Rooting around in the fascinating stuff at the bottom of a draw labelled 'Engineering - Junk Miscellaneous'. Delving amongst the delightful...
An Engineer in Wonderland – Thermoelectricity and photons
To be fair, I cannot say I know as much about photons as an earth worm because I have no idea how much worms know about quantum physics.
So instead I will say I know almost nothing about photons*.
This has not stopped me being puzzled by this article
It says infra-red solar cells are called thermophotovoltaic generators and convert photons to electricity,
whereas clusters of thermocouples are called thermoelectric generators and convert heat into electricity.
The question I am stuck on is:
Although they sound different, is there a photon argument for thermocouples – do they have a bandgap?
If you can answer this, respond below, or to alice@electronicsweekly.
* The bit I do know, although the theoretical physicist who told me may have been mistaken, is that there only needs to be one photon in the universe to make all the light work.Tags: Alice, clusters, quantum physics, thermocouples, thermoelectricity