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Advanced Thermoelectric Materials, Devices and Systems

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 June 2024 | Viewed by 3453

Special Issue Editor

Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan
Interests: sustainable energy; thermoelectric materials, devices and systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fossil fuel energy sources are causing increasing numbers of environmental problems, which has led to the search for and development of renewable energy sources. Among the promising options, thermoelectric is utilized in various power generation and refrigeration-related applications.

This Special Issue intends to examine the most recent advancements in thermoelectric technologies for energy harvesting and cooling applications. It gives researchers in the field an excellent place to share what they have learned about fundamental thermoelectric research, the challenges and synergies associated with producing thermoelectric materials, devices and systems, and how they have used their knowledge to keep up with the current trends.

Topics covered in this SI include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Characterization of thermoelectric materials;
  • Study of bulk and thin-film thermoelectric materials, devices and systems (both experimental and theoretical);
  • Utilization of computer-aided thermoelectric materials, devices and system design.

Dr. Chun-I Wu
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • thermoelectrics
  • thermoelectric materials
  • thermoelectric devices
  • thermoelectric systems
  • thermoelectric interfaces
  • waste heat recovery
  • energy sustainability
  • phonon scattering
  • electronic band structure
  • hybrid renewable system

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 7096 KiB  
Article
Efficiency Enhancement in Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion: A Comparative Study of Heat Exchanger Designs for Bi2Te3-Based Thermoelectric Generators
by Yi-Cheng Chung and Chun-I Wu
Materials 2024, 17(3), 714; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17030714 - 2 Feb 2024
Viewed by 771
Abstract
This research focuses on enhancing the efficiency of Bi2Te3-based thermoelectric generators (TEGs) in ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) systems through innovative heat exchanger designs. Our comparative study uses computer simulations to evaluate three types of heat exchangers: cavity, plate-fins, [...] Read more.
This research focuses on enhancing the efficiency of Bi2Te3-based thermoelectric generators (TEGs) in ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) systems through innovative heat exchanger designs. Our comparative study uses computer simulations to evaluate three types of heat exchangers: cavity, plate-fins, and longitudinal vortex generators (LVGs). We analyze their impact on thermoelectric conversion performance, considering the thermal energy transfer from warm surface seawater to TEGs. The results demonstrate that heat exchangers with plate-fins and LVGs significantly outperform the cavity heat exchanger regarding thermal energy transfer efficiency. Specifically, plate-fins increase TEG output power by approximately 22.92% and enhance thermoelectric conversion efficiency by 38.20%. Similarly, LVGs lead to a 13.02% increase in output power and a 16.83% improvement in conversion efficiency. These advancements are contingent upon specific conditions such as seawater flow rates, fin heights, LVG tilt angles, and locations. The study underscores the importance of optimizing heat exchanger designs in OTEC systems, balancing enhanced heat transfer against the required pump power. Our findings contribute to a broader understanding of materials science in sustainable energy technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thermoelectric Materials, Devices and Systems)
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13 pages, 4522 KiB  
Article
Optimizing Waste Heat Conversion: Integrating Phase-Change Material Heatsinks and Wind Speed Dynamics to Enhance Flexible Thermoelectric Generator Efficiency
by Phanathagorn Egypt, Rachsak Sakdanuphab, Aparporn Sakulkalavek, Bhanupol Klongratog and Nuttakrit Somdock
Materials 2024, 17(2), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17020420 - 14 Jan 2024
Viewed by 910
Abstract
Flexible thermoelectric generators (FTEGs) have garnered significant attention for their potential in harnessing waste heat energy from various sources. To optimize their efficiency, FTEGs require efficient and adaptable heatsinks. In this study, we propose a cost-effective solution by integrating phase-change materials into FTEG [...] Read more.
Flexible thermoelectric generators (FTEGs) have garnered significant attention for their potential in harnessing waste heat energy from various sources. To optimize their efficiency, FTEGs require efficient and adaptable heatsinks. In this study, we propose a cost-effective solution by integrating phase-change materials into FTEG heatsinks. We developed and tested three flexible phase-change material thicknesses (4 mm, 7 mm, and 10 mm), focusing on preventing leaks during operation. Additionally, we investigated the impact of wind speed on the output performance of FTEGs with a flexible phase-change material heatsink. The results indicate that the appropriate flexible phase-change material thickness, when integrated with considerations for wind speed, demonstrates remarkable heat-absorbing capabilities at phase-change temperatures. This integration enables substantial temperature differentials across the FTEG modules. Specifically, the FTEG equipped with a 10 mm thick flexible phase-change material heatsink achieved a power density more than four times higher when the wind speed was at 1 m/s compared to no wind speed. This outcome suggests that integrating phase-change material heatsinks with relatively low wind speeds can significantly enhance flexible thermoelectric generator efficiency. Finally, we present a practical application wherein the FTEG, integrated with the flexible phase-change material heatsink, efficiently converts waste heat from a circular hot pipe into electricity, serving as a viable power source for smartphone devices. This work opens exciting possibilities for the future integration of flexible thermoelectric modules with flexible phase-change material heatsinks, offering a promising avenue for converting thermal waste heat into usable electricity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thermoelectric Materials, Devices and Systems)
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17 pages, 6100 KiB  
Article
Study on Enhancing the Thermoelectric Stability of the β-Cu2Se Phase by Mn Doping
by Jian Tie, Guiying Xu, Yawei Li, Xian Fan, Quanxin Yang and Bohang Nan
Materials 2023, 16(14), 5204; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16145204 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1329
Abstract
Cu2Se is a promising thermoelectric (TE) material due to its low cost, Earth abundance, and high thermoelectric properties. However, the biggest problem of Cu2Se is its unstable chemical properties. In particular, under the action of an electric field or [...] Read more.
Cu2Se is a promising thermoelectric (TE) material due to its low cost, Earth abundance, and high thermoelectric properties. However, the biggest problem of Cu2Se is its unstable chemical properties. In particular, under the action of an electric field or gradient temperature field, the chemical potential of copper ions inside the material increases. When the external field is strong enough, the chemical potential of copper ions at the negative end of the material reaches the chemical potential of elemental copper. Under these conditions, copper ions must precipitate out, causing Cu2Se to be unstable, and making it unsuitable for use in applications. In this study, we prepared Cu2−xMnxSe (x = 0, 0.02, 0.04 and 0.06) series bulk materials by vacuum melting–annealing and sintered by spark plasma sintering (SPS). We investigated the effects of Mn doping on the composition, microstructure, band structure, scattering mechanism, thermoelectric properties, and stability of Cu2Se. The results show that Mn doping can adjust the carrier concentration, promote the stabilization of the β-phase structure and improve the electrical properties of Cu2Se. When x = 0.06, the highest power factor (PF) value of Cu1.94Mn0.06Se at 873 K was 1.62 mW m−1 K−2. The results of carrier scattering mechanism analysis based on the conductivity ratio method show that the sample doped with Mn and pure Cu2Se had the characteristics of ionization impurity scattering, and the scattering factor was 3/2. However, the deterioration in thermal conductivity was large, and a superior zT value needs to be obtained. The cyclic test results of high-temperature thermoelectric properties show that Mn doping can hinder Cu+ migration and improve its thermoelectric stability, which preliminarily verifies the feasibility of using the stable zirconia mechanism to improve the thermoelectric stability of Cu2Se. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thermoelectric Materials, Devices and Systems)
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