International audienceUnder stationary conditions, the optimization of maximum power output and efﬁciency of thermoelectric generators (TEG) is a well-known subject. Use of a ﬁnite-time thermodynamics (FTT) approach to the description of TEGs has demonstrated that there exists a closed feedback effect between the output electrical load value and the entering heat current. From the practical point of view, this effect is strongly evidenced by the use of direct current (DC-to-DC) converters as active loads. Both transient conditions and FTT contribute to a complex landscape of the optimization of the power and efﬁciencies of a TEG. It has been claimed that the use of inductive load may lead to a strong enhancement of the efﬁciency, and the frequency response of a TEG as a band-pass ﬁlter has also been recently reported. We consider these results using a classical linear Onsager approach of a TEG operating under transient conditions. We show that a trans-admittance may be deﬁned as a coupling element between the input and the output, leading to the observed electric-to-thermal feedback. We discuss recent experiments on a TEG connected to an active load, which is reported to boast an efﬁciency exceeding the usual stationary DC thermoelectric efﬁciency
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