Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) directly generate electrical power from the geothermal/waste heat as well as contribute to efficient usage of the energy. TEGs cannot be operated at full capacity without additional electronic equipments, since the internal resistances of TEGs are not equal to the device resistances connected across TEGs. For this reason, in this paper, the application of a DC-DC boost converter with maximum power point tracking (MPPT) based on microcontroller embedded in perturb and observe (P&O) algorithm has been proposed to obtain maximum power from a newly designed portable TEG (pTEG) in a real TEG system. The matched condition load for the pTEG has been experimentally investigated. Firstly, the pTEG has been directly charged to the battery pack, secondly it has been charged through the improved convertor with MPPT. In the first one, the pTEG operated with less efficiency than half of its full capacity, whereas, in the second, the pTEG operated efficiency near its full capacity. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.