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Solid State Heat Differential to Energy Conversion

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 5:42 am
by andys
I know that this forum is all about Stirling, but I though it would
be the best place to ask if anyone knows of a process by which heat
differential can be converted to electrical energy without a
mechanical intermediary. Like electron flow between poles of a
battery, what energy moves between the hot side and the cold side of
a heat conducting material as it distributes the heat? Is air the
only medium that people have tapped for this? Where should I look for
more information on this?

Response to Solid State Heat Differential to Energy Conversion

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:51 am
by bptdude___2569
yes, it is called the Peltier–Seebeck effect.

Here is a little wood stove top fan using it.
https://www.gyroscope.com/d.asp?product=ECOFAN2

From what I have read, it is usefull for non-power producing application, such as sensor electronics and signal devices.

While much research is done on photon-electric conversion, there is not much activity in thermal-electric conversion.


Response to Solid State Heat Differential to Energy Conversion

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:02 am
by paraplegic.racehorse
What you described is, essentially, a thermocouple and many automotive sensors already use this to generate low-voltage signals which are then processed by the onboard computer for fault monitoring.

The only place I can see such a comparative thermocouple useful is in basic heat exchangers such as used in refrigeration applications. There, it would be useful as a state-monitoring device to watch for a decline in efficiency and, thus, when to add or replace the refrigerant.