- November 4, 2015
Standard photovoltaic solar cells (PV cells) use only about half of the light spectrum provided by the sun. The infrared part is not utilized to produce electricity. Instead, the infrared light heats up the PV cells and thereby decreases the efficiency of the cell. Within this research project, a hybrid solar cell made of a standard PV cell and a thermally driven thermoelectric generator (TEG) is being developed. The light of the sun splits at about 800 nm. The visible and ultraviolet part is transferred to the PV cell; the infrared part illuminates the thermal TEG cell. With the hybrid solar cell, the full solar spectrum is exploited. In this paper, theoretical and experimental results for improving the performance of thermoelectric elements coupled with photovoltaic modules have been presented. The proposed concepts and the experimental results have provided a key input to develop a large scale of a hybrid PV-TE system.