Thermoelectric Generators or TEGs

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Thermoelectric generators or TEGs are generators that have the outstanding ability to convert heat into electricity that can be used to power items such as cell phones or tablets up to cars and buildings. They are classified as any device that can convert heat energy to usable electric energy or vice versa. To be able to produce electricity or power, a thermoelectric generator uses what is called the “Seebeck effect.” Thermoelectric generators have a low efficiency rate between five and eight percent, but because they run off of waste heat it helps to optimize the amount of energy a power plant can put out. Many people believe that their efficiency will one day pass up the efficiency of mechanical powered generators. These generators first came into history in 1821 when Thomas Seebeck discovered that when a circuit was formed from two metals each at a different temperature (one hot, one cold) an electrical current could flow through. Since then the technology in thermo electricity has been explored and greatly improved. In today’s society there are many different types of thermoelectric generators. Some major ones are fossil-fuel generators, solar source generators and nuclear-fueled generators.
How it works

This diagram demonstrates how electricity can be gleaned from heat (thermo electricity). When the two metals (one hot and one cold) are brought together the heat can be converted to electricity that can travel through the circuit that is formed. The electricity can then be used to power a variety of electronic devices. This is a great demonstration of the Seebeck effect.

The diagram shown above is another great example of a thermoelectric generator. Although it is a little different than the generator previously mentione...

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...ases are emitted into the atmosphere, causing global warming. Although this type of energy production has many cons it has a great potential to become a major power source in this day and age.
A lot of progress has been made in the field of thermoelectric technology. Since the 1800’s the overall efficiency of the generators has been greatly augmented. Many different aspects of thermoelectricity have been explored and implemented into modern society. Because of the study that has been done in the thermoelectric field, power or energy produced from fossil fuels, excess heat, the sun, nuclear radiation and many different heat sources can be enjoyed. This is an amazing technology and although a lot of progress has been made in the field of thermoelectricity there is still a long way to go in unlocking the full potential of this source of electricity.
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