Towards a high-efficiency micro-thermophotovoltaic generator
Author(s)Walker, Chan (Walker R.)
Towards a high-efficiency micro-TPV generator
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
John Kassakian and Ivan Celanovic.
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Hydrocarbon fuels have such a high energy density that even a relatively inefficient converter of chemical energy into electrical can significantly exceed the energy density of state- of-the-art batteries. This work attempts to do exactly this on a millimeter scale by means of thermophotovoltaic (TPV) power conversion approach. We demonstrated the first-of- a-kind propane-oxygen fueled catalytic silicon based MEMS microreactor integrated with low-bandgap GaInAsSb (0.53 eV bandgap) photovoltaic cells to create a fully operational millimeter scale TPV system. The initial fuel to electricity system efficiency was measured at 0.8%. A cell area of 2 cm2 produced 200 mW of electricity from a chemical input of 28 W. These results match well with developed system models. Additionally, we predict the efficiency can be doubled by improving the view factor, vacuum packaging, and eliminating parasitic radiation from the edges of the reactor. By integrating simple one-dimensional silicon/silicon dioxide photonic crystal on the micro-reactor as spectral shaping device efficiency can reach 5%.
Thesis (M. Eng.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2010.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 73-77).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.