Can a thermoelectric cooler be used as a thermoelectric generator?

  • Thread starter nu_hash
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  • #1
nu_hash
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The title should be self explanatory, the only reason I ask this is because thermoelectric coolers are ridiculously cheap compared to a thermoelectric generator.

Is there anything I need to check when using a cooler as a generator, I am expecting temperatures on the cold to be around 20C and hot around 200C. Would high temperatures damage the coolers even though are rated high enough?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Yuri B.
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I am afraid the energy conversion is irreversible in the thermoelectric cooler. It is like as one cannot generate electricity by cooling a freon refrigerator.
 
  • #3
jim hardy
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i believe it is reversible
but inefficient

get one and give it a try.

the thermocouple effect works both ways

but any fans or active electronics will have to be dealt with separately.
 
  • #4
Yuri B.
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Thermoelectric cooler is inefficient by itself. If a reverted action is possible, according to logics, the inefficient thermoel. cooler could be turned into an efficient electricity generator ?!
 
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  • #5
jim hardy
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......efficient electricity generator ?!

a not very efficient one i would think.

It'd be of course limited by Carnot efficiency, difference between hot and cold sources.

A google search on 'thermo electric generator efficiency' took me to several outfits selling them. They're more practical than i thought.



http://www.tegpower.com/
electrochem.org
 

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