Plural Hot Or Cold Junctions Arranged In A Single Plane Patents (Class 136/212)
  • Patent number: 10971670
    Abstract: A thermoelectric conversion device including a plurality of first electrodes; a plurality of thermoelectric conversion elements, each having one end electrically connected to each of the first electrodes; a plurality of second electrodes, to which another end of each of the thermoelectric conversion elements is electrically connected; a hot-side heat exchanger connected to the first electrodes; and a cold-side heat exchanger connected to the second electrodes. Multiple springs are disposed in an interior of one of the hot-side heat exchanger and the cold-side heat exchanger at portions connected to either the first electrodes or the second electrodes, such that one spring is disposed so as to bias one thermoelectric conversion element. The one exchanger is provided with a transfer portion capable of transmitting to one thermoelectric conversion element a biasing force of one spring at a portion connected to the first electrode or the second electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: NIPPON THERMOSTAT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Takashi Nemoto, Masayoshi Shibata, Satoshi Ito
  • Patent number: 10903409
    Abstract: A semiconductor power module configured to convert direct current to alternating current. The semiconductor power module includes a power semiconductor device and a thermoelectric generator configured to convert heat generated by the power semiconductor device into electric energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: DENSO International America, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew Kelley, Todd Witkowski, Emily Arnold, Rachel Cleveland
  • Patent number: 10768052
    Abstract: The invention relates to a multipoint sensor for determining a temperature profile of a medium and to a method for producing said multipoint sensor. The multipoint sensor includes a tubular sheath having a closed end region; at least two cylindrical spacers produced from a material having a high thermal conductivity and arranged in an axially-spaced manner in the interior of the sheath. Each spacer includes a recess for holding a temperature-sensitive component of an elongate temperature sensor. Each spacer, with the exception of the spacer closest to the closed end region, has through-bores for feeding through the elongate temperature sensors fastened to the preceding spacers. The number of through-bores of a spacer corresponds to the number of preceding spacers. A filling material, is arranged between the spacers and surrounds each of the elongate temperature sensors. The filling material has a lower thermal conductivity than the material of the spacers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: Endress+Hauser Wetzer GmbH+Co. KG
    Inventors: Alfred Umkehrer, Luca Palma
  • Patent number: 10712205
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a sensing assembly for sensing a temperature, at least including at least one elongated member, one pre-formed fitting at least partially surrounding the elongated member, and one sleeve member, wherein the elongated member and the pre-formed fitting are positioned within an inner cavity of the sleeve member, and wherein the sleeve member is manufactured such that it is at least partially flexible. The disclosure furthermore relates to a multipoint sensing assembly and to a method for fabrication of a sensing assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: Endress+Hauser Wetzer GmbH+Co. KG
    Inventor: Massimo Del Bianco
  • Patent number: 10636953
    Abstract: A thermoelectric conversion module may include a plurality of n type thermoelectric conversion materials and a plurality of p type thermoelectric conversion materials that are disposed alternately, and a plurality of electrodes that connects the plurality of thermoelectric conversion material disposed alternately on one side and on an opposite side alternately, wherein the plurality of electrodes may include a high temperature side electrode configured to protrude towards a pipe, through which a heat transfer fluid flows, with respect to high temperature side end portions of the plurality of thermoelectric conversion materials and to be inserted into a through-hole formed at the pipe to obtain heat while directly contacting the heat transfer fluid and to transfer the obtained heat to the plurality of thermoelectric conversion materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2020
    Assignees: Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Jin Woo Kwak, Kwang Min Choi, Byung-Wook Kim, Hoo Dam Lee, Ho Chan An, Jong Ho Seon
  • Patent number: 10608156
    Abstract: The present disclosure discloses a thermoelectric module to which a bonding technique for stably driving the thermoelectric module at high temperatures is applied and a method of manufacturing the thermoelectric module. The thermoelectric module according to the present disclosure includes thermoelectric elements including a thermoelectric semiconductor, an electrode which includes a metal material and is connected between the thermoelectric elements, and a bonding layer which is interposed between the thermoelectric element and the electrode to bond the thermoelectric element with the electrode and includes a metal compound including metals of two or more classes as a sintered body of a paste including metal powders of two or more classes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Assignee: LG CHEM, LTD.
