New article about using thermoelectric generators in transient environments

Our paper entitled: Harnessing thermoelectric power from transient heat sources: Waste heat recovery from silicon production has been accepted for publication in Energy conversion and management. In the work, we investigate the response of a bismuth-telluride based TEG to the transient environment of a silicon production plant, where there is a periodic change in the average temperature of the heat source. We establish in the paper a dynamic mathematical model that reproduces results from industrial, on site experiments, both at steady-state and under transient conditions. By simultaneously changing the design and location of the TEG, a peak power density of 1971 W/m2 can be obtained without exceeding material constraints of the TEG, with an average power density of 146 W/m2. In the transient case, the average power density generated during one silicon casting cycle is in all investigated cases found to be only 7–10% of the peak power density as the peak value of the power is only maintained for a couple of minutes. We further discuss how the design, cooling capacity and position of the TEG influence its performance in a transient environment. This work is the second in an ongoing effort to understand the potential of thermoelectric generators in recovering waste heat, and how to optimize their performance. The work was performed in in collaboration with Isha Savani, Magnus H. Waage, Marit B. Takla, and Signe Kjelstrup from NTNU.


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