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PYROELECTRIC ENERGY CONVERSION

DOI: 10.1615/AnnualRevHeatTransfer.2016015566
pages 279-334

Laurent Pilon
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Ian M. McKinley
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of California, Los Angeles, CA


KEY WORDS: Pyroelectric materials, direct energy conversion, waste heat harvesting, ferroelectric materials, Olsen cycle, thermomechanical energy.

Abstract

This chapter aims to review the fundamental and unique properties of pyroelectric materials and the different strategies using them for direct energy conversion of waste heat into electricity. Pyroelectric energy conversion can be divided into linear and cycle-based methods. Linear pyroelectric energy conversion consists of subjecting a pyroelectric material to periodic heating and cooling in the absence of an electric field bias. It is easy to implement both in terms of hardware and electronics. However, the energy and power densities generated and the associated efficiency are relatively small. Pyroelectric energy conversion cycles consist of performing a closed cycle in the electric displacement D, electric field E, temperature T, and stress σ phase diagram. These cycles typically take advantage of the large change in displacement associated with solid state phase transitions, induced by changes in temperature and/or compressive stress, to achieve large energy and power densities. This chapter presents basic concepts and properties of pyroelectric materials. Then, it thoroughly reviews and critically discusses the practical implementations and performance of linear and cycle-based pyroelectric energy conversion methods proposed to date. Finally, particular attention is paid to experimental demonstrations and performance of the Olsen cycle, also known as the electric Ericsson cycle.

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