Dynamic measurement system of thermoelectric module parameters


D. Mitrani, J.A. Tomé, J. Salazar, A.Turó, M. J. García, J.A. Chávez


Sensor Systems Group,Electrical Engineering Department, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya,C/ Jordi Girona, 1 i 3, Módulo C4, 08034 Barcelona, Spain.


Asimple and easy-to-use device for measuring thermoelectric module (TEM)properties is presented. The characterization system provides continuous directmeasurement of hot and cold side temperatures, electric current flow, Seebeckvoltage and total voltage of the TEM. These measurements are then used toobtain dynamic values for TEM fundamental parameters: AC resistance, thermalconductivity and Seebeck coefficient, from which the TEM figure of merit can becalculated. Test conditions can be varied by the user, i.e., current flowingthrough the module. The thermal circuit used by the characterization systemincludes an auxiliary TEM that enables to emulate a controlled ambienttemperature, which increments the repeatability and versatility of each test.Additionally, the dynamic response can be varied by interchanging the thermalload. Limiting conditions for performing a test are basically given by theperformance characteristics of the TEM under consideration. System accuracy hasbeen verified by inserting the steady-state measured parameters into a TEMelectric model implemented in SPICE. Tests for different TEM models undervarying test conditions have been carried out, showing great resemblancebetween measured and simulated behaviours.