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Thermoelectric Oxide Modules (TOMs) for the Direct Conversion of Simulated Solar Radiation into Electrical Energy
Solid State Chemistry and Catalysis, EMPA, 8600 Duebendorf, Switzerland
Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
Solar Technology Laboratory, Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 January 2010; in revised form: 24 March 2010 / Accepted: 12 April 2010 / Published: 15 April 2010
Abstract: The direct conversion of concentrated high temperature solar heat into electrical energy was demonstrated with a series of four–leg thermoelectric oxide modules (TOM). These temperature stable modules were not yet optimized for high efficiency conversion, but served as proof-of-principle for high temperature conversion. They were constructed by connecting two p- (La1.98Sr0.02CuO4) and two n-type (CaMn0.98Nb0.02O3) thermoelements electrically in series and thermally in parallel. The temperature gradient ΔT was applied by a High–Flux Solar Simulator source (HFSS) which generates a spectrum similar to solar radiation. The influence of the graphite layer coated on the hot side of the Al2O3 substrate compared to the uncoated surface on ΔT, Pmax and η was studied in detail. The measurements show an almost linear temperature profile along the thermoelectric legs. The maximum output power of 88.8 mW was reached for a TOM with leg length of 5 mm at ΔT = 622 K. The highest conversion efficiency η was found for a heat flux of 4–8 W cm-2 and the dependence of η on the leg length was investigated.
Keywords: thermoelectricity; thermoelectric converter; solar; heat transfer; radiation; modelling
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Tomeš, P.; Trottmann, M.; Suter, C.; Aguirre, M.H.; Steinfeld, A.; Haueter, P.; Weidenkaff, A. Thermoelectric Oxide Modules (TOMs) for the Direct Conversion of Simulated Solar Radiation into Electrical Energy. Materials 2010, 3, 2801-2814.
Tomeš P, Trottmann M, Suter C, Aguirre MH, Steinfeld A, Haueter P, Weidenkaff A. Thermoelectric Oxide Modules (TOMs) for the Direct Conversion of Simulated Solar Radiation into Electrical Energy. Materials. 2010; 3(4):2801-2814.
Tomeš, Petr; Trottmann, Matthias; Suter, Clemens; Aguirre, Myriam Heidi; Steinfeld, Aldo; Haueter, Philipp; Weidenkaff, Anke. 2010. "Thermoelectric Oxide Modules (TOMs) for the Direct Conversion of Simulated Solar Radiation into Electrical Energy." Materials 3, no. 4: 2801-2814.