Enhancement of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Generation Efficiency Using Thermoelectric Generator (TEG) Modules

  • Gideon Kidegho Technical University of Mombasa
  • Robert Kinyua Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
  • Christopher Muriithi Murang’a University of Technology
  • Wolfgang Hornig BPE International DR Hornig GMBH

Abstract

Solar photovoltaic power generation has gained wide popularity worldwide due to its renewable nature. However, high temperature conditions compromise the power generation by a substantial margin. This study was intended to investigate the effects of temperature and how these effects could be reduced using a cooling plate mounted on the backside of the PV module connected to a thermoelectric generator (TEG). Thermoelectric generators generate electricity using a temperature gradient that is created by the PV module back plate. Under varying irradiance, weather and temperature conditions the PV + TEG arrangement was used to generate power. In this set up, a 13Wp Polycrystalline 12V PV module and series connected TEG modules were monitored. The TEG modules type SP1848-271455SA, 40mm x 40mm x 3.5mm were series connected and mounted under the PV module sandwiching a graphite thermal conduction pad. An aluminium honeycomb (BPE) Alucore cooling plate was used to clamp the PV module to the TEG and then made to float in a water tank. A similar 13Wp PV module, without cooling, was monitored under the same conditions. The results showed average open circuit voltage gain of +3.5% and D.C power gain of +6% on the cooled PV+TEG module. The TEG had an average open circuit voltage of 1.63 volts with a peak of 3.6volts under high irradiance conditions. When the power generated from the TEG is taken into consideration, a much higher power gain could be achieved.
Keywords: Thermoelectric generator, Photovoltaic, Cooling Module, Figure of merit Zt
Published
Jun 27, 2018
How to Cite
KIDEGHO, Gideon et al. Enhancement of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Generation Efficiency Using Thermoelectric Generator (TEG) Modules. Proceedings of Sustainable Research and Innovation Conference, [S.l.], p. 284-288, june 2018. ISSN 2079-6226. Available at: <http://sri.jkuat.ac.ke/ojs/index.php/proceedings/article/view/653>. Date accessed: 21 oct. 2019.