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1. K. Lofgreen, “A metrology for comprehensive thermoelectric device characterization,” M. S. thesis (Arizona State University, 2011).
2. S. B. Mahajan, “A test setup for characterizing high-temperature thermoelectric modules,” M. S. thesis (Rochester Institute of Technology, 2013).
3. R. J. Buist, “Methodology for testing thermoelectric materials and devices,” in CRC Handbook of Thermoelectrics, edited by D. M. Rowe (CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 1995), Chap. 18.
4. D. Mitrani et al., “Methodology for extracting thermoelectric module parameters,” IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas. 54, 1548 (2005).
5. E. Sandoz-Rosado and R. J. Stevens, “Experimental characterization of thermoelectric modules and comparison with theoretical models for power generation,” J. Electron. Mater. 38, 1239 (2009).
6. Z. S. Wang et al., “A practical method for measuring thermal conductance and cooling power of thermoelectric modules,” in Proceedings of 20th International Conference on Thermoelectrics, ICT2001, Beijing, China (IEEE, 2001), pp. 515519.
7. L. Rauscher et al., “Efficiency determination and general characterization of thermoelectric generators using an absolute measurement of the heat flow,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 16, 1054 (2005).
8. S. R. Annapragada et al., “Determination of electrical contact resistivity in thermoelectric modules (TEMs) from module-level measurements,” IEEE Trans. Compon., Packag., Manuf. Technol. 2, 668 (2012).
9.See for literature values of emissivities.
10. R. McCarty, “A comparison between numerical and simplified thermoelectric cooler models,” J. Electron. Mater. 39, 1842 (2010).

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This paper describes an apparatus for performing high-precision electrical and thermal characterization of thermoelectric modules (TEMs). The apparatus is calibrated for operation between 20 °C and 80 °C and is normally used for measurements of heat currents in the range 0–10 W. Precision thermometry based on miniature thermistor probes enables an absolute temperature accuracy of better than 0.010 °C. The use of vacuum isolation, thermal guarding, and radiation shielding, augmented by a careful accounting of stray heat leaks and uncertainties, allows the heat current through the TEM under test to be determined with a precision of a few mW. The fractional precision of all measured parameters is approximately 0.1%.


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