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The key difference between a thermoelectric cooler (TEC) module and a thermoelectric generator (TEG) module


"What is the difference bewteen a TEC and a TEG?"

We are asked this question a lot! In this article, Lead Research Scientist, Dr Richard Tuley gives a thorough explanation:

“Both types of module use the thermoelectric effect. This effect is reversible so that both module types can act as a cooler or a generator; if a voltage is applied to a module, it will pump heat, but if a temperature difference is applied across a module a voltage will be produced.”

“However, we still recommend that cooler modules (TEC) are used for cooling and generator modules (TEG) are used for generating electricity. This is because the cooler and generator modules have been specifically optimised for different temperature ranges, with cooler modules most effective at temperatures closer to room temperature, as usually found in cooler applications, while generator modules are optimised for higher temperatures. In addition, depending on the module, the generator modules may withstand higher temperatures, for example by the use of different solders.”

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