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Research Project Information




Research Project Summary Information



Solar Thermoelectric(18804)

The Research Foundation of SUNY at Bing

Background

Thermoelectric materials offer a way to collect solar radiation across the entire solar-electromagnetic spectrum by converting solar radiation to heat and harvesting the energy associated with the flow of this heat from a hot-temperature reservoir to a cold-temperature reservoir. Theoretically, thin film thermoelectric-active materials operated at hot-reservoir temperatures (100°C-400°C) and a cold-reservoir temperature of 20°C, have the potential to convert 10% to 35% of the incident solar-radiant energy to electrical energy and may surpass the efficiency of the best thin-film photovoltaic devices. To realize the benefits of this technology, materials with high values of "ZT" must be developed.

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Project Description

Solar Thermoelectric aims to develop highly-efficient thermoelectric nano-composites. To do so, it plans to determine optimum geometry and mass disorder required for phonon localization in a nano-composite material using molecular dynamics simulations and demonstrate a lattice thermal conductivity in a nano-composite thermoelectric material with a value below 0.05 W/mK. It also aims to demonstrate electrochemical-based nano-composite formation processes compatible with large area roll-to-roll manufacturing techniques. Finally, it intends to demonstrate a nano-composite Seebeck coefficient greater than 500µV/°K, and demonstrate feasibility of nano-composite material with a ZT greater than 6 (corresponding to 50% of Carnot Efficiency for temperature reservoirs of 500°K and 300°K).

Benefits

Potentially, Solar Thermoelectric's approach could enhance efficiency through materials research, and lead to the development of new intellectual property.

Project Results

Contractor

The Research Foundation of SUNY at Bing
P.O. Box 9
Albany, NY 12201

Principle Investigator

Bruce White

Universities Involved

SUNY Binghamton

Technologies

Project Type:

Product Development


Technologies Types:

Energy Power Supply
Solar Thermal Electric

NYSERDA Contact Information

Nicholas Tichich
nat@nyserda.ny.gov

Program

R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 7/13/2011
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: 18804




Last Updated: 1/21/2014