Technical Brief

Accuracy Enhancement of Thermoelectric Simulation by Modeling the Electrical Contact

[+] Author and Article Information
Min Chen

Institute of Energy Technology,
Aalborg University,
Pontoppidanstraede 101,
Aalborg DK-9220, Denmark
e-mail: chenminmike@gmail.com

Junling Gao

School of Mechanical and Auto Engineering,
South China University of Technology,
Tianhe District, Guangzhou 510641, China;
Department of Auto Engineering,
Hebei University of Science and Technology,
Shijiazhuang 050018, China

Zhengdong Kang, Jianzhong Zhang

R&D Center,
Fuxin Electronic Technology Co. Ltd.,
Gaoli, Ronggui, District Shunde,
Fushan, Guangdong 528306, China

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received February 2, 2014; final manuscript received May 19, 2016; published online July 6, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Amir Jokar.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 8(4), 044502 (Jul 06, 2016) (6 pages) Paper No: TSEA-14-1023; doi: 10.1115/1.4033881 History: Received February 02, 2014; Revised May 19, 2016

The main objective of this study is to numerically analyze the uncertainty of the electrical interface resistance in thermoelectric modules (TEMs) and its contribution to the error of practical device and system simulation. To improve the simulation, the numerical implementation of the interface resistance in TEMs of any size, especially its temperature-dependent characteristics, is critical in the thermoelectric modeling. Using the electrothermal analogy and the PSpice simulator as the simulation baseline, the proposed nonlinear and statistical modeling of the interface resistance is examined and supported through extensive comparisons between experimental findings and numerical results. Considerable accuracy improvement is obtained for a single TEM and a system consisting of a number of interconnected TEMs.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Extracted Rc(Th) and its fitting curves

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Fig. 2

Linear interpolation circuit implementation of Rc(Th)

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Fig. 3

Output power comparison between simulation and measured results of 1 TEM for various Th: (a) linear interpolation Rc(Th) and (b) constant Rc

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Fig. 4

R of three TEMs experimentally measured under various Th. TEM1: the test and simulation objective in this paper; TEM2: a TEG1-49-4.5-2.5-250 (TEM type in the same product family); and TEM3: another TEG1-49-4.5-2.0-250

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Fig. 5

Output power comparison between simulation and measured results of a eight-TEM-array for various temperature differences: (a) constant Rc versus linear interpolation Rc(Th), (b) constant Rc versus Gauss-fitting Rc(Th), and (c) Gauss-fitting Rc(Th) versus constant Rc




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