Analytical Modeling of the Thermoelectric Effect in Photovoltaic Cells: Combined Solar Photovoltaic and Thermoelectric Generator System (PV+TEG)

Aims: Analytical modeling of the combined systems photovoltaic-thermoelectric (PV + TEG). The advantage of these systems is double:

  • On the one hand, they allow to cool the photovoltaic cells (PV), which avoids the loss of electrical efficiency observed in the devices,
  • On the other hand, recover this lost energy in the form of heat, and transform it into electrical energy thanks to the thermoelectric modules operating in Seebeck mode.

 Study Design: Laboratory of Radiation Physics LPR, FAST-UAC, 01 BP 526, Cotonou, Benin. Department of Physics (FAST) and Doctoral Formation Materials Science (FDSM), University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin.

Methodology: We considered the temperature distribution in the semiconductor plate of the Thermoelectric Generator System (TEG). We resolved the thermal conductivity equation described by:

Where  a^2 is the thermal diffusivity, Q(x, y, z) is the heat flow going from the PV to the TEG module which is dissipated through the latter; using constants variation method. We assumed that the temperature along the y-axis is considered uniform.

Results: The results obtained show that, the temperature distribution in the form of a traveling wave is maintained by external heating. This depends on both the hot and cold side temperature and the temperature span.

Conclusion: The heat flux available at the hot side of the TEG is assumed to be what remains of the absorbed radiation of the PV power production.

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