Many factors affect the efficiency of photovoltaic panels (PV), which convert solar energy directly into electrical energy. Among these factors, temperature is one of the most important one. While some of the radiation from the sun is converted into electrical energy, part of it emerges as heat energy. This causes the photovoltaic cells to heat up and reduce their electrical efficiency. Different methods are used in the literature to reduce the temperature in PV panels. In this study, in order to reduce the adverse effects caused by the high temperature in the PV panels, 30 Thermoelectric Generators (TEG) were applied to the back surface of the PV panel to increase the PV panel output power and to produce additional electrical energy. Energy and exergy analysis made on the data obtained from both PV panels in the climatic conditions of the installation site showed that the temperature of the PV panel is reduced, and the energy and exergy efficiency is increased with the TEG application. At the end of July, August, and September, when the experiments were carried out, an average of 8.4% more electrical energy was obtained from a single PV panel with TEG, compared to the standard PV panel. Our results suggests that combination of TEG with PV panels could significantly increase the electrical energy, especially when a series of PV panels are used together.
Recently, investments in electricity generation from renewable energy sources, especially solar and wind energy, have been increasing. However, when the performance of photovoltaic cells in the natural field environment is compared with the version of the standard test conditions, the efficiency of the PV panels decreases with the increase in temperature due to radiation (Bel Hadj Brahim Kechiche, Hamza, and Sammouda 2016). Since the energy that cannot be converted into electricity increases the photovoltaic surface temperature, it causes damage to the PV panel module cells and leads to reduced service life of the PV panels (Enescu and Spertino 2017). When the studies in the literature about reducing the heat losses in photovoltaic panels (PV) are examined; A water-cooled nozzle spray system has been developed that significantly reduces the module cell temperature (Benato and Stoppato 2019). The factors affecting the performance of PV panels and the applications that can be made to increase the panel power are explained in detail (Fouad, Shihata, and Morgan 2017).To obtain higher efficiency by cooling the PV panel surface, the panel output power and the cell’s lifetime are increased with different cooling methods (Siecker, Kusakana, and Numbi 2017). To prevent the decrease in PV panel power output with temperature increase, new models are proposed on the bottom surface. In experiments carried out under natural conditions, it has been determined that the panel temperature can be reduced by 10°C with the evaporative cooling model and the power improvement is 5% (Haidar, Orfi, and Kaneesamkand 2021).
In this study, the losses in energy production due to the increase in temperature in the PV panels, especially in the summer months, were reduced by TEG application. An increase in the PV Panel output power was achieved. According to the results obtained;
● More electrical energy was produced in the PV panel with a thermoelectric generator in July, August, and September when the experiments were carried out.
● With the application of a thermoelectric generator in the PV panel, an average of 8.4% more electrical energy was obtained per month. This indicates that when the number of PV panels combined with TEG is increased, the total energy could increase significantly
● The output power of TEGs also increases depending on the rise in air temperature and PV panel surface temperature
● Since the average temperature was higher in July, maximum energy was produced in the thermoelectric generator panel. Compared to the standard panel, the PV panel, in which a thermoelectric generator is applied, had 10.29% more electricity in July, 7.15% in August, and 7.09% more in September, respectively.