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Thermoelectric System Absorbing Waste Heat from a Steel Ladle

  • Topical Collection: International Conference on Thermoelectrics 2017
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China’s iron and steel industry has made great progress in energy savings and emission reductions with the application of many waste heat recovery technologies. However, most of the medium and low temperature waste heat and radiant waste heat has not been effectively utilized. This paper proposes a thermoelectric system that generates electricity by absorbing the radiant heat from the surface of steel ladles in a steel plant. The thermoelectric behavior of modules in this system is analyzed by a numerical simulation method. The effects of external resistance and module structure on thermoelectric performance are also discussed in the temperature range of the wall surface of a steel ladle. The results show that the wall temperature has a significant influence on the thermoelectric behavior of the module, so its uniformity and stability should be considered in practical application. The ratio of the optimum external resistance to the internal resistance of the thermoelectric module is in the range of 1.6–2.0, which indicates the importance of external load optimization for a given thermoelectric system. In addition, the output power and the conversion efficiency of the module can be significantly improved by increasing the length of the thermoelectric legs and adopting a double-layer structure. Finally, through the optimization of external resistance and structure, the power output can reach 83–304 W/m2. This system is shown to be a promising approach for energy recovery.

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This paper is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51576034).

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Correspondence to Xiangning Meng.

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Lu, B., Meng, X., Zhu, M. et al. Thermoelectric System Absorbing Waste Heat from a Steel Ladle. J. Electron. Mater. 47, 3238–3247 (2018).

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