The dynamics of thermoelectric energy were studied throughout this experi- mental research. With the goal of energy recycling and conservation in mind, a device comprised of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) was placed onto various heat sources across the College of Wooster campus. The TEGs could harness the wasted heat given off by the heat source and convert the temperature gradient created on the TEGs into a usable voltage. With this voltage, we can calculate the amount of power and energy that can be recycled with our device. The amount of energy collected is analyzed to see if it is large enough to complete various possible tasks. Scenarios such as charging a cell phone or powering the lights are investigated. The energy recycled from our prototype device proved to be insignificant. The cost of making a device to power these tasks was far greater than the cost of electricity as to equate the cost of the device with the cost of electricity per year when both are supplying equal amounts of energy was determined 30 years minimum with our current device. Improvements must be made to our model to increase the efficiency and energy recycled. We must increase the current supplied by the TEGs or add to the number of operating TEGs on our device to make reasonable adjustments to recycle a significant amount of energy. Adjustments could also be made to the design of the device in an effort to maintain the temperature gradient for a longer period of time. The duration of our large temperature gradient directly affects the energy re- cycled. With these adjustments, thermoelectric materials have the potential to greatly increase energy conservation on the college campus.
Shideler, Katherine, "Energy Conservation: Harnessing Excess Thermal Energy and Converting to Electricity by Use of the Thermoelectric Effect" (2021). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 9510.
Thermoelectric Effect, Power Generation, Excess Thermal Energy
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
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