Patent Number: 6,166,317

Title: Cryogenic thermoelectric generator

Abstract: A cryogenic thermoelectric generator preferably includes a thermoelectric transducer and a cold source (i.e., anything having a below-ambient temperature) thermally coupled to the "cold side" of the transducer. The cold source preferably includes a vessel adapted for containing a cryogen (i.e., a substance having a temperature no greater than 0.degree. C.). The vessel is operatively connected to the cold side of the thermoelectric transducer for thermally coupling a cryogen contained by the vessel to said cold side of the thermoelectric transducer, thereby inducing a temperature differential across the hot and cold sides of the thermoelectric transducer when the vessel contains a cryogen. The thermoelectric transducer produces electric power in response to the temperature differential. The thermoelectric transducer is preferably a semiconductor device, the cryogen is preferably a substantially pure liquid such as liquid nitrogen or liquid hydrogen, and the vessel is preferably a Dewar vessel.

Inventors: Volk, Jr.; Joseph A. (St. Louis, MO)

Assignee:

International Classification: B60L 11/18 (20060101); H01L 23/34 (20060101); H01L 23/44 (20060101); H01L 35/00 (20060101); H01L 037/00 ()

Expiration Date: 12/26/2017