Electric Power Generator Patents (Class 136/205)
  • Patent number: 11906371
    Abstract: Thermocouples for high temperature applications are provided. A thermocouple includes a vessel formed from a dielectric material, the vessel defining a first chamber and a second chamber, the first chamber and second chamber in fluid communication. The thermocouple further includes a first thermoelement disposed in the first chamber, the first thermoelement formed from a first thermoelectric material. The thermocouple further includes a second thermoelement disposed in the second chamber, the second thermoelement formed from a second thermoelectric material different from the first thermoelectric material, and wherein the second thermoelement is a liquid at operating conditions of the thermocouple.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2024
    Assignee: GE Infrastructure Technology LLC
    Inventors: Kurt Kramer Schleif, Andrew David Ellis
  • Patent number: 11849641
    Abstract: A thermoelectric conversion element of the present disclosure includes a thermoelectric conversion layer, a first metal layer, a second metal layer, a first joining layer, and a second joining layer. At least one of the first joining layer and the second joining layer includes a second alloy. A content of Mg in the second alloy is 84 atm % or more and 89 atm % or less, a content of Cu in the second alloy is 11 atm % or more and 15 atm % or less, and a content of an alkaline earth metal in the second alloy is 0 atm % or more and 1 atm % or less.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2022
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2023
    Assignee: Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yuriko Kaneko, Tsutomu Kanno
  • Patent number: 11808492
    Abstract: A cooling system employs at least one composite elastocaloric device. Each composite device has a first member with a first material and a second member with an elastocaloric material. The first material increases in size in response to an applied electric or magnetic field and returns to its prior size upon removal of the applied electric or magnetic field. The first and second members are mechanically coupled together such that the increase in size of the first material applies a stress to the elastocaloric material and the return of the first material to its prior size releases said stress, thereby causing the elastocaloric material to absorb heat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2023
    Assignees: University of Maryland, College Park, The Government of the United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Huilong Hou, Ichiro Takeuchi, Margo Staruch, Peter Finkel
  • Patent number: 11791143
    Abstract: A small-gap device system, preferably including two or more electrodes and one or more spacers maintaining a gap between two or more of the electrodes. A spacer for a small-gap device system, preferably including a plurality of legs defining a mesh structure. A method of spacer and/or small-gap device fabrication, preferably including: defining lateral features, depositing spacer material, selectively removing spacer material, separating the spacer from a fabrication substrate, and/or assembling the small-gap device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2021
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2023
    Assignees: Spark Thermionics, Inc., The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania
    Inventors: Jared William Schwede, Igor Bargatin, Samuel M. Nicaise, Chen Lin, John Provine
  • Patent number: 11742446
    Abstract: Wire-based metallization and stringing techniques for solar cells, and the resulting solar cells, modules, and equipment, are described. In an example, a substrate has a surface. A plurality of N-type and P-type semiconductor regions is disposed in or above the surface of the substrate. A conductive contact structure is disposed on the plurality of N-type and P-type semiconductor regions. The conductive contact structure includes a plurality of conductive wires, each conductive wire of the plurality of conductive wires essentially continuously bonded directly to a corresponding one of the N-type and P-type semiconductor regions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2021
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2023
    Assignee: Maxeon Solar Pte. Ltd.
