The output power of thermoelectric generation systems (TEGSs) is significantly susceptible to the dynamically varying temperature profile of the heat sources, owing to the electrical mismatch of the interconnected thermoelectric modules (TEMs) constituting a TEGS. This paper proposes a new control concept to tackle such mismatch power losses by adaptively removing the severely underheated TEMs from the TEGS, as well as reviving them if their thermal condition becomes suitable for generating operation again. The proposed control method is realized by LabVIEW; particularly, the cosimulation between the LabVIEW program and a TEGS model based on MultiSim SPICE is used to interact with the real-time sensor feedback and the performance predictions of various TEGS configurations in an online manner and a hierarchical structure. Output characteristics validate the effectiveness of the proposed control method, where significant improvement on the power track is successfully demonstrated by comparisons with the conventional maximum-power point tracking.
Ieee Transactions on Industrial Electronics, 2014, Vol 61, Issue 11, p. 6100-6107