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Entropy 2015, 17(11), 7387-7405; doi:10.3390/e17117387

Performance of a Composite Thermoelectric Generator with Different Arrangements of SiGe, BiTe and PbTe under Different Configurations

1
Departamento de Termofluidos, Facultad de Ingenieria, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico 04510, Mexico
2
Instituto Politecnico Nacional, SEPI ESIME-CUL, Av. Santa Ana 1000, Culhuacan, Coyoacan 04430, Mexico
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kevin H. Knuth
Received: 21 July 2015 / Revised: 13 September 2015 / Accepted: 20 October 2015 / Published: 28 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Thermodynamics)
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Abstract

In this study, we analyze the role of the thermoelectric (TE) properties, namely Seebeck coefficient α, thermal conductivity κ and electrical resistivity ρ, of three different materials in a composite thermoelectric generator (CTEG) under different configurations. The CTEG is composed of three thermoelectric modules (TEMs): (1) two TEMs thermally and electrically connected in series (SC); (2) two branches of TEMs thermally and electrically connected in parallel (PSC); and (3) three TEMs thermally and electrically connected in parallel (TEP). In general, each of the TEMs have different thermoelectric parameters, namely a Seebeck coefficient α, a thermal conductance K and an electrical resistance R. Following the framework proposed recently, we show the effect of: (1) the configuration; and (2) the arrangements of TE materials on the corresponding equivalent figure of merit Zeq and consequently on the maximum power Pmax and efficiency η of the CTEG. Firstly, we consider that the whole system is formed of the same thermoelectric material (α1,K1,R1 = α2,K2,R2 = α3,K3,R3) and, secondly, that the whole system is constituted by only two different thermoelectric materials Entropy 2015, 17 7388 (αi,Ki,Ri ≠ αj ,Kj ,Rj 6= αl,Kl,Rl, where i, j, l can be 1, 2 or 3). In this work, we propose arrangements of TEMs, which clearly have the advantage of a higher thermoelectric figure of merit value compared to a conventional thermoelectric module. A corollary about the Zeq-max for CTEG is obtained as a result of these considerations. We suggest an optimum configuration. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermoelectric module; thermoelectric properties; figure of merit thermoelectric module; thermoelectric properties; figure of merit
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Vargas-Almeida, A.; Olivares-Robles, M.A.; Lavielle, F.M. Performance of a Composite Thermoelectric Generator with Different Arrangements of SiGe, BiTe and PbTe under Different Configurations. Entropy 2015, 17, 7387-7405.

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