The characterization of thermoelectric modules for power generation applications has only received minimal attention by researchers. This paper describes the development of a test stand for the characterization of the thermoelectric power modules. The test stand has the ability to provide constant temperatures on the hot and cold side of thermoelectric modules and measure the amount of electrical power generated. Great care was taken to provide a uniform temperature on both the hot side and cold side of the module, with the hot side having the capability to provide temperatures of up to 600°C and the cold side able to be maintained at room temperature. The system is able to deliver a controlled heat flux of 140 kW/m2 to a thermoelectric module. A data acquisition system was developed to record the electrical performance of tested modules under a wide range of operating temperatures regulated by the control system. Using the collected data it will be possible to compare many modules and evaluate their performance with one another as well as provide module power generation parameters which can be useful for thermoelectric system design. This project was commissioned through the RIT Multidisciplinary Senior Design program as a capstone to the undergraduate degree curricula.

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