Method and Apparatus for Determining Operational Parameters of Thermoelectric Modules

Rafał Zybała , Maksymilian Schmidt , Kamil Kaszyca , Łukasz Ciupiński , Mirosław Jakub Kruszewski , Katarzyna Pietrzak


The main aim of this work was to construct and test an apparatus for characterization of high temperature thermoelectric modules to be used in thermoelectric generator (TEGs) applications. The idea of this apparatus is based on very precise measurements of heat fluxes passing through the thermoelectric (TE) module, at both its hot and cold sides. The electrical properties of the module, under different temperature and load conditions, were used to estimate efficiency of energy conversion based on electrical and thermal energy conservation analysis. The temperature of the cold side, T-c, was stabilized by a precise circulating thermostat (<= 0.1 degrees C) in a temperature range from 5 degrees C to 90 degrees C. The amount of heat absorbed by a coolant flowing through the heat sink was measured by the calibrated and certified heat flow meter with an accuracy better than 1%. The temperature of the hot side, T-h, was forced to assumed temperature (T-max = 450 degrees C) by an electric heater with known power (P-h = 0-600 W) with ample thermal insulation. The electrical power was used in calculations. The TE module, heaters and cooling plate were placed in an adiabatic vacuum chamber. The load characteristics of the module were evaluated using an electronically controlled current source as a load. The apparatus may be used to determine the essential parameters of TE modules (open circuit voltage, U-oc, short circuit current, I-sc, internal electrical resistance, R-int, thermal resistance, R-th, power density, and efficiency, eta, as a function of T-c and T-h). Several commercially available TE modules based on Bi2Te3 and Sb2Te3 alloys were tested. The measurements confirmed that the constructed apparatus was highly accurate, stable and yielded reproducible results; therefore, it is a reliable tool for the development of thermoelectric generators.
Author Rafał Zybała ZPM
Rafał Zybała,,
- Division of Materials Design
, Maksymilian Schmidt
Maksymilian Schmidt,,
, Kamil Kaszyca
Kamil Kaszyca,,
, Łukasz Ciupiński WIM
Łukasz Ciupiński,,
- Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering
, Mirosław Jakub Kruszewski WIM
Mirosław Jakub Kruszewski,,
- Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering
, Katarzyna Pietrzak
Katarzyna Pietrzak,,
Journal seriesJournal of Electronic Materials, ISSN 0361-5235
Issue year2016
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in PolishEfektywność konwersji energii, wytwarzanie energii, moduły termoelektryczne, bilans energetyczny, odzyskiwanie ciepła, energetyka odnawialna
Keywords in EnglishEnergy conversion efficiency, power generation, thermoelectric modules, performance characterization, heat recovery, renewable energy
Languageen angielski
Zybała et al. - 2016 - Method and Apparatus for Determining Operational Parameters of Thermoelectric Modules.pdf 1.93 MB
Score (nominal)30
ScoreMinisterial score [Punktacja MNiSW] = 25.0, 28-11-2017, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) [Punktacja MNiSW (2013-2016)] = 30.0, 28-11-2017, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Impact Factor [Impact Factor WoS]: 2016 = 1.579 (2) - 2016=1.575 (5)
Citation count*3 (2018-06-19)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.