Mathematical and Simulation-Based Analysis of the Thermal and Electrical Performance of a Flat Plate Solar Air Heater Coupled with Thermoelectric Generators (TEGs)
Keywords:Thermal efficiency, Electrical Efficiency, Renewable (solar) energy, heat and electricity generation, flat plate air heater, thermoelectric generator, efficiency
The thermal performance of a flat plate solar air heater coupled with thermoelectric generators has been studied. A model of the collector was designed and simulations using SCILAB software were carried out to assess its performance. The design was carried out by analyzing the various heat and mass transfer processes which occurred in the components of the air heating system. The analysis resulted in the formulation of mathematical expressions that modeled the conversion of solar energy from the sun into thermal energy absorbed by the air flowing through the collector. The temperatures of the various components of the collector were determined using the finite forward difference discretization method. The cumulative energy generated by the heat source was 87 MJ while the energy gained by the heated exit air amounted to 37 MJ, bringing about a system thermal efficiency of 42%. The electrical efficiency of the model was 8.3%.
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