    Inventors: Richard Hamilton Sewell, David Aaron Randolph Barkhouse, Douglas Rose, Lewis Abra
  • Patent number: 11721259
    Abstract: There is disclosed a display driving device configured to drive a display device for displaying an image, including a source driver integrated circuit (IC) configured to convert image data into a source signal, and an energy harvesting device configured to convert thermal energy into electrical energy and supply the electrical energy to the source driver IC, wherein the energy harvesting device includes a thermal energy converter configured to convert thermal energy generated in the source driver IC to output an energy harvesting current, and an energy storage directly connected to the thermal energy converter, and configured to receive the energy harvesting current, store power, and output a first auxiliary voltage that is a voltage generated due to the stored power, wherein the thermal energy converter and the energy storage are located on the source driver IC.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2021
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2023
    Assignee: LX SEMICON CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Jong Suk Lee, Young Bok Kim
  • Patent number: 11716905
    Abstract: An electrochemical cell comprises a first electrode having a first inner surface; a second electrode having a second inner surface, the second inner surface facing the first inner surface; a nanostructured material positioned on at least one of the first inner surface and second inner surface; and an ionic liquid positioned between the first inner surface and the second inner surface, the ionic liquid being in electrical communication with the first electrode and second electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2023
    Assignee: BOARD OF REGENTS, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYSTEM
    Inventors: Hyejin Moon, Ali Farzbod
  • Patent number: 11670452
    Abstract: A multilayer electronic component includes: a body including dielectric layers and internal electrodes alternately stacked with one of the dielectric layers interposed therebetween; and external electrodes disposed on external surfaces of the body and connected to the internal electrodes. One of the internal electrodes includes a plurality of conductive particles and conductive nanowires each of which having a shape different from a shape of the plurality of conductive particles and being connected to at least one of the plurality of conductive particles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2021
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2023
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRO-MECHANICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Chung Hyeon Ryu, Gi Sub Lee, Ah Young Lee
  • Patent number: 11664182
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, an electron emitting element includes a first region, a second region, and a third region. The first region includes a semiconductor including a first element of an n-type impurity. The second region includes diamond. The diamond includes a second element including at least one selected from the group consisting of nitrogen, phosphorous, arsenic, antimony, and bismuth. The third region is provided between the first region and the second region. The third region includes Alx1Ga1-x1N (0<x1?1) including a third element including at least one selected from the group consisting of Si, Ge, Te and Sn. A +c-axis direction of the third region includes a component in a direction from the first region toward the second region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2021
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2023
    Assignees: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba, Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation
    Inventors: Shigeya Kimura, Hisashi Yoshida, Hisao Miyazaki, Hiroshi Tomita, Souichi Ueno, Takeshi Hoshi
  • Patent number: 11665965
    Abstract: Disclosed is a composition for forming a thermoelectric film, the composition comprising an edge-oxidized graphene oxide, wherein the edge-oxidized graphene oxide is dispersed in a thermoelectric material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2023
    Assignee: KOREA INSTITUTE OF MATERIALS SCIENCE
    Inventors: Kyung Tae Kim, Byung Mun Jung
  • Patent number: 11633783
    Abstract: Disclosed are a method of manufacturing a billet used in plastic working for producing a composite member and a billet manufactured by the method. The method includes (A) ball-milling powders of two more materials to prepare a composite powder and (B) preparing a multi-layered billet containing the composite powder. The multi-layered billet includes a core layer and two or more shell layers. The shell layers except for the outermost shell layer are made of the composite powder. The outermost shell layer is made of a pure metal or metal alloy. The composite powders contained in the core layer and each of the shell layers have different compositions. The method has an advantage of manufacturing a plastic working billet being capable of overcoming the limitation of a single-material billet and enabling production of a characteristic-specific composite member such as a clad member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2023
    Assignee: PUKYONG NATIONAL UNIVERSITY INDUSTRY-UNIVERSITY COOPERATION FOUNDATION
    Inventor: Hansang Kwon
  • Patent number: 11635419
    Abstract: A PaaS platform-based ultra-low power consumption soil near-ground wireless sensing system includes a plurality of sensors mounted in soil, a signal transceiver module is arranged in the sensor, the signal transceiver module transmits a signal to a LoRaWan gateway through LoRa wireless communication, and the LoRaWan gateway is successively connected to a PaaS platform and a user group; and the sensors include a soil moisture sensor, a soil salinity sensor and a rainfall sensor. The PaaS platform-based ultra-low power consumption soil near-ground wireless sensing system of the invention enables sensor nodes to have ultra-low power consumption; and through fusion with a LoRa communication technology, a node network with ultra-low power consumption and long-distance transmission is constructed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2023
    Assignee: INSTITUTE OF SOIL SCIENCE, CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
    Inventors: Yonghui Tu, Haoye Tang, Wenyou Hu, Chanjuan Sun
  • Patent number: 11628496
    Abstract: Disclosed are a method of manufacturing an aluminum-based clad heat sink, and an aluminum-based clad heat sink manufactured by the method. The method includes ball-milling (i) aluminum or aluminum alloy powder and (ii) carbon nanotubes (CNT) to prepare a composite powder, preparing a multi-layered billet using the composite billet, and directly extruding the multi-layered billet using an extrusion die to produce a heat sink. The method has an advantage of producing a light high-strength high-conductivity aluminum-based clad heat sink having an competitive advantage in terms of price by using direct extrusion that is suitable for mass production due to its simplicity in process procedure and equipment required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2023
    Assignee: PUKYONG NATIONAL UNIVERSITY INDUSTRY-UNIVERSITY COOPERATION FOUNDATION
    Inventor: Hansang Kwon
  • Patent number: 11621385
    Abstract: A thermoelectric device includes active elements containing thermoelectric materials of silicon, an alloy of silicon, a metal-silicide or silicon composite and an interconnection zone consisting of a metal interconnect and a re-crystallized phase consisting of material from the active thermoelectric elements. The metal interconnect is from a metal that does not form metal silicides in a solid state, has a certain solubility for components of the thermoelectric elements in the liquid phase and a low solubility of these components in the solid phase. The active thermoelectric elements are shaped with a first and a second contact interface. The interconnection between the different thermoelectric elements consists of at least two phases of material, one of which is mainly the metallic interconnection material, the other is formed by the re-crystallized components of the thermoelectric materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2023
    Assignee: RGS Development B.V.
