCY THERMOELECTRIC POWER GENERATION USING ZINTL-TYPE MATERIALS - The invention disclosed herein relates to thermoelectrically-active p-type Zintl phase materials as well as devices utilizing such compounds. Such thermoelectric materials and devices may be used to convert thermal energy into electrical energy, or use electrical energy to produce heat or refrigeration. Embodiments of the invention relate to p-type thermoelectric materials related to the compound Yb12-23-2010
20100319747Integrated Thermal Electric Generator with Heat Storage Unit - A multi-layered solid-state thermal-electrical generator (“MSTEG”) system capable of generating electricity from thermal energy is disclosed. An MSTEG system includes a thermal layer, a regulating layer, and a storage layer. The thermal layer, in one embodiment, includes multiple integrated thermal-electrical generator (“ITEG”) devices configured to generate electricity in response to a certain thermal condition. The thermal condition for example can be a temperature difference between 900° C. (Celsius) to 1200° C. for a certain layer. The regulating layer includes multiple thermal regulators deposited over the thermal layer, wherein the thermal regulators regulate temperature. The storage layer includes one or more thermal storage tanks deposited over the regulating layer, wherein each thermal storage tank is capable of storing heat.12-23-2010
20100319744THERMOELECTRIC MODULES AND RELATED METHODS - An example method for making thermoelectric modules generally includes coupling a first wafer and a second wafer together, processing the first and second wafers to produce a first thermoelectric element and a second thermoelectric element where the first thermoelectric element and the second thermoelectric element are coupled together, coupling the first thermoelectric element to a first conductor, coupling the second thermoelectric element to a second conductor, separating the first thermoelectric element and the second thermoelectric element, coupling the first thermoelectric element to a third conductor whereby the first thermoelectric element, the first conductor, and the third conductor form at least part of a thermoelectric module, and coupling the second thermoelectric element to a fourth conductor whereby the second thermoelectric element, the second conductor, and the fourth conductor form at least part of another thermoelectric module.12-23-2010
20100319745Method of using thermoelectric device - A method using an apparatus includes the following steps. Providing a thermoelectric composite material, and establishing a sufficient temperature gradient in the thermoelectric composite material to create a voltage. The thermoelectric composite material includes a carbon nanotube structure comprising a plurality of carbon nanotubes and a plurality of spaces defined by and between the carbon nanotubes, and an electrically conductive polymer layer coated on the carbon nanotube structure.12-23-2010
20100282286THERMOELECTRIC DEVICE AND POWER GENERATION METHOD USING THE SAME - The thermoelectric device of the present invention includes a first electrode and a second electrode that are disposed to be opposed to each other, and a laminate that is interposed between the first electrode and the second electrode, is connected electrically to both the first electrode and the second electrode, and is layered in the direction orthogonal to an electromotive-force extracting direction, which is the direction in which the first electrode and the second electrode are opposed to each other. The laminate includes a thermoelectric material layer as well as a first holding layer and a second holding layer that are disposed so as to interpose the thermoelectric material layer therebetween, the first holding layer and the second holding layer have layered structures with metals and insulators that are layered alternately, respectively, a layered direction of the layered structures is parallel with a layer surface of the laminate and is inclined with respect to the electromotive-force extracting direction, the insulators of the first holding layer and the insulators of the second holding layer are disposed so as to appear alternately in the layered direction, and a temperature difference is generated in the direction orthogonal to the layered direction of the laminate and orthogonal to the electromotive-force extracting direction, so that electrical power is output through the first electrode and the second electrode.11-11-2010
20100282285EXTRUSION PROCESS FOR PREPARING IMPROVED THERMOELECTRIC MATERIALS - For a process for reducing the thermal conductivity and for increasing the thermoelectric efficiency of thermoelectric materials based on lead chalcogenides or skutterudites, the thermoelectric materials are extruded at a temperature below their melting point and a pressure in the range from 300 to 1 000 MPa.11-11-2010
