Design and global optimization of high-efficiency thermophotovoltaic systems

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 02139, USA.
Optics Express (Impact Factor: 3.49). 09/2010; 18 Suppl 3(19):A314-34. DOI: 10.1364/OE.18.00A314
Source: PubMed


Despite their great promise, small experimental thermophotovoltaic (TPV) systems at 1000 K generally exhibit extremely low power conversion efficiencies (approximately 1%), due to heat losses such as thermal emission of undesirable mid-wavelength infrared radiation. Photonic crystals (PhC) have the potential to strongly suppress such losses. However, PhC-based designs present a set of non-convex optimization problems requiring efficient objective function evaluation and global optimization algorithms. Both are applied to two example systems: improved micro-TPV generators and solar thermal TPV systems. Micro-TPV reactors experience up to a 27-fold increase in their efficiency and power output; solar thermal TPV systems see an even greater 45-fold increase in their efficiency (exceeding the Shockley-Quiesser limit for a single-junction photovoltaic cell).

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Available from: Ivan Celanovic, Jan 03, 2014
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    • "Micro/nanostructured materials have drawn great attention due to their potential applications [1] [2] [3], such as thermophotovoltaic emitters [4] [5], selective solar absorbers [6] [7], and biological sensors [8]. Most electromagnetic metamaterials consist of periodic nano/microstructures that exhibit exotic characteristics by excitation of resonances [9]. "
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    • "While band-pass filters may be used to improve the overall efficiency, this method is cumbersome and overheating of the filter may become problematic [7– 9]. Therefore, wavelength-selective emitter is crucial to improve the conversion efficiency and power generation of TPV systems [10] [11]. "
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    • "The efficiency of each subsystem can be further decomposed into its component parts. In particular, the selective solar absorber efficiency can be represented by [5,11]: "
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