    Inventors: Axel Georg Schönecker, Pierre-Yves Pichon, Wilhelmus Gerardus Adrianus van Schaik
  • Patent number: 11605770
    Abstract: A unique, environmentally-friendly micron scale autonomous electrical power source is provided for generating renewable energy, or a renewable energy supplement, in electronic systems, electronic devices and electronic system components. The autonomous electrical power source includes a first conductor with a facing surface conditioned to have a low work function, a second conductor with a facing surface having a comparatively higher work function, and a dielectric layer of not more than 200 nm in thickness sandwiched between the respective facing surfaces of the first conductor and the second conductor. The autonomous electrical power source is configured to harvest minimal thermal energy from any source in an environment above absolute zero. An autonomous electrical power source component is also provided that includes a plurality of autonomous electrical power source constituent elements electrically connected to one another to increase a power output of the autonomous electrical power source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2023
    Inventor: Clark D Boyd
  • Patent number: 11588090
    Abstract: A thermoelectric module includes two insulating substrates supporting a plurality of thermoelectric fingers. Each thermoelectric finger has alternating strips of n-type doped material and p-type doped material, wherein adjacent n-type doped strips and p-type doped strips are separated by and electrically coupled to conductive regions. The thermoelectric fingers run in a first direction and are spaced apart from each other. A plurality of holes in the insulating substrates are disposed between adjacent thermoelectric fingers, and area aligned with each other. A length of fabric yarn woven is in and out of substantially aligned holes in each substantially aligned set of holes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2023
    Assignee: Purdue Research Foundation
    Inventor: Kazuaki Yazawa
  • Patent number: 11575076
    Abstract: A method for manufacturing a thermoelectric conversion module of the present invention is a method for manufacturing a thermoelectric conversion module including a thermoelectric semiconductor part in which a plurality of p-type semiconductors and a plurality of n-type semiconductors are alternately arranged, and a high temperature side electrode bound to a binding surface of the p-type semiconductor and the n-type semiconductor on a high temperature heat source side and a low temperature side electrode bound to a binding surface of the p-type semiconductor and the n-type semiconductor on a low temperature heat source side, which electrically connect the p-type semiconductor and the n-type semiconductor adjacent to each other in series, and includes a binding step of binding at least one of the high temperature side electrode and the low temperature side electrode, and the p-type semiconductor and the n-type semiconductor together, by sintering a binding layer containing metal particles, which is provided bet
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2023
    Assignee: Showa Denko Materials Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Motohiro Negishi, Yuki Kawana, Dai Ishikawa, Chie Sugama, Hideo Nakako, Yoshinori Ejiri
  • Patent number: 11553814
    Abstract: This disclosure provides methods and apparatus for a beverage brewer. The beverage brewer including a burner, a reservoir, a controller, and a thermoelectric generator. The burner produces combustible heat across a surface. The reservoir stores a brewing fluid. The controller controls a brewing process. The thermoelectric generator is structured with a supply side, a waste side and a power output. The supply side is directed towards the surface of the burner. The waste side contacts the reservoir. The power output powers the controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2023
    Assignee: II-VI DELAWARE, INC.
