A comparison of micro-structured flat-plate and cross-cut heat sinks for thermoelectric generation application

Alireza Rezania*, L. A. Rosendahl

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Heat sink configuration has strong impact on net power output from thermoelectric generators (TEGs). A weak cooling strategy can even cause negative net power output from the thermoelectric device. However, the net power output can be significantly improved by optimal design of the heat sink. In this study, a micro-structured plate-fin heat sink is compared to a modified design of cross-cut heat sink applied to TEGs over a range of temperatures and thermal conductivities. The particular focus of this study is to explore the net power output from the TEG module. The three-dimensional governing equations for the flow and heat transfer are solved using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in conjunction with the thermoelectric characteristics of the TEG over a wide range of flow inlet velocities. The results show that at small flow inlet velocity, the maximum net power output in TEG with plate-fin heat sink is higher, while the TEG with cross-cut heat sink has higher maximum net power output at high flow inlet velocity. The maximum net power output is equal in the TEGs with plate-fin heat sink and cross-cut heat sink.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Volume101
Pages (from-to)730-737
Number of pages8
ISSN0196-8904
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015

Keywords

  • Thermoelectric generator
  • Plate-fin heat sink
  • Cross-cut heat sink
  • Maximum net power

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