International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.45, No.5, 7741-7763, 2021
Experimental study of the performance of concentrator photovoltaic/thermoelectric generator system integrated with a new 3D printed microchannel heat sink
Finding the most optimal configuration of hybrid concentrator photovoltaic (CPV)-thermoelectric power generator (TEG) system integrated with a microchannel heat sink (MCHS) is of great importance to achieve the best performance. Thus, two different hybrid configurations were chosen for the study including CPV/TEG/heat sink and CPV/heat sink/TEG. In addition, the performance of both hybrid configurations was compared with standalone CPV/heat sink and TEG/heat sink. In the conventional hybrid design, the TEG was directly attached to the back surface of the CPV module, whereas the other side of the TEG was integrated with MCHS. In the new hybrid design, the MCHS was sited between the CPV and the TEG module as both sides were subjected to concentrated solar radiation. Effects of varying the simulated solar concentration ratio, coolant flow rate on the solar cell temperature, and the total output power were experimentally determined. Results showed that the new design achieved a lower average solar cell temperature and a higher output power. At a solar radiation of 5000 W/m(2), and a water flow rate of 80 g/min, the new design attained a solar cell temperature of 28 degrees C with a conversion efficiency of 7.78% for the solar cell, and the total generated power was about 386 W/m(2). In addition, the increase in the applied heat flux to the TEG unit to 10 000 W/m(2) increased the total output power from 386 to 440 W/m(2). Accordingly, the selection of an effective heat sink to absorb all the excess heat that emanated from the TEG side is of great importance to enhance the output electrical power generated by hybrid systems.