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Home Aerospace & Aeronautics Multi-element thermoelectric microthermopiles for generators powering on-board equipment of spacecrafts

Multi-element thermoelectric microthermopiles for generators powering on-board equipment of spacecrafts


Diminutive thermoelectric batteries broaden the possibilities to use low-power generators for to space equipment power supply, especially for Far Space. Their terrestrials appliances are as follows: power supply for various alarm and guard systems, autonomous radio equipment. Microbatteries open up the possibility their use for power supply to medical equipment (cardio pacemakers, crioextractors, and thermal massagers). Based on thermoelectric microbatteries small compact supply energy sources can be created, having specific characteristics higher than those of chemical sources.

Microbatteries are also high-sensitive sensors for heat flow meters, microcalorimetres, laser radiation power meters, other kind of measuring instruments.

The operating principle of multielements thermoelectric batteries is based on the use of thermoelectric effects, emerging in semiconductors. A large number of thermocouples in thermobatteries (from hundreds to tens of thousands) allow obtaining the necessary electric voltages at relatively low temperature differences.

Multielement thermoelectric battery consists of closely packed legs 1, commutation junctions 2 and electric contacts 3. The length of legs is generally 1-20 mm with cross-section from 0.1x0.1 mm2 to 0.5x0.5 mm2. Materials for legs are BiTe extruded alloys or perfect single crystals. The strength of microbatteries is achieved by using special high-temperature bonding compounds.

Innovative Aspect and Main Advantages

The reliability of microbatteries is provided by using special nondestructive technology of legs manufacturing and connections with anti-diffusion layers. In super reliable thermoelectric microbatteries special redundancy system has been used to im-prove considerably guaranteed service life. Due to redundancy, the microbatteries retain their reability even at complete destruction of some legs. At complete destruction of one leg electric power generated by microbattery is reduced only by 1-3%.

Areas of Application

Microbatteries are intended for use in low-power thermoelectric generators, small-current cooling modules and high-sensitive sensors. As heat sources the batteries can use radionuclide decay energy, thermal flow in soil, atmosphere and water; heat production of micro- and macroorganisms, waste heat from industrial and domestic origin.

View of the multielement thermoelectric batteries
Fig. 1 View of the multielement thermoelectric batteries

Stage of Development

License agreements and cooperation the further development are sought.

Contact Details

Organization: Institute of Thermoelectricity
Contact person: Lavska Lyudmyla
Address: General Post-Office, Box 86, Chernivtsi, 58002, Ukraine
Теl: (3803722) 7 58 60
Fax: (3803722) 41917
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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