Analysis of energy and exergy has been performed for a double–pass thermoelectric (TE) solar air collector. The incident solar radiation heats up the absorber plate so that a temperature difference is created between the thermoelectric modules that generate a direct current. Only a small part of the absorbed solar radiation is converted to electricity, while the rest increases the temperature of the absorber plate. The ambient air flows through the heat sink located in the lower channel to gain heat. The heated air then flows to the upper channel where it receives additional heating from the absorber plate. At a temperature difference of 22.8°C, the unit achieved a power output of 2.13 W and the conversion efficiency of 6.17%. The exergy efficiency varies from a minimum of 7.4% to a maximum of 8.4%, respectively.
Keywords: thermoelectric modules, solar air collectors, power output, conversion efficiency, thermal efficiency, overall efficiency, thermodynamics, energy analysis, exergy analysis, air flow, heat sink, solar energy, solar power