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  1. A thermoelectric building envelope (TBE) is a new type of active building envelope that incorporates thermoelectric material in the building’s enclosure. In TBE, the electrical energy and thermal energy can transfer between them through thermoelectric material. TBE can provide cooling or heating to indoor space if power is applied. TBE-based cooling or heating is quiet and reliable and has low maintenance cost, low or no CO2 emission. TBE is conducive to the operation of net-zero energy and emission buildings by using renewable and low-grade energy. In this study, a multi-stage TBE prototype was designed, assembled, and tested. The performance ofmore »the TBE prototype was evaluated in two psychrometric chambers with controlled temperature and humidity in Herrick Laboratory at Purdue University. The test result concludes that the highest COP of TBE is 0.46–2.4 in summer scenarios for different power inputs. The findings discussed can guide the design and operation of TBE.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 8, 2022
  2. Thermoelectric (TE) cement composite is a new type of TE material. Unlike ordinary cement, due to the inclusion of additives, TE cement can mutually transform thermal energy into electrical energy. In extreme weather, the large temperature difference between indoor and outdoor can be harvested by TE cement to generate electricity. In moderate weather, given power input, the same material can provide cooling/heating to adjust room temperature and reduce HAVC load. Therefore, TE cement has energy-saving potential in the application of building enclosures and energy systems. Its ability to convert different forms of energy and use low-grade energy is conducive tomore »the operation of net-zero buildings. In this study, the graphene nanoplatelets and aluminum-doped zinc oxide nanopowder enhanced cement composite, was fabricated. The performance indicator of TE materials includes the dimensionless figure of merit ZT, calculated by Seebeck coefficient, thermal conductivity, and electrical conductivity. These TE properties were measured and calculated by a Physical Property Measurement System at different temperatures. The highest ZT of 15wt.% graphene and 5wt.% AZO enhanced cement composite prepared by the dry method is about 5.93E-5 at 330K.« less
  3. Thermoelectric (TE) cement composite is a new type of TE material. Unlike ordinary cement, TE cement can mutually convert thermal energy to electrical energy due to the addition of carbon fibers, metal oxide nanoparticles, etc. In hot summer or cold winter, the significant temperature difference between indoor and outdoor can be used by TE cement to generate electricity. On the other hand, given power input, the same material can provide cooling/ heating to adjust room temperature. Therefore, TE cement has certain energy-saving potential in the application of building enclosures and energy systems. Its ability to convert different forms of energymore »and use low-grade energy is conducive to the operation of net-zero buildings. In this study, a novel TE cement composite, MnO2 and graphite enhanced cement, was firstly fabricated. The surface morphology of the composites was analyzed by using the images taken by scanning electron microscopy. The performance indicators of TE materials include the power factor and dimensionless figure of merit ZT The values of five TE properties were measured and calculated by a Physical Property Measurement System at different temperatures. Compared with the cement reinforced by graphite alone, it is confirmed that MnO2 nanoparticles have a positive effect on the enhancement of the TE performance for cement composites. The 5wt.% graphite and 10wt.% MnO2 enhanced cement composite achieves the highest Z.T. of 6.2 × 10-6 at 350 K.« less
  4. Thermoelectric materials enable the direct conversion of thermal energy to electricity. Ambient heat energy harvesting could be an effective route to convert buildings from being energy consumers to energy harvesters, thus making them more sustainable. There exists a relatively stable temperature gradient (storing energy) between the internal and external walls of buildings which can be utilized to generate meaningful energy (that is, electricity) using the thermoelectric principle. This could ultimately help reduce the surface temperatures and energy consumption of buildings, especially in urban areas. In this paper, ongoing work on developing and characterizing a cement-based thermoelectric material is presented. Samplesmore »are fabricated using cement as a base material and different metal oxides (Bi₂O₃ and Fe₂O₃) are added to enhance their thermoelectric properties. A series of characterization tests are undertaken on the prepared samples to determine their Seebeck coefficient, electrical and thermal conductivity. The study shows that cement paste with additives possesses physical properties in the range of semiconductors whereby, initially, the resistivity values are low but with time, they increase gradually, thus resulting in lower electrical conductivity. The thermal conductivity of the cement paste with additives is lower than the control sample. Seebeck coefficient values were found to be relatively unstable during the initial set of measurements because the internal and external environment needed to be kept in a thermally stable condition to achieve steady results. The detailed analysis helped determine and eliminate the source of errors in the characterization process and obtain repeatable results. Parameters such as moisture content, temperature, and age were found to have a significant impact on the properties of cement-based thermoelectric materials.« less