Analysis of Thermoelectric Generators with General Material Property Variations
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A theoretical analysis is performed on thermoelectric generators of functionally graded materials with arbitrary material property variations described by power series. The temperature field is obtained by the power series method of ordinary differential equations. The thermoelectric energy conversion efficiency is calculated and maximized as a function of the current density. Systematic numerical studies are performed for exponential, linear, and trigonometric material property variations. Our theoretical model with general material property variation allows us to explore for higher efficiency more flexibly. The maximum efficiency found is about 25% which is substantially higher than what is in the literature on the same topic.
KeywordsThermoelectric generator functionally graded material energy conversion efficiency
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The authors gratefully acknowledge the support by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 11572244) and the open State Key Laboratories of Transducer Technology (No. SKT1506).
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