Designing high efficiency segmented thermoelectric generators

Constantinos Hadjistassou, Elias Kyriakides, Julius Georgiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Improving the efficiency of thermoelectric devices is critical to their widespread adoption. Here a design methodology, formulated on computational and analytical modeling, derives the optimum efficiency and geometry of segmented Bi2Te3-PbTe Thermoelectric Generators (TEGs) between ≈298 K and ≈623 K (ΔT ≈ 325 K). Comparisons between the different TEG designs, in terms of the electrical load to TEG electrical resistance ratio (m = RL/RTEG), are simplified thanks to the devised maximum efficiency to temperature gradient (βmax = η/ΔT) metric. Quasi-computational results of βmax show that the collective Seebeck coefficient Bi2Te3-PbTe (α̃) design sustains a higher electrical load in relation to the homogeneous Bi2Te3 and PbTe materials. The average (ᾱ) and collective (α̃) Seebeck coefficient Bi 2Te3-PbTe configurations, in comparison to Bi 2Te3 and PbTe, exhibit a considerably higher (60-68%) source and sink thermal resistance matching (ΘTEG = ΘHx). The proposed segmented Bi2Te3-PbTe (α̃) TEG yields a peak efficiency of 5.29% for a ΔT of 324.6 K.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Volume66
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Analytical model
  • Computational model
  • Efficiency
  • Segmented
  • Temperature
  • Thermoelectric generator

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