In this chapter, experimental analysis of the direct conversion of thermal energy into electric energy was carried out, in order to encourage the conscious use of energy and to reduce waste. The conversion of thermal energy into electrical energy occurs in a thermoelectric generator through the Seebeck effect. This effect is associated with the appearance of an electric potential difference between two different materials, placed in contact at different temperatures. This relation between temperature and electrical properties of the material is known as thermoelectricity. This experimental study has as objective the obtaining of operating characteristic curves of the thermoelectric generator TEG1-12611-6.0, for different temperature gradients and under constant pressure between the heater plate and the heat sink. Resistors were used to heat the thermoelectric generator, which simulates the residual heat, and insulation material to minimize the dissipation of heat to the environment. For cooling, a heat exchanger was used in order to maximize the temperature difference between the sides of the thermoelectric generator. In this way, it was possible to perform an experimental analysis of the obtained electric power for different temperature ranges between the faces of the generator and, with this, verify the applicability in real systems.
Part of the book: Advanced Thermoelectric Materials for Energy Harvesting Applications