International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.44, No.5, 3365-3394, 2020
A review on the performance of photovoltaic/thermoelectric hybrid generators
Utilization of a broad range of solar spectrum has the potential for high power output from solar cells. However, solar photovoltaics (PVs) can convert only part of the solar electromagnetic spectrum into electricity efficiently. The remaining of the solar radiation is often dissipated in the form of heat, which causes performance reduction and reduces the life expectancy of the solar PV cell. Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are devices that operate like a heat engine by converting thermal energy into electricity through thermoelectric effect. Integrating a TEG into a PV converter will enhance its efficiency and reduce the amount of heat dissipated. Different studies have been carried out and are still taking place to increase the total efficiency of a coupled photovoltaic thermoelectric generator (PV-TEG) system. This review discusses the concept of PV converters and thermoelectric devices and presents the various models and numerical and experimental investigations on performance enhancement of integrated PV-TEGs. The influence of key parameters on the performance of PV-TEG were also discussed. The review is expected to serve as a reference to recent work on research and development of integrated PV-TEG systems.