Took the weekend off from the build and worked on some experimental TEG / SOFC tech. Ive searched and searched for cost effective TEG’s and can seem to get anywhere and same goes for the Solid Oxide Cells. So time to take matters into my own hands
So I built a printable cell and all of you can do this your selfs if you want to experiment with this. What you need:
Ceramic Cloth / Welding blanket
Aluminum Oxide / AKA media blast (you can get this at Harbor Freight)
Some sand paper
Sodium Silicate ( binder)
I cut a piece of the ceramic cloth about 5 inches square to create the sub straight. Then tape off a 1" border.
To apply the Cathode side I grind up the pencil lead on a piece of 360 grit (its what I had) 220 would work just as well). I make about a 1//2 teaspoon of the ground graphite. I then add about an equal amount of the sodium silicate and mix well. Then you simply paint this on to the cloth. You want to make sure it is penetrated into the cloth.
For the Anode side you do the same thing however the Aluminum Oxide is already in powder form. Simply add an equal share of the sodium silicate and mix and apply.
Now remove the tape and then apply the sodium silicate around the border of the reactive materials. Then cut off access to make a nice square pallet.
The idea of having the excess and doing it this way is so you can make a metal frame for both sides of cell. This is the part I have not gotten too. The opening of the metal frame will be slightly smaller than the reactive material, this is so you have a good connection all the way around the material. However these frames can not have contact from one side to the other only through the reactive materials.
So this cell is not only reactive to heat but it is also reactive to gas direct from the gasifier. Unfortunately the gasifier crashed and I was not able to make combustible gas shortly after light up. There was a problem with the hopper agitator after the last run so it bridged and burned out. However initially after it first lit it was pretty apparent something was happening as the voltage climbed up very rapidly. It climbed up to around 500 milliamps. I think it would have kept climbing if the gas would have came in.
For this initial testing I simply clamped some aluminum to each side of the cell using some vice grips with a cardboard insulator on the jaws of the grips. I need to make the frame and I bet Ill get a much better connection. Anyways using a torch with the tip about 12" away I can get nearly a 1 volt reading.
So this has been a very fascinating experiment so far. But creating voltage is one thing now to find out if there are any available amps it can offer out. If so than this could hold great promise as this method could allow for these cells to be printed out on a CNC for pennies. This fire blanket I used I dont think is actual ceramic either. I think if actual ceramic cloth was used there is then the possibility of not only printing the cells onto the cloth but then it could be mold directly into functional parts.