Considering a system composed of two different thermoelectric modules electrically and thermally connected in parallel, we demonstrate that the inhomogeneities of the thermoelectric properties of the materials may cause the appearance of an electrical current, which develops inside the system. We show that this current increases the effective thermal conductance of the whole system. We also discuss the significance of a recent finding concerning a reported new electrothermal effect in inhomogeneous bipolar semiconductors, in light of our results.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Jan 2012|