Electric Power Generation from Thermoelectric Cells Using a Solar Dish Concentrator
Source: Journal of Electronic Materials, Volume 40, Number 5, May 2011 , pp. 1311-1320(10)
Abstract:In this paper, design details, theoretical analysis, and outcomes of a preliminary experimental investigation on a concentrator thermoelectric generator (CTEG) utilizing solar thermal energy are presented. The designed CTEG system consisted of a parabolic dish collector with an aperture diameter of 1.8 m used to concentrate sunlight onto a copper receiver plate with 260 mm diameter. Four BiTe-based thermoelectric cells (TEC) installed on the receiver plate were used to convert the concentrated solar thermal energy directly into electric energy. A microchannel heat sink was used to remove waste heat from the TEC cold side, and a two-axis tracking system was used to track the sun continuously. Experimental tests were conducted on individual cells and on the overall CTEG system under different heating rates. Under maximum heat flux, a single TEC generator was able to produce 4.9 W for a temperature difference of 109°C, corresponding to 2.9% electrical efficiency. The overall CTEG system was able to produce electric power of up to 5.9 W for a 35°C temperature difference with a hot-side temperature of 68°C. The results of the investigation help to estimate the potential of the CTEG system and show concentrated thermoelectric generation to be one of the potential options for production of electric power from renewable energy sources.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Group, School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University, Bundoora East Campus, P.O. Box 71, Bundoora, VIC, 3083, Australia, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 2: Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Group, School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University, Bundoora East Campus, P.O. Box 71, Bundoora, VIC, 3083, Australia
Publication date: May 1, 2011