Power Generation by Seebeck Effect

The demand for electricity is rising day to day with growing industries and household electrical appliances. To fulfill the daily energy requirements different energy sources like coal, water, and solar energy are employed at a very high cost. About 2/3 of the energy generated by a conventional power station is lost in the form of waste heat that escapes out of a cooling tower. But if we use the waste heat and convert the heat energy as usable electricity will make the power generation much more efficient.

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According to the thermodynamics law of energy also known as the law of conservation of energy, energy cannot be created nor destroyed but can transform into other forms. The thermoelectric device works on the principle of the Seebeck effect, in which the temperature gradient between the two junctions produces voltage and vice versa. It can be used to harness electricity.

Project Description:

This project works with the principle of “Seebeck Effect”, a phenomenon in which temperature difference between two dissimilar semiconductors produces a potential difference between the two substances. The higher the temperature differences, the higher is the voltage produced. We can generate electricity even in villages where electricity is irregular and insufficient.

Thermoelectric Generators: Thermoelectric Generators work by extracting a temperature gradient between the two sides of the generator. Take a piece of metal, heat it at one end and cool the other. This makes the electrons around the hot side to move faster than on the cooler end. The electrons at the cooler end will tend to move faster towards the hot end. This results that the colder side will become more charged than the hot side. This temperature difference creates a voltage drop.

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Aluminum Plates: The thermal conductivity of aluminum plates is three times more than that of steel. It acts as a material for cooling as well as heating applications such as heat-exchangers.

DC Voltage Booster: The voltage generated is boosted from the range 0.9V-5V to 5V and it consists of On-board USB, that supplies power to the USB interface.

USB Port: Constant 5V output DC voltage is used to charge the mobile phone by USB port.

Heat Sink Containers: 2 separate containers are the needed, one for hot water and another for cold water.

Breadboard: It is a construction base used for the temporary prototype with electronics and test circuit designs.

Project Implementation:

  • Connect the Thermoelectric Generator with Aluminum plates and dip the aluminum plates in the heat sinks.
  • 2 separate heat sinks maintained each contacted by aluminum plates, in that one is for heat source (hot water) and another one for coolant (cold water)
  • The generated voltage boosted or set up by using a dc voltage booster.
  • The output of the booster (DC-DC converter) used to power the LED or charge the mobile phone through the USB port.

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Thermoelectric Generators has an advantage over conventional resources. The wasted thermal energy from the industries and power plants is utilized for the generation of electricity. The generated power can be utilized as an auxiliary electric supply. The more the temperature difference, the more voltage is generated.

Kit required to develop Power Generation by Seebeck Effect:
Technologies you will learn by working on Power Generation by Seebeck Effect:
Power Generation by Seebeck Effect
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2022-05-19

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