thermoelectric cooling, two-dimensional model, optimization
The present paper is aimed at putting forward a two-dimensional model for thermoelectric cells. The energy conservation equation was formulated in order to account for the Fourier, the Thomson and the Joule effects on the temperature distribution. The electric field was also solved to come out with the current and voltage distributions. The governing equations were discretized by means of the finite-volume method, whereas the TDMA algorithm was adopted for solving the sets of linear equations. An explicit iterative solution scheme was employed to address the temperature influence on the Seebeck coefficient. The model results were compared with experimental data, when a satisfactory agreement was achieved for both cooling capacity and COP, with errors within a ?10% band. In addition, the model was employed to assess the effects of the thermoelectric properties and the couple geometry on the thermodynamic performance of the thermoelectric cell.