    Inventor: Joshua Edward Moczygemba
  • Patent number: 11548826
    Abstract: A heat resistant electronic component is disclosed, comprising an electronic component covered by a layer of ceramic thermal insulation material containing lithium molybdate Li2MoO4. A process for manufacturing the heat resistant electronic component comprises obtaining ceramic thermal insulation material containing lithium molybdate Li2MoO4 in a mouldable form, optionally mixing the ceramic thermal insulation material with at least one additive, covering an electronic component with the material, shaping the material covering the electronic component into a desired form, and drying the desired form at a temperature of from 20° C. to 120° C.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2023
    Assignee: OULUN YLIOPISTO
    Inventors: Jari Hannu, Jari Juuti, Heli Jantunen, Mikko Nelo
  • Patent number: 11527695
    Abstract: Methods of making various fibers are provided including co-axial fibers with oppositely doped cladding and core are provide; hollow core doped silicon carbide fibers are provided; and doubly clad PIN junction fibers are provided. Additionally methods are provided for forming direct PN junctions between oppositely doped fibers are provided. Various thermoelectric generators that incorporate the aforementioned fibers are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2020
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2022
    Assignee: eM-TECH
    Inventors: Pawel Czubarow, Anthony Nicholas Czubarow, Philip Abraham Premysler
  • Patent number: 11496073
    Abstract: This description provides a system for recovering energy released by a computing unit. The system comprises a first computing unit that generates heat energy as the first computing processes information, an energy recovery unit configured to recover the heat energy generated by the first computing unit, and a second computing unit coupled to the energy the energy recovery unit. The energy recovery unit further comprise a pump configured to transport a working fluid to absorb the heat energy generated by the first computing device and a conversion device configured to convert the absorbed heat energy into electrical energy. The electrical energy is passed to the second computing unit to supply power for the second computing unit to process information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2022
    Assignee: Cupertino Electric, Inc.
    Inventor: Nathan Larson
  • Patent number: 11476401
    Abstract: Exemplary thermoelectric devices and methods are disclosed herein. Thermoelectric generator performance is increased by the shaping isothermal fields within the bulk of a thermoelectric pellet, resulting in an increase in power output of a thermoelectric generator module. In one embodiment, a thermoelectric device includes a pellet comprising a semiconductor material, a first metal layer surrounding a first portion of the pellet, and a second metal layer surrounding a second portion of the pellet. The first and second metal layers are configured proximate to one another about a perimeter of the pellet. The pellet is exposed at the perimeter. And the perimeter is configured at a sidewall height about the pellet to provide a non-linear effect on a power output of the thermoelectric device by modifying an isotherm surface curvature within the pellet. The device also includes a metal container thermally and electrically bonded to the pellet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2022
    Assignee: ATS IP, LLC
    Inventors: Ronald Petkie, John B. Newman, Ion M. Basa
  • Patent number: 11411157
    Abstract: A system, a thermoelectric generator, and a method for generating electricity are provided. The system includes a thermoelectric generator, a cooling system, and a heating system. The cooling system includes a cold side module configured to hold a predetermined volume of air, a subterranean heat exchanger including an underground conduit, the underground conduit having a first end configured to receive ambient air and a second end coupled to the inlet of the cold side module, and an air exhaust coupled to the outlet of the cold side module and having one or more valves configured to control an airflow from the subterranean heat exchanger towards the air exhaust. The heating system includes a first solar concentrator to collect light rays, a hot side module, and a fiber optic cable to transport the collected light rays to the hot side module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2021
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2022
    Assignee: Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University
    Inventor: Mahbubunnabi Tamal
  • Patent number: 11411156
    Abstract: [Problem] To provide a heat exchange device with which efficient electric power generation can be performed while transfer of a heat amount is maintained. [Solution] A heat exchange device comprising a heat exchange section 1 and a magnetic body 2. The heat exchange section 1 includes a first heat transmission interface 3 in contact with a heat source, and a second heat transmission interface 4 in contact with a heat bath having a temperature different from that of the heat source. The magnetic body 2 is interposed between the first heat transmission interface 3 and the second heat transmission interface 4 of the heat exchange section 1, and includes a magnetization component in a direction intersecting a heat flux produced between the first heat transmission interface 3 and the second heat transmission interface 4.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2022
    Assignee: NEC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Masahiko Ishida, Akihiro Kirihara, Yuma Iwasaki
  • Patent number: 11346567
    Abstract: Disclosed is an approach for detecting that a state of an air-conditioning system in a building has changed and ultimately determining the air-conditioning system's operating pattern, which could help improve collection and/or use of crowdsourced data for an indoor positioning solution and thus lead to more accurate position estimates. According to the disclosed approach, while a mobile device is in the building, processor(s) may detect that the mobile device is stationary and may responsively (i) cause the mobile device to provide pressure data representing air pressure in the building while the mobile device is stationary and (ii) subsequently receive the pressure data from the mobile device. And based on the pressure data indicating a pressure change and representing air pressure in the building while the mobile device is stationary, processor(s) may detect that a state of the air-conditioning system in the building has changed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2022
    Assignee: HERE GLOBAL B.V.
