Renewable Energy World

Renewable Energy World

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Patrick

Power Generation Characteristics

President at Seebeck Technology, Inc.

Seebeck Technology is working on a thermal electric power generation system. The team came up with a set of attributes that would be desirable in the marketplace (below). What else should we consider? All comments are welcome.

Characteristics of a good thermal electric solution:
• System is safe (people, equipment)
• System reliably integrates with existing grid (compatible)
• System can be installed and operated locally (avoid line losses)
• System can be either dispatched or operational 24/7
• System designed for longevity (decades of use)
• No hazardous materials (RoHS compliant)
• Low acoustic signature
• System does not evaporate water in operational process
• Initial cost for turn-key system is predictable and competitive
• Economically scales to most available heat sources (modular)
• System has low maintenance and operating costs (“it just works”)
• System can be remotely monitored

  • Comment (8)
  • December 18, 2012
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Comments

  • Phillip V.

    Phillip

    Phillip V.

    Principal at VHE Consulting

    What is the temperature differential necessary to generate a commercially viable electric current?

  • Patrick T.

    Patrick

    Patrick T.

    President at Seebeck Technology, Inc.

    Hi Phillip - Seebeck Technology generators are designed to work with ambient temperature on the cool side. The hot side is rated for 600F maximum and 450F continuous operation. Variable speed heat transfer fluid (HTF) pumps are used to control delta T. Please note that design characteristics will vary by manufacturer and thermoelectric material chosen (e.g. BiTe).

  • Paul J.

    Paul

    Paul J.

    Sustainability Advisor

    Geothermal, waste heat (incinerator stacks, cooling water ...), solar concentrators source of heat possible for Seebeck generators.

  • Phillip V.

    Phillip

    Phillip V.

    Principal at VHE Consulting

    Twenty five years ago the feasibility of this technology was only viable when the Delta T was over 1200 deg F. What has changed?

  • Patrick T.

    Patrick

    Patrick T.

    President at Seebeck Technology, Inc.

    Hi Phillip - I would summarize recent advances as materials and manufacturing.

    On the materials side, there has been extensive research into doping concentrations, compounds, etc. as captured in proceedings of annual conferences. The research community has been particularly active in the last 15 years.

    On the manufacturing side, there are many TEG module manufacturers worldwide competing on price. The surviving TEG shops have evolved from "we can make these" to "we can make these reliably at a Customer friendly price point."

  • Patrick T.

    Patrick

    Patrick T.

    President at Seebeck Technology, Inc.

    Hi Paul - one of the attractive features of thermoelectric power is that any heat source can drive the Seebeck effect. Some areas that can be added to your list include ceramic kilns, glass manufacture, metal smelting, and "burn off" gases. This technology is not a perpetual motion machine that infinitely recycles power. However, Seebeck Technology generators do provide the opportunity to improve the heat efficiency of many existing industrial processes.

  • Phillip V.

    Phillip

    Phillip V.

    Principal at VHE Consulting

    Patrick,

    If you are not manufacturing the working materials for your devices, what
    function does your company perform and do you have a business plan.

    Phillip L. Van Huffel

    2320 Chelsea Rd. NE

    Grand Rapids, Mi 49505

    616-635-2598

    philvh@yahoo.com

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