Traditional power generation systems using thermoelectric power generators are designed to operate most efficiently for a single operating condition. The present invention provides a power generation system in which the characteristics of the thermoelectrics, the flow of the thermal power, and the operational characteristics of the power generator are monitored and controlled such that higher operation efficiencies and/or higher output powers can be maintained with variably thermal power input. Such a system is particularly beneficial in variable thermal power source systems, such as recovering power from the waste heat generated in the exhaust of combustion engines.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED R&D
The U.S. Government may claim to have certain rights in this invention or parts of this invention under the terms of Contract No. DE-FC26-04NT42279 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.