20090293929Hybrid Energy Scavenger Comprising Thermopile Unit and Photovoltaic Cells - A hybrid energy scavenger comprising a thermopile unit and photovoltaic cells is provided, wherein the hybrid energy scavenger may generate a good output power when operating in conditions of small temperature difference between a heat source and a heat sink, and/or either receiving the heat from a heat source with high thermal resistance or dissipating it into a heat sink with high thermal resistance such as a human body or a body of any other endotherm, or a fluid such as air, and wherein the photovoltaic cells are part of a heat dissipating structure for connection to the heat sink.12-03-2009
20100024859THERMOELECTRIC POWER GENERATOR FOR VARIABLE THERMAL POWER SOURCE - A thermoelectric generator includes a first thermoelectric segment including at least one thermoelectric module. The first thermoelectric segment has a working fluid flowing therethrough with a fluid pressure. The thermoelectric generator further includes a second thermoelectric segment including at least one thermoelectric module. The second thermoelectric segment is configurable to allow the working fluid to flow therethrough. The thermoelectric generator further includes at least a first variable flow element movable upon application of the fluid pressure to the first variable flow element. The first variable flow element modifies a flow resistance of the second thermoelectric segment to flow of the working fluid therethrough.02-04-2010
20090283125METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CHARGING THERMOELECTRICITY USING A PLURALITY OF THERMOELECTRIC GENERATORS - A method of and an apparatus implementing the method for charging a power supply device by using a plurality of thermoelectric generators includes generating electricity by converting heat generated in each of a plurality of heat sources into electricity, and charging a power supply device by connecting the generated electricity to a charging unit at different times, thereby efficiently charging the power supply device using the electricity generated in the plurality of thermoelectric generators.11-19-2009
20090173371EUROPIUM-CONTAINING NANOPARTICLE MATERIALS USEFUL FOR SOLAR AND THERMAL ENERGY CONVERSION AND RELATED ISSUES - Collectors and storage material for solar or other light or heat energy conversion comprising a matrix of conductive material incorporating Europium-containing nanoparticles, and uses therefore are described and provided.07-09-2009
20120031449METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR GENERATING ELECTRICITY BY THERMALLY CYCLING AN ELECTRICALLY POLARIZABLE MATERIAL USING HEAT FROM CONDENSERS - A method for converting heat to electric energy is described which involves thermally cycling an electrically polarizable material sandwiched between electrodes. The material is heated by extracting thermal energy from a gas to condense the gas into a liquid and transferring the thermal energy to the electrically polarizable material. An apparatus is also described which includes an electrically polarizable material sandwiched between electrodes and a heat exchanger for heating the material in thermal communication with a heat source, wherein the heat source is a condenser. An apparatus is also described which comprises a chamber, one or more conduits inside the chamber for conveying a cooling fluid and an electrically polarizable material sandwiched between electrodes on an outer surface of the conduit. A gas introduced into the chamber condenses on the conduits and thermal energy is thereby transferred from the gas to the electrically polarizable material.02-09-2012
20100300504THERMOELECTRIC SOLAR PLATE - Thermoelectric solar panel used to generate electrical power from solar power has a front part with a solar power collector panel, a middle part with a plurality of Seebeck-type thermoelectric generator modules, and a rear part with a cooling element. The parts are joined together under pressure by an appropriate fixing mechanism. This provides numerous advantages over equivalent devices that are currently available, the most important of them being that the collector surface or visible face of the panel may be made of practically any architectural material, it being capable of being built directly into the structure of a building, both in roofs and facades.12-02-2010
20120305044THERMAL TRANSFER AND POWER GENERATION SYSTEMS, DEVICES AND METHODS OF MAKING THE SAME - The invention relates to thermoelectric systems, devices and methods for generating energy and, providing cooling and heating. Non-ceramic thermoelectric technology is employed. In the invention, non-ceramic substrates are used to replace the ceramic layers which are typically utilized in conventional thermoelectric structures. The non-ceramic substrates can be selected from metals and metal-containing materials known in the art which have a surface modification, such as but not limited to, a coating or a surface restructuring. The incorporation of non-ceramic substrates allows several other components which are associated with the use of ceramic layers in conventional thermoelectric structures to be eliminated from the thermoelectric device.12-06-2012