    Inventors: Henri Jaakko Julius Nurminen, Lauri Aarne Johannes Wirola, Pavel Ivanov
  • Patent number: 11346089
    Abstract: A fluid dispensing system comprises a first pipe, a second pipe and a thermoelectric generator. The first pipe is configured to carry fluid to the fluid dispensing system. The second pipe is configured to carry fluid to the fluid dispensing system. Temperature of the fluid carried by the first pipe is higher than temperature of the fluid carried by the second pipe. The thermoelectric generator comprises a first side and a second side. The first side of the thermoelectric generator is in thermal contact with the first pipe. The second side of the thermoelectric generator is in thermal contact with the second pipe. Temperature gradient is established between the first side and the second side due to difference in temperature in the first pipe and the second pipe. Electric current is generated by the thermoelectric generator as a result of the temperature gradient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2022
    Assignee: M.I.S. Electronics Inc.
    Inventors: Bhusan Gupta, Hamid Farzaneh, Farhad Pezeshki, Saeid Mohmedi
  • Patent number: 11349055
    Abstract: A thermoelectric module that has excellent thermal, electric properties, can realize high joining force between thermoelectric elements and an electrode, and can maintain stable joining even at a high temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2021
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2022
    Assignee: LG CHEM, LTD.
    Inventors: Su Jin Kim, Il Ha Lee, Dong Sik Kim, Byung Kyu Lim, Cheol Hee Park, Ki Hwan Kim
  • Patent number: 11330737
    Abstract: A heat sink includes a base and a plurality of fins. A root of the fin is connected to the base. A heated area, a dropping pipe, and a spacing strip between the heated area and the dropping pipe are formed in the fin. A first passage and a second passage are formed between the heated area and the dropping pipe. A hydraulic diameter of a pipeline in the heated area is less than a critical dimension. A hydraulic diameter of a pipeline of the dropping pipe is greater than or equal to the critical dimension, and a pressure of liquid at an intersection of the second passage and the dropping pipe is greater than a pressure of liquid at an intersection of the second passage and the heated area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2022
    Assignee: HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Xiaowei Hui, Yuping Hong, Wei Chen
  • Patent number: 11316090
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generator has a heat conducting body that exchanges heat with the environment according to environmental temperature changes, a heat storing body, and a thermoelectric conversion unit and thermal resistance body arranged between the heat conducting body and the heat storing body. One end of the thermal resistance body and one end of the thermoelectric conversion unit are in contact with each other. The other end of the thermal resistance body is in contact with the heat conducting body, and the other end of the thermoelectric conversion unit is in contact with the heat storing body. The surface of the heat storing body is covered by a covering layer having certain heat insulation properties. The temperature difference generated between the heat conducting body and the heat storing body is utilized to extract electric energy from the thermoelectric conversion unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Inventor: Tadashi Nakanuma
  • Patent number: 11296271
    Abstract: The present disclosure is directed to materials, devices, and methods for resonant ambient thermal energy harvesting. Thermal energy can be harvested using thermoelectric resonators that capture and store ambient thermal fluctuations and convert the fluctuations to energy. The thermal resonators can include heat engines disposed between masses of varying sizes or diodes. The masses or diodes can be made of high and ultra-high effusivity materials to transfer thermal energy through the resonator and optimize power output. The masses or diodes of the resonator can be tuned to the dominant frequency of the temperature waveform to maximize the amount of energy being converted. The resonators can be added to existing structures to supply or generate power, and, in some embodiments, the structures themselves can be a mass of the thermal resonator. Methods for constructing and/or using such devices are also provided, as are methods for formulating ultra-high effusivity materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Michael S. Strano, Anton Lee Cottrill, Sayalee Girish Mahajan, Tianxiang Liu, Volodymyr B. Koman
  • Patent number: 11282998
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are a flexible thermoelectric module cell for a touch sensor, a touch sensor including the same, and a method of manufacturing the flexible thermoelectric module cell for a touch sensor. The flexible thermoelectric module cell is applicable to cells for touch sensors of various designs, without the need for a person to go directly to an industrially dangerous place.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2022
    Assignee: KOOKMIN UNIVERSITY INDUSTRY ACADEMY COOPERATION FOUNDATION
    Inventors: Hyun Jung Lee, Jong Chan Baek, Hyun Woo Bark, Jung Hun Oh
  • Patent number: 11227962
