Abstract We studied the influence of temperature on the output performance of triboelectric generators (TEGs). PTFE film and aluminum foil are used as the contact materials for the TEG. A high temperature system and a low temperature system were used to conduct measurements of TEG output voltage and current from 300K to 500K and from 77K to 300K, respectively. Dependence of output performance on temperature was subsequently obtained by statistically analyzing the data as a function of temperature. The performance of the TEG is maximized at around 260K and degrades at both higher and lower temperatures. A possible mechanism is proposed for explaining the observed phenomenon. Applicability of TEG over a wide range of temperature was confirmed, from as low as 77K to as high as 500K, spanning a range of 423K. Several LEDs connected in series were successfully lit up by TEG as the sole power source at temperatures of 77K, 300K and 500K.