Thermal power plants are recognized in the world as the cheapest energy option. But there is an alternative to this method, which is characterized by environmental friendliness – thermoelectric generators (TEG).
What it is?
The thermoelectric generator is a device whose task is to transform thermal energy into electricity by applying the thermal element system.
The concept of “thermal” energy in this context is not really true, since heat means only the method of turning this energy.
The TEG is a thermoelectric phenomenon that was first illustrated by the German physicist Thomas Zebeck in the 20s of the 19th century. The result of the research of Seebek is treated as electrical resistance in a chain of two different materials, but the whole process proceeds only depending on temperature.
Device and principle of operation
The principle of operation of the thermoelectric generator, or, as it is also called, the heat pump is based on the transformation of heat energy into electrical energy using thermal elements of semiconductors that bind together in parallel or sequentially.
In the course of research, German scientists have created a completely new effect of Peltier, in which it is indicated that absolutely different materials of semiconductors when conducting a soldering make it possible to detect the difference between the temperatures between their side points.
But how to understand how this system works? All pretty simple, such a concept is based on a specific algorithm: when one of the elements are cooled, and the other is heated, then we obtain the energy of the current and voltage. The main feature that allocates from the rest is this method, is that all sorts of heat sources can be used, among which a newly disconnected plate, lamp, fire or even a cup with only pillow tea. Well, the cooling element is most often air or ordinary water.
How these thermal generators are arranged? They consist of special thermal batteries that are made from materials of conductors, and thermal exchanges of dissimilar temperatures of spa thermobatars.
The circuit of the electrical circuit is as follows: Thermal elements of semiconductors, the branches of the rectangular shape of N- and P-type of ability to be carried out, connected plates of cold and hot alloys, as well as high load.
Among the positive sides of the thermoelectric module, they note the ability to use absolutely in all conditions, Including in campaigns, and besides, ease of transportation. Moreover, there are no movable parts that have a property quickly.
And the disadvantages include far from low cost, low efficiency (approximately 2-3%), as well as the importance of another source, which will provide a rational difference in temperature.
It should be noted that Scientists are actively working on the prospects for improving and eliminating all errors in obtaining energy in this way. Experiments and research on the development of the most efficient thermal batteries will continue to improve the importance of efficiency.
However, it is quite difficult to determine the optimality of these options, as they are based exclusively in practical indicators, without having a theoretical justification.
Considering all the shortcomings, namely, the inconsistency of the materials for alloys of thermal bias, it’s quite difficult to talk about breakthrough in the near future.
There is a theory that at the present stage physicists will be used technologically a new method for replacing alloys to more efficient, individually with the introduction of nanotechnology. Moreover, a variant of using non-traditional sources is possible. So, at the University of California, an experiment was carried out, where thermal batteries were replaced by a synthesized artificial molecule, which performed as a binding material of gold microscopic semiconductors. According to the experiments, it became clear that the effectiveness of the current studies will show only time.
Depending on the methods of obtaining electricity, heat sources, as well as From varieties of involved structural elements, all thermoelectric generators are on several species.
Fuel. Getting heat from fuel combustion, which is coal, natural gas and oil, as well as heat obtained by combustion of pyrotechnic groups (checkers).
Atomic thermoelectric generators, In which the source is the heat of the atomic reactor (URAN-233, URAN-235, plutonium-238, thorium), often the thermal pump is here – the second and third level of transformation.
Solar generators Form heat from solar communicators who are known to us in everyday life (mirrors, lenses, thermal pipes).
Recycling generate heat from all sorts of sources, resulting in waste heat (emissions and ejection gases, etc.).
Radioisotope get heat by decaying and cleaving isotopes, this process is characterized by uncontrollability of the cleavage itself, and the result is the moment of the half-life of the elements.
Gradient thermoelectric generators Based on temperature drops without any interventions from the outside: between the environment and the venue of the experiment (specially equipped with equipment, industrial pipeline and t. D.) Using the original starting current. The above type of heat-power generator was used with the utilization of the resulting electrical energy from the Seebeck effect for transformation into thermal energy according to the law of Joule-Lenza.
Scope of application
Due to the low efficiency, thermoelectric generators are widely used Where there are no other options for energy sources, as well as during processes with a significant lack of heat.
Wood furnaces with electric generator
This device is characterized by the presence of an enamelled surface, the source of electricity, including the heater. The power of such a device may be enough to charge the mobile device or other devices using cigarette lighter socket for cars. Based on the parameters, it can be concluded that the generator is able to work without ordinary conditions, namely, without the presence of gas, heating system and electricity.
Thermoelectric generators of industrial production
Biolite has been presented with a new model for hiking – a portable stove that will not only warm up food, but also to charge your mobile device. All this is possible thanks to the thermoelectric generator built into this device.
This device will be fine for you in hikes, fishing or anywhere distant from all conditions of modern civilization. The operation of the BIOLITE generator is characterized by burning fuel, which is transmitted in series by the walls and produces electricity. Received electricity will allow to charge the phone or highlight the LED.
Radioisotope thermoelectric generators
In them, the source of energy is heat, which is formed as a result of the splitting of trace elements. They need constant supply of fuel, so they have superiority over other generators. However, their essential drawback is that when working it is necessary to comply with the safety rules, as the radiation of ionized materials is.
Despite the fact that the launch of such generators can be dangerous, including for the environmental situation, their use is quite common. For example, their disposal is possible not only on earth, but also in space. It is known that radioisotope generators are used to charge navigation systems, most often in places where there are no communication systems.
Thermobatricians act as transducers, as well as their designs are electrical measuring instruments, calibrated in Celsiys. Error in such devices is usually equal to 0.01 degrees. But it should be noted that these devices are designed for use in the range from the minimum feature of the absolute zero and up to 2000 degrees Celsius.
Thermal electric generators have recently been widely popular when working in hard-to-reach places, which are completely deprived of communication systems. These locations include space where these devices are increasingly used in the form of alternative power sources on board of space.
In connection with the development of scientific and technological progress, as well as in-depth studies in physics, the use of thermoelectric generators in vehicles to restore heat energy to recycle substances that are removed from car exhaust systems.
The following video presents an overview of the modern thermogenerator of electricity to BIOLITE ENERGY EVERYWHERE.