Analysis of potential conversion efficiency of a solar hybrid system with high-temperature stage

Y. V. Vorobiev*, J. González-Hernández, A. Kribus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

The analysis is given of hybrid system of solar energy conversion having a stage operating at high temperature. The system contains a radiation concentrator, a photovoltaic solar cell, and a thermal generator, which could be thermoelectric one or a heat engine. Two options are discussed, one (a) with concentration of the whole solar radiation on the PV cell working at high temperature and coupled to the high-temperature stage, and another (b) with a special PV cell construction, which allows the use of the part of solar spectrum not absorbed in the semiconductor material of the cell ("thermal energy") to drive the high-temperature stage while the cell is working at ambient temperature. The possibilities of using different semiconductor materials are analyzed. It is shown that the demands to the cell material are different in the two cases examined: in system (a) with high temperature of cell operation, the materials providing minimum temperature dependence of the conversion efficiency are necessary, for another system (b) the materials with the larger band gap are profitable. The efficiency of thermal generator is assumed to be proportional to that of the Carnot engine. The optical and thermal energy losses are taken into account, including the losses by convection and radiation in the high-temperature stage. The radiation losses impose restrictions upon the working temperature of the thermal generator in the system (b), thus defining the highest possible concentration ratio. The calculations made show that the hybrid system proposed could be both efficient and practical, promising the total conversion efficiency around 25-30% for system (a), and 30-40 % for system (b).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-260
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Solar Energy Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Volume128
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2006

Keywords

  • Hybrid system
  • Solar cells
  • Solar energy conversion

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