20110315181METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONVERSION OF HEAT TO ELECTRICAL ENERGY USING POLARIZABLE MATERIALS AND AN INTERNALLY GENERATED POLING FIELD - A method for converting heat to electricity by exploiting changes in spontaneous polarization that occur in electrically polarizable materials is described. The method uses an internally generated field to achieve poling during cycling. The internal poling field is produced by retaining residual free charges on the electrodes at the appropriate point of each cycle. The method obviates the need for applying a DC voltage during cycling and permits the use of the electrical energy that occurs during poling rather than an external poling voltage which detracts from the net energy produced per cycle. The method is not limited to a specific thermodynamic cycle and can be used with any thermodynamic cycle for converting heat to electricity by thermally cycling electrically polarizable materials. The electrical energy generated can be used in various applications or stored for later use. An apparatus for converting heat to electricity is also described.12-29-2011
20120060882CLOSELY SPACED ELECTRODES WITH A UNIFORM GAP - A device employing a consistent gap between two facing surfaces, the device comprising: a first electrode facing a second electrode, wherein an attracting force distribution attracts the first electrode to the second electrode; a power source coupled to at least one of the first electrode and the second electrode; and a magnetic field source integral or proximal to at least one of the first electrode and the second electrode, wherein the first electrode and the second electrode are configured to generate an electric current distribution when power is supplied from the power source, such that the current in the presence of a magnetic field counters the attracting force distribution to establish an equilibrium separation between the first electrode and the second electrode.03-15-2012
20080251111THERMOELECTRIC ENERGY CONVERSION - A thermoelectric power generator includes a thermoelectric pile in a chamber. A window admits light and/or heat radiation such as solar radiation into the chamber, which is absorbed in a radiation absorbing body in thermal contact with a first side of the thermoelectric pile, whereby the temperature of the first side is raised. A second side of the thermoelectric pile is in thermal contact with the wall of the chamber, which is a heat sink to maintain the second side at a lower temperature. The temperature difference produces a voltage difference at electrical contacts to the thermoelectric pile, which is capable of powering electrical devices.10-16-2008
20100154854THERMOELECTRIC MODULE COMPRISING SPHERICAL THERMOELECTRIC ELEMENTS AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THE SAME - A thermoelectric module includes; an upper substrate on which a plurality of upper electrodes having a plurality of first concave grooves formed therein are arranged, a lower substrate, on which a plurality of lower electrodes having a plurality of second concave grooves formed therein are arranged, and a least one spherical p-type thermoelectric element and at least one spherical n-type thermoelectric element interposed between the upper substrate and the lower substrate, and electrically and alternately in contact with the upper substrate and the lower substrate, wherein the at least one spherical p-type thermoelectric element and the at least one spherical n-type thermoelectric element are connected to the plurality of first concave grooves and the plurality of second concave grooves respectively disposed in the upper electrodes and the lower electrodes.06-24-2010
20120060883METHOD AND STRUCTURE FOR PROVIDING A UNIFORM MICRON/SUB-MICRON GAP SEPARATION WITHIN MICRO-GAP THERMOPHOTOVOLTAIC DEVICES FOR THE GENERATION OF ELECTRICAL POWER - A near-field energy conversion method, utilizing a sub-micrometer “near-field” gap between juxtaposed infrared radiation receiver and emitter surfaces, wherein compliant membrane structures, preferably fluid-filled, are interposed in the structure for maintaining uniform gap separation. Thermally resistant gap spacers are also used to maintain uniform gap separation. Means are provided for cooling a receiver substrate structure and for conducting heat to an emitter substrate structure. The gap may also be evacuated for more effective operation.03-15-2012
