Development and performance analysis of a dome-glass solar thermoelectric generator / Ahmad Zuhairdi Noh

Noh, Ahmad Zuhairdi (2020) Development and performance analysis of a dome-glass solar thermoelectric generator / Ahmad Zuhairdi Noh. Masters thesis, Universiti Teknologi MARA.


Thermoelectric technology can be classified into five different fields, and one of them is extracting energy from the solar radiation. Basically, solar energy has multiple ways of extraction, and the most effective method is by combining photovoltaic panel with a thermoelectric module (PV-T). In term of industrial production, the evacuated tube and flat plate solar-thermal electric generator are dominating the market instead of PV-T. However, it can be seen that the current design from both type of the generator is mostly focused on extracting heat instead of preserving it. This led to the condition where the thermal-generator loss its efficiency under a certain environment for example cloudy day. The design of using a dome-glass for a glass cover in the thermoelectric generator was proposed in order to tackle the problem. It was reported that the usage of dome-design is able to boost energy efficiency by 20 %. This research was aiming to develop this dome-glass design, collecting the data of its performance, and at the same time constructing an adjustable mathematical model for future use. The prototype for the following design was fabricated in this study and tested under different environment. A mathematical model for the prototype was created using MATLAB to monitor the performance of heat transfer in single dimensional form followed by 2D and 3D visualization using ANSYS. The variables used in the default model were taken from the available literature related to the design. The prototype was tested under both controlled and actual environments to obtain actual data of the thermal and electrical performance of the prototype. Under the controlled condition where the irradiance was 1000W/m2 and the ambient temperature of 23°C, the steady-state temperature achieved by the prototype was 63.64°C and it took 25 minutes for the prototype to achieve time constant, τ. The theoretical results of a plate temperature from the mathematical model give off a deviation of ±0.86 (2%) from the actual value under a controlled environment. Meanwhile, a plate temperature under real environment shows a deviation of the results in range of 0.5% to 24.5% at cloudy sky environment and 0.5% to 20.9% under clear sky environment. For thermal efficiency, the prototype shows a performance of 4% to 20% while at the same time the electrical efficiency is able to spike up to 0.4%. These results indicate that the prototype produced in this study is at par with some of the flat-plate thermoelectric generator that used a sun tracker and a flat glass as a glass cover. As a conclusion, results from this study can be used as a reference for any study on the solar thermoelectric generator with a design based on dome-glass. Since the standard acceptable deviation for the predictive model is below 30 %, the mathematical model created from this study can be used for future development. The mathematical model generated from this study also can be modified and improved further to suit the need for a future researcher


Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Email / ID Num.
Noh, Ahmad Zuhairdi
Email / ID Num.
Thesis advisor
Abu Bakar, Mohd Nazari (PM Dr.)
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery > Renewable energy sources > Solar energy
Divisions: Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam > Faculty of Applied Sciences
Programme: Master of Science (Applied Physics)
Keywords: Thermoelectric technology; performance analysis; dome-glass solar; thermoelectric generator
Date: June 2020
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