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Research Papers

Development of GaSb Photoreceiver Arrays for Solar Thermophotovoltaic Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
Diego Martín

Instituto de Energía Solar, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, E.T.S.I de Telecomunicación, Avda. Complutense 38, 28040 Madrid, Spain; and Centro de Estudios Superiores “Felipe II”, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Capitán 39, 28300 Aranjuez. Madrid, Spaindmartin@cesfelipesegundo.comInstituto de Energía Solar, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, E.T.S.I de Telecomunicación, Avda. Complutense 38, 28040 Madrid, Spaindmartin@cesfelipesegundo.com

Carlos Algora, Victoria Corregidor, Alejandro Datas

Instituto de Energía Solar, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, E.T.S.I de Telecomunicación, Avda. Complutense 38, 28040 Madrid, Spain; and Centro de Estudios Superiores “Felipe II”, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Capitán 39, 28300 Aranjuez. Madrid, SpainInstituto de Energía Solar, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, E.T.S.I de Telecomunicación, Avda. Complutense 38, 28040 Madrid, Spain

J. Sol. Energy Eng 129(3), 283-290 (Apr 07, 2006) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2734567 History: Received November 10, 2005; Revised April 07, 2006

In comparison to conventional solar photovoltaics, where sun radiation is converted into electricity directly by solar cells, solar thermophotovoltaic (STPV) conversion has some specific advantages. These advantages come from the fact that in thermophotovoltaics the photon radiator is always inside the conversion system and near the photovoltaic cells. For these reasons we are developing small prototypes with sun heated emitters and photoreceiver arrays to be installed inside complete STPV systems. In order to achieve these complete STPV systems, the first step is to determine the optimum way of packaging the TPV cells into STPV arrays, choosing the best series/parallel configurations depending on the TPV cell band gap, the size of arrays, and the materials. This is the goal of this paper. To carry out the calculations, 18 and 24 cell arrays have been connected following different series and parallel configurations, using the PSPICE commercial circuit-simulation software. Each TPV cell is simulated as a block consisting of the well-known photogenerated current source, two dark diodes of ideality factors equal to one and two, and two resistances, one in parallel and the other in series. As a result, recommendations about the size and front grid design of the GaSb cells are obtained. When the optimally designed cells are connected to be included in two specific systems, recommendations about the best parallel/series connection are achieved. Evaluation on the performance of the arrays at nonuniform illumination is also carried out. The first photoreceiver arrays are being constructed and implemented in real STPV systems following these recommendations.

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Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Key elements and main processes in a solar TPV system (courtesy of Ioffe Institute of St. Petersburg)

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Figure 2

(a) Design of the STPV system with cylindrical symmetry (version 1 - “water cooled”); and (b) design of the STPV system with conical symmetry. Both courtesy of Ioffe Institute of St. Petersburg

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Figure 3

Basic configuration of the single Zn diffused p-on-nGaSb cell

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Figure 4

(a)GaSb1cm2 single cell efficiency as a function of the tungsten emitter temperature, for different finger thicknesses; and (b) optimized number of fingers for each calculation. The inset shows the grid used during the simulations

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Figure 5

(a)GaSb0.5cm2 single cell efficiency as a function of the tungsten emitter temperature, for different finger thicknesses; and (b) optimized number of fingers for each calculation. The grid used during the simulation is the same as that shown in Fig. 4.

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Figure 6

Cell efficiency as a function of the cell area

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Figure 7

(a) Array current and array FF for the 18mmϕ and the 24mmϕ as a function of the cell-to-module connection resistance; and (b) total electric power and efficiency as a function of the cell-to-module connection resistance

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Figure 8

(a) Array current and array FF for the conical configuration as a function of the cell-to-module connection resistance; and (b) total electric power and efficiency as a function of the cell-to-module connection resistance, for 0% and 100% photon recirculation in the nonactive array areas

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Figure 9

(a) Total electric power and efficiency for the 18mmϕ configuration as a function of the illumination mismatch; and (b) same calculation for the 24mmϕ configuration

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Figure 10

(a) The basic cylindrical STPV system at IES-UPM. The concentration system (Fresnel and quartz meniscus lens) can be seen. (b) Detail of the basic cylindrical STPV system. The secondary lens, emitter, quartz bulb, and test TPV cell are shown. The inset shows the three parallel cell photoreceiver array under development, which will substitute the test single cell

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