Enhanced thermoelectric cooling through introduction of material anisotropy in transverse thermoelectric composites
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Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/4544
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Abstract© 2019 by the authors. Transverse thermoelectric materials can achieve appreciable cooling power with minimal space requirement. Among all types of material candidates for transverse thermoelectric applications, composite materials have the best cooling performance. In this study, anisotropic material properties were applied to the component phase of transverse thermoelectric composites. A mathematical model was established for predicting the performance of fibrous transverse thermoelectric composites with anisotropic components. The mathematical model was then validated by finite element analysis. The thermoelectric performance of three types of composites are presented, each with the same set of component materials. For each type of component, both anisotropic single-crystal and isotropic polycrystal material properties were applied. The results showed that the cooling capacity of the system was improved by introducing material anisotropy in the component phase of composite. The results also indicated that the orientation of the anisotropic component's property axis, the anisotropic characteristic of a material, will significantly influence the thermoelectric performance of the composite. For a composite material consisting of Copper fiber and Bi2Te3 matrix, the maximum cooling capacity can vary as much as 50% at 300 K depending on the property axis alignment of Bi2Te3 in the composite. The composite with Copper and anisotropic SnSe single crystal had a 51% improvement in the maximum cooling capacity compared to the composite made of Copper and isotropic SnSe polycrystals.
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