Theoretical Analysis to Determine the Solar Concentration Limit with Passive Cooling of Solar Cells

Ashwin Date, Abhijit Date, Lippong Tan, and Aliakbar Akbarzadeh


Heat sink cooling, passive cooling, solar concentration, thermoelectric generator


This research was conducted to determine the limiting values of the geometric concentration when used with solar thermal system (thermoelectric generator) (TEG) to maintain desired hot and cold side temperatures for power generation. An optimum heat sink fin gap is considered to achieve maximum heat transfer rate using passive cooling. A theoretical model is developed for determining the optimum solar concentration using a thermoelectric generator sandwiched between the target plate and passive cooling heat sink. Thermal resistance and Seebeck coefficient of a thermoelectric generator under consideration is experimentally determined. Heat flow path for this system is defined and energy balance equations are established. A computer model is developed to solve the energy balance equations and find the optimum values for geometric concentration and hot & cold side temperature of thermoelectric generator. It was observed that for the specific configuration of heat sink and thermoelectric generator in a system, the trend of temperature difference between the hot and cold sides remain the same at different heat input conditions. The optimum geometric concentration for solar radiation intensity of 800 W/m2 and heat sink fin length of 0.15m is predicted to be 13. The theoretical model is capable of optimizing the values of geometric concentration for desired hot side or cold side temperature.

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