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Numerical study on thermoelectric–hydraulic performance of a thermoelectric power generator with a plate-fin heat exchanger with longitudinal vortex generators


  • Ma, Ting
  • Lu, Xing
  • Pandit, Jaideep
  • Ekkad, Srinath V.
  • Huxtable, Scott T.
  • Deshpande, Samruddhi
  • Wang, Qiu-wang


In this paper, the effect of longitudinal vortex generators (LVGs) on the performance of a thermoelectric power generator (TEG) with a plate-fin heat exchanger is investigated. A fluid-thermal-electric multi-physics coupled model for the TEG is established on the COMSOL® platform, in which the Seebeck, Peltier, Thomson, and Joule heating effects are taken into account. The equivalent thermal–electrical properties of the thermoelectric (TE) module are used in the numerical simulation. The results indicate that the LVGs produce complex three-dimensional vortices in the cross section downstream from the LVGs, thus enhancing the heat transfer and electric performance compared to a TEG without LVGs. Under baseline operating conditions, the heat input and open circuit voltage of the TEG with LVGs are increased by 41–75% compared to a TEG with smooth channel. The simulations also show that the Reynolds number and hot-side inlet temperature have significant effects on the net power and thermal efficiency of the TEG, but the cold-side temperature has a smaller effect. Additionally, the performance of the TEG under a constant heat transfer coefficient boundary condition is almost the same as the performance under a constant temperature boundary condition. Overall, this work demonstrates that LVGs have great potential to enhance the performance of TEGs for waste heat recovery from vehicle exhaust.

Suggested Citation

  • Ma, Ting & Lu, Xing & Pandit, Jaideep & Ekkad, Srinath V. & Huxtable, Scott T. & Deshpande, Samruddhi & Wang, Qiu-wang, 2017. "Numerical study on thermoelectric–hydraulic performance of a thermoelectric power generator with a plate-fin heat exchanger with longitudinal vortex generators," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 185(P2), pages 1343-1354.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:185:y:2017:i:p2:p:1343-1354
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2016.01.078

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wang, Tongcai & Luan, Weiling & Wang, Wei & Tu, Shan-Tung, 2014. "Waste heat recovery through plate heat exchanger based thermoelectric generator system," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 860-865.
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    6. Ma, Ting & Pandit, Jaideep & Ekkad, Srinath V. & Huxtable, Scott T. & Wang, Qiuwang, 2015. "Simulation of thermoelectric-hydraulic performance of a thermoelectric power generator with longitudinal vortex generators," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 695-703.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shu, Gequn & Ma, Xiaonan & Tian, Hua & Yang, Haoqi & Chen, Tianyu & Li, Xiaoya, 2018. "Configuration optimization of the segmented modules in an exhaust-based thermoelectric generator for engine waste heat recovery," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 612-624.
    2. Luo, Lei & Wen, Fengbo & Wang, Lei & Sundén, Bengt & Wang, Songtao, 2016. "Thermal enhancement by using grooves and ribs combined with delta-winglet vortex generator in a solar receiver heat exchanger," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 1317-1332.
    3. Luo, Ding & Wang, Ruochen & Yu, Wei & Zhou, Weiqi, 2020. "Performance optimization of a converging thermoelectric generator system via multiphysics simulations," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 204(C).
    4. Yang, Yurong & Wang, Shixue & Zhu, Yu, 2020. "Evaluation method for assessing heat transfer enhancement effect on performance improvement of thermoelectric generator systems," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 263(C).
    5. Li, Bo & Huang, Kuo & Yan, Yuying & Li, Yong & Twaha, Ssennoga & Zhu, Jie, 2017. "Heat transfer enhancement of a modularised thermoelectric power generator for passenger vehicles," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 205(C), pages 868-879.
    6. Zhao, Yulong & Wang, Shixue & Ge, Minghui & Liang, Zhaojun & Liang, Yifan & Li, Yanzhe, 2019. "Performance investigation of an intermediate fluid thermoelectric generator for automobile exhaust waste heat recovery," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 239(C), pages 425-433.
    7. Fernández-Yañez, Pablo & Armas, Octavio & Capetillo, Azael & Martínez-Martínez, Simón, 2018. "Thermal analysis of a thermoelectric generator for light-duty diesel engines," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 226(C), pages 690-702.
    8. Tang, Song-Zhen & Wang, Fei-Long & He, Ya-Ling & Yu, Yang & Tong, Zi-Xiang, 2019. "Parametric optimization of H-type finned tube with longitudinal vortex generators by response surface model and genetic algorithm," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 239(C), pages 908-918.
    9. Wang, Yiping & Li, Shuai & Xie, Xu & Deng, Yadong & Liu, Xun & Su, Chuqi, 2018. "Performance evaluation of an automotive thermoelectric generator with inserted fins or dimpled-surface hot heat exchanger," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 218(C), pages 391-401.
    10. Ma, Ting & Qu, Zuoming & Yu, Xingfei & Lu, Xing & Chen, Yitung & Wang, Qiuwang, 2019. "Numerical study and optimization of thermoelectric-hydraulic performance of a novel thermoelectric generator integrated recuperator," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 1176-1187.
    11. Zhao, Xiaohuan & E, Jiaqiang & Zhang, Zhiqing & Chen, Jingwei & Liao, Gaoliang & Zhang, Feng & Leng, Erwei & Han, Dandan & Hu, Wenyu, 2020. "A review on heat enhancement in thermal energy conversion and management using Field Synergy Principle," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 257(C).
    12. Hao, Junhong & Qiu, Huachen & Ren, Jianxun & Ge, Zhihua & Chen, Qun & Du, Xiaoze, 2020. "Multi-parameters analysis and optimization of a typical thermoelectric cooler based on the dimensional analysis and experimental validation," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 205(C).


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