    Abstract: Wire-based metallization and stringing techniques for solar cells, and the resulting solar cells, modules, and equipment, are described. In an example, a substrate has a surface. A plurality of N-type and P-type semiconductor regions is disposed in or above the surface of the substrate. A conductive contact structure is disposed on the plurality of N-type and P-type semiconductor regions. The conductive contact structure includes a plurality of conductive wires, each conductive wire of the plurality of conductive wires essentially continuously bonded directly to a corresponding one of the N-type and P-type semiconductor regions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2022
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Richard Hamilton Sewell, David Aaron Randolph Barkhouse, Douglas Rose, Lewis Abra
  • Patent number: 11170984
    Abstract: A small-gap device system, preferably including two or more electrodes and one or more spacers maintaining a gap between two or more of the electrodes. A spacer for a small-gap device system, preferably including a plurality of legs defining a mesh structure. A method of spacer and/or small-gap device fabrication, preferably including: defining lateral features, depositing spacer material, selectively removing spacer material, separating the spacer from a fabrication substrate, and/or assembling the small-gap device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2021
    Assignees: Spark Thermionics, Inc., The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania
    Inventors: Jared William Schwede, Igor Bargatin, Samuel M. Nicaise, Chen Lin, John Provine
  • Patent number: 11152555
    Abstract: An underwater energy harvesting drone has a primary hull to be submersibly received in ocean water and a plurality of thermoelectric modules, each module of said plurality of thermoelectric modules having a first operational interface in thermal contact with the primary hull. A thermal transfer element is in contact with a second operational interface on the plurality of thermoelectric modules and an electrical power storage device is connected to the plurality of thermoelectric modules. Positioning of the submersible primary hull to create a thermal gradient between the primary hull and the thermal transfer element induces electrical power generation by the thermoelectric modules thereby charging the electrical power storage device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2021
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Nathan D. Hiller
  • Patent number: 11067434
    Abstract: A detector of electromagnetic radiation (RL) is described. The detector comprises: a substrate (1), an oriented polycrystalline layer (2) of thermoelectric material deposited on the top surface (10) of the substrate, first and second electrodes spaced the one from the other and in electrical contact with the oriented polycrystalline layer. The substrate comprises at least one ceramic layer and the oriented polycrystalline layer has a crystal orientation at an angle comprised between 30 degrees and 55 degrees relative to a normal to the top surface of the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2021
    Assignee: LASER POINT S.R.L.
    Inventors: Davide Scorticati, Sergio Pellegrino, Giacomo Crapella
  • Patent number: 11063198
    Abstract: A metal junction thermoelectric device includes at least one thermoelectric element. The thermoelectric element has first and second opposite sides, and a first conductor made from a first metal, and a second conductor made from a second metal. The first and second conductors are electrically interconnected in series, and the first and second conductors are arranged to conduct heat in parallel between the first and second sides. The first metal has a first occupancy state, and the second metal has a second occupancy state that is lower than the first occupancy state. A temperature difference between the first and second sides of the thermoelectric element causes a charge potential due to the difference in occupancy states of the first and second metals. The charge potential generates electrical power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Assignee: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS REPRESENTED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF NASA
    Inventors: Sang H. Choi, Hyun Jung Kim, Adam J. Duzik, Cheol Park
  • Patent number: 11031535
    Abstract: A thermoelectric power generation system including a plurality of thermoelectric power generation devices. Each of the thermoelectric power generation devices includes: a heating unit having a heat medium passage in which a heat medium flows; a cooling unit having a cooling liquid passage in which a cooling liquid flows; a thermoelectric element having the heating unit and the cooling unit so as to generate power by utilizing a temperature difference between a condensation temperature of the heat medium and a temperature of the cooling liquid; and a heat transfer pipe communicated with the heat medium passage to form a circulation path in which the heat medium circulates. The heat transfer pipes of the respective thermoelectric power generation devices are arranged in a single flow path in which a high temperature fluid flows. The heat medium passages of the thermoelectric power generation devices are structured to communicate with each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: YANMAR POWER TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yoshika Hatasako, Jiro Fukudome, Yuichiro Tanaka, Shuichi Nakagawa
  • Patent number: 11031536
