Wolfgang Seifert*, G. Jeffrey Snyder, Eric S. Toberer, Volker Pluschke, Eckhard Müller, Christophe Goupil

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter analyzes the potential and the limitations of the compatibility approach, and discusses the new Thomson cooler concept. It gives an overview on the fundamental results of the TE generator and cooler, including a discussion on compatibility from the perspective of variational calculus. A particular focus is on the role of ideal self-compatibility, that is, adjusting compatibility locally at any position along a thermoelectric leg to achieve maximum efficiency of a TEG and maximum COP of a TEC. Further, the chapter discusses maximum power output from a TEG in connection with power-related compatibility. In particular, it focuses on discussing the cooling limit of a Thomson cooler, where the Thomson effect is a more significant thermoelectric effect than the Peltier effect. Also, noncontinuously graded (i.e., segmented) elements are summarized under the topic of functionally graded materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationContinuum Theory and Modeling of Thermoelectric Elements
Number of pages54
ISBN (Electronic)9783527338405
ISBN (Print)9783527413379
StatePublished - Jan 8 2016


  • Compatibility approach
  • Power-related compatibility
  • Segmented thermogenerators
  • Self-compatible performance
  • TE Thomson cooler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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