thermoelectric Definition and Topics - 7 Discussions

The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa via a thermocouple. A thermoelectric device creates a voltage when there is a different temperature on each side. Conversely, when a voltage is applied to it, heat is transferred from one side to the other, creating a temperature difference. At the atomic scale, an applied temperature gradient causes charge carriers in the material to diffuse from the hot side to the cold side.
This effect can be used to generate electricity, measure temperature or change the temperature of objects. Because the direction of heating and cooling is affected by the applied voltage, thermoelectric devices can be used as temperature controllers.
The term "thermoelectric effect" encompasses three separately identified effects: the Seebeck effect, Peltier effect, and Thomson effect. The Seebeck and Peltier effects are different manifestations of the same physical process; textbooks may refer to this process as the Peltier–Seebeck effect (the separation derives from the independent discoveries by French physicist Jean Charles Athanase Peltier and Baltic German physicist Thomas Johann Seebeck). The Thomson effect is an extension of the Peltier–Seebeck model and is credited to Lord Kelvin.
Joule heating, the heat that is generated whenever a current is passed through a conductive material, is not generally termed a thermoelectric effect. The Peltier–Seebeck and Thomson effects are thermodynamically reversible, whereas Joule heating is not.

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  1. ChadThePianist

    COMSOL Modeling help (ambient air around a thermoelectric module)

    Hello everyone, I am wondering how to model ambient air around a thermoelectric module in COMSOL. I am fairly new to the software and am doing undergraduate research revolved around it. Any help or pertinent examples would be appreciated. I can send/post screenshots and or .mph files if it would...
  2. J

    Question about thermal conductivity in thermoelectrics

    Does the phonon thermal conductivity account for a large part of the total thermal conductivity in thermoelectric materials like Bismuth Telluride? As far as I know, the phonon conductivity is the largest contributor to the total thermal conductivity in semiconductors. Is this still true for...
  3. O

    Thermoelectric modules

    What is the heat/cold ratio in thermoelectric modules to generate a specific voltage pls? old Bozo
  4. H

    How do thermoelectrics work?

    I understand that a current is generated when electrons move from an n type to a p type semiconductor. However, is this due to heat flowing through the system, or a temperature difference on either side of the thermoelectric generator? I know at first these sound like the same thing, but I am...
  5. J

    Modeling technique for Joule heating

    Good Day, I am looking for mathematical modelling of Joule heating of a simple cantilever beam . Can anybody provide me good source of relevant material. Thanks in advance.
  6. J

    What number TEC is the best for generating power?

    Does it matter using different number TEC for generating power? If it does which on is the best?
  7. J

    Why does seebeck plate resistance increase due to temperature?

    I just did a thermoelectric generator from seebeck plate. And when temperature increases, the plate's resistance increases from 12 ohms to 8 M ohms. Why is that and how todeal with it??
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