Review of Thermally Regenerative Electrochemical Systems, Volume 2

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    Thermally regenerative electrochemical systems (TRES) are closed systems that convert heat into electricity in an electrochemical heat engine that is Carnot cycle limited in efficiency. Past and present work on such systems is reviewed. Two broad classes of TRES are based on the types of energy inputs required for regeneration: thermal alone and coupled thermal and electrolytic. The thermalregeneration alone encompasses electrochemical systems (galvanic or fuel cells) in which one or more products are formed. The regeneration can be performed in single or multiple steps. The compounds include metal hydrides, halides, oxides, chalcogenides, and alloys or bimetallic systems. The coupled thermal and electrolytic regeneration encompasses electrochemical systems (galvanic or fuelcells) regenerated by electrolysis at a different temperature or different pressure . Examples include metal halides and water. Thermogalvanic or nonisothermal cells are included in this category. Also included are electrochemical engines in which the working electroactive fluid is isothermally expanded through an electrolyte. TRES cover temperature ranges from about 20?C to 1000?C. Engines withpower outputs of 0.1 mW / cm? to 1 W / cm? have been demonstrated. Recommendations are made of areas of research in science and engineering that would have long-range benefit to a TRES program.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages226
    StatePublished - 1981

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TR-332-416


    • alloy systems
    • bimetallic systems
    • chalcogenides
    • coupled electrolytic thermal regeneration
    • distillation
    • double thermogalvanic system
    • electrochemical cells
    • electrochemical engines
    • electrochemical heat engines
    • electrothermal systems
    • fuel cells
    • halides
    • hydrides
    • oxides
    • regenerative fuel cells
    • thermal reactors
    • thermal regeneration
    • thermogalvanic cells


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