Screen Printed Thermoelectric Devices
Abstract: Thermoelectric generators (TEG) directly convert heat energy into electrical energy. The impediments as to why this technology has not yet found extensive application are the low conversion efficiency and high costs per watt. On the one hand, the manufacturing process is a cost factor. On the other, the high-?priced thermoelectric (TE) materials have an enormous impact on the costs per watt. In this thesis both factors will be examined: the production process and the selection of TE materials. Technical screen printing is a possible way of production, because this method is very versatile with respect to the usable materials, substrates as well as printing inks. The organic conductor PEDOT:PSS offers reasonable thermoelectric properties and can be processed very well in screen printing. It was demonstrated by prototypes of fully printed TEGs that so-?called vertical printed TEGs are feasible using standard graphic arts industry processes. In addition, the problems that occur with print production of TEGs are identified. Finally, approaches to solve these problems are discussed.
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