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Thermoelectric Generators Or Te Gs Essay

1085 words - 5 pages

Thermoelectric generators or TEGs are generators that have the outstanding ability to convert heat into electricity that can be used to power items such as cell phones or tablets up to cars and buildings. They are classified as any device that can convert heat energy to usable electric energy or vice versa. To be able to produce electricity or power, a thermoelectric generator uses what is called the “Seebeck effect.” Thermoelectric generators have a low efficiency rate between five and eight percent, but because they run off of waste heat it helps to optimize the amount of energy a power plant can put out. Many people believe that their efficiency will one day pass up the efficiency of ...view middle of the document...

However excess heat or waste heat from other operations can be used to heat the water. When the heat is applied to water it converts the water into highly pressured steam. This steam then travels to the turbine and because of the pressure is able to turn the blades of the turbine, which in turn generates usable electricity or power.
A Solar source generator works much in the same way as the generator shown above; the only difference however is the heat source. Instead of burning coal, oil, or gas a solar source generator captures the heat from the sun by using solar panels, this heat is then applied to the water, the steam becomes pressurized, and the turbine starts, creating usable electricity. On a small scale the heated water can be used in homes to wash clothes, to take showers, warm baths, and to even heat up a pool.

This diagram represents a nuclear fueled generator. It works much in the same way that the fossil fuel and solar powered generators work. Again the only difference is the heat source. Heat from nuclear radiation changes water into steam which then turns the turbine and power is generated. The Pebble Bed Reactor is an example of a thermo electric power plant. As radioactive fuel balls are dropped into a chamber (a “reactor vessel,” as depicted in this image), the heat from the radiation in the chamber is used to turn water into high pressurized steam, which then turns the turbines and creates the electricity. The Pebble Bed Reactor is only one example of a nuclear thermoelectric power plant.
Thermoelectric generators and climate change
As every day moves on the worry and concern that people have about climate change grows. As more and more greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere the warmer the planet becomes, global climate change occurs, and the earth becomes gradually hotter. The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap infrared radiation coming from the earth, causing a greenhouse effect. Through the use of thermoelectric generators excess heat can be used to generate power and fossil fuels can be replaced by different heat sources. Fossil fuel power plants can now be replaced by solar powered thermoelectric plants or nuclear powered thermoelectric plants. Lessening society’s dependence on these fossil fuels will lessen the amounts of...

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