Evolution of Thermoelectric Generators: From Application to Hybridization

Small. 2023 Nov;19(48):e2304599. doi: 10.1002/smll.202304599. Epub 2023 Aug 6.


Considerable thermal energy is emitted into the environment from human activities and equipment operation in the course of daily production. Accordingly, the use of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) can attract wide interest, and it shows high potential in reducing energy waste and increasing energy recovery rates. Notably, TEGs have aroused rising attention and been significantly boosted over the past few years, as the energy crisis has worsened. The reason for their progress is that thermoelectric generators can be easily attached to the surface of a heat source, converting heat energy directly into electricity in a stable and continuous manner. In this review, applications in wearable devices, and everyday life are reviewed according to the type of structure of TEGs. Meanwhile, the latest progress of TEGs' hybridization with triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), piezoelectric nanogenerator (PENG), and photovoltaic effect is introduced. Moreover, prospects and suggestions for subsequent research work are proposed. This review suggests that hybridization of energy harvesting, and flexible high-temperature thermoelectric generators are the future trends.

Keywords: application; devices; hybridization; thermoelectric; thermoelectric generators.

Publication types

  • Review