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Carlos Armenta-Déu


A new system to generate electric energy using thermoelectric generators (TEG’s) based on Peltier cells has been conceived, designed and built. The system consists of a Peltier cell assembly installed in a replica of an air conditioning circuit to benefit from hot and cold air flow to generate the appropriate temperature gradient. The new system has been characterized using a group of Peltier cells mounted on a dual thermostatic chamber where cold air from air conditioning equip and hot air coming from an industrial heater are flowing through independent half-chambers. The two half-chambers are separated by an insulation wall where Peltier cells have been inserted. Temperature difference between hot and cold air flow is used by the Peltier cells to generate a voltage and current using the Seebeck effect. Peltier cells are connected in series and parallel to increase voltage and current to obtain appropriate values compatibles with external applications. Experimental tests have been developed to characterize the new design obtaining electric current and voltage, thus power, from the Peltier cell assembly. The amount of power is proportional to the temperature difference between hot and cold side of the chamber through an exponential evolution with maximum performance for specific temperature difference. Power density of the TEG has been found of 2.5x104 W/m2 for a temperature difference of 160º C. TEG assembly generates a current of 8 A and 5 VDC voltage at the peak power point. The system has been tested at temperature differences compatible with those created in air conditioning ducts to recreate a real situation. Power generation for set up conditions of 50º C at the hot side and 5º C at the cold one, like in conventional air conditioning ducts, has been found of very low value because of the low temperature difference. However, when using industrial conditions with hot temperature in the range 100º C to 130º C and cold temperature between -30º C and 0º C, the power generation has increased significantly, showing the critical influence of the temperature difference. The simulation analysis indicates that the new design is capable of generating enough power to cover energy demand in residential buildings.


Thermoelectric generation. Peltier cells. Hybrid system. Air conditioning. Thermal gradient.

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Kumudu Gamage, Doctoral Thesis (2014) Middle East Technical University, Northern Cyprus Campus



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