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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L014068/1
Title: Thermoelectrics Network -TEMPEST (ThermoElectric Materials, Physics, Electronics & SysTems)
Principal Investigator: Freer, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Powell, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
European Thermodynamics Ltd
Department: Materials
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Network
Starts: 26 February 2014 Ends: 25 February 2017 Value (£): 116,286
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
17 Oct 2013 EPSRC Physical Sciences Materials/Physics - October 2013 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Seebeck and Peltier effects are thermoelectric effects which occur particularly strongly in semiconductors whereby a temperature gradient across a material is converted to a current which can be exploited for power generation, or the use of an externally supplied electrical current to cause a flow of heat in the material. The growing concern over fossil fuels and carbon emissions has led to detailed reviews of all aspects of energy generation, transportation and routes to reduce consumption. Thermoelectric (TE) technology, utilising the direct conversion of waste heat into electric power or vice versa has emerged as a serious contender, particularly for self-powered sensors, automotive and heat engine related applications. Thermoelectric power modules employ multiple pairs of n-type and p-type TE materials arranged electrically in series and thermally in parallel and formed into ceramic modules of usually less than 60mm x 60mm.

In an effort to enhance the UK's capability in this key area, we propose to establish a network in TE materials, device physics and systems. The network will serve as a focal point for activity and bring together workers in different disciplines to define and address the considerable research challenges presented in realising the potential offered by this technology. The initial membership of the Network will include 13 universities (representing Physics, Chemistry, Materials and Engineering disciplines), The National Physical Laboratory, 7 industrial partners covering all aspects of the Thermoelectric module design and manufacture supply chain, plus a large number of end users. In total over 32 individual organisations will be represented. With a broad based interdisciplinary partnership we will adopt an integrated approach addressing:

(i) Theory - to understand the factors controlling thermoelectric properties and ways to predict properties on the basis of structure and composition.

(ii) Investigations of structure - at both atomic levels and microstructure levels to underpin theoretical studies and support processing-structure-properties studies.

(iii) Materials and device processing - to identify ways of improving materials and devices

(iv) Property Measurements - validation of measurement techniques

(v) Simulation and modelling of device and system performance

(vi) Interfaces and interconnects - understanding the problems limiting performance

(vii) Systems electronics- identification of architectures appropriate to different applications;

(viii) Applications and Markets - identifying needs and the devices/systems required.

A management committee will be established to co-ordinate the activities of the Network and to monitor the scientific and technical programmes. The management committee will: (i) organise at least two meetings per year and an annual workshop; (ii) help with defining themes for collaborative programmes; (iii) assist with the exchange of students/workers; (iv) establish links with national and international organisations. A secretary/administrator will support day to day running of the Network, and be responsible for communication via a web page and newsletters. The Network will provide increased opportunities for joint projects, inter-laboratory measurement comparisons, the definition of a Roadmap for Thermoelectrics, and the initiation of novel research programmes.

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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk