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Open AccessArticle

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
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Kevin H. Knuth
Entropy 2015, 17(11), 7387-7405; https://doi.org/10.3390/e17117387
Received: 21 July 2015 / Revised: 13 September 2015 / Accepted: 20 October 2015 / Published: 28 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Thermodynamics)
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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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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