Journal of Thermal Science

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 249–258 | Cite as

Numerical Study on the Thermal Stress and its Formation Mechanism of a Thermoelectric Device

  • Tao Pan
  • Tingrui Gong
  • Wei Yang
  • Yongjia Wu


The strong thermo-mechanical stress is one of the most critical failure mechanisms that affect the durability of thermoelectric devices. In this study, numerical simulations on the formation mechanism of the maximum thermal stress inside the thermoelectric device have been performed by using finite element method. The influences of the material properties and the thermal radiation on the thermal stress have been examined. The results indicate that the maximum thermal stress was located at the contact position between the two materials and occurred due to differential thermal expansions and displacement constraints of the materials. The difference in the calculated thermal stress value between the constant and the variable material properties was between 3% and 4%. At a heat flux of 1 W·cm-2 and an emissivity of 0.5, the influence of the radiation heat transfer on the thermal stress was only about 5%; however, when the heat flux was 20 W·cm-2 and the emissivity was 0.7, the influence of the radiation heat transfer was more than 30%.


Solar Thermoelectric Power Generator Thermal Stress Thermal Radiation Numerical Simulation 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Engineering Thermophysics, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Product Engineering DepartmentWuhan Branch of SAIC-GM ltdWuhanChina
  2. 2.Microsystem and Terahertz Research CenterChina Academy of Engineering PhysicsChengduChina
  3. 3.Institute of Electronic EngineeringChina Academy of Engineering PhysicsMianyangChina
  4. 4.Hubei Institute of Aerospace Chemical TechnologyXiangyangChina
  5. 5.School of Mechanical EngineeringVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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