2014 Volume 55 Issue 8 Pages 1219-1225
A thermoelectric (TE) module with two different thermal sources for power generation is studied in this work. Here, a conventional Π-type module is tilted in the shape of a parallelogram. A numerical analysis is conducted by using the finite volume method to examine three-dimensional (3-d) flows of heat and electric charge. The module configuration and the shape of the elements determine the distribution of temperature and current density inside the TE module. Further, the shortest path is chosen preferentially as the path of the current, depending on the geometry of the TE elements. Although the distribution of current density depends greatly on the module configuration, the TE output power is not affected by the parallel and symmetrical configurations in the two equivalent modules. Thus, the conventional TE module with Π-type elements is the most favorable, and maximum performance is obtained for a tilting angle of 90° because of the lowest internal electric resistance.