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Development of Thermoelectric Devices for Structural Composites

Nattiyatharil Panachaveettil, Oonnittan Jacob
The study presented in this thesis covers a multiple methods for manufacturing thermoelectric structural composites for waste heat energy harvesting efficiently. Various attempts to fabricate a thermoelectric device suitable for incorporation into composites giving a entirely new dimension of harvesting waste energy is sought. A brief study into making thermoelectric materials of high figure of merit was also conducted as a part of the project. A novel method of fabricating thick film thermoelectric devices which can be mounted onto composites was devised and conceptualized. The implementation of this device has been carried out partially. This is method surpasses the thin film thermoelectric device process when compared to the efficiency and manufacturing cost. A process using a three layered structure consisting of metal contacts and TE materials that are sintered and diced into thick films for device fabrication. This method can be extended to other TE materials irrespective of the temperature range.