    Inventors: Dae-Ki Lee, Dong-Sik Kim, Ye-Rok Park, Jae-Ki Lee, Byung-Kyu Lim, Hyun-Woo Choi, Cheol-Hee Park, Seung-Hyup Lee
  • Patent number: 10497850
    Abstract: A thermoelectric converter includes a substrate and two thermoelectric elements that may include a flat portion and a concave portion. The thermoelectric elements each include one end that contacts with the thermoelectric element and an other end that contacts with thermoelectric element at a bottom surface of the concave portion. The thermoelectric elements are each positioned to be suspended across a space defined by the concave portion. The thermoelectric converter can be manufactured through photolithographic process, and can be incorporated into an exhaust gas recirculation device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Akira Yamashita, Kaoru Motonami, Nobuo Fujiwara, Hidetada Tokioka
  • Patent number: 10497851
    Abstract: A thermoelectric module may include a plurality of thermoelectric elements arranged spaced apart from one another between a hot-side substrate and a cold-side substrate. A plurality of conductor bridges may be provided for electrical interconnection of the plurality of thermoelectric elements. One or more of the conductor bridges arranged between the plurality of thermoelectric elements and the hot-side substrate, and/or one or more of the conductor bridges arranged between the plurality of thermoelectric elements and the cold-side substrate, may include a thermally and electrically conducting and elastically deformable bridge body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: Mahle International GmbH
    Inventor: Thomas Himmer
  • Patent number: 10475982
    Abstract: A thermoelectric module may include a plurality of thermoelectric elements arranged spaced apart from one another between a hot-side substrate and a cold-side substrate. A plurality of conductor bridges may electrically interconnect the plurality of thermoelectric elements. An electrically insulated holder may position the plurality of thermoelectric elements between the hot-side substrate and the cold-side substrate. The holder may include a separate through-opening for each of the plurality of thermoelectric elements. One or more of the plurality of conductor bridges may rest loosely on the hot-side substrate and/or the cold-side substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: Mahle International GmbH
    Inventor: Thomas Himmer
  • Patent number: 10454013
    Abstract: A thermoelectric device, module, and system, and method for and method for making is provided. The thermoelectric device (200) having a first and second elements (202 and 204). The first and second elements (202 and 204) having first and second portions (206 and 208), and third and fourth portions (212 and 214) with first and second regions (210 and 216) connected between the first and second portions (206 and 208) and third and fourth portions (112 and 114), respectively. The first and second portions (206 and 208) and third and fourth portions (112 and 114) are electrically coupled though regions (210 and 216) and with thermal conductance between first and second portions (206 and 208) and third and fourth portions (212 and 214) being inhibited by regions (110 and 116), respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2019
    Assignee: MICROPOWER GLOBAL LIMITED
    Inventors: Thomas E. Zirkle, Robert M. Gardner, Robert S. Kilbourn
  • Patent number: 10103308
    Abstract: A thermoelectric conversion element includes a p-type film having a perovskite structure, the p-type film including Co; an n-type film having a perovskite structure, the n-type film including Ti; first and second i-type films configured to be arranged to face each other across the n-type film, the first and second i-type films having a perovskite structure and including Ti; and a barrier film configured to be interposed between a multilayer body and the p-type film, the barrier film having a perovskite structure and including Zr, the multilayer body including the n-type film and the first and second i-type films.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: FUJITSU LIMITED
    Inventors: John David Baniecki, Takashi Yamazaki, Hiroyuki Aso, Yoshihiko Imanaka
  • Patent number: 10069057
    Abstract: Disclosed is a thermoelectric material including a Sn-chalcogen-based compound, wherein the Sn is doped with a first dopant element comprising a transition metal element or a p-type metalloid element. Further, disclosed are thermoelectric module and thermoelectric apparatus, comprising the thermoelectric material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2018
    Assignee: SK INNOVATION CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Jong-Soo Rhyee, Sue-Kyung Oh, Yoon-Min Kim
  • Patent number: 10038213
    Abstract: A method is provided for making a fabric. The method comprises (a) providing a composition comprising a plurality of nanocrystals disposed in a liquid medium, the nanocrystals comprising a material elected from the group consisting of a Group IV element; (b) applying the composition to a porous substrate, thereby removing at least a portion of the liquid medium from the nanocrystals; and (c) removing the nanocrystals from the porous substrate as a self-supporting mass.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2018
    Assignee: Pinion Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian A. Korgel, Damon A. Smith, Vincent C. Holmberg, Reken Patel, Paul Thurk
  • Patent number: 10032975
    Abstract: A thermoelectric device may include first and second insulating substrates. An array of electrically conductive first metallizations may be positioned on one side of the first substrate, and an array of electrically conductive second metallizations may be positioned on a mating side of the second substrate. A plurality of thermoelectric elements may be positioned between the first and second substrates and interconnected together through the first and second metallizations in one of a square shaped network pattern or a delta shaped network pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2018
    Assignee: Sheetak Inc.
