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:
The car of the future – sleeper cars and travelling offices too?
18.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
Self-driving cars for country roads
07.05.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences
15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy