Design and implementation of a thermoelectric cogeneration unit
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Industrial plants are excellent sources of waste heat and provide many opportunities for energy harvesting using thermo-electric principles. A thermoelectric generator (TEG) is utilized in this study for harvesting expended heat from various sources. The main challenge associated with this type of technology lies in the creation of a sufficient thermal gradient between the hot side and the cold side of the TEG device. This is necessary for the module to generate an appreciable quantity of electrical energy. The performance of the TEG generator is tested using different configurations, different heat sources and different cooling methods. Heat sources included electrically driven devices, gas, biomass and gel fuel. Expended heat from different sites within an industrial environment was also chosen for operating the TEG device. The power produced by the generator is sufficient to operate low power LED lights, a DC radio receiver and a cellular phone charger.