The development studies in thermoelectric generator (TEG) systems are mostly disconnected to parametric optimization of the module components. In this study, optimum footprint ratio of n- and p-type thermoelectric (TE) elements is explored to achieve maximum power generation, maximum cost-performance, and variation of efficiency in the uni-couple over a wide range of the heat transfer coefficient on the cold junction. The three-dimensional (3D) governing equations of the thermoelectricity and the heat transfer are solved using the finite element method (FEM) for temperature dependent properties of TE materials. The results, which are in good agreement with the previous computational studies, show that the maximum power generation and the maximum cost-performance in the module occur at An/Ap < 1 due to difference in electrical resistance and heat conductivity of the considered materials.
Journal of Power Sources, 2014, Vol 255, p. 151-156
Heat transfer coefficient; Maximum power generation; Optimal footprint ratio; Thermoelectric uni-couple