20110011434METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THERMAL ENERGY-TO-ELECTRICAL ENERGY CONVERSION - An improved method and apparatus for thermal-to-electric conversion involving relatively hot and cold juxtaposed surfaces separated by a small vacuum gap wherein the cold surface provides an array of single charge carrier converter elements along the surface and the hot surface transfers excitation energy to the opposing cold surface across the gap through Coulomb electrostatic coupling interaction.01-20-2011
20090025771 LOW POWER THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR - A thermoelectric generator has a top plate disposed in spaced relation above a bottom plate. A series of foil segments are electrically and mechanically connected end-to-end to generate a foil assembly that is spirally wound and in thermal contact with the bottom and top plates. Each foil segment comprises a substrate having a series of spaced alternating n-type and p-type thermoelectric legs disposed in parallel arrangement on the front substrate surface. Each of the n-type and p-type legs is formed of a bismuth telluride-based thermoelectric material having a thickness of about 10-100 microns, a width of about 10-100 microns and a length of about 100-500 microns. The alternating n-type and p-type thermoelectric legs are electrically connected in series and thermally connected in parallel such that a temperature differential between the bottom and top plates results in the generation of power.01-29-2009
20100095996THERMOELECTRIC POWER GENERATOR WITH INTERMEDIATE LOOP - A thermoelectric power generator is disclosed for use to generate electrical power from heat, typically waste heat. An intermediate heat transfer loop forms a part of the system to permit added control and adjustability in the system. This allows the thermoelectric power generator to more effectively and efficiently generate power in the face of dynamically varying temperatures and heat flux conditions, such as where the heat source is the exhaust of an automobile, or any other heat source with dynamic temperature and heat flux conditions.04-22-2010
20120118344HEAT EXCHANGER AND METHOD FOR CONVERTING THERMAL ENERGY OF A FLUID INTO ELECTRICAL POWER - A heat exchanger for converting thermal energy of a fluid, e.g., exhaust gas of an internal combustion engine, into electrical power, has a flow channel for conveying a hot fluid, and at least one thermoelectric module for generating electrical power is thermally connected to the flow channel. The flow channel is manufactured from a ceramic material. Thermal expansion effects of the flow channel is reduced by the ceramic material of the flow channel so that the design complexity for converting thermal energy into electrical power is reduced.05-17-2012
20110114144IMPROVED PROCESS AND DEVICE FOR THE PYROLYSIS OF FEEDSTOCK - This invention involves pyrolysis of feedstock by introducing carbonaceous feedstock, into a hopper and moving it into a reactor tube enclosed in an oven, generating heat within the oven that is in part transferred to the feedstock, heating it to sufficient temperature to pyrolyze the feedstock into useful volatiles and char. A Venturi system produces a negative pressure directing volatiles into a pyro-gas oven producing heat necessary for pyrolysis and generating useful excess heat. The extruded pyrolysis char has uses including charcoal fuel, soil amendments, and activated charcoal while liquids can be produced for processing into fuels. Excess heat may be used to heat water, steam, and air, may be used in air heating and cooling systems, perform mechanical work with a Stirling engine or generate electricity on the order of 100 kW and higher. The system may be operated in a carbon neutral or even carbon negative manner, allowing sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide.05-19-2011
20100288324ENERGY CONVERSION BY EXOTHERMIC TO ENDOTHERMIC FEEDBACK - A system and method for converting kinetic to potential energy across a thermal gradient can include an endothermic unit for absorbing heat, an exothermic unit for releasing heat, and a control unit for receiving energy from an outside source to power the endothermic and exothermic units. The system can also include a first power generation unit having a plurality of thermoelectric elements which convert heat to an electrical potential across a thermal gradient, and a feedback unit for supplying the electrical potential generated by the first power generation unit to the control unit.11-18-2010
20100288323Thermoelectric evaluation and manufacturing methods - A means for determining the electrical resistance and resistivity of thermoelectric material allows quality control at all steps in the construction of a bismuth telluride and antimony telluride thermoelectric generator. The method involves measuring negative thermoelectric voltage with no current flowing and then a measure of negative thermoelectric voltage while forcing known current through the material in the same direction as shorted to accurately determine thermoelectric resistance. A manual and automatic method of manufacturing thermoelectric rings using forcing current for in-process testing means.11-18-2010
