MODULE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORP PITTSBURGH PA
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Additional data primarily related to the continued testing of materials for use in power generator modules is presented. Effort is directed toward improvement of the life-performance of thermoelectric generator modules by means of engineering development and evaluation in the areas of insulation, material processing, and contacting. During the program, it became apparent that the life-performance of materials would be strongly influenced by the stresses imposed by operating conditions, and that life-performance would be directly dependent on the mechanical properties of the thermoelectric materials and contacts. The program was modified to include a stress analysis and the testing of mechanical properties of materials. At the conclusion of the program, average module life was 7500 hours for 25 power drop, with some module tests running in excess of 10,000 hours. Module efficiency has been improved to 7 for a smaller temperature gradient, which insures longer life.
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