0

Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Performance and Testing of Novel Quantum Well Thermoelectric Devices

[+] Author Affiliations
Velimir Jovanovic, Saeid Ghamaty, Norbert B. Elsner, Daniel Krommenhoek, John C. Bass

Hi-Z Technology, Inc., San Diego, CA

Paper No. IMECE2010-40842, pp. 403-414; 12 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2010-40842
From:
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; NanoEngineering for Energy; Engineering to Address Climate Change, Parts A and B
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4429-8
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME

abstract

New nano-structured thermoelectric (TE) materials have been developed and fabricated that have much higher conversion efficiencies than the state-of-the-art (SOTA) bulk thermoelectrics. In these new quantum well (QW) materials, the carrier and barrier materials (in this case SiGe and Si) are confined in alternating layers less than 10 nm thick, and this confinement has been shown to result in greatly improved TE properties (Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity and thermal conductivity) leading to higher TE Figure of Merit, ZT, conversion efficiencies and Coefficient of Performance (COP) for cooling applications than for SOTA thermoelectrics. From the most recent QW test data, ZTs greater than 3 at room temperature have been obtained which constitutes a significant improvement over the SOTA bulk thermoelectrics which have ZTs less than 1. QW materials have the best measured TE power factor (Seebeck coefficient squared divided by electrical resistivity) and, combined with low thermal conductivity substrates, should provide very high efficiency TE modules. The QW TE materials with ZTs greater than 3 lead to conversion efficiencies greater than 20 percent, which allows for much wider commercial applications, particularly in the applications such as the waste-heat recovery from truck engines, refrigeration, and air conditioning, where the SOTA bulk TE modules were shown to be technically feasible but economically unjustified due to low conversion efficiencies. With higher efficiency QW materials, these applications become economically attractive. The above mentioned QW TE ZTs include the effect of the substrate which degrades the overall performance, and a new test technique was developed that eliminates the effect of the substrate and for just the QW films, ZTs greater than 6 have been measured. This illustrated the importance of using a low thermal conductivity substrate in order to achieve good TE performance. In a recent QW test, a conversion efficiency corresponding to 62 percent of the Carnot efficiency was measured and this is believed to be the highest such value ever measured for a TE material. For power generation applications, QW TE generators can be designed for capacities ranging from milliwatts to kilowatts and for cooling applications with capacities ranging from watts to several tons of refrigeration. The paper discusses the effects of the thermal and electrical contact resistances and of substrate thermal conductivity on the TE performance, the status of the prototype QW TE generators and coolers being designed and fabricated, and the latest test results.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME

Figures

Tables

Interactive Graphics

Video

Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In