Next Article in Journal
A Risk Profile for Information Fusion Algorithms
Previous Article in Journal
Size of the Whole versus Number of Parts in Genomes
Entropy 2011, 13(8), 1481-1517; doi:10.3390/e13081481
Review

Thermodynamics of Thermoelectric Phenomena and Applications

1,* , 2
,
3
,
3
 and
4
Received: 2 July 2011 / Revised: 15 July 2011 / Accepted: 29 July 2011 / Published: 15 August 2011
Download PDF [916 KB, 24 February 2015; original version 24 February 2015]

Abstract

Fifty years ago, the optimization of thermoelectric devices was analyzed by considering the relation between optimal performances and local entropy production. Entropy is produced by the irreversible processes in thermoelectric devices. If these processes could be eliminated, entropy production would be reduced to zero, and the limiting Carnot efficiency or coefficient of performance would be obtained. In the present review, we start with some fundamental thermodynamic considerations relevant for thermoelectrics. Based on a historical overview, we reconsider the interrelation between optimal performances and local entropy production by using the compatibility approach together with the thermodynamic arguments. Using the relative current density and the thermoelectric potential, we show that minimum entropy production can be obtained when the thermoelectric potential is a specific, optimal value.
Keywords: thermoelectricity; optimum device design; entropy production; compatibility approach; thermoelectric potential thermoelectricity; optimum device design; entropy production; compatibility approach; thermoelectric potential
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote
MDPI and ACS Style

Goupil, C.; Seifert, W.; Zabrocki, K.; Müller, E.; Snyder, G.J. Thermodynamics of Thermoelectric Phenomena and Applications. Entropy 2011, 13, 1481-1517.

View more citation formats

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here

Comments

Cited By

[Return to top]
Entropy EISSN 1099-4300 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert