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Worldwide first guideline for thermoelectric metrology
2 December 2022
Thermoelectric generators (TEG) convert heat directly into electric energy, very reliably with decades of operation time in space applications. Recent developments on optimized thermoelectric (TE) materials and suitable contacting technologies revealed small batch production of TEG by industries and various research prototypes on the laboratory scale, which are characterized to date by their decent technological maturity and device efficiencies of up to 12%. Parallel to the development of optimized TEG, traceable metrology is needed for validation of scientific results and as a prerequisite for a future industrialization of this technology and exploitation of markets beyond the sector of space applications.
The department of Thermoelectric Materials and Systems at the DLR Institute of Materials Research in Cologne has developed precise characterization facilities for provision of reliable TEG module data with defined uncertainty budgets. Based on these developments, DLR initiated a guideline committee at the Association of German Engineers (VDI). Under the chairmanship of DLR and in cooperation with the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB, Berlin) and representatives from renowned research institutions and industries in the field of thermoelectricity we have published the worldwide first guideline for thermoelectric metrology at the Beuth Verlag. The guideline is focusing on traceable characterization techniques for thermoelectric generator modules and provides essential information on nomenclature, technical setups, evaluations protocols and comprehensive standards for the expression of measurement uncertainties.
The guideline is currently released as a draft. After expiry of the objection period at the end of 2022, it will be published in its final version and in English language, too. The guideline will enable a higher level of data confidence and will pave the way towards an improved standardization, which will support the thermoelectric community.
Have a look on the currently released documents:
Energy Production and Conversion
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