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Thermoelectric System in Different Thermal and Electrical Configurations: Its Impact in the Figure of Merit

Instituto Politecnico Nacional, SEPI ESIME-CUL, Av. Santa Ana 1000, Culhuacan, Coyoacan 04430, Mexico
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Entropy 2013, 15(6), 2162-2180; https://doi.org/10.3390/e15062162
Received: 1 April 2013 / Revised: 25 May 2013 / Accepted: 28 May 2013 / Published: 31 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entropy and Energy Extraction)
In this work, we analyze different configurations of a thermoelectric system (TES) composed of three thermoelectric generators (TEGs). We present the following considerations: (a) TES thermally and electrically connected in series (SC); (b) TES thermally and electrically connected in parallel (PSC); and (c) parallel thermally and series electrical connection (SSC). We assume that the parameters of the TEGs are temperature-independent. The systems are characterized by three parameters, as it has been showed in recent investigations, namely, its internal electrical resistance, R, thermal conductance under open electrical circuit condition, K, and Seebeck coefficient α. We derive the equivalent parameters for each of the configurations considered here and calculate the Figure of Merit Z for the equivalent system. We show the impact of the configuration of the system on Z, and we suggest optimum configuration. In order to justify the effectiveness of the equivalent Figure of Merit, the corresponding efficiency has been calculated for each configuration. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermoelectric generator; Seebeck coefficient; Figure of Merit thermoelectric generator; Seebeck coefficient; Figure of Merit
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Vargas-Almeida, A.; Olivares-Robles, M.A.; Camacho-Medina, P. Thermoelectric System in Different Thermal and Electrical Configurations: Its Impact in the Figure of Merit. Entropy 2013, 15, 2162-2180.

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