Development of the High Performance Thermoelectric Modules for High Temperature Heat Sources
In recent years, power generating systems using thermoelectric elements have become attractive as an effective method of using industrial waste heat, at a temperature of around 773K, to produce energy. However, in order to develop a module usable under such a high temperature, certain concerns have to be overcome, e.g. thermal stress, diffusion of the connecting interfaces, etc. In this research, using an FeSi2 with diffusion barrier layers and a SiGe element produced by a powder metallurgy process, the module structure and installation method were optimized for application in PM sintering furnaces. As a result, from a viewpoint of heat stress at high temperatures and contact thermal resistance, it is confirmed that the optimal structure is the skeleton structure using Cu substrate on the cooling side, which has excellent heat conductivity and the optimal installation method is to adopt a carbon sheet and a mica sheet to the high temperature side, where Si grease is applied to the low temperature side, under pressurized condition. The power of the developed modules indicated 0.5W in an FeSi2 module and 3.8 W with a SiGe module at 827K, respectively. Moreover, neither breakage nor deterioration were observed after 30 heat cycles test simulating sintering furnace.
Duk Yong Yoon, Suk-Joong L. Kang, Kwang Yong Eun and Yong-Seog Kim
T. Jinushi et al., "Development of the High Performance Thermoelectric Modules for High Temperature Heat Sources", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 534-536, pp. 1521-1524, 2007