Power Response of a Planar Thermoelectric Microgenerator Based on Silicon Nanowires at Different Convection Regimes

(De Gruyter) – A thermoelectric microgenerator based on multiple silicon nanowire arrays was fabricated and its performance evaluated for different convection regimes. The thermal design of the microgenerator features a thermally isolated silicon platform which is connected to the bulk silicon rim through several arrays of silicon nanowires.

The authors performed simulations carried out to evaluate the need of an external heat sink to improve the thermal gradient seen by the nanowires and the power output of the microgenerator. Results show a significant improvement with a heat sink raising the thermal gradient from 3 K to approximately 100 K when the external temperature gradient is 300 K.

Experimental measurements with different convection regimes showed a radical improvement on the power output comparing natural convection and two different forced convection regimes. The first forced convection regime is a broad airflow from a commercial CPU fan placed on top of the device, while the second (air jet forced convection) uses a syringe to focus the airflow from the compressed air line to the platform.

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Edited for Content and Length by Dr. Matthew A. Hood.

The original full article can be found at De Gruyter in the journal Energy Harvesting and Systems.

DOI: 10.1515/ehs-2016-0019

Feature Photo/GettyImages

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