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Experiments and a simplified theoretical model for a water-cooled, stove-powered thermoelectric generator

Li, Guoneng, Zheng, Youqu, Hu, Jiangen, Guo, Wenwen
Energy 2019 v.185 pp. 437-448
ceramics, electricity, heat transfer, power generation, prediction, temperature, theoretical models, thermoelectric generators
A water-cooled, stove-powered thermoelectric generator was designed and tested to provide electricity in off-grid areas and under emergency conditions. An Ω-shaped heat collector, which facilitates the compact incorporation of 20 thermoelectric modules and works under the radiation heat transfer mode, was proposed. A power load test was performed and compared with previous studies, thereby indicating that a standardization is required for future studies. Different aspects for evaluating the performance of a stove-powered thermoelectric generator were discussed, and appropriate parameters to qualify a stove-powered thermoelectric generator were suggested. Thermoelectric efficiency was measured and compared with a theoretical prediction. A simplified theoretical model, which was verified with experimental data, was developed to explore the temperature distribution inside the thermoelectric module and the power generation performance of the entire stove-powered thermoelectric generator. Special efforts were exerted to reveal the influences of thermal grease, ceramic substrate, and thermal contact on the effective temperature difference.