    Inventor: Uttam Ghoshal
  • Patent number: 9997693
    Abstract: The invention relates to an energy recovering assembly (1) and a method of providing the same for extraction of electric power. The assembly comprises a first array (2) of tubes (6) and a second array (3) of tubes (13). The tubes (6) of the first array (2) are interdigitated with the tubes (13) of the second array (3), such that two tubes (13) of the second array (3) are arranged between two successive tubes (6) of the first array (2), or such that two tubes (6) of the first array (2) are arranged between two successive tubes (13) of the second array (3). Thermo electric modules (4) are received in gaps (7) between adjacent tubes (6, 13) of the first (2) and second arrays (3). Fixation arrangements (5) are received in interspaces (X) between two tubes (6; 13).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: TITANX HOLDING AB
    Inventors: Arnaud Contet, Olof Erlandsson, Thomas Skåre
  • Patent number: 9929332
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to flexible thermoelectric devices. In some embodiments, such devices can comprise a flexible substrate with a first conductive component and a second, different conductive component deposited thereon so as to form a plurality of electrical junctions. The flexible substrate can be a fabric, and the conductive component can be deposited by methods such as stitching of conductive yarns or deposition of conductive inks. The present disclosure further relates to methods of preparing flexible thermoelectric devices and methods of utilizing flexible thermoelectric devices for producing electrical current from waste heat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: North Carolina State University
    Inventors: Jesse Jur, Mark Losego, Patrick E. Hopkins
  • Patent number: 9871179
    Abstract: A thermoelectric power module comprising: a thermoelectric element employing a bismuth-tellurium (Bi—Te) based thermoelectric material; at least one barrier layer disposed on the thermoelectric element; an electrode; an electrode protection layer disposed at least on one principal surface of the electrode; a solder layer having a side surface formed with a recess, the solder layer joining a first region of the electrode protection layer to the at least one barrier layer; and a coating film disposed on a side surface of the thermoelectric element, a side surface of the at least one barrier layer, and the side surface of the solder layer, the coating film covering a second region adjacent to the first region of the electrode protection layer and being filled into the recess of the solder layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2018
    Assignee: KELK LTD.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Matsunami, Shinichi Fujimoto
  • Patent number: 9862900
    Abstract: The invention relates to an oxygen lance that has at least three mutually coaxial pipes, each of which delimits at least one annular gap. The outermost pipe is designed to conduct superheated steam and has a steam supply point, the central pipe is designed as an annular gap, and the innermost pipe is designed to conduct oxygen at a temperature of no higher than 180° C. and has an oxygen supply point. A temperature sensor is arranged within the innermost pipe, said temperature sensor extending to just in front of the opening of the innermost pipe. The innermost pipe tapers in the form of a nozzle before opening; the innermost pipe opens into the central pipe; and the opening of the central pipe protrudes farther relative to the opening of the outermost pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: THYSSENKRUPP INDUSTRIAL SOLUTIONS AG
    Inventors: Ralf Abraham, Domenico Pavone, Reinald Schulze Eckel, Dobrin Toporov, Simon Boris Hafner
  • Patent number: 9793428
    Abstract: An assembly for extracting heat from a photovoltaic cell assembly for a receiver of a solar radiation-based electrical power generating system is disclosed. The assembly comprises a coolant chamber and a coolant member in the form of a plurality of heat transfer fingers of high thermal conductivity material that are located in the coolant chamber. The fingers have ends that are in thermal contact with the photovoltaic cell assembly and thereby facilitate heat transfer away from the assembly. The fingers are sufficiently flexible to accommodate differences in thermal expansion coefficient between the object and the fingers. The fingers have a relatively high surface area for heat transfer from the fingers to coolant that, in use, circulates through the coolant chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: REYGEN RESOURCES PTY LTD
    Inventor: John Beavis Lasich
  • Patent number: 9644868
    Abstract: A combined intake and exhaust manifold (1) for a thermoelectric temperature control device includes an outer manifold case (2) that partially encases a first case interior (3), and an inner manifold case (4) provided in the first case interior (3), which partially encases a second case interior (5). The outer and the inner manifold cases (2, 4) have a joint connection side (6) for connecting a fluid line (17a, 17b). The manifold further includes at least one first flow-through opening (7a, 7b) for introducing or discharging a fluid into or out of the first case interior (3) and at least one second flow-through opening (8a, 8b) for introducing or discharging the fluid into or out of the second case interior (5) on the connection side (6).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: MAHLE Behr GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Jürgen Grünwald, Stefan Hirsch
