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Invited Lecture

New concepts for the direct conversion of heat to electricity

Monday (17.06.2019)
16:45 - 17:15

We describe recent progress on materials and devices for the direct conversion of
heat to electricity applicable to the small temperature difference regime, 10-200 C.  This
regime includes abundant natural and waste heat sources, but there is currently no
reasonable method to harvest the energy.  We outline the use of first order ferroelectric
phase transformations with either an abrupt change of polarization at the transformation
for this purpose. We survey the theory of this method, the design of the materials and
devices, and the analysis of various cycles including a promising supercritical ferroelectric
Carnot cycle.  We compare theoretical predictions and the behavior of a prototype under
cyclic heating/cooling.

Richard James
University of Minnesota