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A Natural-Gas-Fired Thermoelectric Power Generation System

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.

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Correspondence to K. Qiu.

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Qiu, K., Hayden, A. A Natural-Gas-Fired Thermoelectric Power Generation System. J. Electron. Mater. 38, 1315–1319 (2009).

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  • Thermoelectric power generation
  • heat source
  • combustion
  • modeling