A Natural-Gas-Fired Thermoelectric Power Generation System
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This paper presents a combustion-driven thermoelectric power generation system that uses PbSnTe-based thermoelectric modules. The modules were integrated into a gas-fired furnace with a special burner design. The thermoelectric integrated system could be applied for self-powered appliances or micro-cogeneration. A mathematical model for the integrated energy system was established that considered irreversibilities in the thermal-to-electric energy conversion process. The electric power output and electrical efficiency of the system were simulated using the established model. A prototype system was developed and its performance was investigated at various operating conditions. Applicability of thermoelectric devices to self-powered heating systems was demonstrated. The thermoelectric integrated combustion system could provide the consumer with heating system reliability and a reduction in electric power consumption. The integrated system could also offer other advantages including simplicity, low noise, clean operation, and low maintenance.
KeywordsThermoelectric power generation heat source combustion modeling
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