Thermoelectric materials and generators provide the unique capability to directly convert waste heat into electricity. Especially, generators which are suitable for high temperatures up to 600°C have a wide field of application, ranging e.g. from automotive applications to cogeneration power plants. In contrast to alternative waste heat recovery technologies such as the Organic Rankine Cycle, thermoelectric generators work noiseless and don't need maintenance due to the absence of any moving parts. However, thermoelectric generators for high temperature applications could not be found widely spread in recent years because they could only be produced on a small scale. Only recently, the production of suitable thermoelectric materials on a kg scale has been successful. This opens the perspective for a large scale production of high temperature thermoelectric generators and of a wide spread integration as energy saving and efficiency enhancing technology. In this presentation, thermoelectric generators will be introduced based on different material classes which are high temperature stable and producible in kg batches. Reproducibility and long term temperature stability tests are shown. Application scenarios will be presented as well. The integration into the automotive exhaust line for example can lead to a fuel saving of up to 4%. A perspective of performance for cogeneration power plants (also called combined heat and power plants, CHP) will be given as well.


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