Characterization and Behavior Analysis of a Thermoelectric Module Energy Harvesting System Exposed to Transient Sourcess

A. M. Yusop, R. Mohamed, A. Ayob, A. Mohamed


This study presents a characterization and analytical study on the behavioral analysis of a thermoelectric module (TEM) energy harvesting system. TEM was applied with transient sources to both of its sides with two different configurations, single TEM and multi-stage TEM, which were electrically connected in series and thermally in parallel. The output voltage of the TEM was harvested from the heat of the hotplate. Previous studies have focused on the steady-state analysis of a single TEM. In real applications, the temperature of both ends fluctuates with time. In this study, a MATLAB model of TEM was presented with the addition of a transient condition. A test rig was developed to configure the transient behavior of different TEM configurations. Both experimental and simulation data show that the multi-stage configuration of TEM could generate electricity with a maximum operating point at a test temperature of 50°C to 100°C. This maximum operating point was strongly influenced by the constancy of the thermal gradient of TEM. This finding is very useful in order to determine the best temperature range that TEM can work before it is applied to any medium to harvest energy. Multi stage TEM arrangement electrically in series and thermally in parallel has obtained the highest output voltage up to 0.115 V for six cascaded TEM compared to the other three tested circuit arrangements.


Energy Harvesting System; Dynamic Transient Sources; Thermoelectric Module.

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