Continuum Theory of TE Elements

Knud Zabrocki, Christophe Goupil, Henni Ouerdane, Yann Apertet, Wolfgang Seifert, Eckhard Müller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter on optimization process of thermoelectric elements devices and elements begins with a discussion on Domenicali's heat balance equation, and then looks at a descriptive method that is often used in the corresponding calculation, the so-called constant properties model (CPM). The CPM is a widespread and adequate reference for comparing both TE materials and devices, and is sometimes denoted as Ioffe CPM approximation. The chapter proposes a detailed analysis of the maximum power (density) and efficiency of a thermogenerator element. A key factor of the overall performance of a TE module is the contact or the installation of the TE material in the modules and the corresponding contact resistances. The chapter also provides an overview of the influence of the leg geometry on the performance of a TE element. For this purpose, the representative literature references are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContinuum Theory and Modeling of Thermoelectric Elements
PublisherWiley Blackwell
Number of pages82
ISBN (Electronic)9783527338405
ISBN (Print)9783527413379
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Constant properties model devices
  • Contact resistances
  • Continuum Theory
  • Domenicali's heat balance equation
  • Ioffe's approximation
  • Leg geometry
  • Thermoelectric elements
  • Thermogenerator element


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