Under a certain temperature difference, the maximum power of a thermoelectric module can be estimated by the open-circuit voltage and the short-circuit current. In practical measurement, there exist two switch modes, either from open to short or from short to open, but the two modes can give different estimations on the maximum power. Using TEG-127-2.8-3.5-250 and TEG-127-1.4-1.6-250 as two examples, the difference is about 10%, leading to some deviations with the temperature change. This paper analyzes such differences by means of a nonlinear numerical model of thermoelectricity, and finds out that the main cause is the influence of various currents on the produced electromotive potential. A simple and effective calibration method is proposed to minimize the deviations in specifying the maximum power. Experimental results validate the method with improved estimation accuracy.
I E E E Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, 2013, Vol 62, Issue 10, p. 2725-2729