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Research Papers

The Effect of the Temperature Difference on the Performance of Photovoltaic-Thermoelectric Hybrid Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
M. El Mliles

The Condensed Matter Physics and Renewable Energies Laboratory, FST,
Hassan II Casablanca University,
Mohammedia 20650, Morocco
e-mail: elmliles.mustafa@gmail.com

Y. El Kouari

The Condensed Matter Physics and Renewable Energies Laboratory, FST,
Hassan II Casablanca University,
Mohammedia 20650, Morocco
e-mail: elkouari@gmail.com

A. Hajjaji

Engineering Sciences for Energy Laboratory,
National School of Applied Sciences,
Chouaib Doukkali University,
El Jadida 24002, Morocco
e-mail: hajjaji.a@ucd.ac.ma

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering: Including Wind Energy and Building Energy Conservation. Manuscript received November 2, 2018; final manuscript received April 13, 2019; published online May 2, 2019. Assoc. Editor: M. Keith Sharp.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 141(5), 051010 (May 02, 2019) (7 pages) Paper No: SOL-18-1507; doi: 10.1115/1.4043550 History: Received November 02, 2018; Accepted April 16, 2019

The performance of the photovoltaic-thermoelectric (PV-TE) hybrid system was examined using three types of PV cells and a thermoelectric generator (TEG) based on bismuth telluride. The investigated PV cells are amorphous silicon (a-Si), monocrystalline silicon (mono-Si), and cadmium telluride (CdTe). The results showed that the TEG contribution can overcome the degradation of the PV cell efficiency with increasing temperature at the minimal working condition. This condition corresponds to the critical temperature difference across the TEG that guarantees the same efficiency of the hybrid system as that of the PV cell alone at 298 K. The obtained results showed that the critical temperature difference is 13.3 K, 44.1 K, and 105 K for the a-Si, CdTe, and mono-Si PV cell, respectively. In addition, the general expression of the temperature difference across the TEG needed for an efficiency enhancement by a ratio of r compared with a PV cell alone at 298 K was given. For an efficiency enhancement by 5 % (r = 1.05), the temperature difference required is 30.2 K, 61.3 K, and 116.1 K for the a-Si, CdTe, and mono-Si PV cells, respectively. These values cannot be achieved practically only in the case of the a-Si PV cell. Moreover, a TE material with a high power factor can reduce this temperature difference and improve the performance of the hybrid system. This work provides a tool that may be useful during the selection of the PV cell and the TE material for the hybrid system.

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Topics: Temperature
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Figures

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Fig. 1

The hybrid PV-TE system

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Fig. 2

The energy balance of the hybrid PV-TE system

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Fig. 3

The efficiency of the PV-TE hybrid system, the PV cell, and the TEG as a function of the temperature difference across the TEG: (a) a-Si-TE system, (b) mono-Si-TE system, and (c) CdTe-TE system

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Fig. 4

The critical temperature difference across the TEG (r = 1) as a function of the intrinsic characteristics of the PV cell and the TEG, and the thermoelectric element length lTE

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Fig. 5

The critical temperature difference across the TEG r = 1 for the a-Si-TE system, mono-Si-TE system, and the CdTe-TE system

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Fig. 6

The temperature difference as a function of the ration r and the intrinsic characteristics of the TEG for the PV-TE hybrid systems: (a) a-Si-TE system, (b) mono-Si-TE system and (c) CdTe-TE system

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