A Nernst Effect Power Generator

[+] Author and Article Information
S. W. Angrist

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, Pa.

J. Heat Transfer 85(1), 41-48 (Feb 01, 1963) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3686008 History: Received February 21, 1962


The direct conversion of heat to electricity by means of the Nernst effect is analyzed. The Nernst effect is the creation of an electrical potential perpendicular to both an applied temperature difference and an applied magnetic field. The effect is pronounced in semiconductors which have large mobility, large mobility ratio, and relatively small energy gap. Indium antimonide exhibits theoretically the best performance to date. A Nernst effect generator using indium antimonide experiencing an applied temperature difference of 300 deg K and a magnetic flux density of 10 kilogauss would have a thermal efficiency of about 1.6 percent and a power density of 10 watts per cubic centimeter.

Copyright © 1963 by ASME
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