The practical performance forecast and analysis of thermoelectric module from macro to micro

Limei Shen, Huanxin Chen, Fu Xiao, Shengwei Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The practical operating conditions of thermoelectric products, such as the input power source and the thermal resistance of hot side heat exchanger, are different from the theoretical study. Thus the equations, which are used to estimate the practical maximum cooling performance just according to the datum in datasheet of commercial thermoelectric module (TEM), are given. The nested loop method is adopted to solve the numerical model. This study provides a method to choose a suitable TEM for thermoelectric product to meet the application requirement. It finds that the minimum cold side temperature increase and the voltage for achieving the minimum cold side temperature step decrease with the increase of thermal resistance of hot side heat exchanger, respectively. The maximum temperature difference increase and the voltage for achieving the maximum temperature difference step increase with the increase of thermal resistance of hot side heat exchanger, respectively. According to the dimension, three kinds of thermoelectric module, bulk TEM, miniature TEM and micro TEM, are studied. The novel scale effect are discovered by comparing these TEMs. It found that the step-change phenomenon become more and more obvious with the decrease of the dimension of thermoelectric module. The influence ratio of thermal resistance of hot side heat exchanger on the maximum cooling performance increases and the influence ratio of input power source decreases from macro to micro, respectively. It forecasts that there exists a critical value for the dimension of thermoelectric module, when the dimension of thermoelectric module is smaller than this critical value, the maximum voltage or current of thermoelectric module is constant and does not change with the thermal resistance of hot side heat exchanger.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Volume100
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2015

Keywords

  • Dimension
  • Maximum cooling performance
  • Practical condition
  • Step-change phenomenon
  • Thermoelectric module

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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