20100288322Solar to electric system - Conversion of solar heat into electrical energy is achieved using a parabolic reflector, a heat transfer medium, a high-density heat store and a thermoelectric generator. The system is useful for various forms of stationary and moving applications. Using stored heat derived from sunlight provides day and night electrical supply over many days depending on the size of the solar collector and heat store. Moving applications are achieved using a mobile heat store with attached thermoelectric generator.11-18-2010
20120216847PYROELECTRIC SOLAR TECHNOLOGY APPARATUS AND METHOD - A method to increase the efficiency of a solar cell comprises applying one of a transparent pyroelectric film and a plurality of films in a stack on a front surface of the solar cell and applying one of an opaque pyroelectric film and plurality of films in a stack on another surface of the solar cell. An electromotive force is generated to bias the solar cell such that an open circuit voltage is created. The method also includes increasing a short circuit current through the pyroelectric film. A constant temporal temperate gradient is created in the pyroelectric film to increase the short circuit current with a temperature. The method also includes biasing a p-n junction of the solar cell with the electromotive force produced from the pyroelectric film.08-30-2012
20120312344PROCESS FOR SYNTHESIZING LAYERED OXIDES - The present invention relates to the use of Layered Double Hydroxides (LDH) for synthesizing cobaltites, in particular Ca12-13-2012
20100051079Complex Oxides Useful for Thermoelectric Energy Conversion - The invention provides for a thermoelectric system comprising a substrate comprising a first complex oxide, wherein the substrate is optionally embedded with a second complex oxide. The thermoelectric system can be used for thermoelectric power generation or thermoelectric cooling.03-04-2010
20090056783TEMPERATURE POWER GENERATION DEVICE AND TEMPERATURE POWER GENERATION METHOD - A temperature power generation device includes a temperature reactive layer made of high thermal energy absorbing material and a thermal electron generation layer made of low work function material. A temperature power generation method by using the temperature reactive layer and the thermal electron generation layer to absorb heat and generate thermal electrons which are then induced to a conductive layer through an externally applied electric field, and the generated thermal electrons are then further transferred via an electricity output component to an output load for providing power.03-05-2009
20100269878INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE WITH THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR - A cylinder head has at least two exhaust gas ducts, an exhaust gas collector collecting exhaust gas from the exhaust gas ducts, a coolant channel around the exhaust gas ducts and the exhaust gas collector, and a thermoelectric element in thermal contact with the exhaust gas duct, the exhaust gas collector, and the coolant channel. The thermoelectric element is arranged around the periphery of the exhaust gas duct and the exhaust gas collector.10-28-2010
20120312343NANOSTRUCTURED MATERIAL BASED THERMOELECTRIC GENERATORS AND METHODS OF GENERATING POWER - Systems for producing electrical energy from heat are disclosed. The system may include a carbon-nanotube based pathway along which heat from a source can be directed. An array of thermoelectric elements for generating electrical energy may be situated about a surface of the pathway to enhance the generation of electrical energy. A carbon nanotube-based, heat-dissipating member may be in thermal communication with the array of thermoelectric elements and operative to create a heat differential between the thermoelectric elements and the pathway by dissipating heat from the thermoelectric elements. The heat differential may allow the thermoelectric elements to generate the electrical energy. Methods for producing electrical energy are also disclosed.12-13-2012
20080295878INTEGRATED PACKAGE STRUCTURE HAVING SOLAR CELL AND THERMOELECTRIC ELEMENT AND METHOD OF FABRICATING THE SAME - An integrated package structure having a solar cell and a thermoelectric element includes a substrate, a first solar cell and a thermoelectric element. The substrate has a first surface. The first solar cell has a second surface, a first electrode disposed on the second surface and a second electrode disposed on the second surface. The second surface faces the first surface. The thermoelectric element has a third electrode and a fourth electrode. The thermoelectric element is disposed between the first surface and the second surface. The first electrode and the second electrode are electrically connected to the third electrode and the fourth electrode respectively. A method of fabricating the integrated package structure having the solar cell and the thermoelectric element is also provided.12-04-2008
