Analysis and modeling of effective temperature differences and electrical parameters of thermoelectric generators

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We have derived an analytic model describing the interior temperature difference as a function of the load current of a thermoelectric generator (TEG); we have also proposed a method to extract the intrinsic and extrinsic Seebeck coefficients and resistances of TEG using experimental current-voltage curves. The decrement of internal temperature difference is almost linearly depending on load current of the TEG. From the experimental results, using a thermoelectric (TE) module with a thermal conductance of 3.52. W/K and a parasitic thermal conductance of 50. W/K, the effective internal electrical resistance was increased by approximately 5%, but the effective Seebeck coefficient was attenuated by approximately 13%, as compared to the intrinsic parameters. The relationship between the output power reduction factor and limited thermal conductance of TEG packaging was also derived. Approximately 25% of the maximum output power is lost because of the parasitic thermal resistance of the TE module used in the experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1458-1463
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Yonsei University in 2011. The author thanks Ms. Youngkyo Gim for extracting the experimental data. The SPICE circuit simulator used in this research was supported by IDEC. The Yonsei Institute of Convergence Technology is supported by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), under the “IT Consilience Creative Program”, supervised by the NIPA (NIPA-271 2010-C1515-1001-0001).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • General Energy
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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