High-Performance Thermoelectric Module Packaging Using Low Temperature Co-Fired Ceramics

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Don Plumlee


Thermoelectric generators (TEG) directly convert thermal energy into electricity without any moving parts. Currently the TE module package accounts for a significant portion of the total cost. Our research is investigating the use of LTCC with silver vias and traces as an innovative packaging solution. An LTCC package has been designed and fabricated to demonstrate this approach. TE elements are bonded to the LTCC using copper traces that also form electric connections between the elements. The device has a maximum operation temperature of 600°C. Finite element modeling was employed to optimize the design to achieve minimum thermal resistance through package and to maximize heat flow into the TE elements. Preliminary simulation results predict that the LTCC packaging can significantly enhance device performance when compared to the traditional package. LTCC packaged TE module prototypes were also fabricated. Four substrate patterns will be described along with the modeled and experimental thermal resistances of each design. Our ongoing work is focused on optimizing both the package design and the fabrication process in order to achieve the highest performance and reliability. The cost reduction in TE module packaging will open a great deal of opportunities in waste heat recovery applications using cost-effective thermoelectric generators.

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