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Thermoelect-Wikity: Thermoelectrics meets Wikipedia

The 27 February 2007 issue of Nature carries an article by Philip Ball on Wikipedia - http://www.wikipedia.org - "The more, the wikier".

It seems a recent study finds that Wikipedia articles are just about as accurate as conventional encyclopedias, and the more editors an article has the more reliable it seems to be.

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Solar (Thermoelectric) Energy Conversion

The March 2007 issue of Physics Today has an article on "Solar Energy Conversion" by George Crabtree of Argonne and Nathan Lewis of CalTech [1]  (free: HTML, PDF).  Abundant, versitle and clean, solar electricity contributes a miniscule 0.015% of the world's total electricity production, mostly because solar energy remains too expensive.  Wouldn't it be g

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ENECO Raises US$20M From Proterra

ENECO, the Salt Lake City based R&D company developing what they describe as a "Thermal Diode" for energy conversion and which once held patent rights to the Pons & Fleischmann cold fusion 'discovery', has reportedly (Green Buisness News) landed US$20M from Proterra Energy in a new partnership valued at US$2B (that's 109) over the next seven years.  ENECO gets a 10% cut.

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Journal of Thermoelectricity: 2007 Subscriptions

Dear colleagues, “Journal of Thermoelectricity” Publishers informs you of continuing subscription for the journal of 2007.

“Journal of Thermoelectricity” is the only international journal of such profile. It has been published in Ukraine since 1993 by Institute of Thermoelectricity of the National Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. The journal publication is promoted by the International Thermoelectric Academy, especially as regards qualified reviewing of papers.

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UC Berkeley Announces Organic TE Milestone (or is that Millstone?)

If (1 + 1 = 2) then (grass is green). The premise: true. The conclusion: true. The argument: false.

In both their press release [1] and their article in Science [2] a UC Berkeley group suggest their (very nice) measurements of the Seebeck coefficient of individual organic molecules "offers the promise of efficient thermoelectric energy conversion devices" [from 2].

As far as I am aware these are indeed the first Seebeck measurements on individual organic molecules. And very nice measurements they are, resulting in S = +8.7, +12.9 and +14.2 microV/K for three different molecules.

And I have to agree that organics are of some interest for thermoelectricity. They are inexpensive, come in infinite variety and often have attractively low thermal conductivity. Organic polymers, for example, can be better conductors than copper [3] and (others) can have Seebeck values over 1000 microV/K [4]. The trick, of course, is bringing these properties together in a single material, something which hasn't happened yet. I noted all these things years ago [5,6].

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