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The Global Energy Prize annually honors outstanding achievements in energy research and technology from around the world that are helping address the world’s various and pressing energy challenges.

1 000 000 rubles for the project on the improvement of the thermoelectric generator

The ceremony of awarding the winner of the All-Russian contest of youth research projects in the field of energy the Energy of Youth - 2017 was held in Moscow. Evgeniy Baskakov, postgraduate student of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University. N.E. Bauman, leading engineer of the Federal State Institution "Federal Research Center" Crystallography and Photonics "of the Russian Academy of Sciences, received a grant of 1,000,000 rubles for the design of a new thermoelectric generator.

Today the development of modern technology is inextricably linked with the search for new sources of energy, primarily electric. One of the main requirements is to increase the volume of its production, but recently additional conditions are needed: the energy must be renewable, not connected with carbon and produced in an environmentally friendly way. Within the framework of his project, a young scientist - Eugeniy Baskakov is striving to develop a new generation thermoelectric generator, based on a promising material - samarium sulphide. The relevance of the research is down to the fact that thermoelectric generation is one of the cheap, promising, and in some cases the only available way of direct conversion of thermal energy into electrical energy. The advantage of the technology is due to the use of the new material. Uniqueness lies in the very design of the device, because work with a new material implies the development of new design solutions. "You can not put a new train on a magnetic cushion on old rails - it's the same here," the scientist comments on his scientific research. Such heat and power generators will have unique properties: complete autonomy, high reliability, no need to create external temperature gradients, high efficiency, simplicity of design and usability, durability, small size, high-energy characteristics, manufacturability in production and much more.

For comparison, it should be noted that existing thermal power generators, whose operation is based on the thermoelectric effect (the appearance of an electromotive force in a closed electrical circuit, where the contacts between conductors are at different temperatures), their efficiency is 9 to 14%, while new generators efficiency will reach 30% or more. Among other things, when using thermoelectric generators based on samarium sulphide, there is also no need for special temperatures.

According to experts, the experiment has a great future. It is expected that the proposed thermoelectric generators will be used in aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding, oil industry and other areas where it is necessary to have independent sources of electricity. Parasitic heat released in huge quantities when thermoelectric modules are operating in power plants, industrial or heating systems, as well as in cars, can be used for additional generation of electricity. The significance of the project for Russia, according to experts, is due to the increase in the share of alternative energy in the total amount of electricity production. That, in turn, will reduce the degree of use of hydrocarbon-containing fuels.

In addition, the demand for technology is expected wherever there is a need for miniature power supplies, and where the thermal energy is available for conversion. "We cannot put a turbine to generate electricity for satellites or rovers, because of the size and other difficulties. For these purposes, compact and miniature power supplies like solar panels and thermoelectric generators are needed. In some cases, only TEGs remain the only possible source of nutrition due to their advantages. Increasing efficiency and avoiding existing technological problems of TEGs will allow expanding their scope of application, "says Evgeniy Baskakov.

The Global Energy Association has conducted all-Russian contest of youth research projects in the field of energy the Energy of Youth since 2004. For the years of its existence, the winners became 211 young scientists from 130 research centers. They received 47.5 million rubles to continue their studies. 73 young scientists competed the contest in 2017. The Global Energy Prize experts evaluated best works. The first winner for this year became Artem Mamontov for "developing a control system for mixing and heating biomass in a multi-chamber biogas reactor for continuous feedstock utilization".

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