From then to today
In 1769 James Watt patented the steam engine, which had an energy efficiency of 19%.
About 250 years later (2016) mankind achieves an average energy efficiency of 35% with fossil fuels. This means that 65% of the energy contained in the fuel is emitted as waste heat into the atmosphere.
Duropan Alliance converts another part of the waste heat into usable electrical energy and thus increases energy efficiency by an additional 5%.
How does thermoelectric power generation work?
When the warm end of the n-conducting (negatively charged) and p-conducting (positively charged) material is electrically connected and a load is connected across the cold ends, the Seebeck effect leads to a current flow through the charge and thus to electrical Power.
The electrical power is the product of voltage and electric current across the load. The temperature difference provides the voltage. It is the heat flow that allows the flow of current. A thermoelectric generator behaves similarly to an ideal voltage source.
Thermoelectricity can be used to absorb energy at relatively low temperature differences. In this way, it is possible to generate electricity from waste heat, for instance from the power generation or process industry. A temperature difference of 80 Kelvin is optimal.
The economic feasibility of the "thermoelectric module" Of the Duropan Alliance GmbH depends on the following factors:
- The technical feasibility of the heat flow between "hot" and "cold"
- The available heat potential at the thermogenerator
- The possible temperature difference (ΔT) at the thermogenerator
- Available operating hours
- Prices on the market
With a correct design, maintenance is minimal. The thermoelectric module does not need any maintenance at all. Maintenance is required for the pumps that move the water through the thermoelectric module. The maintenance costs per year are about 0.5% of the total investment for the thermoelectric modules.
Use of available solar radiation
1.7 billion people on Earth are without energy supply. The self-sufficient modules of the Duropan Alliance ensure electricity, water and heat supply. With cooled solar modules, the efficiency can be increased and, in addition, the sun's infrared energy is used - the TPV module.
Power generation with active, intelligent facades and cooling of buildings
With the ThermoPhotoVoltaik module as a facade element, consisting of a PhotoVoltaik module and a thermoelectric module integrated behind it, the photovoltaic system is cooled to an optimum working range and uses the intercepted heat for further electricity generation with the thermoelectric.
The cooling of buildings by the DUROPAN-ALLIANCE technology has two benefits, especially in the tropics and deserts, as in the Middle East. The exterior heat is kept away from the building by the façade cladding and about 5% of the heat is converted into electrical energy by means of the DUROPAN-ALLIANCE technology, which can then be used to cool the rooms by air-conditioning systems. This does not require any energy from third parties.
A very great waste heat potential can be found in the area of the combustion engines. Each engine produces up to 70% heat when using the primary energy used. Use of heat and simultaneous reduction of emissions into the environment. The motors of ships often run for hours on end with a constant load and temperature. For this reason, they are a stable source of heat. The use of DUROPAN-ALLIANCE technology increases fuel efficiency, since waste heat is converted into electrical energy. This reduces fuel consumption. In practice, there is usually sufficient space in the machine rooms of ships to install modules with the DUROPAN-ALLIANCE technology.
Independent power supply
It is often necessary to realize autonomous energy supplies, because grid expansion is very cost-intensive or impossible due to geographic conditions (permafrost areas). Self-sufficient supplies then secure the use of sensors and controls or create the prerequisite for improving living conditions in numerous regions.
The DUROPAN-ALLIANCE technology can be used anywhere between a heat source and the ambient temperature with a temperature difference of more than 50 Kelvin. The optimum temperature difference is 80 K.