  • Patent number: 9601677
    Abstract: A thermoelectric structure may include a thermally conductive substrate, and a plurality of thermoelectric elements arranged on a surface of the thermally conductive substrate. Moreover, each thermoelectric element may be non-parallel and non-orthogonal with respect to the surface of the thermally conductive substrate. For example, each of thermoelectric elements may be a planar thermoelectric element, and a plane of each of the thermoelectric elements may be oriented obliquely with respect to the surface of the thermally conductive substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: Laird Durham, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward P. Siivola, Ramaswamy Mahadevan
  • Patent number: 9543494
    Abstract: A p-type semiconductor block is made of a p-type thermoelectric conversion material, and has a pillar portion and a connection portion laterally protruding from the pillar portion. In addition, an n-type semiconductor block is made of an n-type thermoelectric conversion material, and has a pillar portion and a connection portion laterally protruding from the pillar portion. The p-type semiconductor block and the n-type semiconductor block are alternately arranged in such a way that the connection portion of the p-type semiconductor block is connected with the pillar portion of the n-type semiconductor block and the connection portion of the n-type semiconductor block is connected with the pillar portion of the p-type semiconductor block. The connection portions and tip-end portions of the pillar portions are made of a thermoelectric conversion material containing metal powder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2017
    Assignee: FUJITSU LIMITED
    Inventors: Masaharu Hida, Kazunori Yamanaka
  • Patent number: 9496476
    Abstract: A thermoelectric conversion module includes p-type and n-type thermoelectric conversion elements arranged between two stacked substrates. The p-type and n-type thermoelectric conversion elements include columnar p-type and n-type thermoelectric conversion portions, insulators provided in side surfaces of the p-type and n-type thermoelectric conversion portions, and diffusion preventing films provided on top surface, the top surface different from the side surface of the p-type and n-type thermoelectric conversion portions. Each stacked substrate includes an interconnecting layer that electrically connects the p-type and n-type thermoelectric conversion portions through the diffusion preventing films, and a jointing material that joins the diffusion preventing films and the interconnecting layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2016
    Assignee: Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Satoshi Maeshima, Kaori Toyoda, Takaaki Higashida, Kazunori Kurumaya
  • Patent number: 9466778
    Abstract: The invention relates to a thermoelectric generator unit (1) comprising at least one thermoelectric module (2), which comprises an exhaust gas heat exchanger (3) on one side and a coolant heat exchanger (4) on the opposite side in a sandwich-like arrangement, wherein the exhaust gas heat exchanger and the coolant heat exchanger (3, 4) are designed as flat tubes, the flat sides (9, 13) of which are each connected by means of lateral wall sections (10, 20). According to the invention, side walls (15) are fastened to the lateral wall sections (10, 20) of at least the two heat exchangers (3, 4) lying on the outside, which side walls absorb the clamping forces for an even, permanent compression of the individual elements (2, 3, 4) of the thermoelectric generator unit (1). The thermoelectric module (2) is laterally sealed by means of the side walls (15) that absorb the clamping forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2016
    Assignee: AVL List GmbH
    Inventor: Kurt Salzgeber
  • Patent number: 9395110
    Abstract: The device includes a thermoelectric module provided with a thermocouple. Said thermocouple includes a first and second leg which are made of different thermoelectric materials, electrically connected by a connecting element configured to deform according to the temperature thereof so as to assume: a first deformation position in which the first and second legs are electrically connected in series solely by means of the connecting element; and a second deformation position in which the connecting element is in electrical contact with a shunt contact pad of the device, said shunt contact pad being made of a material, the electrical conductivity of which is greater than the electric conductivity of the connecting element and of the first and second legs. The device also includes a load, the electrical resistance of which is lower than the electrical resistance of the thermoelectric module, said load being electrically connected to the shunt contact pad.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: COMMISSARIAT À L'ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES
    Inventors: Guillaume Savelli, Philippe Coronel
  • Patent number: 9331020
