Can a thermoelectric cooler be used as a thermoelectric generator?

  • Thread starter nu_hash
  • Start date
  • #1
10
0
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
137
0
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
Science Advisor
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
9,847
4,888
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
137
0
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 ?!
 
Last edited:
  • #5
jim hardy
Science Advisor
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
9,847
4,888
......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
 

Related Threads on Can a thermoelectric cooler be used as a thermoelectric generator?

Replies
9
Views
8K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
551
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
7K
Replies
4
Views
648
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
8
Views
10K
Replies
9
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
585
Top