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Title: Hybrid solar thermo-electric systems for combined heat and power
Author: Kazuz, Ramadan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 7725
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2014
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Solar energy has been extensively used in the renewable technology field, especially for domestic applications, either for heating, electrical generation or for a combination of heat and power (CHP) in one system. For CHP system solar photoelectric/thermal (PV/T) is the most commonly used technology for roof top applications. However, combination between solar hot water and thermoelectric generators has become an attractive for CHP system, this is due to its simplicity of construction and its high reliability. Moreover, this technology does not rely simply on sunlight and it can work with any other heat source, such as waste heat. However, its main drawback is its low efficiency. Recent publications by Kraemer et al (2011) and Arturo (2013) have shown that the efficiency of solar thermoelectric systems has improved dramatically, especially when combined with a solar concentrator system, as well as within a vacuum environment. The project recorded in this thesis focused on the design, construction and investigation of an experimental solar thermoelectric system based on a flat plate solar absorber. The aim was to study the technical feasibility and economical viability of generating heat and electric power using a solar thermoelectric hot water system. The design procedure involved on determining the heat absorbed and emitted, as well as the electrical power that was generated by the system. It began by obtaining the efficiency of the solar absorber, including selecting its paint, this was done through an experimental technique to determine the heat absorbed by the absorber, and the results obtained were verified by direct measurements of the light intensity. xvi An intensity meter was used, and results from both the experimental and theoretical models showed good agreement. The process also included calculating the heat from the system that was gained, lost and generated, as well as the electrical power provided. This was done to provide the system optimal size optimization to obtain the best and most economical system. Further improvement was made to the system by assembling a vacuum cavity, to improve the system’s efficiency. Although the maximum electrical efficiency obtained was relatively low (0.9%), compared to results recorded in the literature (Kraemer et al ,2011 and Arturo, 2013). However, the results of the electrical power output, under a vacuum level of 5 x 10-2mbar, increased approximately three times compared to the results obtained under normal (atmospheric) conditions. Additionally, the thermal power increased by 37% at this level of vacuum. The process involved determining the best thermoelectric geometries to achieve the optimum power outcome under different environmental conditions. The results showed that the system, which included the Thermoelectric device (TEG) with a larger geometric size, produced the best thermal power among other sizes. It was concluded that the system with the smallest TEG geometric size provided the best electrical power output.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering