Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) have been widely used to recover high temperature waste gas in recent years. The TEG performance relates directly to the hot side temperature of thermoelectric modules (TEMs) which is highly affected by the layouts of modules. By the numerical results, it is found that the structure of TEMs uniformly distributed on the four sides of the heat exchanger can reach the smallest temperature difference at the air temperature of 500K and air velocity of 2.4m/s. Also, the TEMs distributed on the one side of the heat exchanger can achieve the highest output power of 11.36W whereas the highest efficiency is reached for the structure of TEMs uniformly distributed on the four sides of the heat exchanger. It can be concluded that the higher coverage ratio of TEMs on the surfaces of heat exchanger is, the higher conversion efficiency may bring. The findings of this work may provide a new method to improve the performance of TEG.
Keywords thermoelectric modules, heat exchanger, output power, efficiency, coverage ratio