Deepa Madan, PhD 2014
Advisor: Paul Wright
Dispenser-Printed Composite Thermoelectric Thick Films for Thermoelectric Energy Harvesters for Wireless Sensor Network Used in Structural Health Monitoring Applications
This research is concerned with the structural health monitoring (SHM) of pipes. We can use networks of sensors to monitor temperature, pressure, gas leak and steam leak in pipes. We are particularly interested in high temperature differences available in residential and industrial waste particularly from boilers, central heating units, condensers, natural gas extraction, geothermal plants and exhaust pipes. These high temperature differences can be converted into power using
circular thermoelectric generator device wrap around the pipe. Optimized thermoelectric device designs require large density arrays of high aspect ratio elements currently unachievable with common manufacturing technologies. To achieve high aspect ratios of device direct-write dispenser printing technique is the best. Dispenser printing is a low-cost and scalable production method for fabricating micro-scale devices without clean room processing costs, and it can yield high aspect ratios for thermoelectric devices that result in high power of the device. We are also exploring novel polymer-composite thermoelectric materials for fabrication of optimized thermoelectric devices. Initial composite materials properties show the proposed method as a promising low-cost, scalable method for manufacturing of thermoelectric energy generators. Ntype Bi2Te3 and P-type Sb2Te3 composite materials were successfully developed for fabricating thermoelectric devices. Processing parameters to optimize thermoelectric performance of composite films have been explored and found P-type Sb2Te3 achieved figured of merit 0.21 when cured at 250C for 12 hrs. Currently we are trying to optimize thermoelectric properties of MA N-type Bi2Te3 and Bi0.5Sb1.5Te3. Furthermore we plan to fabricate and optimize output power and voltage of the circular thermoelectric generator device.