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Heat Pipe Science and Technology, An International Journal

ISSN Print: 2151-7975
ISSN Online: 2151-7991

Archives: Volume 1, 2010 to Volume 8, 2017

Heat Pipe Science and Technology, An International Journal

DOI: 10.1615/HeatPipeScieTech.2016017178
pages 241-266

THERMODYNAMIC MODELING OF THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR SYSTEMS

S. C. Kaushik
Center for Energy Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110016, India
Manikandan Sundararaj
SRM University Chennai
Ranjana Hans
Center for Energy Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, INDIA

ABSTRACT

A second-law analysis fetched significance in analyzing thermal energy systems as it locates and quantifies the irreversibilities in the system. This paper analyzes thermoelectric generator systems through exergy analysis. Four thermodynamic models of a thermoelectric generator considering internal and external irreversibilities were developed in the MATLAB Simulink environment with temperature-dependent material properties and analyzed with various operating temperatures. Analytical formulas for exergy efficiencies and irreversibilities in the thermoelectric generator for all thermodynamic models were derived. The result shows that the exergy efficiency of the thermoelectric generator is higher than the energy efficiency. For a typical operating condition in the irreversible thermoelectric generator with 31 thermocouples and with TH and TC of 453 K and 303 K, respectively, the maximum energy and exergy efficiency obtained are 4.23% and 12.78% at same optimum current of 7.02 A. The result also shows that the effect of internal irreversibilities is more pronounced in the performance of a thermoelectric generator system when compared with the external irreversibilities. The effects of irreversible heat transfer and contact resistance in the exergy efficiency is also studied. This study will be helpful in designing actual thermoelectric generator systems.


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