Thermoelectricity for future sustainable energy technologies
Lehrstuhl für Chemische Materialsynthese, Institut für Materialwissenschaft Universität Stuttgart - Heisenbergstraße 3, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
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Published online: 24 July 2017
Thermoelectricity is a general term for a number of effects describing the direct interconversion of heat and electricity. Thermoelectric devices are therefore promising, environmental-friendly alternatives to conventional power generators or cooling units. Since the mid-90s, research on thermoelectric properties and their applications has steadily increased. In the course of years, the development of high-temperature resistant TE materials and devices has emerged as one of the main areas of interest focusing both on basic research and practical applications. A wide range of innovative and cost-efficient material classes has been studied and their properties improved. This has also led to advances in synthesis and metrology. The paper starts out with thermoelectric history, basic effects underlying thermoelectric conversion and selected examples of application. The main part focuses on thermoelectric materials including an outline of the design rules, a review on the most common materials and the feasibility of improved future high-temperature thermoelectric converters.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences - SIF, 2017
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