Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Infrared power generation in an insulated compartment

Thermoelectric power generators can help harvesting infrared radiation from the sun and transform it into electricity.  These devices can produce a voltage difference linearly proportional to the temperature difference between the two junctions.  This phenomenon is known as the Seebeck effect.  JMU researchers lead by Dr. Scarel have found that, when infrared radiation activates a thermoelectric power generators, the Seebeck effect is violated.  The first results will soon be published in a paper accepted by Complexity:  Y. Schwab, H. S. Mann, B. N. Lang, J. L. Lancaster, R. J. Parise, A. J. Vincent-Johnson, and G. Scarel, “Infrared power generation in an insulated compartment”.  Complexity, in press (2013).  Undergraduate students played a key role in the research: Yosyp Schwab set up the data acquisition system and performed the data analysis, Harkirat Mann compared the data with those produced by the Seebeck effect, and finally Brian Lang explored diligently the literature to find similar and related experiments.  More is to come!