The performance of the photovoltaic-thermoelectric (PV-TE) hybrid system was examined using three types of PV cells and a thermoelectric generator (TEG) based on bismuth telluride. The investigated PV cells are amorphous silicon (a-Si), monocrystalline silicon (mono-Si), and cadmium telluride (CdTe). The results showed that the TEG contribution can overcome the degradation of the PV cell efficiency with increasing temperature at the minimal working condition. This condition corresponds to the critical temperature difference across the TEG that guarantees the same efficiency of the hybrid system as that of the PV cell alone at 298 K. The obtained results showed that the critical temperature difference is 13.3 K, 44.1 K, and 105 K for the a-Si, CdTe, and mono-Si PV cell, respectively. In addition, the general expression of the temperature difference across the TEG needed for an efficiency enhancement by a ratio of r compared with a PV cell alone at 298 K was given. For an efficiency enhancement by 5 % (r = 1.05), the temperature difference required is 30.2 K, 61.3 K, and 116.1 K for the a-Si, CdTe, and mono-Si PV cells, respectively. These values cannot be achieved practically only in the case of the a-Si PV cell. Moreover, a TE material with a high power factor can reduce this temperature difference and improve the performance of the hybrid system. This work provides a tool that may be useful during the selection of the PV cell and the TE material for the hybrid system.

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