In the »Thermoelectric Systems« group, directed by Dr. Olaf Schäfer-Welsen, we focus on
- »Energy harvesting« – heat recovery by thermogenerators
- Precision cooling
- Sensors for temperature, thermal flow, radiation (thermo elements, thermopile detectors)
- Thermoelectric measurement technology
For more than 20 years, scientists at Fraunhofer IPM have been developing new thermoelectric materials and components for various applications, starting with thermopile detectors and ranging through thermogenerators to high-performance Peltier coolers. In this work, they optimize materials such as Bi2Te3, PbTe, skutterudites, silicides and half-Heusler compounds, work out new opportunities in structuring and connection techniques and also produce systems for increasing energy efficiency that are already in operation. Today, the group’s know-how covers the entire spectrum of thermoelectrics ranging from material design to the development of electrical modules and systems, simulation to customer-specific measurement technology. For direct heat recovery on the basis of the Seebeck effect, scientists are working on efficient thermoelectric materials and converters. One of the group’s core competencies is the design of electrical and thermal contacts for high temperature regimes.