Journal of Electronic Materials

, Volume 47, Issue 6, pp 3376–3385 | Cite as

Numerical Investigation for Strengthening Heat Transfer Mechanism of the Tube-Row Heat Exchanger in a Compact Thermoelectric Generator

  • Zheng Zhang
  • Zijian Chen
  • Hongwu Liu
  • Hao Yue
  • Dongbo Chen
  • Delei Qin
Topical Collection: International Conference on Thermoelectrics 2017
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. International Conference on Thermoelectrics 2017


According to the basic principle of heat transfer enhancement, a 1-kW compact thermoelectric generator (TEG) is proposed that is suitable for use at high temperatures and high flow speeds. The associated heat exchanger has a tube-row structure with a guide-plate to control the thermal current. The heat exchanger has a volume of 7 L, and the TEG has a mass of 8 kg (excluding the thermoelectric modules (TEMs)). In this paper, the heat transfer process of the tube-row exchanger is modeled and analyzed numerically; and the influences of its structure on the heat transfer and temperature status of the TEMs are investigated. The results show that use of the thin - wall pipes and increase of surface roughness inside the pipes are effective ways to improve the heat transfer efficiency, obtain the rated surface temperature, and make the TEG compact and lightweight. Furthermore, under the same conditions, the calculated results are compared with the data of a fin heat exchanger. The comparison results show that the volume and mass of the tube-row heat exchanger are 19% and 33% lower than those of the fin type unit, and that the pressure drop is reduced by 16%. In addition, the average temperature in the tube-row heat exchanger is increased by 15°C and the average temperature difference is increased by 19°C; the tube-row TEG has a more compact volume and better temperature characteristics.


Compact thermoelectric generation tube-row heat exchanger structure design heat transfer enhancement temperature distribution 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No: 51375168), and the experiments were supported by the Guangzhou WANON Electric & Machine Co., Ltd.


  1. 1.
    W. He, G. Zhang, X.X. Zhang, J. Ji, G.Q. Li, and X.D. Zhao, Appl. Energy 143, 1 (2015).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    F.A. Leavitt, N.B. Elsner, and J.C. Bass, 15th International Conference on Thermoelectrices, 378–382 (1998).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    F. Takeyuki, S. Hongtao, and S. Ryosuke, J. Electron. Mater. 42, 1688 (2013).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    D. Crane, J. LaGrandeur, V. Jovovic, M. Ranalli, E. Poliquin, J. Dean, D. Kossakovski, B. Mazar, and C. Maranville, J. Electron. Mater. 42, 1582 (2013).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Y.P. Wang, S. Li, X. Yang, Y.D. Deng, and C.Q. Su, J. Electron. Mater. 45, 17924 (2016).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    X.H. Yuan, W.R. Bai, Y.D. Deng, C.Q. Su, X. Liu, C.H. Liu, B. Gu, and Y.P. Wang, J. Renew. Sustain. Energy 8, 4 (2016).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Z. Zhang, H. Yue, D.B. Chen, D.L. Qin, and Z.J. Chen, J. Electron. Mater. 46, 3159 (2017).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    C. Favarel, J.P. Bedecarrats, T. Kousksou, and D. Champier, Energy Convers. Manag. 107, 114 (2016).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    T. Ma, J. Pandit, S.V. Ekkad, S.T. Huxtable, and Q.W. Wang, Energy 84, 695 (2015).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    S. Mavridou, G.C. Mavropoulos, D. Bouris, D.T. Hountalas, and G. Bergeles, Appl. Therm. Eng. 30, 935 (2010).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    M.A. Elyyan, A. Rozati, and D.K. Tafti, Int. J. Heat Mass Transf. 51, 2950 (2008).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    I.P. Nascimento and E.C. Garcia, Appl. Therm. Eng. 96, 659 (2016).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    B. Halit and O. Veysel, Exp. Therm. Fluid Sci. 41, 51 (2012).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    X.J. Shi, D.F. Che, B. Agnew, and J.M. Gao, Int. J. Heat Mass Transf. 54, 606 (2011).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    T. Ma, Q.W. Wang, M. Zeng, Y.T. Chen, Y. Liu, and V. Nagarjan, Appl. Energy 99, 393 (2012).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    S.T. Tiggelbeck, N.K. Mitra, and M. Fiebig, Int. J. Heat Mass Transf. 36, 2327 (1993).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    J. Herpe, D. Bougeard, S. Russeil, and M. Stanciu, Int. J. Therm. Sci. 48, 922 (2009).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zheng Zhang
    • 1
  • Zijian Chen
    • 1
  • Hongwu Liu
    • 2
  • Hao Yue
    • 2
  • Dongbo Chen
    • 3
  • Delei Qin
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Mechanical and Automotive EngineeringSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Institute of Industry Technology Guangzhou & Chinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Guangzhou WANON Electric & Machine Co., LtdGuangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations