One of the biggest challenges of the twenty‐first century is to satisfy the demand for electrical energy in an environmentally speaking clean way. Thus, it is very important to search for new alternative energy sources along with increasing the efficiency of current processes. Thermoelectric power generation, by means of harvesting waste heat and converting it into electricity, can help to achieve above‐mentioned goal. Nowadays, efficiency of thermoelectric power generators limits them to become key technology in electric power generation, but their performance has potential of being optimized, if thermal design of such generators is optimized. Heat exchangers located on both sides of thermoelectric modules (TEMs), mass flow of refrigerants and occupancy ratio (the area covered by TEMs related to base area), among others, need to be fine‐tuned in order to obtain the maximum net power generation (thermoelectric power generation minus consumption of auxiliary equipment). Finned dissipator, cold plate, heat pipe and thermosiphon are experimentally tested to maximize net thermoelectric generation on real‐working furnace based on computational model. Maximum generation of 137 MWh/year using thermosiphons is achieved with 32% of area covered by TEMs.
Part of the book: Thermoelectrics for Power Generation