    Abstract: An interconnect is disclosed with enhanced immunity of electrical conductivity to defects. The interconnect includes a material with charge carriers having topological surface states. Also disclosed is a method for fabricating such interconnects. Also disclosed is an integrated circuit including such interconnects. Also disclosed is a gated electronic device including a material with charge carriers having topological surface states.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2016
    Inventors: Ali Yazdani, N. Phuan Ong, Robert J. Cava
  • Patent number: 9257627
    Abstract: Method for assembling thermoelectric unicouples is provided and applied with silicon-based nanostructure thermoelectric legs. The method includes preparing and disposing both n-type and p-type thermoelectric material blocks in alternative columns on a first shunt material. The method includes a sequence of cutting processes to resize the thermoelectric material blocks to form multiple singulated unicouples each having an n-type thermoelectric leg and a p-type thermoelectric leg bonded to a section of the first shunt material. Additionally, the method includes re-disposing these singulated unicouples in a serial daisy chain configuration with a predetermined pitch distance and bonding a second shunt material on top. The method further includes performing additional cutting processes to form one or more daisy chains of thermoelectric unicouples. The first shunt material is coupled to a cold-side heat sink and the second shunt material is coupled to a hot-side heat sink.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2016
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Mario Aguirre, Matthew L. Scullin
  • Patent number: 9203011
    Abstract: Method for assembling thermoelectric unicouples is provided and applied with silicon-based nanostructure thermoelectric legs. The method includes preparing and disposing both n-type and p-type thermoelectric material blocks in alternative columns on a first shunt material. The method includes a sequence of cutting processes to resize the thermoelectric material blocks to form multiple singulated unicouples each having an n-type thermoelectric leg and a p-type thermoelectric leg bonded to a section of the first shunt material. Additionally, the method includes re-disposing these singulated unicouples in a serial daisy chain configuration with a predetermined pitch distance and bonding a second shunt material on top. The method further includes performing additional cutting processes to form one or more daisy chains of thermoelectric unicouples. The first shunt material is coupled to a cold-side heat sink and the second shunt material is coupled to a hot-side heat sink.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2015
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Mario Aguirre, Matthew L. Scullin
  • Patent number: 9200967
    Abstract: The thermoelectric device includes a first leg made from a first material, anchored at the level of its first end to a support, and a second leg made from a second material, anchored at the level of its first end to said support. In addition, an electric connecting element provided with first and second contact areas is respectively in electric contact with the first leg and second leg so as to form a thermocouple. The device includes means for varying the position of the first and contact areas at the level of the first and second legs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2015
    Assignee: COMMISSARIAT A L'ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES
    Inventors: Guillaume Savelli, Philippe Coronel, Marc Plissonnier
  • Patent number: 9190595
    Abstract: An apparatus, a method, and a computer program product are provided. The apparatus may be an electronic component. The electronic component includes at least one energy harvester coupled between at least one pair of hot and cold regions of the electronic component and configured to convert thermal energy to electrical energy in order to provide power to at least the electronic component, the at least one energy harvester including a radiative thermal channel or a conductive thermal channel. A first end of the conductive thermal channel is coupled to a first semiconductor material and a second end of the conductive thermal channel is coupled to a second semiconductor material, the first semiconductor material being coupled to the hot region and isolated from the cold region and the second semiconductor material being coupled to the cold region and isolated from the hot region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2015
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Incorporated
    Inventor: Woo Cheol Chung
  • Patent number: 9178127
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to Seebeck/Peltier effect thermoelectric conversion devices and in particular devices made of stack of dielectric layers alternated to treated semiconducting layers even of large size, not requiring lithographic patterning in a nano-micrometric scale.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2015
    Assignee: Consorzio Delta Ti Research
    Inventors: Dario Narducci, Gianfranco Cerofolini
  • Patent number: 9105809
