1960 年 29 巻 6 号 p. 395-400
Some experiments on the performance of a thermobattery using Bi2Te3 as the thermoelectric material are carried out. The thermobattery used is composed of 40 thermocouples, mounted in a heat-storing box covered with glass plates. The figure of merit Z of the material was 2.29×10-3°K-1 at room temperature, and the highest thermocouple efficiency realized in the experiments was 1.76% under the temperature difference of 49.5°C. The efficiency of heat absorption depended on the nature of the surface, the area and the temperature of the heat collector and the condition of shielding. It ranged from 36% to 39% in the experiments, hence the highest over-all efficiency obtained experimentally was 0.69%.
We may perhaps obtain the material having the mean Z value of 3.5×10-3°K-1 over the tem-perature range considered, and by assuming the heat absorption efficiency of 70%, which is practically possible, it is promissing that about 3% of the incident solar energy will be converted to electricity under the temperature difference of about 80°C. This implies the practicability of Bi2Te3 thermo-batteries to some extent.