This paper compares the economic viability and performance outcomes of two different thermoelectric device architectures to determine the advantages and appropriate use of each configuration. Hybrid thermoelectric coolers (TECs) employ thin-film thermoelectric materials sandwiched between a plastic substrate and form a corrugated structure. Roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing and low-cost polymer materials offer a cost advantage to the hybrid architecture at the sacrifice of performance capabilities while conventional bulk devices offer increased performance at a higher cost. Performance characteristics and cost information are developed for both hybrid and conventional bulk single-stage thermoelectric modules. The design variables include device geometry, electrical current input, and thermoelectric material type. The tradeoffs between cooling performance and cost will be explored, and the thermoelectric system configuration is analyzed for both hybrid and conventional bulk TECs.
Performance and Design Comparison of a Bulk Thermoelectric Cooler With a Hybrid Architecture
Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received August 11, 2015; final manuscript received December 18, 2015; published online March 1, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Samuel Sami.
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Antonik, M., O'Connor, B. T., and Ferguson, S. (March 1, 2016). "Performance and Design Comparison of a Bulk Thermoelectric Cooler With a Hybrid Architecture." ASME. J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl. June 2016; 8(2): 021022. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4032637
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