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Electrical Properties of Commercial Thermoelectric Modules

R. Palacios, M.Z. Li

One of the most promising applications of thermoelectricity is the recovery of waste heat for the production of electrical energy. The best performance in electrical power generation is obtained using specially designed TE elements [7][11], but the mass production of Peltier modules leads to an important reduction in prices. Commercial thermoelectric modules do not have a very high performance but are cheap, robust and easy to install. TE modules are appropriate for waste heat recovery at low temperatures [8]. This paper shows the results of testing a commercial thermoelectric module for electrical power generation. All the results have been obtained experimentally using a test bench designed to study commercial TE modules. Several working conditions have been tested, obtaining voltages up to 2.4 V and currents up to 0.45 A for a single module. Plots of voltage as a function of the current are shown for different heat transfers (up to 28 W). Typical V-I plots for alkaline batteries and Ni Cd rechargeable batteries have also been obtained to compare the behavior of the TE module as a voltage generator.

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Fourth European Workshop on Thermoelectrics, ETS?98. Pag. 159-162

Publication date: September 1998.

R. Palacios, M.Z. Li, Electrical Properties of Commercial Thermoelectric Modules, Fourth European Workshop on Thermoelectrics, ETS?98. Pag. 159-162. Madrid, Spain, 17-18 September 1998

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