Thermo-Electric Power Conversion – Waste heat recovery and solid state air-conditioners


Dr Roy Vellaisamy,
Associate Professor,
Department of Physics & Materials Science (COSDAF)


Thermoelectric (TE) materials directly convert thermal energy into electrical energy, offering a promising solid-state solution for clean energy application especially for waste heat conversion. For thermoelectric devices to make a significant impact on energy and environment, the major impediment is the efficiency and the cost of current thermoelectric materials. In this talk, I focus on inexpensive doped TE materials and TE power generator modules. On the other hand, thermoelectric generators (TEG) have long been relegated to use in space-based or other niche applications, but are now being actively considered for solid state cooling systems. We construct a solid state air conditioner consisting of TEGs to extract heat from the lift with the use of the electricity. No noise and water are produced during the cooling process; therefore, such an instrument is extremely promising as solid state air conditioners because it has outstanding cooling capacity and rapid cooling process as well as long working life without harmful chemical refrigerant. Furthermore, in this talk, I present our recent work on highly selective and sensitive electronic sensors capable of detecting molecules/ions down to ppb levels for environmental applications.