The thermoelectric generator (TEG) is a clean and noiseless renewable electrical power source that requires no moving parts. Unfortunately, the practicality of TEGs is currently limited by its typical low conversion efficiencies. Subsequently, researchers have taken many approaches to improve the efficiency of the TEG. One of such approaches is the utilization of maximum power point tracking (MPPT) techniques. MPPT techniques are popularly used in literature for maximizing the power that is extracted from solar panels. Such techniques can be reused for the TEG scenario because TEGs also have I-V and P-V characteristics that follow the same principles as that of solar panels. This paper presents a "Lock-On Mechanism" MPPT algorithm and applies it specifically to the TEG application. In comparison to conventional fixed step based MPPT algorithms, the proposed algorithm improves the MPP tracking performance by adaptively scaling the DC-DC converter duty cycle whenever the MPP is located. In doing so, the steady state oscillations become negligibly small thus be consideredeliminated and a smooth steady state MPP response is achieved. Simulation and experimental results prove that the proposed algorithm is fast and stable in comparison to the conventional fixed step hill climbing algorithm.
Kwan, T. H., & Wu, X. (2017). TEG Maximum Power Point Tracking Using an Adaptive Duty Cycle Scaling Algorithm. In Energy Procedia (Vol. 105, pp. 14–27). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.274