Solar energy, Thermoelectric generators
With improvements of thermoelectric materials leading to higher figures of merit, interest has been developed in a broad spectrum of applications. In this study, the thermal performance of a solar-driven thermoelectric (TE) generator was examined by computer simulation and analytical formulations. The hot junction of the disk-shaped TE module is heated by a conical-shaped solar concentrator reflecting rays onto a cylindrical inner electrode. Controllable cooling water flow cools the outer P ΓÇô N junctions to establish the necessary thermal potential for electric generation. Desired power output can be obtained from a number of TE modules in series and parallel. The computer program was used to examine periodic constant flow rate of the cooling water. It was found that the constant flow rate operation yielded the highest time-integrated TE thermal efficiency. Other parametrical studies performed include the height of copper rod, the ratio of outer to inner diameters of the disks, the thickness of the disks, the solar influx and the heat transfer coefficient between cooling water and the modules. The computer and analytic results on these studies show similar behaviors. It was found that the efficiency of the solar thermoelectric cogenerator ranges from 1.5 to 5.0 percent which is considerably lower than a photovoltaic system.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Andampour, Iraj, "Simulation of a Solar-Driven Thermoelectric Generator" (1982). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 606.