The 28th International / 7th European Conference on Thermoelectrics yielded important results, e.g., in the discussion of how thermoelectric generators can be further improved. The path leading to widespread use of waste heat recycling is clearly laid out for thermoelectrics.
In his opening speech at the conference, Baden-Württemberg's minister of economic affairs, Ernst Pfister, emphasized the economic and environmental benefits of thermoelectrics in particular.
"New technologies for the utilization of unused heat fractions at least in part are in dire need", Pfister said in Freiburg, alluding to the fact that more than 60 percent of all consumed fossil primary energy are dissipated unused as heat energy. According to Pfister, as one of the most promising technologies enabling direct conversion of heat into electricity, thermoelectrics could contribute greatly to more efficient energy handling.
Apart from the conference host, Fraunhofer IPM, both the International and the European Thermoelectric Society can look back on a most successful week. Attracting an attendance of about 600, the event has grown in size and relevance in a way that would have been considered impossible just a few years ago.
Nearly twice the last year's number of experts took the opportunity to exchange views with their colleagues. And the international guests were not only impressed by the conference's scientific part but also by its diverse social program. The event started with a reception hosted by the City of Freiburg in the Historic Merchants' Hall on the Münster square. Halfway through the conference, an excursion into the Black Forest was organized and a gala dinner was held in the concert hall.
- Materials: Improving material efficiency and recycling of tellurium-containing and therefore very expensive materials continue to be of highest priority.
- Manufacturing: So-called spark plasma sintering - a short-time sintering method similar to hot pressing - is increasingly gaining centre stage for manufacturing thermoelectric modules but also for volume production of thermoelectric devices.
- Refrigeration: Not only reducing fuel consumption provides its share in fighting climatic change. Avoiding CFCs in car air conditioning can also help in a valuable way. Small thermoelectric cooling systems that cool only the passengers rather than the whole car interior could replace conventional air conditioning.
- Waste-heat recycling: Based on vehicle tests with thermogenerators, the automotive industry predicts that efficient thermogenerators in conjunction with sophisticated power management will be able to improve fuel efficiency by around five to seven percent. Diesel and petrol engines make different demands on waste-heat recycling, however. This should be taken into account when optimizing the respective parameters such as, e.g., compression or exhaust gas temperature.
- Exhibition: A prototype car fitted with a thermoelectric generator for waste-heat recovery and presented by the Berlin based company IAV was one of the highlights of the exhibition accompanying the event. The Freiburg based company Micropelt, a spin-off of a Fraunhofer IPM development, presented commercial products for cooling applications and for energy self-sufficient sensor equipment. Apart from waste-heat recovery, generating minute amounts of energy for energy-independent sensors - e.g., for monitoring safety relevant parts such as aircraft shells - constitutes the second major application for thermoelectrics.The future of thermoelectrics
Assisted by the Federal State, Fraunhofer IPM is planning to establish a research association, "Thermoelectrics Baden-Württemberg", in Freiburg. This association will further accelerate material, module, and systems development and add to the strength of the Location of Germany and, especially, Baden-Württemberg. "Already, Freiburg is an established factor in thermoelectrics", says Harald Böttner, Chairman of the international Conference ICT2009 in Freiburg. "We are receiving a lot of acceptance from all sides. And politics are also willing to help us along our way." This, among other things, includes building a thermoelectrics competence centre on the Fraunhofer IPM's site. Therefore, Freiburg thermoelectrics can look to the future with great expectations and high motivation.Your contact:
3D scans for the automotive industry
16.01.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits
09.11.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News