Research Papers

Electricity Generation From a Compound Parabolic Concentrator Coupled to a Thermoelectric Module

[+] Author and Article Information
Chigbo A. Mgbemene1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State 410001 Nigeriachigbomgbemene@yahoo.com chigbo.mgbemene@gmail.com

John Duffy, Hongwei Sun

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA 01854

Samuel O. Onyegegbu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State 410001 Nigeria


Corresponding author.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 132(3), 031015 (Jun 28, 2010) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001670 History: Received November 17, 2008; Revised April 20, 2010; Published June 28, 2010; Online June 28, 2010

Generating electricity from the sun using a combination of a compound parabolic concentrator (CPC) and a thermoelectric module (TEM) has been studied. The system was modeled, analyzed, and tested. The model equations and the methodology used for the demonstration are presented and experimentally validated. The experimental setup comprised a manually fabricated CPC placed on a commercially available TEM. The results showed that the combination can generate and sustain enough power for a small appliance. It was also shown that there is enough dissipated heat from the system, which could be harnessed for additional uses. The cost is still high, about $35/Wp, but if credit is given for the thermal energy the initial cost goes down.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

The basic arrangement for thermoelectric power generation

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Figure 2

Cross section of a nontruncated CPC

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Figure 3

The arrangement of the CPC/TEM thermoelectric generator

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Figure 4

The schematic diagram of the TEG

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Figure 5

The experimental CPC/TEM thermoelectric generator setup

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Figure 6

Plots of (a) power output versus solar irradiation and (b) irradiation heat input and temperature difference versus solar irradiation

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Figure 7

Plots of predicted and actual data from the CPC and the electric iron

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Figure 8

Plot of heat input, heat dissipated versus temperature difference

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Figure 9

Plots of (a) conversion efficiency versus heat input, (b) conversion efficiency versus temperature difference, and (c) overall efficiency versus solar irradiation

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Figure 10

Predicted plot of concentration ratio versus temperature difference

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Figure 11

Temperature distribution on the surface of the TEM




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