E3S Web Conf.
Volume 239, 2021International Conference on Renewable Energy (ICREN 2020)
|Number of page(s)
|10 February 2021
High Performance Solar Thermoelectric Generator Using Asymmetrical Variable Leg Geometries
University of Nigeria Nsukka, Mechanical Engineering Department, Nsukka Onitsha Rd, Nsukka, Nigeria
This paper presents a computational study of the combined effects of variable geometry and asymmetry in the legs of thermocouples of thermoelectric modules used in solar thermoelectric generators (STEGs). Six different models were considered for the thermocouples in each module, namely: rectangular-rectangular legs, rectangular-trapezoidal legs, rectangular-X legs, trapezoidal-trapezoidal legs, trapezoidal-X legs, and X-X legs. Simulations of the six different modules under the same heat flux was carried out in ANSYS 2020 R2 software. Temperature and voltage distributions were obtained for each model and the results indicate significant variations due to the utilization of varying leg geometries. Results show that the X-X leg module generated the highest temperature gradient and electric voltage. In comparison, a temperature gradient and electric voltage of 297 K and 16 V, respectively were achieved with the X-X leg module as against 182 K and 8.4 V, respectively, achieved in a conventional rectangular leg module. This suggests a 63.2% and 90.5% increase in the temperature gradient and electric voltage of the conventional TE module. Therefore, this study demonstrates that X geometry gives the best performance for thermoelectric modules and STEGs.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
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