Thermoelectric Energy Conversion: Transport, Materials, and Systems

By Gang Chen

Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA

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Abstract

Thermoelectric devices exploit thermal energy carried by electrical charges for the conversion between heat and electricity for cooling, heating, and power generation applications. The efficiency of thermoelectric energy conversion systems depends on the materials thermoelectric figure of merit, heat source temperatures, and heat transfer in and out of the devices. This talk will start with an introduction to thermoelectric effects, and move on to discuss ways to understand and engineer electron and phonon transport in thermoelectric materials to improve the figure of merit. On phonon transport, thermal conductivity spectroscopy and coherent heat conduction will be discussed. Modulation doping in 3D random structures and invisibility of nanoparticles to electron transport will be explored for improving the electron performance. Device and system challenges will be discussed, with a focus on solar thermoelectric energy conversion, including the demonstration of flat-panel solar thermoelectric generators at 4.6% efficiency with no optical concentration.

Bio

Dr. Gang Chen is currently the Carl Richard Soderberg Professor of Power Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from UC Berkeley in 1993 working under then Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien. He was a faculty member at Duke University (1993-1997), University of California at Los Angeles (1997-2001), before joining MIT in 2001. He is a recipient of the NSF Young Investigator Award, the ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award, the R&D100 Award, and the MIT McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, a Guggenheim Fellow, an AAAS Fellow, and an ASME Fellow. He has published extensively in the area of nanoscale energy transport and conversion and nanoscale heat transfer. He is the director of Solid-State Solar-Thermal Energy Conversion (S3TEC) Center funded by the US DOE’s Energy Frontier Research Centers program.

Sponsored by

Mechanical Engineering Graduate Seminar Series

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Gang Chen (2012), "Thermoelectric Energy Conversion: Transport, Materials, and Systems," http://nanohub.org/resources/15994.

    BibTex | EndNote

Location

ME 1061, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Tags

Thermoelectric Energy Conversion: Transport, Materials, and Systems
  • Importance of Heat 1. Importance of Heat 0
    00:00/00:00
  • Nano for Energy 2. Nano for Energy 391.02435769102436
    00:00/00:00
  • Nanoengineering Group 3. Nanoengineering Group 588.22155488822159
    00:00/00:00
  • Thermoelectric Energy Conversion: Transport, Materials, and Systems 4. Thermoelectric Energy Conversi… 634.96830163496827
    00:00/00:00
  • Outline 5. Outline 659.32599265932606
    00:00/00:00
  • Thermoelectric Energy Conversion 6. Thermoelectric Energy Conversi… 662.1955288621956
    00:00/00:00
  • Device Efficiency 7. Device Efficiency 865.66566566566564
    00:00/00:00
  • Contra Properties 8. Contra Properties 920.35368702035373
    00:00/00:00
  • ZT Dilemma 9. ZT Dilemma 972.93960627293961
    00:00/00:00
  • Phonon Engineering 10. Phonon Engineering 1031.7650984317652
    00:00/00:00
  • Triple Filled n-type Skutterudites 11. Triple Filled n-type Skutterud… 1103.6369703036371
    00:00/00:00
  • Benefits of Nanostructures 12. Benefits of Nanostructures 1158.324991658325
    00:00/00:00
  • Nanostructured Thermoelectric Materials 13. Nanostructured Thermoelectric … 1275.608942275609
    00:00/00:00
  • Half-Heuslers 14. Half-Heuslers 1344.5445445445446
    00:00/00:00
  • Recent Progress in ZT 15. Recent Progress in ZT 1365.8992325658992
    00:00/00:00
  • Phonon Engineering 16. Phonon Engineering 1427.1938605271939
    00:00/00:00
  • First-Principles Simulation 17. First-Principles Simulation 1537.6042709376043
    00:00/00:00
  • Phonon Mean Free Path in Si at 300 K 18. Phonon Mean Free Path in Si at… 1613.8471805138472
    00:00/00:00
  • Results from First-Principles Simulation 19. Results from First-Principles … 1628.0613947280615
    00:00/00:00
  • Thermal Conductivity Spectroscopy 20. Thermal Conductivity Spectrosc… 1768.8355021688356
    00:00/00:00
  • Experimental Results on Si 21. Experimental Results on Si 1807.2405739072406
    00:00/00:00
  • Effect of Quasi-ballistic Transport 22. Effect of Quasi-ballistic Tran… 1871.4381047714383
    00:00/00:00
  • Thermal Conductivity Spectroscopy on Phonon MFP Distribution 23. Thermal Conductivity Spectrosc… 1923.9572906239573
    00:00/00:00
  • Pushing Down to Nanometer 24. Pushing Down to Nanometer 1988.5552218885553
    00:00/00:00
  • Electron Transport 25. Electron Transport 2014.4144144144145
    00:00/00:00
  • Electron Engineering 26. Electron Engineering 2146.9469469469468
    00:00/00:00
  • Modulation Doping 27. Modulation Doping 2203.06973640307
    00:00/00:00
  • Modulation Doping 28. Modulation Doping 2273.44010677344
    00:00/00:00
  • Concurrent Electron and Phonon Engineering 29. Concurrent Electron and Phonon… 2292.6593259926594
    00:00/00:00
  • Invisible Cloak 30. Invisible Cloak 2323.1231231231232
    00:00/00:00
  • Invisible Particles 31. Invisible Particles 2369.8031364698031
    00:00/00:00
  • Application: From Micro Watts to Giga Watts 32. Application: From Micro Watts … 2435.1017684351018
    00:00/00:00
  • Power and Cost Example 33. Power and Cost Example 2533.0997664331
    00:00/00:00
  • Solar Energy Utilization 34. Solar Energy Utilization 2580.613947280614
    00:00/00:00
  • Solar Hot Water Systems 35. Solar Hot Water Systems 2617.9846513179846
    00:00/00:00
  • Solar Thermal Installed Capacity, 2009 36. Solar Thermal Installed Capaci… 2682.7827827827828
    00:00/00:00
  • Solar Thermoelectric Energy Conversion 37. Solar Thermoelectric Energy Co… 2716.2162162162163
    00:00/00:00
  • Heat Flux Consideration 38. Heat Flux Consideration 2767.1671671671675
    00:00/00:00
  • Possible Configurations 39. Possible Configurations 2802.8028028028029
    00:00/00:00
  • Thermal Concentration 40. Thermal Concentration 2846.4464464464468
    00:00/00:00
  • Solar Thermoelectric Power Conversion 41. Solar Thermoelectric Power Con… 2873.8738738738739
    00:00/00:00
  • Untitled: Slide 42 42. Untitled: Slide 42 2895.9626292959629
    00:00/00:00
  • Cascaded/Segmented STEGs 43. Cascaded/Segmented STEGs 2944.4444444444443
    00:00/00:00
  • Skutterudites 44. Skutterudites 2966.8001334668
    00:00/00:00
  • Key Challenges in Devices 45. Key Challenges in Devices 2986.31965298632
    00:00/00:00
  • Summary 46. Summary 3101.6683350016683
    00:00/00:00
  • Acknowledgments 47. Acknowledgments 3224.5578912245578
    00:00/00:00
  • Key Challenges in Devices 48. Key Challenges in Devices 3267.967967967968
    00:00/00:00
  • Pushing Down to Nanometer 49. Pushing Down to Nanometer 3439.0390390390394
    00:00/00:00
  • Nanostructured Thermoelectric Materials 50. Nanostructured Thermoelectric … 3503.2032032032034
    00:00/00:00