Thermoelectric phenomena

arises out of the intercoupled electrical and thermal currents in a material as illustrated in this animation:

TXL uses thermoelements from the bismuth telluride family of thermoelectric materials. These materials provide the highest known conversion efficiencies in the temperature range of 0 degrees C to +200 degrees C. The n-type and p-type thermoelements are doped so as to provide well matched thermoelectric properties of thermopower, electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity. A two-element generator is constructed using an n-type thermoelectric element (or thermoelement)in electrical series and thermal parallel with a p-type thermoelement.

The electrical connections at the top and bottom of the thermoelements are metallic conductors, generally copper. In order to give mechanical support, a white ceramic top made out of alumina is often used on the top and bottom sides of a module. Each thermoelement generates a relatively low voltage per degree of temperature difference. For the thermoelements in TXL's TEG modules, the generated voltage (or thermopower, S) per thermoelement is approximately 215 microvolts per degree C. In order to obtain higher voltages, it is common to connect many pairs of thermoelements in electrical series as illustrated in this 254 element "topless" module, where a single n-p thermocouple is highlighted in red.


TXL Group Sells TEGs

that are constructed from nanostructured bismuth-telluride alloys.  This yields better thermoelectric performance, higher strength modules and allows longer thermoelements, tailored to low gradient generation duties.

There are many trade-offs in module design.

For a given total area of module, having many series connected elements allows the generation of higher voltages, but at the expense of higher internal electrical resistance, which limits the power delivery capacity of the module and represents a loss component. Having long thermoelements allows isolation of the heat source from the heat sink but at the expense of higher electrical resistance.

TXL Group offers TEGs that have been tailor made for electrical generation from environmental heat sources.

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El Paso, TX 79903 USA

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