Maximization of the thermoelectric cooling of graded Peltier by analytical heat equation resolution.
Increasing the maximum cooling effect of a Peltier cooler can be achieved through materials and device design. The use of inhomogeneous, FGM (functionally graded materials) may be adopted in order to increase maximum cooling without improvement of the zT (figure of merit), however these systems are usually based on the assumption that the local optimization of the zT is the suitable criterion to increase thermoelectric performances. In the present paper, we solved the heat equation in a graded material and performed both analytic and numerical analysis of a graded Peltier cooler. We find a local criterion that we used to assess the possible improvement of graded materials for thermoelectric cooling. A fair improvement of cooling effect is predicted for semiconductor materials (up to $36\%$) and the best graded system for cooling is described. The influence of the equation of state of the electronic gas of the material is discussed, and the difference in term of entropy production between the graded and the classical system is also described.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.05175