Pyroelectric energy conversion offers a novel approach for directly converting waste heat into electricity. This paper reports numerical simulations of a prototypical pyroelectric energy converter. The two-dimensional mass, momentum, and energy equations were solved to predict the local and time-dependent pressure, velocity, and temperature. Then, the heat input, pump power, and electrical power generated were estimated, along with the thermodynamic energy efficiency of the device. It was established that reducing the length of the device and the viscosity of the working fluid improved the energy efficiency and power density by increasing the optimum operating frequency of the device. Results show that a maximum efficiency of 5.2% at 0.5 Hz corresponding to 55.4% of the Carnot efficiency between 145 and 185°C can be achieved when using commercial 1.5 cst silicone oil. The maximum power density was found to be 38.4 W/l of pyroelectric material.

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