Thermoelectric phenomena and thermodynamic laws
Keywords:nonequilibrium thermodynamics, thermoelectricity, Seebeck effect, Peltier effect, entropy, heat capacity, heat transfer, order, disorder
The paper deals with thermoelectric phenomena from the standpoint of nonequilibrium thermodynamics of irreversible processes. The consideration is based on the fact that thermoelectric effects can occur if there is electrical and thermal contact of electrically conductive media. The necessary condition for the effect is the subsystems’ different ordering degree of charge and heat carriers or different entropy and heat capacity per each carrier particle. The presented approach gives the possibility to understand physics of thermoelectric phenomena deeply. Its development can help to establish the theoretical limits of the efficiency of thermoelectric energy conversion imposed by fundamental physical laws.
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