Design and Optimization of a Solar Thermophotovoltaic System

  • Ishtiaq Maqsood

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Increasing energy demand, global warming and depleting oil resources are the main reasons for using renewable energy. Sun is the main renewable energy source and solar thermophotovoltaic (STPV) systems harness the solar energy to produce electricity. The STPV technology has the potential to become one of the most cost effective technologies for the production of electricity from the Sun. The concept is to heat up an emitter material using concentrated sunlight which then radiates the infrared photons. These photons are then converted into electricity using low bandgap semiconductor photovoltaic cells. In this thesis, the design, optimization and detailed simulation analysis of STPV systems are presented. Various combinations of emitters and thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cells are simulated to predict the system efficiency. Cassegrain solar concentrator is modeled using an optical ray tracing software which uses a Monte Carlo simulation technique. The optical performance of the Masdar Beam Down is also accomplished using one heliostat and one central reflector mirror. The detailed thermal analysis of planar and cylindrical STPV systems is carried out to optimize the system size. A Matlab code is written to calculate the system efficiency using the thermal, optical and electrical properties of its components. Simulation results show that TPV systems equipped with the GaSb cell have the maximum conversion efficiency for the emitter temperature of 1500K. Simulation code is flexible and can be used to predict the efficiency of any TPV system with given emitter, filter and TPV cell profiles.
Date of Award2011
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMahieddine Emziane (Supervisor)


  • Photovoltaic Power Systems
  • Solar System

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