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Title: CONVERSION OF HEAT TO ELECTRICITY BY THERMIONIC EMISSION

Abstract

A heat engine and electric generator is described which is a vacuum or gas filled device containing a hot cathode and a cold anode. Heat at the cathode lifts electrons out of the cathode and to a high (negative) potential in the system. By collecting the electrons on a low work function surface, part of the potential energy may be retained to use in an external circuit. Thus part of the heat that lifts the electrons out of the cathode may be converted into electrical energy. Cs vapor filled tubes were built and tested as thermionic converters. A hot surface ionized part of the Cs vapor to neutralize space charge between the cathode and anode. The Cs vapor was also used to adjust the work functions of the two was also used to adjust the work functions of the two surfaces. A thermionic converter was built which converts 9.2% of the input heat into electricity. The output was 3.1 watts per cm/sup 2/ of cathode surface-0.78 v at 4.0 amp per cm/sup 2/ of cathode surface. (auth)

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
General Electric Research Lab., Schenectady, N.Y.
OSTI Identifier:
4252219
NSA Number:
NSA-13-013767
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Applied Physics (U.S.)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: Vol: 30; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: Orig. Receipt Date: 31-DEC-59
Country of Publication:
Country unknown/Code not available
Language:
English
Subject:
PHYSICS AND MATHEMATICS; ANODES; CATHODES; CESIUM; CIRCUITS; CONVERSION; ELECTRIC CHARGES; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; ELECTRICITY; ELECTRON TUBES; ELECTRONS; EMISSION; ENERGY; GASES; GENERATORS; HEAT TRANSFER; IONIZATION; PLANNING; SPACE CHARGE; SURFACES; TESTING; THERMIONICS; VACUUM; VAPORS; NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems

Citation Formats

Wilson, V C. CONVERSION OF HEAT TO ELECTRICITY BY THERMIONIC EMISSION. Country unknown/Code not available: N. p., 1959. Web. doi:10.1063/1.1702391.
Wilson, V C. CONVERSION OF HEAT TO ELECTRICITY BY THERMIONIC EMISSION. Country unknown/Code not available. doi:10.1063/1.1702391.
Wilson, V C. Wed . "CONVERSION OF HEAT TO ELECTRICITY BY THERMIONIC EMISSION". Country unknown/Code not available. doi:10.1063/1.1702391.
@article{osti_4252219,
title = {CONVERSION OF HEAT TO ELECTRICITY BY THERMIONIC EMISSION},
author = {Wilson, V C},
abstractNote = {A heat engine and electric generator is described which is a vacuum or gas filled device containing a hot cathode and a cold anode. Heat at the cathode lifts electrons out of the cathode and to a high (negative) potential in the system. By collecting the electrons on a low work function surface, part of the potential energy may be retained to use in an external circuit. Thus part of the heat that lifts the electrons out of the cathode may be converted into electrical energy. Cs vapor filled tubes were built and tested as thermionic converters. A hot surface ionized part of the Cs vapor to neutralize space charge between the cathode and anode. The Cs vapor was also used to adjust the work functions of the two was also used to adjust the work functions of the two surfaces. A thermionic converter was built which converts 9.2% of the input heat into electricity. The output was 3.1 watts per cm/sup 2/ of cathode surface-0.78 v at 4.0 amp per cm/sup 2/ of cathode surface. (auth)},
doi = {10.1063/1.1702391},
journal = {Journal of Applied Physics (U.S.)},
number = 4,
volume = Vol: 30,
place = {Country unknown/Code not available},
year = {1959},
month = {4}
}