Special Issue "Advances in Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting and Power Generation"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Thermal Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 November 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Hohyun Lee
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053, USA
Interests: nanoscale transport phenomena; nanoscale materials characterization & instrumentation; renewable/sustainable energy system design; waste heat recovery; thermoelectrics; water purification; building energy saving; cyber-physical systems

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

This Special Issue of Energies titled “Advances in Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting and Power Generation” calls for papers that investigate innovative ideas and research progress in thermoelectric system integration for the purpose of power generation. The recent advancement in thermoelectric materials has intrigued many researchers and scientists from various sectors in sustainable environmentally friendly energy conversion between heat and electricity. While research progress in material development has enhanced the power generation potential and provided physical insights in energy transport phenomena, system integration approaches have revealed many technical challenges that have not been as well publicized as fundamental issues in thermoelectric material research. As such, improved thermoelectric properties have not ensured equivalent enhancement in actual power generation under practical operation conditions. It is our hope that this Special Issue can bridge the gap between the two different approaches and thereby have a synergistic effect on both material development and system integration.

The topics of interest of this Special Issue include, but are not limited to: system analysis and optimization; module design; power conditioning circuits; heat management; contact materials; application design and integration; material advancement. We will greatly appreciate your interest in publishing your research outcomes or review articles. This special edition will serve the community as a primary reference, providing a meaningful collection of research highlights in thermoelectric energy harvesting.

Prof. Dr. Hohyun Lee
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 papers will be 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. Energies 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 1800 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

  • Maximum Efficiency/Power Generation Conditions
  • Load Matching
  • Module Geometry
  • Number of Pairs
  • MPPT
  • Boost Converter
  • Step-up Voltage Converter
  • Heat Sink
  • Thermal Resistance
  • Insulation
  • Heat Spreader
  • Flexible
  • Wearable
  • Sensor Network
  • Waste Heat Recovery
  • Topping Cycle
  • Radioisotope
  • Peltier
  • Seebeck
  • Figure of Merit
  • Bismuth Telluride
  • Polymer

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Cooling Methods for a Thermoelectric Generator with Forced Convection
Energies 2020, 13(12), 3185; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13123185 - 19 Jun 2020
Abstract
A thermoelectric generator (TEG) is a clean electricity generator from a heat source, usually waste heat. However, it is not as widely utilized as other electricity generators due to low conversion efficiency from heat to electricity. One approach is a system-level net power [...] Read more.
A thermoelectric generator (TEG) is a clean electricity generator from a heat source, usually waste heat. However, it is not as widely utilized as other electricity generators due to low conversion efficiency from heat to electricity. One approach is a system-level net power optimization for a TEG system composed of TEGs, heat sink, and fans. In this paper, we propose airflow reuse after cooling preceding TEGs to maximize system net power. For the accurate system net power, we model the TEG system, air, and heat source with proper dimension and material characteristics, and simulate with a computational fluid dynamics program. Next, the TEG power generation and the fan power consumption are calculated in consideration of the Seebeck coefficient and internal electrical resistance varying with hot and cold side temperatures. Finally, we find the optimal number of TEGs and fan speed generating the most efficient system net power in various TEG systems. The results show that the system with a side fan with a specific number of TEGs provides a system net power up to 58.6% higher than when with a top fan. The most efficient system net power with the side fan increases up to four TEGs generating 1.907 W at 13,000 RPM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting and Power Generation)
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Open AccessArticle
A Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting Scheme with Passive Cooling for Outdoor IoT Sensors
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2782; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112782 - 01 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper presents an energetically autonomous IoT sensor powered via thermoelectric harvesting. The operation of thermal harvesting is based on maintaining a temperature gradient of at least 26.31 K between the thermoelectric-generator sides. While the hot side employs a metal plate, the cold [...] Read more.
This paper presents an energetically autonomous IoT sensor powered via thermoelectric harvesting. The operation of thermal harvesting is based on maintaining a temperature gradient of at least 26.31 K between the thermoelectric-generator sides. While the hot side employs a metal plate, the cold side is attached with a phase-change material acting as an effective passive dissipative material. The desired temperature gradient allows claiming power conversion efficiencies of about 26.43%, without efficiency reductions associated with heating and soiling. This work presents the characterization of a low-cost off-the-shelf thermoelectric generator that allows estimating the production of at least 407.3 mW corresponding to 2.44 Wh of available energy considering specific operation hours—determined statistically for a given geographic location. Then, the energy production is experimentally verified with the construction of an outdoor IoT sensor powered by a passively-cooled thermoelectric generator. The prototype contains a low-power microcontroller, environmental sensors, and a low-power radio to report selected environmental variables to a central node. This work shows that the proposed supply mechanism provides sufficient energy for continuous operation even during times with no solar resource through an on-board Li-Po battery. Such a battery can be recharged once the solar radiation is available without compromising sensor operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting and Power Generation)
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Open AccessArticle
Boron Doping of SWCNTs as a Way to Enhance the Thermoelectric Properties of Melt-Mixed Polypropylene/SWCNT Composites
Energies 2020, 13(2), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13020394 - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Composites based on the matrix polymer polypropylene (PP) filled with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and boron-doped SWCNTs (B-SWCNTs) were prepared by melt-mixing to analyze the influence of boron doping of SWCNTs on the thermoelectric properties of these nanocomposites. It was found that besides [...] Read more.
Composites based on the matrix polymer polypropylene (PP) filled with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and boron-doped SWCNTs (B-SWCNTs) were prepared by melt-mixing to analyze the influence of boron doping of SWCNTs on the thermoelectric properties of these nanocomposites. It was found that besides a significantly higher Seebeck coefficient of B-SWCNT films and powder packages, the values for B-SWCNT incorporated in PP were higher than those for SWCNTs. Due to the higher electrical conductivity and the higher Seebeck coefficients of B-SWCNTs, the power factor (PF) and the figure of merit (ZT) were also higher for the PP/B-SWCNT composites. The highest value achieved in this study was a Seebeck coefficient of 59.7 µV/K for PP with 0.5 wt% B-SWCNT compared to 47.9 µV/K for SWCNTs at the same filling level. The highest PF was 0.78 µW/(m·K2) for PP with 7.5 wt% B-SWCNT. SWCNT macro- and microdispersions were found to be similar in both composite types, as was the very low electrical percolation threshold between 0.075 and 0.1 wt% SWCNT. At loadings between 0.5 and 2.0 wt%, B-SWCNT-based composites have one order of magnitude higher electrical conductivity than those based on SWCNT. The crystallization behavior of PP is more strongly influenced by B-SWCNTs since their composites have higher crystallization temperatures than composites with SWCNTs at a comparable degree of crystallinity. Boron doping of SWCNTs is therefore a suitable way to improve the electrical and thermoelectric properties of composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting and Power Generation)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Prof. Astrain, David  [email protected]   Universidad Publica de Navarra, Dept. of Mechanics, Energetics and Materials Engineering
2. Prof. Kim, Woochul  [email protected]  Yonsei Univ, Mechanical Engineering
3. Prof. Hohyun Lee [email protected] Department of Mechanical Engineering, Santa Clara University
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