Final Lab Report

Topics: Thermoelectric effect, Thermocouple, Thermodynamics Pages: 5 (1203 words) Published: January 3, 2014
We’ve all seen the ability that is produced from electricity, the result of it creating heat. The point of this experiment was to instead reverse the change of being able to produce electricity from heat. Through the seebeck effect, we have been able to distinguish the results of higher temperature in water, which in turn produced the greater amount of heat in the experiment. In this experiment, we studied the relationship between heat and electricity, measured the effect, and then used our knowledge gained through the process to build a thermocouple thermometer that measured the conversion of the heat into electricity and proved which water temperature was dominant with the conductive material. The creation of this will most likely allow for future establishments to be able to create heat into electricity, most likely as we are all familiar with the solar electricity panels. In conclusion, based on our hypothesis, we have settled that our data supported our hypothesis and therefore allows for future analysis of our topic.

How can water be used to generate energy and how does this vary with temperature?


Independent VariablesDependent VariablesConstants
Temperature of the water Amount of energy created Multimeter •Thermocouple
Banana plugs


If the amount of water changes in higher temperature, then it will cause the conductive material to generate more electricity because the hotter the temperature of the water, then the greater ability it has to produce heat.

Background Research
The Seebeck effect, also known as the thermoelectric effect, is the phenomenon in which a current is produced in a circuit containing two or more different metals when the junctions between the metals are maintained at different temperatures. When heat is applied to one of the two conductors or semiconductors, heated electrons flow toward the cooler one. If the pair is connected through an electrical circuit, direct current flows through that circuit. The Seebeck effect is named after the person who discovered it, Thomas Johann Seebeck. Although he originally discovered the phenomenon in the 1800s, physicists recently discovered what they are calling the spin Seebeck effect. The spin Seebeck effect is seen when heat is applied to a magnetized metal. As a result, electrons rearrange themselves according to their spin. Unlike ordinary electron movement, this rearrangement does not create heat as a waste product. The spin Seebeck effect could lead to the development of smaller, faster and more energy-efficient microchips as well as spintronic devices. The Seebeck effect can be reversed—that is, when a direct current is sent through a circuit in which two dissimilar conductors or semiconductors are joined at their ends, heating will take place at one of the junctions and cooling at the other. This thermoelectric effect is called the Peltier effect, after the French physicist Jean C. A. Peltier, who discovered it in the 1830's. Small heaters and refrigerators whose operation is based on this effect have been developed. The Seebeck effect is responsible for the behavior of thermocouples, which are used to approximately measure temperature differences or to actuate electronic switches that can turn large systems on and off. This capability is employed in thermoelectric cooling technology. Commonly used thermocouple metal combinations include constantan/copper, constantan/iron, constantan/chromel and constantan/alumel. Based on the production of the Seebeck effect, we can ensure that the resulting factor of this change can allow for future knowledge to expand and create a greater awareness of the reverse change of electricity and heat.

Material List
Type K thermocouple, not condensed in a protective case
Wire stripper and wire cutter
Sandpaper, 220 grit (2 inch square)
Set of two banana
Multimeter with 1/10 millivolt (mV) resolution
A thermometer...
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