Toward high-energy-density, high-efficiency, and moderate-temperature chip-scale thermophotovoltaics
Author(s)Pilawa-Podgurski, R. C. N.; Chan, Walker R.; Bermel, Peter A.; Marton, Christopher Henry; Jensen, Klavs F.; Senkevich, Jay; Joannopoulos, John D.; Soljacic, Marin; Celanovic, Ivan; ... Show more Show less
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The challenging problem of ultra-high-energy-density, high-efficiency, and small-scale portable power generation is addressed here using a distinctive thermophotovoltaic energy conversion mechanism and chip-based system design, which we name the microthermophotovoltaic (μTPV) generator. The approach is predicted to be capable of up to 32% efficient heat-to-electricity conversion within a millimeter-scale form factor. Although considerable technological barriers need to be overcome to reach full performance, we have performed a robust experimental demonstration that validates the theoretical framework and the key system components. Even with a much-simplified μTPV system design with theoretical efficiency prediction of 2.7%, we experimentally demonstrate 2.5% efficiency. The μTPV experimental system that was built and tested comprises a silicon propane microcombustor, an integrated high-temperature photonic crystal selective thermal emitter, four 0.55-eV GaInAsSb thermophotovoltaic diodes, and an ultra-high-efficiency maximum power-point tracking power electronics converter. The system was demonstrated to operate up to 800 °C (silicon microcombustor temperature) with an input thermal power of 13.7 W, generating 344 mW of electric power over a 1-cm[superscript 2] area.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Materials Science and Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Chemical Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research Laboratory of Electronics
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
Chan, W. R., P. Bermel, R. C. N. Pilawa-Podgurski, C. H. Marton, K. F. Jensen, J. J. Senkevich, J. D. Joannopoulos, M. Soljacic, and I. Celanovic. “Toward high-energy-density, high-efficiency, and moderate-temperature chip-scale thermophotovoltaics.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110, no. 14 (April 2, 2013): 5309-5314.
Final published version