Thermoelectric properties and efficiency measurements under large temperature differences

A. Muto, D. Kraemer, Qing Hao, Z. F. Ren, G. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The maximum efficiency of a thermoelectric generator is determined by the material's dimensionless figure of merit ZT. Real thermoelectric material properties are highly temperature dependent and are often measured individually using multiple measurement tools on different samples. As a result, reported ZT values have large uncertainties. In this work we present an experimental technique that eliminates some of these uncertainties. We measure the Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, and thermal conductivity of a single element or leg, as well as the conversion efficiency, under a large temperature difference of 2-160 °C. The advantages of this technique include (1) the thermoelectric leg is mounted only once and all measurements are in the same direction and (2) the measured properties are corroborated by efficiency measurements. The directly measured power and efficiency are compared to the values calculated from the measured properties and agree within 0.4% and 2%, respectively. The realistic testing conditions of this technique make it ideal for material characterization prior to implementation in a real thermoelectric generator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number093901
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Volume80
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

temperature gradients
thermoelectric generators
Seebeck coefficient
Temperature
Conversion efficiency
thermoelectric materials
Thermal conductivity
Materials properties
Seebeck effect
figure of merit
thermal conductivity
Testing
electrical resistivity
Uncertainty
temperature
Electric Conductivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation

Cite this

Thermoelectric properties and efficiency measurements under large temperature differences. / Muto, A.; Kraemer, D.; Hao, Qing; Ren, Z. F.; Chen, G.

In: Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 80, No. 9, 093901, 2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e3e11a4a3e0040fa83bbd5024bcfd2cb,
title = "Thermoelectric properties and efficiency measurements under large temperature differences",
abstract = "The maximum efficiency of a thermoelectric generator is determined by the material's dimensionless figure of merit ZT. Real thermoelectric material properties are highly temperature dependent and are often measured individually using multiple measurement tools on different samples. As a result, reported ZT values have large uncertainties. In this work we present an experimental technique that eliminates some of these uncertainties. We measure the Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, and thermal conductivity of a single element or leg, as well as the conversion efficiency, under a large temperature difference of 2-160 °C. The advantages of this technique include (1) the thermoelectric leg is mounted only once and all measurements are in the same direction and (2) the measured properties are corroborated by efficiency measurements. The directly measured power and efficiency are compared to the values calculated from the measured properties and agree within 0.4{\%} and 2{\%}, respectively. The realistic testing conditions of this technique make it ideal for material characterization prior to implementation in a real thermoelectric generator.",
author = "A. Muto and D. Kraemer and Qing Hao and Ren, {Z. F.} and G. Chen",
year = "2009",
doi = "10.1063/1.3212668",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "80",
journal = "Review of Scientific Instruments",
issn = "0034-6748",
publisher = "American Institute of Physics Publising LLC",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Thermoelectric properties and efficiency measurements under large temperature differences

AU - Muto, A.

AU - Kraemer, D.

AU - Hao, Qing

AU - Ren, Z. F.

AU - Chen, G.

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - The maximum efficiency of a thermoelectric generator is determined by the material's dimensionless figure of merit ZT. Real thermoelectric material properties are highly temperature dependent and are often measured individually using multiple measurement tools on different samples. As a result, reported ZT values have large uncertainties. In this work we present an experimental technique that eliminates some of these uncertainties. We measure the Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, and thermal conductivity of a single element or leg, as well as the conversion efficiency, under a large temperature difference of 2-160 °C. The advantages of this technique include (1) the thermoelectric leg is mounted only once and all measurements are in the same direction and (2) the measured properties are corroborated by efficiency measurements. The directly measured power and efficiency are compared to the values calculated from the measured properties and agree within 0.4% and 2%, respectively. The realistic testing conditions of this technique make it ideal for material characterization prior to implementation in a real thermoelectric generator.

AB - The maximum efficiency of a thermoelectric generator is determined by the material's dimensionless figure of merit ZT. Real thermoelectric material properties are highly temperature dependent and are often measured individually using multiple measurement tools on different samples. As a result, reported ZT values have large uncertainties. In this work we present an experimental technique that eliminates some of these uncertainties. We measure the Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, and thermal conductivity of a single element or leg, as well as the conversion efficiency, under a large temperature difference of 2-160 °C. The advantages of this technique include (1) the thermoelectric leg is mounted only once and all measurements are in the same direction and (2) the measured properties are corroborated by efficiency measurements. The directly measured power and efficiency are compared to the values calculated from the measured properties and agree within 0.4% and 2%, respectively. The realistic testing conditions of this technique make it ideal for material characterization prior to implementation in a real thermoelectric generator.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=70349696454&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=70349696454&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1063/1.3212668

DO - 10.1063/1.3212668

M3 - Article

C2 - 19791947

AN - SCOPUS:70349696454

VL - 80

JO - Review of Scientific Instruments

JF - Review of Scientific Instruments

SN - 0034-6748

IS - 9

M1 - 093901

ER -