A ladder thermoelectric parellepiped generator

G.K. Óttarsson

Pro%Nil Systems, Flokagata 27, 105 Reykjavik, Iceland

A thermoelectric generator is constructed from a large number of series connected parallelepipeds of some thermoelectric crystalline material. The hot and/or cold reservoir is made of some electrically conductive metal, and the fluid is to some extent conductive to the ground. This topology generates a number of small capacitors formed by two metalized parallelepiped crystal faces and the usually grounded thermal reservoir. We analyse the frequency behaviour of such a thermoelectric generator, which typically contains thousands of parallelepipeds, each generating few milliwatts.

Electronic network theory of linear circuit elements has a strong connection to the mathematics and the algebra of Polynomials in the Complex Domain. This is due to the fact that a dynamical differential equation can be Laplace transformed from the time domain into the frequency domain, and in the process, is turned into a polynomial in the complex variable "s =  + i", where () is the angular frequency "f = /2" and () is the dissipative (or generative) time-constant. A thermoelectric generator consisting of a large number of small crystals connected serially together can be considered as a naturally occurring network of lumped elements, and is ideally suited to network analyses in the frequency domain.

This work is partially supported by the Icelandic Science Research Fund (RANNIS), the Icelandic Industrial and Technological Foundation (ITI), the Icelandic Ministry of Industry and the Agricultural Productivity Fund of Iceland. Pro%Nil Systems(1) and Genergy Varmaraf(2) have provided additional funding and support. Warm thanks to Reykjavik Energy for providing research facilities and hot and cold water. Cool thanks to Mr. Guðbrandur Guðmundsson2 and Mr. Sigurður Gunnarsson1 for proofreading the manuscript available at www.islandia.is/gko/010818.pdf for use.