Nesarajah M.; Frey, G.: Object-Oriented Modeling of an Energy Harvesting System Based on Thermoelectric Generators. International Congress on Energy Efficiency and Energy Related Materials, Kemer/Antalya, Turkey, Oct. 2013; in: A. Y. Oral et al. (Eds.): International Congress on Energy Efficiency and Energy Related Materials (ENEFM2013), Springer Proceedings in Physics 155, Springer International Publishing, pp. 211-216, 2014.


This paper deals with the modeling of an energy harvesting system based on thermoelectric generators (TEG), and the validation of the model by means of a test bench. TEGs are capable to improve the overall energy efficiency of energy systems, e.g. combustion engines or heating systems, by using the remaining waste heat to generate electrical power. Previously, a component-oriented model of the TEG itself was developed in Modelica® language. With this model any TEG can be described and simulated given the material properties and the physical dimension. Now, this model was extended by the surrounding components to a complete model of a thermoelectric energy harvesting system. In addition to the TEG, the model contains the cooling system, the heat source, and the power electronics. To validate the simulation model, a test bench was built and installed on an oil-fired household heating system. The paper reports results of the measurements and discusses the validity of the developed simulation models. Fur-thermore, the efficiency of the proposed energy harvesting system is derived and possible improvements based on design variations tested in the simulation model are proposed.

Keywords: Energy Harvesting, Thermoelectric Generator, Modelica®