Researchers use 3D printing of Cu2Se thermoelectric materials for power generation
SEOUL – Thermoelectric power generation offers a promising way to recover waste heat because it allows the direct conversion of heat into electricity without any environmental pollution. The thermoelectric effect refers to phenomena by which either a temperature difference creates an electric potential, or an electric potential creates a temperature difference.
Thermoelectric (TE) materials are used in thermoelectric systems for cooling or heating and are being explored as a way to regenerate electricity from waste heat. However, thermoelectric materials have low durability and are prone to structural damage. The geometric design of the thermoelectric feet in the modules is important to ensure sustainable power generation, but it cannot be easily achieved.
Arizona State University professor Kwon Beom-jin worked with a research team from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) to design cellular thermoelectric architectures for efficient and sustainable energy production with the 3D printing process based on the extrusion of copper selenide thermoelectric materials (Cu2Se).
Researchers designed the optimum aspect ratio of a cuboid thermoelectric leg to maximize power output and extend it to the mechanically rigid cellular architecture of hollow hexagonal column, honeycomb-based thermoelectric legs.
“Our 3D printing approach has great application potential for the cost-effective manufacture of well-designed TE modules, which can be easily transferred to other areas of electronics and power devices,” said the research team in its article published on Nature’s website. Communications, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
Organic binder-free Cu2Se-based 3D printing inks with desirable viscoelasticity have been developed, the research team said, adding that computer simulation and experimental measurements demonstrate the superior power output and mechanical stiffness of the architectures. Cellular thermoelectric compared to other designs, revealing the importance of topology thermoelectric leg designs towards higher power and longer durability.
“It can be applied to space and aeronautical technologies and automotive industries that require both lightness and durability,” Son Jae-sung, UNIST professor of materials science and engineering, said in a statement.
© Aju Business Daily & www.ajunews.com Copyright: Any material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without permission of Aju News Corporation.