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Re: Thermocouple power



> Carrying on the wacky ideas theme, I've been looking at 
> producing power by using thermocouples and not solar cells.

To demonstrate Radioisotropic Thermoelectric generators for
spacecraft for our students, we use the modern day higher
efficiency Peltier junctions, that come something like 144 to
the square inch module and have about 8 modules all in series,
and we get about 3 volts at enough current to run a small
solar-cell motor, maybe 20 mA.  That's with the heat of 6
candles (about 300 watts of heat).  At 20 mA and 3 volts, then
that's about 0.06 watts for an efficiency of about .00002
efficiency.

We decided it is of no practical value unless you have free
nuclear heat out at Pluto where you also have plenty of cold and
no sunlight....  We also considered making a black/white solar
thermo panel and conlcuded that we would be far-far better off
with cheap solar cells than thermoelectic generation...

Bob, WB4aPR

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