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Seebeck effect

The Seebeck effect is a thermoelectric effect. It is named after its inventor Thomas Johann Seebeck, who discovered the effect in 1821. The Seebeck effect states that a contact point made of two different metals or semiconductors generates a voltage when they are at different temperatures.

With this thermoelectric effect Seebeck had discovered the thermoelectric voltage and at the same time the first thermocouple. The effect is based on the fact that a heat current flows from the warmer to the colder contact point. The charge carriers for the heat transport are distributed along the conductors. A detectable thermoelectric voltage builds up due to the internal field strength.

The thermoelectric voltage depends on the combination of materials used and the temperature difference. The metal combinations evoke thermoelectric voltages ranging from a few milli-volts (mV) to 10 mV at temperature differences of 100 °C. The thermoelectric voltages for the various combinations are specified in DINEN 60584 and are, for example, about 10 mV/100 °C for the combination nickel-chromium(NiCr) and copper-nickel(CuNi). With improved materials such as the combination of lead telluride and bismuth telluride, the efficiencies are improved.

The Seebeck effect is used in thermocouples and thermogenerators for energy harvesting, energy harvesting and micro energy harvesting( MEH).

Englisch: Seebeck effect
Updated at: 21.09.2012
#Words: 202
Links: thermoelectric (TE), voltage, fact, current, field strength (F)
Translations: DE

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