A systematic experimental investigation to understand the effect of heat loss and the thermoelectric aspect ratio (cross sectional area and length) on a flat plate solar thermoelectric system performance was carried out. The investigation involved a series of experiments on systems with 4 different sizes of thermoelectric generators, and it was tested in 5 different vacuum levels during the steady-state. The detailed experimental investigation provided a substantial amount of data, which revealed that the system performance of both heat and electricity power were improved when the heat lost was minimised. The system’s performance strongly depended on the aspect ratio of the thermoelectric generators. This finding might have a significant impact on the cost of the system by saving the user’s and the manufacturer’s time in examining different TEGs with different aspect ratios in order to get the optimum size optimisation of the hybrid system, as well as reduce the manufacturing cost.
Cite this paper
Ramadan, K. (2015) Flat Panel Solar Thermoelectric System Size Optimisation at Different Vacuum Levels. Open Journal of Energy Efficiency
, 53-60. doi: 10.4236/ojee.2015.44006
 Kiziroglou, M., Samson, D., Becker, T., Wright, S.W. and Yeatman, E.M. (2011) Optimization of Heat Flow for Phase Change Thermoelectric Harvesters. Power MEMS 2011, Seoul, 15-18 November 2011.https://workspace.imperial.ac.uk/opticalandsemidev/Public/Publications/11_PowerMEMS_Paper_final_withnote.pdf
 Edgar, A., Urbiola, C. and Vorobiev, Y. (2013) Investigation of Solar Hybrid Electric/Thermal System with Radiation Concentrator and Thermoelectric Generator. International Journal of Photo Energy, 2013, Article ID: 704087.
 Daniel, K., Poudel, B., Feng, H.-P., Christopher Caylor, J., Yu, B., Yan, X., Ma, Y., Wang, X.W., Wang, D.Z., Muto, A., McEnaney, K., Chiesa, M., Ren, Z.F. and Chen, G. (2011) High Performance Flat Panel Solar Thermoelectric Generators with High Thermal Concentration. Nature Materials, 10, 532-538.http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/v10/n7/full/nmat3013.htmlhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nmat3013
 Ramadan, K. (2015) The Optimal Flat Panel Solar Thermoelectric Geometries for Heat and Electric Power Production. European Scientific Journal, 11, 1857-7881.
 Gao, M. (2010) Energy Harvesting for Autonomous Systems. Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting, 2010, 135-157.