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Waltham, MA, United States

Patent
GMZ Energy | Date: 2014-02-18

A self-powered boiler comprising a burner that burns a fuel to produce a hot combustion product that is used to heat a fluid and a thermoelectric generator (TEG) system comprising a first side in thermal communication with the hot combustion product and a second side in thermal communication with a lower temperature region of the boiler, and a plurality of thermoelectric converters disposed therebetween for generating electric power, wherein the electric power generated by the TEG system is equal to or greater than a total electric power consumed by the boiler under normal operating conditions.


Patent
GMZ Energy | Date: 2013-10-09

Methods of fabricating a thermoelectric element with reduced yield loss include forming a solid body of thermoelectric material having first dimension of 150 mm or more and thickness dimension of 5 mm or less, and dicing the body into a plurality of thermoelectric legs, without cutting along the thickness dimension of the body. Further methods include providing a metal material over a surface of a thermoelectric material, and hot pressing the metal material and the thermoelectric material to form a solid body having a contact metal layer and a thermoelectric material layer.


Patent
GMZ Energy | Date: 2014-03-13

A thermoelectric power generating module incorporates compliance into the module using a three-dimensional flexible connector. The flexible connector may relieve thermal stress and improve reliability for thermoelectric modules. In addition, the connector may provide a buffer layer (e.g., cushion) to damp mechanical vibrations. In further embodiments, a thermal interface structure for a thermoelectric device includes a thermally conductive body comprising a first compliant surface for directly interfacing with a first component of the thermoelectric device and a second compliant surface, opposite the first surface, for directly interfacing with a second component of the thermoelectric device.


A power generating system comprising a heat exchanger comprising an inlet, an outlet and a conduit extending along a length of the heat exchanger between the inlet and the outlet, and a plurality of thermally conductive fins provided within the conduit, a packing fraction of the fins increasing from a first packing fraction proximate the inlet to a second packing fraction proximate the outlet; and a plurality of thermoelectric power generators positioned along the length of the heat exchanger, each thermoelectric power generator comprising a hot side, a cold side and a thermoelectric element extending there between, wherein the hot sides of the thermoelectric power generators are in thermal contact with the plurality of fins such that the temperature of each hot side is substantially equal along the length of the heat exchanger.


Muto A.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Yang J.,GMZ Energy | Poudel B.,GMZ Energy | Ren Z.,Boston College | Chen G.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Advanced Energy Materials | Year: 2013

Skutterudites are promising thermoelectric materials because of their high figure of merit, ZT , and good thermomechanical properties. This work reports the effective figure of merit, ZT eff , and the efficiency of skutterudite legs and a unicouple working under a large temperature difference. The p- and n-type legs are fabricated with electrodes sintered directly to the skutterudite during a hot pressing process. CoSi2is used as the electrode for the n-type skutterudite (Yb0.35Co4Sb12) and Co 2Si for the p-type skutterudite (NdFe3.5Co 0.5Sb12). A technique is developed to measure the ZT eff of individual legs and the effi- ciency of a unicouple. An ZT eff of 0.74 is determined for the n-type legs operating between 52 and 595°C, and an ZT eff of 0.51 for the p-type legs operating between 77 and 600°C. The efficiency of the p-n unicouple is determined to be 9.1% operating between - 70 and 550°C. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. Source

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