    Abstract: According to some embodiments, a thermoelectric system includes a plurality of thermoelectric elements forming a thermoelectric array, the thermoelectric elements having a cooling side and a heating side. The system further includes at least one heat exchanger on at least one of the cooling side and the heating side, the heat exchanger being in thermal communication with at least some of the thermoelectric elements. In addition, the system includes a substrate generally positioned between the thermoelectric elements and the heat exchange element. The substrate comprises an electrical isolation layer, a support element configured to receive the heat exchanger and a plurality of interconnecting tabs configured to place adjacent thermoelectric elements in electrical communication with one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2015
    Assignee: Gentherm Incorporated
    Inventor: John Lofy
  • Patent number: 9065017
    Abstract: A method includes preparing a thermoelectric material including p-type or n-type material and first and second caps including transition metal(s). A powder precursor of the first cap can be loaded into a sintering die, punches assembled thereto, and a pre-load applied to form a first pre-pressed structure including a first flat surface. A punch can be removed, a powder precursor of the p-type or n-type material loaded onto that surface, the punch assembled to the die, and a second pre-load applied to form a second pre-pressed structure including a second substantially flat surface. The punch can be removed, a powder precursor of the second cap loaded onto that surface, the first punch assembled to the die, and a third pre-load applied to form a third pre-pressed structure. The third pre-pressed structure can be sintered to form the thermoelectric material; the first or second cap can be coupled to an electrical connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: John Reifenberg, Lindsay Miller, Matthew L. Scullin, Adam Lorimer, Sravan Kumar R. Sura, Sasi Bhushan Beera, Douglas Crane
  • Patent number: 9006556
    Abstract: Traditional power generation systems using thermoelectric power generators are designed to operate most efficiently for a single operating condition. The present invention provides a power generation system in which the characteristics of the thermoelectrics, the flow of the thermal power, and the operational characteristics of the power generator are monitored and controlled such that higher operation efficiencies and/or higher output powers can be maintained with variably thermal power input. Such a system is particularly beneficial in variable thermal power source systems, such as recovering power from the waste heat generated in the exhaust of combustion engines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Genthem Incorporated
    Inventors: Lon E. Bell, Douglas Todd Crane
  • Publication number: 20150096605
    Abstract: A thermoelectric converting thin line includes a thin line extending in one direction, a first ferromagnetic layer formed on a side of the thin line having a magnetization fixed in a plane in a direction intersecting with a direction along which the thin line extends, and a first nonmagnetic metal layer formed on the first ferromagnetic layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 30, 2014
    Publication date: April 9, 2015
    Inventors: Hiromi YUASA, Masaki KADO, Yuuzo KAMIGUCHI
  • Patent number: 9000652
    Abstract: A thermionic generator for converting thermal energy to electric energy includes: an emitter electrode for emitting thermal electrons from a thermal electron emitting surface when heat is applied to the emitter electrode; a collector electrode facing the emitter electrode spaced apart from the emitter electrode by a predetermined distance, and receiving the thermal electrons from the emitter electrode via a facing surface of the collector electrode; and a substrate having one surface. The emitter electrode and the collector electrode are disposed on the one surface of the substrate, and are electrically insulated from each other. The thermal electron emitting surface and the facing surface are perpendicular to the one surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Yuji Kimura, Mitsuhiro Kataoka, Susumu Sobue
  • Publication number: 20150068575
    Abstract: [Object] Provided is a thermoelectric power generating device that is able to decrease thermal distortion of thermoelectric conversion modules and to upsize the thermoelectric conversion modules, thereby making it possible to simplify a manufacturing operation and to decrease a manufacturing cost.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 31, 2012
    Publication date: March 12, 2015
    Applicant: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Hideyuki Komitsu
  • Publication number: 20150068576
    Abstract: In at least one embodiment a thermoelectric generator is provided. The thermoelectric generator includes a cap and a thermopile. The cap is coupled to a heat generating device for receiving thermal energy therefrom. The thermopile includes superlattice quantum well materials and an absorber for contacting the cap to receive the thermal energy and to generate an electrical output to one of store the electrical output on a storage device and power a first device with the electrical output in response to the thermal energy.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 10, 2013
    Publication date: March 12, 2015
    Inventor: David Kryskowski
  • Patent number: 8969703
