I'm a computer scientist and know very little about electronics. After a while of google searching, I haven't been able to find a solution to my problem.
I'm building a simple DC device that uses 1 to n Peltier modules to generate electricity to power a motor. I heat one side of the module and cool the other to get ~.3-.6v and 60-120mA output. I've found that using 1 peltier module is more efficient than multiple ones in parallel (or series). From my research, I think that the dynamic nature of the output due to the uneven heating/cooling of the modules makes it a different voltage in parallel problem (or different current in series). I think that the highest voltage module is leaking power into lower voltage modules and therefore reducing the output to the motor. I understand that I could add a diode in series after each peltier module in order to stop that backflow, but that would effectively be eliminating the usefulness of all but the highest output module. So, what can I do to utilize all of the power being generated from these n modules?
Using the water analogy -- I'd like pour power into the top of a reservior after each module to allow the pressure to build up enough so that there would be enough force to overcome the pressure of the backflow through a pipe at the bottom of the reservoir. Would I use a capacitor for that? How could I use one without a real ground?