20080314429Method for Thermal Matching of a Thermoelectric Generator with a Heat Source Having High Thermal Resistance and Thermoelectric Generator thus Obtained - The present disclosure relates to thermoelectric generators (TEGs) and more specifically to TEGs operated with a heat source having a high thermal resistance, more specifically to TEGs operated under conditions of non-constant heat flow and non-constant temperature difference between a hot plate and a cold plate. A thermoelectric generator for connection between a heat source and a heat sink comprises a thermopile unit, the thermopile unit comprising at least one thermopile stage, each thermopile stage comprising a number of thermocouples each having a couple of thermocouple legs, the thermocouple legs being provided in between a hot junction plane and a cold junction plane. The number of thermocouples in the thermoelectric generator is such that the thermal resistance (R12-25-2008
20110120516Thermoelectric Device and Thermoelectric Generator - The invention describes a novel thermoelectric composite material containing electrically conductive polymeric fibrils in a polymer matrix with a high thermoelectric coefficient. The invention also includes a thermoelectric device using the composite. The invention also includes a thermoelectric device containing a thermoelectric layers and a thermoelectric device in which a thermal barrier isolates a thermoelectric layer from a structurally supporting substrate. The thermoelectric devices can be used to generate electricity or to control temperature.05-26-2011
20100147349SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR DOWNHOLE VOLTAGE GENERATION - A system for supplying voltage to a downhole component is disclosed. The system includes: a pyroelectric material disposed in electrical communication with the component, the component configured to be disposed within a borehole in an earth formation; and a heating unit in operable communication with the pyroelectric material and configured to change a temperature of the pyroelectric material and cause the pyroelectric material to generate a voltage to activate the component. A method of supplying voltage to a downhole component is also disclosed.06-17-2010
20130167892BATTERY CHARGER AND POWER SUPPLY - A portable device for supplying with power of at least one portable electrical load or gadget (07-04-2013
20120090656SELF-TUNING OF CARRIER CONCENTRATION FOR HIGH THERMOELECTRIC PERFORMANCE - The inventors demonstrate herein that homogeneous Ag-doped PbTe/Ag04-19-2012
20080230105ELECTRIC POWER GENERATION METHOD USING THERMOELECTRIC POWER GENERATION ELEMENT, THERMOELECTRIC POWER GENERATION ELEMENT AND METHOD OF PRODUCING THE SAME, AND THERMOELECTRIC POWER GENERATION DEVICE - The present invention provides an electric power generation method using a thermoelectric power generation element, a thermoelectric power generation element, and a thermoelectric power generation device, each of which has higher thermoelectric power generation performance than conventional ones and can be used for more applications. The thermoelectric power generation element includes a first electrode and a second electrode that are disposed to oppose each other, and a laminate that is interposed between the first and second electrodes and that is electrically connected to both the first and second electrodes, where the laminate has a structure in which Bi09-25-2008
20130167893THERMOELECTRIC CONVERSION MATERIAL - A thermoelectric material has a Heusler alloy type crystal structure and is based on an Fe07-04-2013
20080202575METHODS FOR HIGH FIGURE-OF-MERIT IN NANOSTRUCTURED THERMOELECTRIC MATERIALS - Thermoelectric materials with high figures of merit, ZT values, are disclosed. In many instances, such materials include nano-sized domains (e.g., nanocrystalline), which are hypothesized to help increase the ZT value of the material (e.g., by increasing phonon scattering due to interfaces at grain boundaries or grain/inclusion boundaries). The ZT value of such materials can be greater than about 1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 1.8, 2 and even higher. Such materials can be manufactured from a thermoelectric starting material by generating nanoparticles therefrom, or mechanically alloyed nanoparticles from elements which can be subsequently consolidated (e.g., via direct current induced hot press) into a new bulk material. Non-limiting examples of starting materials include bismuth, lead, and/or silicon-based materials, which can be alloyed, elemental, and/or doped. Various compositions and methods relating to aspects of nanostructured thermoelectric materials (e.g., modulation doping) are further disclosed.08-28-2008
