Under a NEDO contract, the Thermal Energy Innovative Utilization Technology Research Association (TherMAT) and Furukawa Electric Industry have realized a high power thermoelectric power generator that converts unutilized thermal energy in the temperature range of 200 ~ 800 ° C, such as waste heat of industrial furnaces or automobile engines, into electric power. The electrode-less U-shaped element integrates P and N type sintered bodies and consists of an intermetallic compound with a cage-like crystal structure and the basic chemical formula Ba8Ga16Ge30. Cage-like polyhedra encapsulating elements are considered to have the ideal crystal structure for thermoelectric conversion as they form cubic crystals while sharing planes. The elements used in this composition are neither rare nor toxic.
NEDO news release, November 17, 2017