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Effect of non-uniform illumination on performance of solar thermoelectric generators

Effect of non-uniform illumination on performance of solar thermoelectric generators Abstract Solar thermoelectric generators (STEGs) are heat engines which can generate electricity from concentrated sunlight. The non-uniform illumination caused by the optical concentrator may affect the performance of solar thermoelectric generators. In this paper, a three-dimensional finite element model of solar thermoelectric generators is established. The two-dimensional Gaussian distribution is employed to modify the illumination profiles incident on the thermoelectric generator. Six non-uniformities of solar illumination are investigated while keeping the total energy constant. The influences of non-uniform illumination on the temperature distribution, the voltage distribution, and the maximum output power are respectively discussed. Three thermoelectric generators with 32, 18 and 8 pairs of thermocouples are compared to investigate their capability under non-uniform solar radiation. The result shows that the non-uniformity of the solar illumination has a great effect on the temperature distribution and the voltage distribution. Central thermoelectric legs can achieve a larger temperature difference and generate a larger voltage than peripheral ones. The non-uniform solar illumination will weaken the capability of the TE generator, and the maximum output power decrease by 1.4% among the range of non-uniformity studied in this paper. Reducing the number of the thermoelectric legs for non-uniform solar illumination can greatly increase the performance of the thermoelectric generator. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png "Frontiers in Energy" Springer Journals

Effect of non-uniform illumination on performance of solar thermoelectric generators

"Frontiers in Energy" , Volume 12 (2): 10 – Jun 1, 2018

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
2018 Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature
ISSN
2095-1701
eISSN
2095-1698
DOI
10.1007/s11708-018-0533-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Solar thermoelectric generators (STEGs) are heat engines which can generate electricity from concentrated sunlight. The non-uniform illumination caused by the optical concentrator may affect the performance of solar thermoelectric generators. In this paper, a three-dimensional finite element model of solar thermoelectric generators is established. The two-dimensional Gaussian distribution is employed to modify the illumination profiles incident on the thermoelectric generator. Six non-uniformities of solar illumination are investigated while keeping the total energy constant. The influences of non-uniform illumination on the temperature distribution, the voltage distribution, and the maximum output power are respectively discussed. Three thermoelectric generators with 32, 18 and 8 pairs of thermocouples are compared to investigate their capability under non-uniform solar radiation. The result shows that the non-uniformity of the solar illumination has a great effect on the temperature distribution and the voltage distribution. Central thermoelectric legs can achieve a larger temperature difference and generate a larger voltage than peripheral ones. The non-uniform solar illumination will weaken the capability of the TE generator, and the maximum output power decrease by 1.4% among the range of non-uniformity studied in this paper. Reducing the number of the thermoelectric legs for non-uniform solar illumination can greatly increase the performance of the thermoelectric generator.

Journal

"Frontiers in Energy"Springer Journals

Published: Jun 1, 2018

References