Generating electricity from the sun using a combination of a compound parabolic concentrator (CPC) and a thermoelectric module (TEM) has been studied. The system was modeled, analyzed, and tested. The model equations and the methodology used for the demonstration are presented and experimentally validated. The experimental setup comprised a manually fabricated CPC placed on a commercially available TEM. The results showed that the combination can generate and sustain enough power for a small appliance. It was also shown that there is enough dissipated heat from the system, which could be harnessed for additional uses. The cost is still high, about $35/Wp, but if credit is given for the thermal energy the initial cost goes down.

1.
2.
Rowe
,
D. M.
, 1999, “
Thermoelectric, An Environmentally Friendly Source of Electrical Power
,”
Renewable Energy
0960-1481,
16
, pp.
1251
1256
.
3.
Rowe
,
D. M.
, and
Min
,
G.
, 1998, “
Evaluation of Thermoelectric for Power Generation
,”
J. Power Sources
0378-7753,
73
, pp.
193
198
.
4.
Min
,
G.
, and
Rowe
,
D. M.
, 2002, “
Recent Concepts in Thermoelectric Power Generation
,”
Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Thermoelectrics
, pp.
365
374
.
5.
Min
,
G.
, and
Rowe
,
D. M.
, 2002, “
Symbiotic Application of Thermoelectric Conversion for Fluid Preheating/Power Generation
,”
Energy Convers. Manage.
0196-8904,
43
, pp.
221
228
.
6.
Chen
,
J.
, and
Wu
,
C.
, 2000, “
Analysis on the Performance of a Thermoelectric Generator
,”
ASME J. Energy Resour. Technol.
0195-0738,
122
, pp.
61
63
.
7.
Chen
,
M.
,
Lu
,
S.
, and
Liao
,
B.
, 2005, “
On the Figure of Merit of Thermoelectric Generators
,”
ASME J. Energy Resour. Technol.
0195-0738,
127
, pp.
37
41
.
8.
Min
,
G.
, and
Rowe
,
D. M.
, 1995, “
Peltier Devices as Generators
,”
CRC Handbook of Thermoelectrics
,
D. M.
Rowe
, ed.,
CRC
,
London
, Chap. 38, p.
479
.
9.
Lau
,
P. G.
, and
Buist
,
R. J.
, 1997, “
Calculation of Thermoelectric Power Generation Performance Using Finite Element Analysis
,”
Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Thermoelectrics
, pp.
563
566
.
10.
Meydbray
,
Y.
,
Singh
,
R.
, and
Shakouri
,
A.
, 2005, “
Thermoelectric Module Construction for Low Temperature Gradient Power Generation
,”
Proceedings of the International Conference on Thermoelectrics
, pp.
348
351
.
11.
Chen
,
J.
, 1996, “
Thermodynamic Analysis of a Solar-Driven Thermoelectric Generator
,”
J. Appl. Phys.
0021-8979,
79
(
5
), pp.
2717
2721
.
12.
Khattab
,
N. M.
, and
El Shenawy
,
E. T.
, 2006, “
Optimal Operation of Thermoelectric Cooler Driven by Solar Thermoelectric Generator
,”
Energy Convers. Manage.
0196-8904,
47
, pp.
407
426
.
13.
Duffie
,
J. A.
, and
Beckman
,
W. A.
, 1991,
Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes
,
Wiley Interscience
,
New York
, Chap. 7.
14.
15.
Kreith
,
F.
, and
Kreider
,
J. E.
, 1978,
Principles of Solar Engineering
,
Hemisphere Publishing Corp.
,
Washington, DC
, Chap. 4.
17.
Yazawa
,
K.
,
Solbrekken
,
G. L.
, and
Bar-Cohen
,
A.
, 2005, “
Thermoelectric Powered Convective Cooling of Microprocessors
,”
IEEE Trans. Adv. Packag.
1521-3323,
28
(
2
), pp.
231
239
.
18.
Gordon
,
J. M.
, 1991, “
Generalized Power Versus Efficiency Characteristics of Heat Engines: The Thermoelectric Generator as an Illustration
,”
Am. J. Phys.
0002-9505,
59
(
6
), pp.
551
555
.
19.
Chen
,
L.
,
Gong
,
J.
,
Sun
,
F.
, and
Wu
,
C.
, 2002, “
Effect of Heat Transfer on the Performance of Thermoelectric Generators
,”
Int. J. Therm. Sci.
1290-0729,
41
(
1
), pp.
95
99
.
20.
Angrist
,
S. W.
, 1965,
Direct Energy Conversion
,
Allyn and Bacon
,
Boston
, Chap. 4.
21.
Goldsmid
,
H. J.
, 1995, “
Conversion Efficiency and Figure of Merit
,”
CRC Handbook of Thermoelectrics
,
CRC
,
Boca Raton, FL
, pp.
19
25
.
22.
Ellison
,
S. L. R.
,
Rosslein
,
M.
, and
Williams
,
A.
, eds., 2000, “
Quantifying Uncertainty in Analytical Measurement
,”
EURACHEM/CITAC Guide
,
2nd ed.
(Eng. ed.),
EURACHEM
,
London
, pp.
25
28
.
23.
Kline
,
S. J.
, and
McClintock
,
F. A.
, 1953, “
Describing Uncertainties in Single-Sample Experiments
,”
Mech. Eng. (Am. Soc. Mech. Eng.)
0025-6501,
75
, pp.
3
8
.
24.
Bejan
,
A.
, 1996, “
Entropy Generation Minimization: The New Thermodynamics of Finite-Size Devices and Finite-Time Processes
,”
J. Appl. Phys.
0021-8979,
79
(
3
), pp.
1191
1218
.
You do not currently have access to this content.