Skutterudites are promising thermoelectric materials because of their high figure of merit, ZT , and good thermomechanical properties. This work reports the effective figure of merit, ZT eff , and the efficiency of skutterudite legs and a unicouple working under a large temperature difference. The p- and n-type legs are fabricated with electrodes sintered directly to the skutterudite during a hot pressing process. CoSi2is used as the electrode for the n-type skutterudite (Yb0.35Co4Sb12) and Co 2Si for the p-type skutterudite (NdFe3.5Co 0.5Sb12). A technique is developed to measure the ZT eff of individual legs and the effi- ciency of a unicouple. An ZT eff of 0.74 is determined for the n-type legs operating between 52 and 595°C, and an ZT eff of 0.51 for the p-type legs operating between 77 and 600°C. The efficiency of the p-n unicouple is determined to be 9.1% operating between - 70 and 550°C.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Materials Science(all)