To evaluate the feasibility of the performance enhancement of a thermophotovoltaic (TPV) converter by using a thermoelectric generator (TEG), a new model of a combined system is established, where the TEG is attached on the backside of the TPV converter to harvest the heat produced in the TPV converter. The effects of the voltage output of the TPV converter, band gap energy of the TPV converter, dimensionless current of the TEG, and emitter temperature on the performance of the combined system are examined numerically. It is found that the performance of the TPV converter can be enhanced by using the TEG. The percentage increment of the maximum power output density is larger than that of the maximum efficiency. There are optimally working regions of the converter voltage, dimensionless current, and band gap energy. The elevated emitter temperature results in the increase of the power output density of the combined system. However, there is an optimal emitter temperature that yields the maximum efficiency of the combined system. Moreover, the TEG is not suitable to harvest the heat produced in the TPV converter when the emitter temperature is sufficiently high.
Performance Assessment and Optimization of a Thermophotovoltaic Converter–Thermoelectric Generator Combined System
Jiujiang Research Institute,
Xiamen 361005, China
Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 15, 2017; final manuscript received March 6, 2018; published online March 29, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Esmail M. A. Mokheimer.
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Liu, T., and Yang, Z. (March 29, 2018). "Performance Assessment and Optimization of a Thermophotovoltaic Converter–Thermoelectric Generator Combined System." ASME. J. Energy Resour. Technol. July 2018; 140(7): 072010. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4039629
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