The Seebeck coefficient S is a temperature- and material-dependent property, which linearly and causally relates the temperature difference ΔT between the “hot” and “cold” junctions of a thermoelectric power generator (TEC-PG) to the voltage difference ΔV . This phenomenon is the Seebeck effect (SE), and can be used to convert waste heat into usable energy. This work investigates the trends of the effective voltage output ΔV (t ) and effective Seebeck coefficient S′(t ) versus several hours of activity of a solid state TEC-PG device. The effective Seebeck coefficient S′(t ) here is related to a device, not just to a material’s performance. The observations are pursued in an insulated compartment in various geometrical and environmental configurations. The results indicate that the SE does not substantially depend on the geometrical and environmental configurations. However, the effective Seebeck coefficient S′(t ) and the produced effective ΔV (t ) are affected by the environmental configuration, once the temperature is fixed. Heat transfer calculations do not completely explain this finding. Alternative explanations are hypothesized.
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Mann, H.S., Schwab, Y., Lang, B.N., Lancaster, J.L., Parise, R.J. and Scarel, G. (2014) Effective Thermoelectric Power Generation in an Insulated Compartment. World Journal of Condensed Matter Physics, 4, 153-165. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/wjcmp.2014.43020