In today's world energy generation has been a big problem to be addressed,as we can’t no longer depend upon fossil fuels for energy generation, it is important and necessary to find cleaner, sustainable and renewable form of energy generation. For a renewable form of energy, sunlight has been a promising source of energy, but we are unable to make the best use of it. Present solar cells are designed to trap only the photoelectric energy of sunlight. The present silicon solar cells have very low efficiency of power generation (of about 14%) .We must not forget that sunlight is an enormous source of light as well as heat and we know that the heat energy which we receive from the sun is not being used to its fullest .The Sun releases approximately 3945 watts of energy in the form of light and other forms of radiation. At the upper layers of atmosphere, the energy density of solar radiation is approximately 1,368 watts per square meter.At the Earth's surface, the energy density is reduced to approximately 1,000 (for a surface perpendicular to the Sun rays at sea level on a clear day) There is a large amount of solar energy which is being wasted. Our project overview is to harness this energy(Thermal energy ) to generate electricity with better efficiency. Our project focuses on coupling thermoelectric generator (Peltier tiles) with the solar cells along with the use of greenhouse sheets, to enhance the efficiency of the module and provide more energy per unit module.
A thermoelectric generator (also called a Seebeck generator,TEG) is a solid state device that converts heat flux (temperature difference) into electrical energy (directly) through a phenomenon called the Seebeck effect (a form of thermoelectric effect).Thermoelectric generators could be used in power plants in order to convert heat energy into additional electrical power and in automobiles as automotive thermoelectric generators to increase fuel efficiency but it has very low efficiency. The typical efficiency of TEG is around 5–8%. But it can be used to generate electricity upto sufficient amount as compared to solar cells alone. The problem with TEGs are that electricity can only be generated when we provide a heat flux between its junction, therefore a temperature difference should be created between the junction which then is converted into electrical energy .Moreover it can be used under sunlight without any special condition. This is possible by creating greenhouse similar to the covered structure that protects the plants from extensive external climate conditions and diseases, creating an optimal growth microenvironment .A peltier tile that is used as a thermoelectric generator. It has two sides i.e.hot side and cold side ,a greenhouse like structure is created at the hot side so that the heat radiations from the surrounding atmosphere are trapped in, but only a small portion is allowed to escape out. Similarly an anti greenhouse (The anti-greenhouse effect is a mechanism similar to the greenhouse effect but reverse in process. Greenhouse effect is about trapping thermal radiation and not letting it out, which warms the inner body surface; anti-greenhouse effect is about atmosphere NOT letting radiation in, while let thermal radiation escape, which lowers the equilibrium surface temperature.) like structure can be created at the cold side so that the radiations from the surrounding are not allowed in and are only allowed out. As a result the cold side remains cold and hot side hot, keeping both the sides are thermally isolated with each other to ensure there is no energy loss. This way we can provide temperature difference at its edges even under direct sun. Hence this device can be effectively used to extract thermal energy from the sunlight to produce electric energy with considerable efficiency. This thermoelectric generator model can be attached with solar cells which would result in much better efficiency per unit module. The thermoelectric generator captures the thermal energy, while the solar cells capture light energy from the sunlight, hence generating considerable energy as compared to present solar cells. The output could be increased much more by tilting of the model (with respect to the normal) depending on the geography of the place to trap the maximum solar energy possible.
Link: This product is the only one where there is combination and conversion of both heat and light energy along with the use of greenhouse gases and thermoelectric generators.
Our innovation is to prove that greenhouse gases are not only used in maintaining plants but also to use the thermal energy trapped to convert it into electrical energy with a combination of solar cells to improve the output.
Our vision is to make the maximum use of available renewable resources due to the depleting natural resources.This venture of ours can be much more effective with the cooperation of world's top companies.
Problem Scale: Worldwide
News Link 5: