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Experimental Investigation of Thermal Effect on the Characteristic Behavior of Thermoelectric Generators: Applicable as a Power Source for Low Earth Orbit Satellites


Generation of the power on low earth orbit satellites remains based particularly on photogeneration (solar cells), whereas other sources of energy, such as heat, remain unexploited. Indeed, exchange of heat is considered generally on board spacecraft as hostile, destructive and undesirable, thereby different means are used to reduce its effect on board spacecraft. Heat being an important source of energy, remains badly exploited on spacecraft and its applications remain limited. We present in this paper one of the methods used to convert heat energy into electrical energy by using a thermoelectric device; the goal becomes therefore to choose a device capable to provide best performance through a comparative analysis between different commercial thermoelectric generator devices to be able subsequently to make a choice of the component to be used for future design. This analysis will allow us thereafter to design a thermoelectric generator as a power source for a small satellite in eclipse by exploiting the internal/external thermal properties of the spacecraft in orbit.

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This research is co-supported by Algerian Space Agency, Algeria (ASAL) and Laboratory of Power System from Centre of Satellite Development Oran, Algeria (CDS).

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Correspondence to M. Bensaada.

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Bensaada, M. Experimental Investigation of Thermal Effect on the Characteristic Behavior of Thermoelectric Generators: Applicable as a Power Source for Low Earth Orbit Satellites. J. Engin. Thermophys. 28, 569–577 (2019).

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