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A thermoelectric (TE) device is a tool used to convert heat into electricity and vice versa. In the power generation mode, where a TE device is attached onto a hot surface, thermal energy comes into the TE device from the hot surface, as the other side of the TE device is cooler than the hot side. An electric voltage is then created in the TE device by the thermoelectric principle called Seebeck effect. This voltage can be connected to an external load to do a useful work.
In the cooling/heating mode, an electric current is injected into a TE device. When the electric current flows through the interfaces, thermal energy is either absorbed from lattice to charge carriers (cooling), or dissipated from charge carriers to lattice (heating) by another thermoelectric principle called Peltier effect. This way, an active cooling/heating of electronic/optoelectronic devices can be achieved.
This simulation tool is intended to simulate the operations of TE devices under various circumstances and boundary conditions. Both micro-scale thin-film TE devices and large-scale multi-element TE modules can be simulated. One of the advantages of this tool is that users can choose an independent variable such as design parameters of the TE device, and simulation conditions, and simulate the device performances as a function of the independent variable. This is very useful for users to optimize their TE device design suitable for the operating conditions.
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