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Thermoelectric Energy Conversion with Solid Electrolytes

Terry Cole
Science
New Series, Vol. 221, No. 4614 (Sep. 2, 1983), pp. 915-920
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1691869
Page Count: 6
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Thermoelectric Energy Conversion with Solid Electrolytes
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Abstract

The alkali metal thermoelectric converter (AMTEC) is a device for the direct conversion of heat to electrical energy. The sodium ion conductor is used to form a high-temperature regenerative concentration cell for elemental sodium. An AMTEC of mature design should have an efficiency of 20 to 40 percent, a power density of 0.5 kilowatt per kilogram or more, no moving parts, low maintenance requirements, high durability, and efficiency independent of size. It should be usable with high-temperature combustion, nuclear, or solar heat sources. Experiments have demonstrated the feasibility of the AMTEC and confirmed the theoretical analysis of the device. A wide range of applications from aerospace power to utility power plants appears possible.

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