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Analytical and numerical analysis of a solar thermoelectric system cooled by an active system
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 January 2018
A solar thermoelectric generator (STEG) system composed of an optical concentrator system (OPS), a Bismuth Telluride thermoelectric module (TEG), and a cold plate-based cooling system (CPCS) was numerically simulated, to measure the efficiency of electric generation of a commercial thermoelectric module under controlled temperatures. The OPS is composed by a Fresnel lens that allows a temperature of around 200 °C, the OPS works with a solar irradiance of 1000 W/m2 (AM 1.5 Reference) and an optical concentration of 60. The OPS is coupled to the hot side of the TEG that consists of a commercially available thermoelectric module. The CPCS maintains a temperature of around 50 °C on the cold side of the TEG. To evaluate the configuration, a computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analysis was carried out to evaluated the thermal performance of the CPCS and the temperature achieved on the upper surface of the cooling device. Based on the numerical results generated by the CFD analysis, an analytical TEG efficiency of around 5% was achieved when a temperature difference, between the hot and cold sides of the commercial TE module, of 150 °C was maintained. We perform an analysis using the Hogan and Shih model that uses the thermoelectric material properties exposed by Chen et al.
- Copyright © Materials Research Society 2018