Transverse Thermoelectric Effects and Their Application

Authored by: H. J. Goldsmid

Thermoelectrics and its Energy Harvesting

Print publication date:  April  2012
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781439874707
eBook ISBN: 9781439874714
Adobe ISBN:


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Thermoelectric energy conversion is usually based on the longitudinal Seebeck and Peltier effects. These effects are manifest in so-called thermocouples, each consisting of a negative and a positive thermoelement. A single thermocouple is capable of handling only a small amount of power at a very small voltage whether it is used in the generation or refrigeration mode. For this reason, practical thermoelectric devices commonly consist of thermoelectric modules made up of a great many thermocouples. Even more complex structures are required when the performance is enhanced using a cascade. We shall see that the adoption of the transverse thermoelectric effects might enable much simpler arrangements to be employed.

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