Solar Thermoelectric Generator

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Solar Thermoelectric Generator


a solar power plant that converts solar energy directly into electrical energy. It consists of a system for collecting the solar radiant energy, a thermoelectric generator, a system for following the apparent motion of the sun, and a mechanical support pad.

The efficiency of a solar thermoelectric generator depends on the operating temperature levels of the hot and cold junctions and on the properties of the semiconductor materials of which the thermocouples are made. The density of the heat flux passing through each thermocouple is increased by means of concentrators or by means of flat-plate collectors whose area is greater than that of the cross section of the thermocouple in the direction of the radiation. Accordingly, a distinction is made between generators with optical concentration and panel-type generators that use selective coatings.

Solar thermoelectric generators are promising sources of electrical energy for independent consumers of small amounts of power (up to several hundred watts). For example, such generators may be employed as power sources for equipment used in agriculture to lift groundwater to the surface, for navigational and communication devices, and for space vehicles operating in fields of intense cosmic radiation.


Pozdniakov, B. S., and E. A. Koptelov. Termoelektricheskaiaenergetika. Moscow, 1974.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Niino, "Design of a concentration solar thermoelectric generator," Journal of Electronic Materials, vol.
Shanmugam "A Feasibility study of solar thermoelectric generator" International Conference on Energy and Environment 2009 held at Chandigarh March 2009 by NIT Kurushestra.
Feng et al., "High-performance flat-panel solar thermoelectric generators with high thermal concentration," Nature Materials, vol.
Telkes, "Solar thermoelectric generators," Journal of Applied Physics, vol.
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