Exergo-economic optimization of concentrated solar photovoltaic and thermoelectric hybrid generator

Ismaila K. G., Sahin A. Z., Yilbas B. S.

JOURNAL OF THERMAL ANALYSIS AND CALORIMETRY, vol.145, no.3, pp.1035-1052, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 145 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10973-020-10508-1
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1035-1052
  • Keywords: Concentrated solar photovoltaic, Thermoelectric generator, Exergo-economic optimization, Hybrid generator
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Exergo-economic analysis of a concentrated photovoltaic-thermoelectric generator (CPV-TEG) hybrid system is investigated. The specific exergy costing is employed to study the cost effectiveness of the CPV-TEG system. A multi-dimensional single-objective optimization is carried out to optimize the CPV-TEG hybrid system. The performance of the CPV-TEG system is found to be better than that of the concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) system alone in terms of overall energy and exergy efficiencies. From an exergo-economic standpoint, the CPV-TEG system is more cost effective as compared to the CPV system alone. The low value of the exergo-economic factor of the system indicated that the associated cost was mostly due to irreversibilities in the system. A compromise is made by optimizing the CPV-TEG system for maximum exergy efficiency using an optimum thermal resistance of the thermoelectric generator (TEG). For the operating conditions and the geometry considered, integration of CPV and TEG is not found to be feasible (in terms of exegetic performance) below certain values of heat transfer coefficients (< 2500 -Wm(-2) K-1). A minimum value of heat transfer coefficient of 5266 -Wm(-2) K-1 is determined for a water-cooled heat sink to limit the cell temperature to 100 degrees C under the studied set of operating conditions and the geometric configuration. Optimization results yielded exergy efficiencies of 42.22% and 43.48% for the stand-alone CPV system and CPV-TEG system, respectively. The minimum costs of electricity under the optimum conditions were obtained as 0.57 $ kWh(-1) and 0.53 $ kWh(-1) for the stand-alone CPV system and CPV-TEG system, respectively.