20090050189Motor Vehicle Having a Unit Operated by a Cryogenically Stored Fuel - A motor vehicle having a unit, particularly a drive assembly, which is operated by a fuel that is cryogenically stored in a vehicle tank, is provided, in which fuel is heated by a heat exchange with a warmer medium. The fuel taken from the vehicle tank comes in contact with the cold side of a thermoelectric generator, particularly in the form of a Seebeck element, in order to generate electric current for the electric power supply of the vehicle. The warm side of the thermoelectric generator is preferably acted upon by the warmer medium also used for the heat exchange with the cold fuel, in which case the thermoelectric generator may be integrated in a heat exchanger for the heat exchange between the fuel taken and the warmer medium.02-26-2009
20130146117System and Method for Converting Electromagnetic Radiation to Electrical Energy - An nanoantenna comprising a resonant structure element is tuned to capture energy, for example heat or light, radiated at a resonant frequency and to transfer structure to convert the captured energy to electrical energy. A co-planar strip can be used to provide impedance matching between the resonant structure element and the transfer structure. An array of nanoantennae form a nanoantenna array to provide electrical energy output from a plurality of nanoantennae. The nanoantenna array can be coupled to a device or apparatus as a power source.06-13-2013
20120273019METHOD FOR RECLAIMING ENERGY IN SMELTING SYSTEMS AND SMELTING SYSTEM BASED ON THERMOCOUPLES - The invention relates to a method for reclaiming energy in smelting systems by utilizing residual heat of a system component and/or a warm product (11-01-2012
20130180560NANOSCALE, ULTRA-THIN FILMS FOR EXCELLENT THERMOELECTRIC FIGURE OF MERIT - A thermoelectric structure including a thermoelectric material having a thickness less than 50 nm and a semi-insulating material in electrical contact with the thermoelectric material. The thermoelectric material and the semi-insulating materials have an equilibrium Fermi level, across a junction between the thermoelectric material and the semi-insulating material, which exists in a conduction band or a valence band of the thermoelectric material. The thermoelectric structure is for thermoelectric cooling and thermoelectric power generation.07-18-2013
20110303257UNIT THERMIONIC ELECTRIC CONVERTER AND THERMOELECTRIC CONVERTER SYSTEM - A unit thermionic electric converter. The unit thermionic electric converter includes a case having a first end portion and a second end portion; a working fluid disposed inside the case; a solid electrolyte dividing the inside of the case; a first electrode disposed on a surface of the solid electrolyte; and a second electrode disposed on another surface of the solid electrolyte; wherein the first end portion and the second end portion are alternately heated by a heat source.12-15-2011
20130186445MODULAR THERMOELECTRIC UNITS FOR HEAT RECOVERY SYSTEMS AND METHODS THEREOF - Apparatus and method for generating electricity. The apparatus includes one or more first components configured to extract heat from at least a first fluid flow at a first temperature to one or more devices configured to convert thermal energy to electric energy. The first fluid flow is in a first direction. Additionally, the apparatus includes one or more second components configured to transfer heat from the one or more devices to at least a second fluid flow at a second temperature. The second temperature is lower than the first temperature, and the second fluid flow is in a second direction. Each first part of the first fluid flow corresponds to a first shortest distance to the one or more devices, and the first shortest distance is less than half the square root of the total free flow area for a corresponding first cross-section of the first fluid flow.07-25-2013
20120017962PROCESS FOR GENERATING ELECTRICAL ENERGY IN A SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE AND THE CORRESPONDING DEVICE - Electrical energy is generated in a device that includes an integrated circuit which produces thermal flux when operated. A substrate supports the integrated circuit. A structure is formed in the substrate, that structure having a semiconductor p-n junction thermally coupled to the integrated circuit. Responsive to the thermal flux produced by the integrated circuit, the structure generates electrical energy. The generated electrical energy may be stored for use by the integrated circuit.01-26-2012
20120073619TEMPERATURE PROTECTION OF A THERMOELECTRIC MODULE AND/OR OF A THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR USING PHASE CHANGE MATERIALS - In a thermoelectric generator (03-29-2012

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