skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Collimated thermal radiation transfer via half Maxwell's fish-eye lens for thermophotovoltaics

Abstract

Thermophotovoltaics (TPV) convert heat into electricity by capturing thermal radiation with a photovoltaic (PV) cell, ideally at efficiencies of 50% or more. However, excess heating of the PV cell from close proximity to the emitter substantially reduces the system efficiency. In this paper, we theoretically develop and numerically demonstrate an approach to fundamentally improving TPV systems that allow for a much greater separation of an emitter and a receiver. Thus, we solve the excess heating dilemma, required for achieving theoretically high efficiencies. It consists of a spherically graded index lens known as Maxwell's Fish-Eye (MFE) structure, capable of collimating hemispherical emission into a much narrower range of angles, close to the normal direction. To fully characterize the power radiation profile of the MFE, we perform finite-difference time-domain simulations for a quarter MFE and then map it onto a Gaussian beam approximation. The modeled beam properties are subsequently used to study a half MFE. In an optimized half MFE design, 90% of all thermal photons reach a receiver at a distance of 100 λ; by comparison, only 15.6% of a blackbody emitter reach a receiver in the same geometry. It is also shown that the emission achieved by a half MFEmore » can lead to a photon recycling rate above 95% for below bandgap photons at an emitter-receiver separation of 100 λ. Finally, by applying a half MFE, the absolute TPV efficiency can be improved from 5.74% to 37.15%, which represents a significant step forward in realizing high-efficiency TPV systems.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States). Birck Nanotechnology Center
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Renewable Power Office. Solar Energy Technologies Office; National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1466218
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1361901
Grant/Contract Number:  
EE0004946; EEC1454315-CAREER
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 110; Journal Issue: 20; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; finite difference time domain calculations; Maxwell equations; photons; solar cells; band gap; Einstein Maxwell radiation; thermal radiation; magnetic fields; refractive index

Citation Formats

Chung, Haejun, Zhou, Zhiguang, and Bermel, Peter. Collimated thermal radiation transfer via half Maxwell's fish-eye lens for thermophotovoltaics. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4983679.
Chung, Haejun, Zhou, Zhiguang, & Bermel, Peter. Collimated thermal radiation transfer via half Maxwell's fish-eye lens for thermophotovoltaics. United States. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4983679
Chung, Haejun, Zhou, Zhiguang, and Bermel, Peter. Fri . "Collimated thermal radiation transfer via half Maxwell's fish-eye lens for thermophotovoltaics". United States. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4983679. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1466218.
@article{osti_1466218,
title = {Collimated thermal radiation transfer via half Maxwell's fish-eye lens for thermophotovoltaics},
author = {Chung, Haejun and Zhou, Zhiguang and Bermel, Peter},
abstractNote = {Thermophotovoltaics (TPV) convert heat into electricity by capturing thermal radiation with a photovoltaic (PV) cell, ideally at efficiencies of 50% or more. However, excess heating of the PV cell from close proximity to the emitter substantially reduces the system efficiency. In this paper, we theoretically develop and numerically demonstrate an approach to fundamentally improving TPV systems that allow for a much greater separation of an emitter and a receiver. Thus, we solve the excess heating dilemma, required for achieving theoretically high efficiencies. It consists of a spherically graded index lens known as Maxwell's Fish-Eye (MFE) structure, capable of collimating hemispherical emission into a much narrower range of angles, close to the normal direction. To fully characterize the power radiation profile of the MFE, we perform finite-difference time-domain simulations for a quarter MFE and then map it onto a Gaussian beam approximation. The modeled beam properties are subsequently used to study a half MFE. In an optimized half MFE design, 90% of all thermal photons reach a receiver at a distance of 100 λ; by comparison, only 15.6% of a blackbody emitter reach a receiver in the same geometry. It is also shown that the emission achieved by a half MFE can lead to a photon recycling rate above 95% for below bandgap photons at an emitter-receiver separation of 100 λ. Finally, by applying a half MFE, the absolute TPV efficiency can be improved from 5.74% to 37.15%, which represents a significant step forward in realizing high-efficiency TPV systems.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4983679},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1466218}, journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
issn = {0003-6951},
number = 20,
volume = 110,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {5}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 1 work
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Maxwell’s fish-eye lens and the mirage of perfect imaging
journal, January 2011


High efficiency rare-earth emitter for thermophotovoltaic applications
journal, September 2014


Modified Maxwell fish-eye approach for efficient coupler design by graded photonic crystals
journal, January 2012


Absorber and emitter for solar thermo-photovoltaic systems to achieve efficiency exceeding the Shockley-Queisser limit
journal, January 2009


Solar thermophotovoltaics: reshaping the solar spectrum
journal, January 2016


Global optimization of solar thermophotovoltaic systems: Global optimization of solar thermophotovoltaic systems
journal, April 2012


Tailoring photonic metamaterial resonances for thermal radiation
journal, January 2011


Design and global optimization of high-efficiency thermophotovoltaic systems
journal, January 2010


Three-dimensional self-assembled photonic crystals with high temperature stability for thermal emission modification
journal, October 2013


Theoretical limits of thermophotovoltaic solar energy conversion
journal, April 2003


Thermophotovoltaics on the move to applications
journal, May 2013


All-metamaterial-based subwavelength cavities (λ∕60) for ultrathin directive antennas
journal, February 2006


Wavelength-selective and diffuse emitter enhanced by magnetic polaritons for thermophotovoltaics
journal, February 2012


Metamaterial-based half Maxwell fish-eye lens for broadband directive emissions
journal, January 2013


Two-dimensional tungsten photonic crystals as selective thermal emitters
journal, May 2008


Achieving centimetre-scale supercollimation in a large-area two-dimensional photonic crystal
journal, January 2006


Heterogeneous metasurface for high temperature selective emission
journal, August 2014


Gaussian beam as a bundle of complex rays
journal, January 1971


A nanophotonic solar thermophotovoltaic device
journal, January 2014


Thermal Radiation from Photonic Crystals: A Direct Calculation
journal, November 2004


Design of wide-angle selective absorbers/emitters with dielectric filled metallic photonic crystals for energy applications
journal, December 2013


Can Maxwell'S fish eye lens Really give Perfect Imaging? part ii. the case with Passive Drains
journal, January 2010


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Nanophotonic engineering of far-field thermal emitters
    journal, May 2019


    A comparatively experimental study on the temperature-dependent performance of thermophotovoltaic cells
    journal, May 2019