Komatsu to Launch Sales of the World's Highest Efficiency Thermoelectric Generation Modules Developed In-house

Through KELK Ltd. (President: Satomi Nashiwa) (Head office: Hiratsuka-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan), its wholly owned subsidiary, Komatsu Ltd. (President & CEO: Kunio Noji) is going to launch the commercial production and sales of thermoelectric generation modules.

KELK is the world's top manufacturer of temperature-control equipment for use in semiconductor manufacturing and an integrated manufacturer and the industry-pacesetter, engaging in research, production and sales of thermoelectric modules, heat exchangers and applied products. KELK also enjoys the global leadership position for thermoelectric modules (Peltier devices).

Thermoelectric modules are mainly used to control temperature (cooling) with electricity. Thermoelectric generation modules work on the reverse mechanism, capable of generating electricity by using heat (thermoelectric generation).

Thermoelectric generation has been attracting keen attention as a next-generation regeneratable energy. Thanks to this technology, it is now possible to recover a massive amount of waste heat at production facilities, power plants, incinerators and other industrial facilities, and convert it to electric power. Especially when waste heat from plants is regularly used, it is possible to make regenerated energy cheaper than solar power generation. Moreover, when this technology is applied by a variety of industries, it is expected to reduce CO2 emissions which are known to cause global warming.

Komatsu's high-performance thermoelectric generation modules boast a 50% or higher output power density compared to similar products on the market, thereby offering a large merit to customers in their operating costs. Looking ahead, Komatsu is conducting research in applications designed to regenerate electric energy from the exhaust gas of construction equipment.

Some areas of research in thermoelectricity are undertaken by
Komatsu's Research Division for the Komatsu Group. With respect to the thermoelectric generation module, Komatsu participated in the "Development for Advanced Thermoelectric Conversion Systems" (FY2002 - FY2006), an energy conservation program, sponsored by NEDO (The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization), and has commercialized the results of this program.

Komatsu's thermoelectric generation modules will be exhibited in NEDO's booth at the "nano tech 2009" at Tokyo Big Sight from February 18.

* They have shown top performance in the world in terms of conversion efficiency in an operating environment between 280°C and 30°C. Other comparative data in this news release are also based on Komatsu's survey findings as of January 2009.

Thermoelectric generation module to be commercialized by KELK

[Technical Features]

1. World's top conversion efficiency. Ability to generate a large output even with a relatively small difference in temperature. (Functional conditions: 280°C in the high-temperature side and 30°C in the low-temperature side)

2. High output power density at approximately 1W/cm2. Use in compact equipment.

3. Simplified handling of circuits thanks to the low current of 3A and high voltage of 8V at the maximum output.


Size : 50mm x 50mm x 4.2mm (excluding the lead wire)
Weight : 47g
Output : Max. 24W
(when 280°C in the high-temperature side and 30°C in the low-temperature side)
Temperature range for use : 280°C (max.) and 250°C or lower (normal) in the high-temperature side and 150°C (max.) in the low-temperature side
Conversion efficiency : Max. 7.2%
Raw material : BiTe family

[Start of sales]

May 2009 (to receive orders)

[Announced price]

¥30,000 for each module (Minimum order: 50 modules)


Module Division, KELK Ltd.
Tel: +81-463-23-3697
FAX: +81-463-24-6749


Information in the news releases is current on the date of the announcement and is subject to change without notice.


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