Heat-Exchanger Effectiveness in Thermoelectric Power Generation

[+] Author and Article Information
M. S. Bohn

Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden, Colo. 80401

J. Heat Transfer 103(4), 693-698 (Nov 01, 1981) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3244528 History: Received September 10, 1980; Online October 20, 2009


This paper presents a method for calculating the electrical power generated by a thermoelectric heat exchanger. The thermoelectric heat exchanger transfers heat from a hot fluid to a cold fluid through a thermoelectric generator located in the heat-exchanger wall separating the two fluid streams. The method presented here is an extension of the NTU method used to calculate heat-exchanger heat-transfer effectiveness. The effectiveness of thermoelectric power generation is expressed as the ratio of the actual power generated to the power that would be generated if the entire heat-exchanger area were operating at the inlet fluid temperatures. This method collapses results for several heat-exchanger configurations and allows a concise presentation of the results. It is shown that the NTU method of calculating heat-exchanger heat-transfer effectiveness can be modified in a similar way.

Copyright © 1981 by ASME
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