    Abstract: Inexpensive, lightweight, flexible heating and cooling panels with highly distributed thermoelectric elements are provided. A thermoelectric “string” is described that may be woven or assembled into a variety of insulating panels such as seat cushions, mattresses, pillows, blankets, ceiling tiles, office partitions, under-desk panels, electronic enclosures, building walls, refrigerator walls, and heat conversion panels. The string contains spaced thermoelectric elements which are thermally and electrically connected to lengths of braided, meshed, stranded, foamed, or otherwise expandable and compressible conductor. The elements and a portion of compacted conductor are mounted within the insulating panel On the outsides of the panel, the conductor is expanded to provide a very large surface area of contact with air or other medium for heat absorption on the cold side and for heat dissipation on the hot side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Assignee: Tempronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Tarek Makansi, Steve Wood, John L. Franklin, Mark N. Evers
  • Publication number: 20150013740
    Abstract: A thermoelectric module includes a low temperature-side wiring line, a high temperature-side wiring line, a low temperature-side member, a plurality of low temperature-side thermoelectric conversion elements made of a BiTe-based material, a high temperature-side member, a plurality of high temperature-side thermoelectric conversion elements made of a material different from the BiTe-based material, an insulating member, a radiant heat blocking plate, a low temperature-side electrode, and a high temperature-side electrode. The radiant heat blocking plate is arranged on the side of the high temperature-side member with respect to the low temperature-side wiring line and the high temperature-side wiring line. A thermoelectric module that can restrain burning of wiring lines, as well as a thermoelectric power generating apparatus and a thermoelectric generator including the same can thereby be obtained.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2013
    Publication date: January 15, 2015
    Inventors: Hiromasa Kaibe, Kazuya Makino, Kouji Nagano, Hirokuni Hachiuma
  • Patent number: 8921683
    Abstract: A solar powered generator (100) has thermoelectric elements adjacent to and below solar cells. Concentrated sunlight is provided. A heat sink (104), which can be variable in temperature or efficiency, is in contact with the cold junction (108) of the thermoelectric device (103). The thermal resistivity is designed in relation to the energy flux, whereby the thermoelectric device (103) develops a gradient of several hundred Kelvin. Preferably the solar cell comprises a high band gap energy semi-conductor. The generator (100) maintains relatively consistent efficiency over a range of cold junction (108) temperatures. The heat sink (104) can be a hot water system. High efficiencies are achieved using nanocomposite thermoelectric materials. Evenly but thinly dispersing the thermoelectric segments in a matrix of highly insulating material reduces the amount of material required for the segments without sacrificing performance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventor: Haoran Hu
  • Publication number: 20140366926
    Abstract: This patent incorporates several new hybrid thermoelectric element and thermoelectric device designs that utilize additional electronic materials to enhance the flow of charges in the thermoelectric elements without changing thermoelectric nature of the thermoelectric material used. The thermoelectric device efficiency is thereby increased and cost and size are lowered. Thermoelectric conversion devices using the new design criteria have demonstrated comparative higher performance than current commercially available standard design thermoelectric conversion devices.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2013
    Publication date: December 18, 2014
    Inventor: Brian Isaac Ashkenazi
  • Publication number: 20140338716
    Abstract: To improve the mass productivity of thermoelectric conversion modules. A thermoelectric conversion module 1 is equipped with a pair of substrates 11 and 12, a plurality of thermoelectric conversion elements 2, each having one end portion electrically connected to a first electrode 3 which is arranged on the substrate 11 and the other end portion electrically connected to a second electrode 4 which is arranged on the substrate 12, and a connection section 5 which electrically connects the first electrode 3 electrically connected to the thermoelectric conversion element 2 to the second electrode 4 electrically connected to an adjacent one of the thermoelectric conversion elements 2. The connection section 5 is separate from at least one of the first electrode 3 and the second electrode 4.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 25, 2012
    Publication date: November 20, 2014
    Inventors: Tadao Nakajima, Takashi Nemoto, Junichi Sato
  • Publication number: 20140326288
    Abstract: A semiconductor element for a thermoelectric module has opposite ends and is made of an n-doped or p-doped semiconductor material and at least one foreign material. The foreign material is mixed with the semiconductor material and forms a fraction of 25 to 75 vol % of the semiconductor element. A method for producing a tubular thermoelectric module includes providing an inner tube having an axis, an inner circumferential surface and a first outer circumferential surface, alternately placing n-doped and p-doped semiconductor elements in direction of the axis, placing second electrical conducting elements radially outwardly of the semiconductor elements so that pairs of adjacent semiconductor elements are electrically conductively connected to each other at the outside to then form a second outer circumferential surface, and compressing the thermoelectric module. A motor vehicle having a thermoelectric module is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 18, 2014
