Energy-intensive industrial processes often go along with huge quantities of waste heat that could partly be recovered as electrical energy by thermoelectric generators. The larger the corresponding temperature differences and thus the heat fluxes the higher the electrical power output. Especially in the automotive sector this kind of waste heat recovery could allow for fuel savings of 5-7%.
In the past thermoelectric generators proved their functionality, reliability and long-term stability many times. However, commercially available thermoelectric modules are designed for application temperatures that are too low especially for automotive applications.
Thermoelectric materials that can stand temperatures of 450 to 500 °C are well known and show very promising properties. However they are hardly available in quantities larger than laboratory scale.
In this presentation we show synthesis and production techniques for thermoelectric materials and functionalized pellets that are available at DLR and might be interesting for the material production on an industry-relevant scale. Advantages as well as disadvantages of the different processes are discussed.