Analysis of Thermoelectric Generator Performance by Use of Simulations and Experiments
Journal article, 2014

A method that enables accurate determination of contact resistances in thermoelectric generators and which gives detailed insight into how these reduce module performance is presented in this paper. To understand the importance taking thermal and electrical contact resistances into account in analysis of thermoelectric generators, full-scale modules were studied. Contact resistances were determined by means of non-linear regression analysis on the basis of results from 3D finite element simulations and experiments in a setup in which heat flow, voltage, and current were measured. Statistical evaluation showed that the model and the identified contact resistances enabled excellent prediction of performance over the entire range of operating conditions. It was shown that if contact resistances were not included in the analysis the simulations significantly over-predicted both heat flow and electric power output, and it was concluded that contact resistance should always be included in module simulations. The method presented in this paper gives detailed insight into how thermoelectric modules perform in general, and also enables prediction of potential improvement in module performance by reduction of contact resistances.

thermal contact resistance

Thermoelectric modeling

electrical contact resistance


Olle Högblom

Competence Centre for Catalysis (KCK)

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemical Reaction Engineering

Ronnie Andersson

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering Design

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemical Reaction Engineering

Competence Centre for Catalysis (KCK)

Journal of Electronic Materials

0361-5235 (ISSN)

Vol. 43 6 2247-2254

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance



Subject Categories

Chemical Engineering



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