Title

Building a novel photovoltaic thermoelectric device

Author(s)

William Sullivan

School Name

Spring Valley High School

Grade Level

11th Grade

Presentation Topic

Engineering

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Abstract

Solar energy is one of the most common renewable energy sources in the world. Many people are using them for personal use in their own homes. Previous research experiments have been conducted to attempt at an increase in efficiency and more recently they have been combined with other devices to convert a higher percentage of solar radiation to energy. In this experiment, a thermoelectric generator was used to try to convert waste heat from solar irradiance into more usable energy. The purpose of this study was to improve the overall efficiency of a standard photovoltaic cell. It was hypothesized that a hybrid photovoltaic-thermoelectric device would produce significantly higher power output than a photovoltaic cell alone. The experiment was conducted with both devices operating simultaneously under identical conditions. Power output was measured in watts through the use of a standard multimeter. The research showed that the hybrid device was about 15% more efficient that the standard photovoltaic. A t test was conducted and the results showed that the hybrid device was significantly better than the control, t(29) > 100, p <.001. It was concluded that combining a thermoelectric device with a photovoltaic is an extremely cost effective method of increasing overall efficiency of a photovoltaic.

Start Date

4-11-2015 9:45 AM

End Date

4-11-2015 10:00 AM

COinS
 
Apr 11th, 9:45 AM Apr 11th, 10:00 AM

Building a novel photovoltaic thermoelectric device

Solar energy is one of the most common renewable energy sources in the world. Many people are using them for personal use in their own homes. Previous research experiments have been conducted to attempt at an increase in efficiency and more recently they have been combined with other devices to convert a higher percentage of solar radiation to energy. In this experiment, a thermoelectric generator was used to try to convert waste heat from solar irradiance into more usable energy. The purpose of this study was to improve the overall efficiency of a standard photovoltaic cell. It was hypothesized that a hybrid photovoltaic-thermoelectric device would produce significantly higher power output than a photovoltaic cell alone. The experiment was conducted with both devices operating simultaneously under identical conditions. Power output was measured in watts through the use of a standard multimeter. The research showed that the hybrid device was about 15% more efficient that the standard photovoltaic. A t test was conducted and the results showed that the hybrid device was significantly better than the control, t(29) > 100, p <.001. It was concluded that combining a thermoelectric device with a photovoltaic is an extremely cost effective method of increasing overall efficiency of a photovoltaic.