Simulation and modelling of the system and of individual components

Modelling of individual components will be undertaken for understanding the spectral dependency behaviour of the concentrating photovoltaic system on its optical, thermal and electrical performances. This modelling approach will help to optimise the different PV sub-cell layers in overcoming the current mismatch by each layer, thereby reducing internal power dissipation and increasing cell power.

Optical Simulations

Optical simulations focus on the development of a novel Compound Parabolic Concentrator (CCPC). These are geometrically optimised to have a large acceptance angle to ensure sunlight can be captured for the largest part of the day. The simulations conducted as part of the SUNTRAP CCPC will also include a consideration of the thermal effects to ensure not only the sunlight is captured but also the available heat.

The group at the Environment and Sustainability Institude at Exeter University use a WACOM Solar Source to validate the simulations. The source is Class AAA+ rated providing simulated sunlight across . Test apparatus has been developed to test PV cells and CCPC devices at any point on the earth as the solar azimuth and elevation varies in time.

Optical and thermal performances of CCPC with solar cell

The optical and thermal performance of an isolated compound parabolic concentrator (CCPC) with a solar cell is examined numerically by a multiphysics method with a view to apply this into a scalable solar thermoelectrics and photovoltaics system. Various parametric optimisations are being carried out to improve the overall optical and thermal performance of the CCPC with solar cell.

Multiphysics Simulations of a Thermoelectric Generator

Transient multiphysics simulations are performed to investigate the thermal and electric performance of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) module. Various effects including heat radiation, thermal and electric contact and design on the TEG performance are examined and the simulated results are compared with experimental data.