Analytic modeling of a high temperature thermoelectric module for wireless sensors
Paper in proceedings, 2014
A novel high temperature thermoelectric module with thermoelectric materials never before combined in a module is currently researched. The module placement in the cooling channels of a jet engine where the cold side will be cooled by high flow cooling air (550 degrees C) and the hot side will be at the wall (800 degrees C). The aim of the project is to drastically reduce the length of the wires by replacing wired sensors with wireless sensors and power these (3-10mW) with thermoelectric harvesters. To optimize the design for the temperature range and the environment an analytic model was constructed. Using known models for this purpose was not possible for this project, as many of the models have too many assumptions, e.g. that the temperature gradient is relatively low, that thick electrodes with very low resistance can be used, that the heat transfer through the base plates are perfect or that the aim of the design is to maximize the efficiency. The analytical model in this paper is a combination of several known models with the aim to examine what materials to use in this specific environment to achieve the highest possible specific power (mW/g).