    Publication date: November 6, 2014
    Inventors: SIGRID LIMBECK, ROLF BRUECK
  • Patent number: 8872017
    Abstract: A power generating apparatus according to an aspect of the invention includes a plurality of pn stacks, each formed by stacking a p-type semiconductor layer and an n-type semiconductor layer one on top of the other, and a mode switching unit which effects switching to a photovoltaic power generation mode or a thermal power generation mode by connecting the plurality of pn stacks with each other. The mode switching unit effects switching to the photovoltaic power generation mode by connecting the p-type semiconductor layers in parallel with each other and the n-type semiconductor layers in parallel with each other between the plurality of pn stacks. The mode switching unit effects switching to the thermal power generation mode by connecting the p-type semiconductor layer and the n-type semiconductor layer 11b in series between different ones of the pn stacks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: Fujitsu Limited
    Inventor: Takashi Suzuki
  • Patent number: 8865996
    Abstract: Continuous ceramic (e.g., silicon carbide) nanofibers (502, 602, 604, 606, 608, 702, 704, 1102, 1104) which are optionally p or n type doped are manufactured by electrospinning a polymeric ceramic precursor to produce fine strands of polymeric ceramic precursor which are then pyrolized. The ceramic nanofibers may be used in a variety of applications not limited to reinforced composite materials (400), thermoelectric generators (600, 700) and high temperature particulate filters (1200).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: eM-TECH
    Inventors: Pawel Czubarow, Philip Premysler
  • Patent number: 8841540
    Abstract: In accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure, a thermoelectric device includes a plurality of thermoelectric elements that each include a diffusion barrier. The diffusion barrier includes a refractory metal. The thermoelectric device also includes a plurality of conductors coupled to the plurality of thermoelectric elements. The plurality of conductors include aluminum. In addition, the thermoelectric device includes at least one plate coupled to the plurality of thermoelectric elements using a braze. The braze includes aluminum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: Marlow Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Joshua E. Moczygemba, James L. Bierschenk, Jeffrey W. Sharp
  • Publication number: 20140246066
    Abstract: An integrated circuit may include a substrate and a dielectric layer formed over the substrate. A plurality of p-type thermoelectric elements and a plurality of n-type thermoelectric elements may be disposed within the dielectric layer. The p-type thermoelectric elements and the n-type thermoelectric elements may be connected in series while alternating between the p-type and the n-type thermoelectric elements.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2014
    Publication date: September 4, 2014
    Applicant: ANALOG DEVICES TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: Baoxing CHEN, Patrick M. McGUINNESS, William Allan LANE, Jane CORNETT
  • Patent number: 8822807
    Abstract: A method is provided for producing a thermoelectric component having at least one pair of thermoelectric legs, including an n-leg and a p-leg, wherein both legs are welded to an electrically conductive contact material, and wherein the n-leg and the p-leg of the pair of legs are welded in separate welding steps to the contact material. A thermoelectric component produced by the method is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
    Inventors: Jan König, Uwe Vetter, Carsten Matheis
  • Patent number: 8809667
    Abstract: A thermoelectric semiconductor component, comprising an electrically insulating substrate surface and a plurality of spaced-apart, alternating p-type (4) and n-type semiconductor structural elements (5) which are disposed on said surface and which are connected to each other in series in an electrically conductive manner alternatingly at two opposite ends of the respective semiconductor structural elements by conductive structures, in such a way that a temperature difference (2?T) between the opposite ends produces an electrical voltage between the conductive structures or that a voltage difference between the conductive structures (7, 9; 13, 15) produces a temperature difference (2?T) between the opposite ends, characterized in that the semiconductor structural elements have a first boundary surface between a first and a second silicon layer, the lattice structures of which are considered ideal and are rotated by an angle of rotation relative to each other about a first axis perpendicular to the substrate su
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: IHP GmbH—Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics
    Inventors: Martin Kittler, Manfred Reiche