A thermoelectric generator, operating in a cryostat at liquid helium temperatures, is described. Energy to the generator is supplied via an external laser beam. For this prototype device the associated heat load at permanent operation is comparable with the heat load associated with power delivery via metallic wires. Estimates indicate that still better performance can be enabled with existing thermoelectric materials, thereby far exceeding efficiency of traditional cryostat wiring. We used a prototype generator to produce electric power for measuring critical currents in Nb3Sn-films at 4K.
Harutyunyan S.R., Vardanyan V.H., Kuzanyan A.S., Nikoghosyan V.R., Kunii S., Winzer K., Wood K.S., and Gulian A.M., Laser-powered thermoelectric generators operating at cryogenic temperatures. Appl. Phys. Lett., 2005, vol. 87, No. 19, art. 194114. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2131202
American Institute of Physics