Modeling and Simulation of a Solar System with Heat Storage for a Continuous Power Generation

  • Mohamed H. Al Hosani

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


One of the drawbacks of solar energy is that the sun does not shine for the whole day. This problem can be solved by using solar thermophotovoltaics (STPV) with phase change materials (PCM). The concept of STPV is to concentrate sunlight to heat up an emitter that radiates infrared photons which are converted to electrical energy using low bandgap photovoltaic (PV) cells. PCM can store a large amount of heat per unit volume during the day time and release it during the night to continuously produce electricity without the need for conventional batteries. In this thesis, the design, modeling and simulations of STPV systems with thermal storage materials are presented. An optical concentrator is modeled to evaluate its optical efficiency under realistic local solar irradiance data. Different combinations of PCMs, emitters, and PV cells were assessed in order to choose the optimal design. The power density for each combination and the efficiency of the cells were determined. A transient thermal analysis was carried out to study the STPV system thermal behavior under different conditions and to determine its overall efficiency and power output. The results show that a STPV system with silicon (Si) as PCM and Er3Al5O12 selective emitter with Ge cells achieves the highest overall efficiency
Date of AwardAug 2013
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMahieddine Emziane (Supervisor)


  • Solar Thermophotovoltaics
  • Solar System
  • Heat Storage
  • Thermal Storage Material.

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