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Title: Solar thermoelectric generator

Solar thermoelectric generators (STEGs) are solid state heat engines that generate electricity from concentrated sunlight. A novel detailed balance model for STEGs is provided and applied to both state-of-the-art and idealized materials. STEGs can produce electricity by using sunlight to heat one side of a thermoelectric generator. While concentrated sunlight can be used to achieve extremely high temperatures (and thus improved generator efficiency), the solar absorber also emits a significant amount of black body radiation. This emitted light is the dominant loss mechanism in these generators. In this invention, we propose a solution to this problem that eliminates virtually all of the emitted black body radiation. This enables solar thermoelectric generators to operate at higher efficiency and achieve said efficient with lower levels of optical concentration. The solution is suitable for both single and dual axis solar thermoelectric generators.
Inventors:
; ;
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1250438
Assignee:
Colorado School of Mines (Golden, CO) ARPA-E
Patent Number(s):
9,331,258
Application Number:
14/190,064
Contract Number:
AR06704918
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 2014 Feb 25
Research Org:
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION

Other works cited in this record:

High-performance flat-panel solar thermoelectric generators with high thermal concentration
journal, May 2011
  • Kraemer, Daniel; Poudel, Bed; Feng, Hsien-Ping
  • Nature Materials, Vol. 10, Issue 7, p. 532-538
  • DOI: 10.1038/nmat3013

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