    Abstract: A cooling system for thermally conditioning a component which includes a battery and a heat spreader supporting the battery. Multiple thermoelectric devices are bonded to the heat spreader, for example, using solder or braze, which provides improved heat transfer. A cold plate assembly operatively thermally engages the thermoelectric devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: Gentherm Incorporated
    Inventor: Shaun Peter McBride
  • Patent number: 11021162
    Abstract: A system configured to generate electricity based upon a temperature difference between a vehicle occupant and a portion of a vehicle interior is described herein. The system includes a thermoelectric device containing nano-scale metal fibers or carbon nanotubes incorporated into an interior surface of the vehicle. The thermoelectric device has a first side in contact with the vehicle occupant and a second side opposite the first side in contact with the portion of the vehicle interior. The thermoelectric device is configured to supply electrical power to an electrical system of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Inventors: Zachary J. Richmond, Evangelia Rubino, Robert J. Seidler
  • Patent number: 11024787
    Abstract: A second fluid having a higher temperature than a first fluid, which flows in a duct, flows in contact with outside fins. Opposed regions of each power generation module and the duct apply pressure to and in contact with each other. Opposed regions of each power generation module and a corresponding one of a first outside plate and a second outside plate apply pressure to and in contact with each other. The duct is formed from a material having a thermal expansion coefficient larger than the first outside plate and the second outside plate. Additionally, two power generation modules are not necessarily required, and at least one power generation module is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takuya Matsuda, Shinya Kitagawa, Yoshiyuki Okamoto
  • Patent number: 11024789
    Abstract: A thin-film based thermoelectric module includes a flexible substrate having a dimensional thickness less than or equal to 25 ?m, and a number of pairs of N-type and P-type thermoelectric legs electrically in contact with one another on the flexible substrate. The thin-film based thermoelectric module also includes a number of conductive interconnects on top of the number of pairs of the N-type and the P-type thermoelectric legs, and an elastomer encapsulating the flexible substrate, the number of pairs of the N-type and the P-type thermoelectric legs and the number of conductive interconnects to render flexibility to the thin-film based thermoelectric module such that an array of equivalent thin-film based thermoelectric modules is completely wrappable and bendable around a system element from which the array is configured to derive thermoelectric power. The thin-film based thermoelectric module is less than or equal to 100 ?m in dimensional thickness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Inventor: Sridhar Kasichainula
  • Patent number: 11015509
    Abstract: Systems and apparatus to generate electrical power from aircraft engine heat are described herein. An example aircraft engine described herein includes a gas turbine engine having an engine housing. The engine housing defines a flow path through a combustion chamber and a core exhaust cavity. The example aircraft engine also includes an energy-generating cell coupled to a portion of the engine housing defining the core exhaust cavity. The energy-generating cell is to generate electrical energy from high temperature fluid in the core exhaust cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Andrew L. Armatorio, Richard Loftis
  • Patent number: 10991869
    Abstract: A thermoelectric device includes a thermally conductive first plate and at least one thermoelectric sub-assembly comprises a thermally conductive second plate and a plurality of thermoelectric elements in a region between the first plate and the second plate. The at least one thermoelectric sub-assembly further includes a first material along a first portion of a perimeter of the region and having a first stiffness and a second material along a second portion of the perimeter of the region and having a second stiffness less than the first stiffness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2021
    Assignee: GENTHERM INCORPORATED
    Inventors: Vladimir Jovovic, Eric Poliquin
  • Patent number: 10955174
    Abstract: A thermoelectric module includes a plurality of thermoelectric components, a first electrode and a second electrode. The thermoelectric components have the same type of semiconductor material. The first electrode includes a first parallel connection part and a first serial connection part. The plurality of thermoelectric components is electrically connected to the first parallel connection part and each of the plurality of thermoelectric components is separated from one another. The first serial connection part is configured for being electrically connected to other electrical components. The plurality of thermoelectric components is electrically connected to the second electrode and located between the first parallel connection part and the second electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2021
    Assignee: INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE
    Inventors: Yu-Li Lin, Yi-Ray Chen, Bo-Yi Sung
  • Patent number: 10950776
