Skip to main content

Transient and non-uniform heat flux effect on solar thermoelectric generator with phase change material

Shittu, Samson; Li, Guiqiang; Li@hull, Guiqiang Ac; Xuan, Qindong; Uk, Qindong; Xiao, Xin; Zhao, Xudong; Ma, Xiaoli; Akhlaghi, Yousef Golizadeh; Zhao@hull, Xudong Ac; Ma

Authors

Guiqiang Ac Li@hull

Qindong Xuan

Qindong Uk

Xudong Ac Zhao@hull

Ma



Abstract

Transient and non-uniform heat flux from solar concentrators can affect the performance of solar thermoelectric generators, which generate electricity from concentrated solar radiation. Therefore, this paper presents a detailed three-dimensional study on the effect of transient and non-uniform heat flux on the performance of a solar thermoelectric generator (STEG). COMSOL 5.4 Multiphysics software is utilized for the numerical study while the non-uniform heat flux from a compound parabolic concentrator is obtained through ray tracing simulation using Lighttools software. Varying solar radiation under typical partly cloudy weather condition is utilized. Furthermore, phase change material (PCM) is used to reduce the effect of transient and non-uniform heat flux therefore; it is positioned at the top surface of the solar thermoelectric generator. A comparison between the performance of the STEG with and without PCM is presented, and a parametric study on the effect of PCM fins and PCM height on the STEG performance is carried out. Results show that the place of PCM on the top surface of the solar thermoelectric generator is an effective approach to provide a stable electrical performance form the STEG under varying weather conditions. Furthermore, results reveal the effectiveness of the phase change material in protecting the solar thermoelectric generator under highly concentrated solar radiation. This study will provide valuable design guidance for solar thermoelectric generators under varying weather conditions and with solar concentrators, which produce non-uniform heat flux.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 5, 2020
Journal Applied thermal engineering
Print ISSN 1359-4311
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 173
Article Number 115206
APA6 Citation Shittu, S., Li, G., Xuan, Q., Xiao, X., Zhao, X., Ma, X., & Akhlaghi, Y. G. (2020). Transient and non-uniform heat flux effect on solar thermoelectric generator with phase change material. Applied thermal engineering, 173, https://doi.org/10.1016...lthermaleng.2020.115206
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2020.115206
Keywords Solar thermoelectric generator; Non-uniform heat flux; PCM; Finite element method; Transient study
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1359431119371364