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Issue 5, 2016
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Thermoelectricity in the context of renewable energy sources: joining forces instead of competing

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Abstract

While the field of thermoelectricity continues developing, the academic world is still debating its applicability for wide-scale implementation. The main concerns revolve around its low energy conversion efficiency (5–10%), compared to photovoltaics (up to 46%), and the environmental impact of commonly used materials (e.g. Bi2Te3, PbTe). Although less scrutinized, other fields such as photoelectrochemistry and catalysis have suffered from similar drawbacks. In light of the recent developments, the question arises, if the introduction of hybrid devices combining those renewable energy sources is preferable to the current divided efforts. Several new papers bring arguments in favor of this combined approach, with an efficiency of 16% reported for a triboelectric–thermoelectric–photovoltaic water splitting cell.

Graphical abstract: Thermoelectricity in the context of renewable energy sources: joining forces instead of competing

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Jan 2016, accepted on 10 Mar 2016 and first published on 10 Mar 2016


Article type: Opinion
DOI: 10.1039/C6EE00247A
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2016,9, 1528-1532
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    Thermoelectricity in the context of renewable energy sources: joining forces instead of competing

    V. Andrei, K. Bethke and K. Rademann, Energy Environ. Sci., 2016, 9, 1528
    DOI: 10.1039/C6EE00247A

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