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Thermal Electric Generators  RSS feed

 
Bill Bianchi
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http://tegpower.com/products.html

So, that link shows the TEG units & prices. TEG's generate electricity from the difference in temperature between the 2 plates. Different metals are used between the 2 plates, which is what generates the electricity when heat and cooling are applied. If you want more info than that you'll have to wait till a more knowledgable member shows up to this party and ask him or her.

The liquid to liquid one looks great, right up until you see the price sitting at $1500.00. I'm no expert, but the 200 watts it can possibly output, running at peak performance, doesn't seem worth that price. Maybe I'm missing something, though.

The 500 watt one looks okay at $265.00. In theory, $1060.00 (4 units) could get you 2,000 watts--2kw-- per hour of perfect operation, or 48 kw per 24 hour period of continuous operation, if I'm understanding the specs correctly, which I might not be. Feel free to correct me and explain if I've screwed this all up.

Last but not least, they're advertising a little unit to charge small electronics off heat from camp stoves & lanterns. Small rocket stoves should work as well, I'd think. For $130.00, it may be worth it to just purchase a Biolight or Steve Harris's model and call it a day.

So, anyone using TEG's as a primary or supplimental source of electricity? Anyone looked into these for a possible purchase? Anyone used them before?

Here's what I've heard about TEG's:
They're supposed to have a long service life due to no moving parts.
They'll work with home furnaces.
Too much heat will destroy them.
They need to be cooled.
Many consider them too expensive.
They're intensely hands-on.

That's about all I know. Seems doable to heat these things using a furnace or stove. Cooling would be real easy during winter months. 2 insulated containers, one for cold antifreeze and the other for hot thermal oil, would probably keep the TEG's generating between runs of the furnace or stove. Used like 2 thermases, maybe they would keep the fluids at temp for a few hours after shutting down the heat source, allowing the TEG's to keep generating.

Why are these worth considering or not worth considering for alternative energy? What needs to happen before they become a good deal for alternative energy? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What do you think the real comparison numbers are against solar panels? Wouldn't these work better with solar panels, as an active suppliment for night time generation?
Anyone see any value in running an HHO electrolyzer from a TEG attached to the exhaust system of a vehicle? At the price, it seems like it would take a long time for it to pay for itself in savings on gasoline. Then again, HHO is supposed to help provide a cleaner burn of combustibles in the engine, leading to cleaner exhaust and longer engine life, so perhaps that should be factored in as well.

Thoughts or info to share?
 
Alder Burns
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I've used a small fan with one of these....it sits on top of the woodstove and as the stove heats up the fan starts to turn all by itself and circulates warm air in the room. The module is between the comparatively hot metal base and the cooler metal fins behind the fan itself. Then the fan took a tumble from the top of the stove to the floor. End of story. Testing proved the little motor that actually ran the fan worked fine, it was the thermoelectric module that was messed up by the fall. Apparently they are pretty fragile....
 
Bill Bianchi
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Guess they have a long service life, so long as they aren't dropped.
Sorry to hear your fan bit the dust. Sounds like a nifty item. I know I would have been upset to see it broken like that.
 
Bill Bianchi
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The $250 price is for a 20 watt TEG. When they stated 500 watts, they meant you could gang 25 of these TEG's, at a grand total of $6,250.00, to get 500 watts per hour running at an optimal heat differential.

TEG technology is promising, but until more suitable materials are used, not quite ready to compete with more established technologies at the residential level.

Solar, wind, and biomass are where it's at right now, in my opinion.
 
Morgan Morrigan
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Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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Lots of peltier chips for sale on ebay in the 20 dollar range, if you want to repair that fan.

I thought those fans were 200 bucks a pop...

I bought one from USA peltier, and there are quite a few folks using them as aquarium accessories.
 
Bill Bianchi
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How are they used for aquarium accessories? I'm trying to picture it and coming up blank.

How many of those $20 Peltier units would it take to equal the 20 watts of the TEG I linked to? Assuming it could work, how would you go about using a wood burning stove to operate them? I've heard they can be destroyed if the heat source is too hot, so I'm curious how you would do that, if you had to for some reason.
 
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