Plenary Lecture

Plenary Lecture

Thermoelectric Technology as Renewable Energy Source for Power Generation and Heating & Cooling Systems

Professor Noel Y. A. Shammas
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Advanced Technology
Staffordshire University

Abstract: This paper will review the latest research and current status of thermoelectric power generation, and will also demonstrate, using electronic design, semiconductor simulation and practical laboratory experimentation, the application of thermoelectric technology for use in energy harvesting and scavenging systems. Ongoing research and advances in thermoelectric materials and manufacturing techniques, enables the technology to make a greater contribution to address the growing requirement for low-power energy sources typically used in energy harvesting and scavenging systems. The concept of using thermoelectric technology to generate electrical power from waste heat in a system has been considered for some time, although the technology is often overlooked in discussions surrounding renewable energy sources. This paper will discuss how the natural environment presents a number of opportunities to utilise this technology as a renewable energy source, including the use of thermoelectric technology to generate electrical power from naturally occurring geothermal heat. The paper covers basic thermoelectric theory, construction and operation of thermoelectric devices; the main advantages and disadvantages; and highlights several current and new applications for thermoelectric power generation. The application of this technology for use in energy harvesting systems is discussed, along with suitable electronic signal conditioning techniques; boost converters; DC to DC converters; and the storage of electrical energy in supercapacitors. This discussion then leads to the design, construction and testing of a thermoelectric energy harvesting system, with typical test results for thermoelectric power generation presented. The paper then focuses on current research into improving the power generation properties of thermoelectric modules, and a novel approach using semiconductor simulation techniques is presented. A novel three dimensional model of a thermoelectric device has been created using the Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) semiconductor simulation package, with typical simulation results for thermoelectric power generation presented.

Brief Biography of the Speaker:
Noel Shammas is currently a Professor of Microelectronics and Solid-State Semiconductor Devices in the faculty of Computing, Engineering and Advanced Technology, Staffordshire University. He received the M.Sc and Ph.D degrees from Salford University in 1972 and 1975 respectively. Since then he lectured and researched at different universities and industry (GEC). Research work is primarily focused on Semiconductor Devices which includes mainly Power diodes, Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s), Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors, Thyristors, and Energy Harvesting Devices. Other related areas of research work includes Power Module Packaging technologies (Both Conventional Press-pack and Smart pack designs) and Series/Parallel operation of high power semiconductor devices and their interaction with external circuits.
Professor Shammas has extensive experience in both experimental and theoretical research work and is recognised internationally for his significant contribution to research in the field of Semiconductor Devices. He has published over 120 journal and conference research papers as well as several invited Keynote and Plenary Lectures, and has held several research grants from funding councils, Advantage West Midland (AWM), as well as from industry. He is a regular reviewer for many journals (including IET Proceeding Electronic devices and systems, IEEE Transactions on power electronics, and Microelectronic Reliability) and international conferences (including the European Power Electronic conference - EPE, Microelectronic conference - MIEL, Universities Power Engineering Conference-UPEC, International Symposium Power Semiconductors-ISPS, etc…). He is a member of scientific committee for many international conferences (including MIEL, EPE, WCE, WSEAS, and Microtherm) and a steering committee member for EPE, UPEC, and ISPS international conferences. He is also a book reviewer for Prentice Hall International and McGraw Hill.

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