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High efficiency thermophotovoltaic microgenerators

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dc.contributor.advisor Ivan Celanovic. en_US Chan, Walker R en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. en_US 2015-11-09T19:12:10Z 2015-11-09T19:12:10Z 2015 en_US 2015 en_US
dc.description Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2015. en_US
dc.description This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (pages 137-150). en_US
dc.description.abstract We proposed, designed, and demonstrated a first-of-a-kind millimeter-scale thermophotovoltaic (TPV) system using a metallic microburner, photonic crystal (PhC) emitter, and low bandgap TPV cells. Many technologies (fuel cells, Stirling, thermoelectric, etc.) that potentially enable a portable millimeter-scale hydrocarbon microgenerator are under active investigation because conventional fuels offer energy densities fifty times that of batteries. In a TPV system, combustion heats an emitter to incandescence and the resulting thermal radiation is converted to electricity by photovoltaic cells. Our approach uses a moderate temperature (1000{1200°C) microburner coupled to a high emissivity, high selectivity PhC selective emitter and low bandgap TPV cells. The PhC emitter and low bandgap cells minimize total microgenerator mass by enabling simultaneous high eciency and high power density, even at moderate temperatures which allow ecient coupling to the combustion process by reducing undesired heat loss mechanisms. This approach is predicted to be capable of up to 30% ecient fuel-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. We first demonstrated a first-of-a-kind TPV system built from a 1010 mm catalytic silicon MEMS microburner with a Si/SiO₂ 1D PhC matched to the InGaAsSb (Eg = 0:55 eV) cells which achieved 2.7% fuel-to-electricity eciency, a millimeter-scale record, at a power of 344 mWe. We then proposed, designed, and demonstrated a highly robust metallic platform comprised of a 2020 mm Inconel microburner and a higher performance 2D tantalum PhC emitter. With the new system, we experimentally demonstrated a similar eciency but can achieve 5% with simple mechanical improvements. These two experimental demonstrations will pave the way for a lightweight, high energy density TPV microgenerator. We modeled a complete microgenerator based on the experimental system and found an energy density of 850 Wh/kg and power density of 40 W/kg are achievable. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Walker R. Chan. en_US
dc.format.extent 150 pages en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. en_US
dc.title High efficiency thermophotovoltaic microgenerators en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph. D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 927306271 en_US

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