Numerical Investigation of Channel Cross-section Effect on the Performance of Integrated Thermoelectric Power Generator

Document Type : Research Article

Authors

1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Guilan

2 M.Sc. Graduate, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran

3 Ph.D. Student, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran

Abstract

Thermoelectric generators are a sustainable and environmentally friendly technology that can recover wasted heat energy and convert it to electricity. Meanwhile, integrated thermoelectric generators have been able to significantly increase the performance of thermoelectric generators. In this paper, the effect of flow channel cross-sections on integrated thermoelectric power generator performance is investigated numerically. In this regard, various flow channel configurations including circles, trapezoids, squares and rectangles have been taken into account and the effect of cross-sectional area ratio (𝛷), semiconductor length (d) and Reynolds number (Re) on the performance of the device have been evaluated. In this study, the top and bottom of conductor surfaces are exposed to a cold temperature and a hot fluid with a constant velocity and temperature enters the channel. The results show that the power output, voltage and thermal efficiency of 36 rectangular configurations are higher than other flow channels. Also, the heat input, power output and thermal efficiency at 𝛷=0.28 are respectively found to be 1.68, 1.77 and 1.52 times higher than at 𝛷 =0.68. In addition, an optimal length for a semiconductor is determined, in which the maximum output power is achieved.

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