Wearable devices constitute a key application area for thermoelectric devices. However, owing to new constraints in wearable applications, a few conventional device optimization techniques are not appropriate and material evaluation parameters, such as figure of merit (zT) and power factor (PF), tend to be inadequate. We illustrated the incompleteness of zT and PF by performing simulations and considering different thermoelectric materials. The results indicate a weak correlation between device performance and zT and PF. In this study, we propose a new evaluation parameter, zTwearable, which is better suited for wearable applications compared to conventional zT. Owing to size restrictions, gap filler based device optimization is extremely critical in wearable devices. With respect to the occasions in which gap fillers are used, expressions for power, effective thermal conductivity (keff), and optimum load electrical ratio (mopt) are derived. According to the new parameters, the thermal conductivity of the material has become much more critical now. The proposed new evaluation parameter, namely, zTwearable, is extremely useful in the selection of an appropriate thermoelectric material among various candidates prior to the commencement of the actual design process.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIP) (NRF-2015R1A5A1036133).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)