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I have a commercial Thermoelectrical Generator used to generate 12V of power from the heat of stove. The data sheet says the maximum Temperature rating is 452 C°.

What happens when this temperature gets exceed? Will the energy production become inefficient again or will certain parts of the peltier-element melt? Will it cause irreversible damage?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What does the data sheet tell you? \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jun 24 '17 at 11:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Operating temperature cannot exceed 840 F (450 C) I'm going with irreversible damage! \$\endgroup\$ – StainlessSteelRat Jun 24 '17 at 22:00
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Since there are electronic and plastic components in the unit, irreversible damage will likely occur.

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The TEG element will die with too much heat .The internal crystals melt .The lower the temp the longer the life .Power output is a function of delta T so keeping the cold side cool means reasonable power output at modest hot side temperatures.

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When you exceed the maximum the manufacturer recommends, damage may occur. It's unlikely to happen very fast at 453°C compared to the maximum of 452°C but it is not good for the unit. At higher temperatures damage will occur. Examples include, but are not limited to, melting of the solder used to assemble the Peltier module, damage to the semiconductors themselves and damage to wire insulation and damage to the fans.

The module with its semiconductors itself is probably not rated for more than 200°C so the product depends on the fans running. The fans are probably not rated for more than 70°C so the fans will be destroyed unless they cool themselves. Hence all the warnings about how the fans must be spinning. Clearly, if you put that device into an oven and bake at 452°C it will be destroyed.

Engineers typically don't like operating devices near the 'maximum' as usually there is some grey area where lifetime will be compromised. Brief excursions to close to the maximum and sometimes even beyond may be acceptable (for example, during soldering we typically exceed the maximum storage temperature of a device), but usually we like to stay well away from limits.

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