New Design Developed for Thermoelectric Generator

Jul, 2021 - By WMR

New Design Developed for Thermoelectric Generator

Thermoelectric generator was designed for effective generation of useable voltage using certain magnetic material in the generator.

A new kind of thermoelectric generator was developed to generate electric current through diverse temperature gradients. The thermoelectric generator was designed by engineers of Japan’s National Institute for Material Science (NIMS). It was designed in such a way that it could generate the electricity by integrating the Sun’s heat energy on one surface and extracting it out from another surface. It absorbs Sun’s heat energy in day and emits excessive heat at night.

The thermoelectric generator is based on the basic principle of heat energy flow. As the heat energy moves from hotter region to colder one, temperature gradient forces electrons to flow from warmer surface to colder surface in the generator. This phenomenon creates the electric current inside the device, which is known as spin Seebeck effect. The magnetic materials in each electrode cause a spin flow of electron in the device, which emerge electric current in it.

The design of thermoelectric generator consists of four different layers. Initially there were six layers. The top two layers absorb the sunlight passing through it. These layers are transparent so the heat energy passes to the bottom two layers. The middle two layers induce current with the help of resultant temperature gradient, as top layers stay cools and bottom layers stay warm and electrons flow from bottom layers to top layers.

However, the generator was not able to extract excessive heat out from the top layers so the generator was modified to balance the temperature gradient. The topmost paramagnet layer was made up of gadolinium gallium garnet (GGG) to extract the excessive infrared radiations out in the atmosphere. The second ferromagnet layer was formed of yttrium iron garnet, where temperature gradient causes the spin current. The third paramagnet layer was made from platinum that converts the electric spin of electrons to useable electric current. The final and outer layer was covered with black paint to absorb required sunlight and heat. The engineers’ claimed that the design is effective source to induce electricity through day and night, though it requires clear weather to get good amount of sunlight and heat.

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