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Novel high performance small-scale thermoelectric power generation employing regenerative combustion systems

Weinburg, F. J., Rowe, David Michael and Min, Gao 2002. Novel high performance small-scale thermoelectric power generation employing regenerative combustion systems. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 35 (13) , L61-L63. 10.1088/0022-3727/35/13/102

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Abstract

Hydrocarbon fuels have specific energy contents some two orders of magnitude greater than any electrical storage device. They therefore proffer an ideal source in the universal quest for compact, lightweight, long-lasting alternatives for batteries to power the ever-proliferating electronic devices. The motivation lies in the need to power, for example, equipment for infantry troops, for weather stations and buoys in polar regions which need to signal their readings intermittently to passing satellites, unattended over long periods, and many others. Fuel cells, converters based on miniaturized gas turbines, and other systems under intensive study, give rise to diverse practical difficulties. Thermoelectric devices are robust, durable and have no moving parts, but tend to be exceedingly inefficient. We propose regenerative combustion systems which mitigate this impediment and are likely to make high performance small-scale thermoelectric power generation applicable in practice. The efficiency of a thermoelectric generating system using preheat when operated between ambient and 1200 K is calculated to exceed the efficiency of the best present day thermoelectric conversion system by more than 20%.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Institute of Physics
ISSN: 1361-6463
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:43
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/1944

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