In the present paper, the possibility of using thermoelectric power generator modules (TEGs) to convert the heat generated by the photovoltaic/thermal (PVT) collector into electricity is investigated. A comprehensive heat transfer model for the combined PVT-TEG system is developed via matlab and simulated under different conditions. The hot side of the TEG module is considered connected to the top of the air channel which is attached to the backside of the solar panel. Air flows through the channel and cools down the cold side of the TEG modules. The TEG modules convert the temperature gradient to electricity and generate extra power from the excess heat, which results in improving the overall performance of the system. The temperature profile within the system is determined. The total generated power by the combined PVT-TEG system under different levels of irradiation is evaluated and discussed and the efficiency of each subsystem is calculated. Moreover, the performance of the combined system on a typical summer day in the Tuscaloosa, AL climate is determined in order to show the potential of using the proposed system by using actual meteorological data. Finally, the optimal required number of TEG modules needed in order to achieve the highest overall output power by the system for fixed weather conditions is evaluated and discussed.

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