Where solar thermal meets photovoltaic for high-efficiency power conversion
Author(s)Bierman, David M. (David Matthew)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Evelyn N. Wang.
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To develop disruptive techniques which generate power from the Sun, one must understand the aspects of existing technologies that limit performance. Solar thermal and solar photovoltaic schemes dominate today's solar market but both bring intrinsic and practical constraints. What will tomorrow's solar market look like? Third generation solar power generation techniques to utilize a larger portion of the solar spectrum are a promising path for high efficiency power generation, but experimental demonstrations remain limited. In this work, the components of a solar thermophotovoltaic power converter are introduced and discussed. While solar thermophotovoltaic devices have the potential to convert sunlight into electricity at astronomically high efficiencies, there are a number of practical challenges that must first be addressed. Novel photonic materials, design concepts, and both intrinsic and practical limitations of solar thermophotovoltaic conversion are explored in this thesis. The conversion mechanisms as well as a number of experimental implementations are presented. Finally, the device performance is characterized and both geometrical and spectral improvements are discussed.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2014.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 71-73).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology