Effect of Leg Topology on the Energy Conversion Performance of Thermoelectric Generators Systems

Mutabe Aljaghtham, Emrah Celik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) convert temperature gradient into electrical power. The shape (or topology) of thermoelectric (TE) leg has a significant impact which can directly affect TEG performance. The conventional uniform, rectangular TE leg configurations were employed widely in TEGs to evaluate the performance of the TE devices. Different leg geometries have been proposed in the past by researchers to enhance thermoelectric efficiency. However, there is no consensus, nor a systematic study exists to find out the ideal leg geometry and maximize the energy conversion efficiency in thermoelectric systems. The current study investigates various configurations of TE legs such as trapezoidal leg, zig-zag leg, butterfly leg, vertical and horizontal cross-shaped leg, X-leg, Y-leg, I-leg based on their individual shape construction. 3-dimensional finite element simulations are conducted to investigate the thermoelectric output power and conversion efficiency of these configurations and compared to (conventional) rectangular TE leg shape geometries. The reliability and accuracy of the used finite element based numerical model are validated with analytical and numerical results. From the study, results indicate that the vertical cross-shaped and butterfly generate more TE output power compared to all other configurations. The (conventional) rectangular TE leg generates around 1.46 Watts which is around 34% and 25% TE power lower than vertical cross-shaped and butterfly configurations, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnergy
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791884560
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020
EventASME 2020 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Nov 16 2020Nov 19 2020

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)
Volume8

Conference

ConferenceASME 2020 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2020
CityVirtual, Online
Period11/16/2011/19/20

Keywords

  • TE leg configuration
  • TE simulation.
  • Thermoelectric generator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

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