A prototype practical solar-thermoelectric cogenerator composed of (1) a primary component of a pile of solar-selective absorber (SSA) slab, thermoelectric (TE) modules, and a depressed water flow tube (multichannel cooling heat sink, MCS), and (2) a parabolic trough concentrator with aperture area of 2Â mÂ Ã—Â 2Â m and eastâ€“west focal axis was constructed. Its cogeneration performance under the best climatic and solar insolation conditions in Guangzhou, China was tested. For simplicity, the evacuated glass tube to cover the primary component was eliminated from the system. Six Bi2Te3 TE modules were arranged in series, directly bonded to the rear surface of the solar absorber slab. The hot-side temperature of the TE module reached up to 152Â°C. The experimentally obtained instantaneous results for the solar to electrical conversion efficiency, heat exchange coefficient of the MCS, and overall system efficiency under the best environmental and solar insolation conditions were about 1.14%, 56.1%, and 49.5%, respectively. To justify these values, an equivalent thermal network diagram based on a single-temperature-node heat transfer model representing the respective system components was used to analyze the thermal transfer and losses of the system. Finally, electrical power of 18Â W was generated, with 2Â L/min of hot water at 37Â°C being produced and stored in the insulated container.
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