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Abstract

Photovoltaic units, also known as solar cells have an ideal operating temperature of about 25 C or 77 F, for each degree Celsius above the optimal operating temperature, we can expect the efficiency of the unit to drop 0.5%. On any given summer day, it is not uncommon for solar cell temperatures to reach upwards of 70 C which is about 158 F, this results in a drop of 25% efficiency. If we think of efficiency as the quantity energy produced divided by energy supplied, we can quantitatively see how loss of efficiency corresponds to a loss in energy produced. Our goal is to make up some of this loss energy through thermoelectric generation using the increased heat from the solar cells to create a current that we can add back into the total power produced. Successful implementation of such as system could potentially decrease the dependency of fossil fuels.

Publication Date

2015

Keywords

engineering, photovoltaic units

Disciplines

Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

James McLeskey

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Zhifang Wang

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters

Rights

© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2015

Photocell Optimization through Thermoelectric Generation

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Engineering Commons

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