    Abstract: A thermoelectric power generation device including: a heating unit having a heat medium passage in which a heat medium flows, a cooling unit having a cooling liquid passage in which a cooling liquid flows, a thermoelectric element having the heating unit on one side and the cooling unit on another side, the thermoelectric element configured to generate power by utilizing a temperature difference between a condensation temperature of the heat medium that undergoes latent heat transfer in the heat medium passage and a temperature of the cooling liquid; and the thermoelectric power generation device further including a heat medium adjusting unit configured to adjust the pressure or the temperature of the heat medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: YANMAR POWER TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yoshika Hatasako, Jiro Fukudome, Yuichiro Tanaka, Shuichi Nakagawa
  • Patent number: 10944037
    Abstract: This invention relates to a thermoelectric material constituted of nanostructures and a thermoelectric element and an optical sensor including the same, as well as to a method for manufacturing a thermoelectric material constituted of nanostructures. An object of the present disclosure is to achieve better thermoelectric characteristics of the thermoelectric material containing nanoparticles. The thermoelectric material includes a first material having a band gap and a second material different from the first material. The thermoelectric material contains a plurality of nanoparticles distributed in a base material which is a mixture of the first material and the second material. A composition of the second material in the thermoelectric material is not lower than 0.01 atomic % and not higher than 2.0 atomic % of the thermoelectric material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2021
    Assignee: SUMITOMO ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Masahiro Adachi, Takashi Matsuura
  • Patent number: 10910962
    Abstract: A power generation system includes a plurality of energy conversion devices for generating a plurality of power signals based on one or more sensed environmental conditions. The system further includes a plurality of power conditioning circuits each coupled to one or more of the energy conversion devices for receiving the power signals and storing energy in an energy storage system. The system also includes a selection circuit coupled to at least one of the power conditioning circuits and receiving a first input power signal from one of the power conditioning circuits and a second input power signal. The selection circuit is configured to deliver an output power signal representing a selection from between the first and second input power signals based on a relative voltage level of the first and second input power signals. A method of power generation, and associated power module, are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2021
    Assignees: University of Southern California, Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
    Inventors: Young Cho, Deon Rae, Charlie Webb, Greg LaFramboise, Lanre Olabinjo, Andrew Goodney
  • Patent number: 10897001
    Abstract: Provided is a thermoelectric conversion module, in which n-type thermoelectric conversion elements and p-type thermoelectric conversion elements are formed of materials having different thermal expansion coefficients, one surface sides of the n-type thermoelectric conversion elements and one surface sides of the p-type thermoelectric conversion elements are aligned and joined on one surface side of an insulating substrate, and thermal conductive members are formed on other surface sides of the n-type thermoelectric conversion elements and other surface side of the p-type thermoelectric conversion elements, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2021
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI MATERIALS CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yoshinobu Nakada
  • Patent number: 10886329
    Abstract: The present invention provides a thermoelectric micro-supercapacitor integrated device comprising: a thermoelectric power generation module comprising a thermoelectric unit body including a thermoelectric channel interposed between two different heat sources and disposed on a substrate, the thermoelectric channel being composed of an n-type or p-type semiconductor; and a micro-supercapacitor module configured to be operated in cooperation with the thermoelectric power generation module and including a pair of collector electrodes between which an electric potential difference is generated through the thermoelectric channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2021
    Assignee: Korea University Research and Business Foundation
    Inventors: Sang Sig Kim, Kyoung Ah Cho, Kyung Whan Yang
  • Patent number: RE48650
    Abstract: A thermoelectric pumping apparatus for use with a heating device includes a water receptacle. A thermoelectric device includes a “cool” side coupled to the receptacle and an opposed “hot” side, the thermoelectric device generating current upon a temperature differential between the cool and hot sides. A conduction member is proximate the hot side and in selective communication with the heating device. A spring is positioned between a top side of the conduction member and receptacle, the spring being movable between a compressed configuration at which the conduction member is in thermal communication with the hot side of the thermoelectric device and an extended configuration at which the top side of the conduction member is not in thermal communication with the hot side of the thermoelectric device. A water pump is in fluid communication with the water in the receptacle and selectively energized by the thermoelectric device to output the water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2021
    Inventor: Kenneth John Adler