An experimental apparatus was developed to characterize the performance of a thermoelectric module (TEM) and heat sink assembly when the TEM was operated in refrigeration mode. A numerical model was developed to simulate the experiments. Bulk and interfacial Ohmic heating, the Peltier effect, Thomson effect and temperature-dependent bulk material properties, i.e., Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity were considered. A novel, self-consistent characterization methodology was developed to obtain the electrical contact resistivity at the interconnects in a TEM from the numerical simulations and the experiments. The electrical contact resistivity of the module tested was determined to be approximately 1.0 × 10−9 omega_m2. The predictions are consistent with electrical contact resistivity obtained based on the performance specifications (Tmax) of the TEM.
thermoelectric module, electrical contact resistance, cooling
Date of this Version
S. R. Annapragada, T. Salamon, P. Kolodner, M. Hodes and S. V. Garimella, “Determination of Electrical Contact Resistivity in Thermoelectric Modules (TEMS) from Module-Level Measurements,” IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology Vol. 2(4), pp. 668-676, 2012.