Engineering HDR Seminar Series 34, 2013: An Investigation to Determine the Thermal Performance Characteristics of a Novel Hybrid Solar / Heat Pipe / Thermoelectric System for Simultaneous Power Generation and Thermal Heating

Mr Ian Daryl Sta Maria, Mechanical Eng postgraduate student

Date: 2013-07-15
Time: 10:00 to 11:00
Venue: Engineering Meeting Room 1, 5-4-22


In the face of depleting fossil fuel resources and increasing global warming, efforts have been directed to the application of renewable resources and green technology. The unique ability of thermoelectric materials to turn a temperature difference into an electric potential, a phenomenon known as the Seebeck Effect, allow thermoelectric modules to function as power generators. TE devices are environment friendly, silent in operation, reliable and maintenance free. Having a small size and no moving parts allow for flexible and ease of application. Low conversion efficiencies and high capital costs have been the main drawbacks of TE devices. However, advancement in research and new material development and method of fabrication has lowered costs and low conversion efficiency is offset by the application of a free source of heat such as waste heat or from solar energy. Employing the use of heat pipes would serve to improve heat transfer rates thus increasing conversion efficiency. This research investigates the thermal performance characteristics of a novel hybrid solar/heat-pipe/thermoelectric system for simultaneous power generation and thermal heating. A preliminary study on the characterisation of the TEM to determine accurate physical parameters was carried out. A novel hybrid solar/heat-pipe/thermoelectric system was designed and indoor testing was conducted.

About the Speaker

Mr Ian Daryl Sta Maria graduated with Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), from Monash University Sunway Campus in 2010. He joined Monash University in 2012 for postgraduate studies under the supervision of Dr. Lau Ee Von. His research focus is on thermoelectric power generation in a hybrid solar/heat-pipe/thermoelectric system.