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Title: Boosting thermoelectric efficiency using time-dependent control
Authors: Zhou, H
Thingna, J
H„nggi, P 
Wang, J.-S 
Li, B 
Keywords: conceptual framework
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Zhou, H, Thingna, J, H„nggi, P, Wang, J.-S, Li, B (2015). Boosting thermoelectric efficiency using time-dependent control. Scientific Reports 5 : 14870. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Thermoelectric efficiency is defined as the ratio of power delivered to the load of a device to the rate of heat flow from the source. Till date, it has been studied in presence of thermodynamic constraints set by the Onsager reciprocal relation and the second law of thermodynamics that severely bottleneck the thermoelectric efficiency. In this study, we propose a pathway to bypass these constraints using a time-dependent control and present a theoretical framework to study dynamic thermoelectric transport in the far from equilibrium regime. The presence of a control yields the sought after substantial efficiency enhancement and importantly a significant amount of power supplied by the control is utilised to convert the wasted-heat energy into useful-electric energy. Our findings are robust against nonlinear interactions and suggest that external time-dependent forcing, which can be incorporated with existing devices, provides a beneficial scheme to boost thermoelectric efficiency.
Source Title: Scientific Reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/srep14870
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