Performance comparison of thermoelectric generators using different materials

Wei-Hsin Chen, Yi Xian Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

Abstract

Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are a promising device to harvest waste heat for power generation. Three material properties of TEGs, including the Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity, and thermal conductivity, are often considered as constants in the simulation. However, the performance of TEGs changes with different temperature. In this study, the performances, such as output power and efficiency of one constant property material and three temperature-dependent property materials are investigated numerically. The influences of the temperature difference, the temperature at the cold side surface, and current on the performance of the TEGs are analyzed. The predictions indicate that the output power of the TEGs deviate from the formula when their properties are temperature-dependent. In other words, the output power of the TEGs is not directly proportional to the temperature difference squared. The simulations also satisfy the result of self-consistency. In the case of the fixed temperature difference of 100 ºC, when the temperature at cold side surface is lower, different performances of TEG are followed by different materials. The results also tell that one material whose ZT value increases with the rise in temperature has a similar trend in output power and efficiency to the constant-property material. However, another material that has the maximum value in the ZT curve has different trend in output power and efficiency from those of the constant-property material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1388-1393
Number of pages6
JournalEnergy Procedia
Volume158
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1
Event10th International Conference on Applied Energy, ICAE 2018 - Hong Kong, China
Duration: 2018 Aug 222018 Aug 25

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Materials properties
Temperature
Seebeck coefficient
Waste heat
Power generation
Thermal conductivity

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are a promising device to harvest waste heat for power generation. Three material properties of TEGs, including the Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity, and thermal conductivity, are often considered as constants in the simulation. However, the performance of TEGs changes with different temperature. In this study, the performances, such as output power and efficiency of one constant property material and three temperature-dependent property materials are investigated numerically. The influences of the temperature difference, the temperature at the cold side surface, and current on the performance of the TEGs are analyzed. The predictions indicate that the output power of the TEGs deviate from the formula when their properties are temperature-dependent. In other words, the output power of the TEGs is not directly proportional to the temperature difference squared. The simulations also satisfy the result of self-consistency. In the case of the fixed temperature difference of 100 ºC, when the temperature at cold side surface is lower, different performances of TEG are followed by different materials. The results also tell that one material whose ZT value increases with the rise in temperature has a similar trend in output power and efficiency to the constant-property material. However, another material that has the maximum value in the ZT curve has different trend in output power and efficiency from those of the constant-property material.",
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Performance comparison of thermoelectric generators using different materials. / Chen, Wei-Hsin; Lin, Yi Xian.

In: Energy Procedia, Vol. 158, 01.01.2019, p. 1388-1393.

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

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