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Title: Portable thermo-photovoltaic power source

A miniature thermo-photovoltaic (TPV) device for generation of electrical power for use in portable electronic devices. A TPV power source is constructed to provide a heat source chemical reactor capable of using various fuels, such as liquid hydrocarbons, including but not limited to propane, LPG, butane, alcohols, oils and diesel fuels to generate a source of photons. A reflector dish guides misdirected photon energy from the photon source toward a photovoltaic array. A thin transparent protector sheet is disposed between the photon source and the array to reflect back thermal energy that cannot be converted to electricity, and protect the array from thermal damage. A microlens disposed between the protector sheet and the array further focuses the tailored band of photon energy from the photon source onto an array of photovoltaic cells, whereby the photon energy is converted to electrical power. A heat recuperator removes thermal energy from reactor chamber exhaust gases, preferably using mini- or micro-bellows to force air and fuel past the exhaust gases, and uses the energy to preheat the fuel and oxidant before it reaches the reactor, increasing system efficiency. Mini- or micro-bellows force ambient air through the system both to supply oxidant and to providemore » cooling. Finally, an insulator, which is preferably a super insulator, is disposed around the TPV power source to reduce fuel consumption, and to keep the TPV power source cool to the touch so it can be used in hand-held devices.« less
Inventors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. (Idaho Falls, ID)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
870779
Assignee:
Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company (Idaho Falls, ID) ANL
Patent Number(s):
US 5593509
Application Number:
08/406,236
Contract Number:
AC07-94ID13223
Research Org:
Lockheed Martin Idaho Tech Co
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
portable; thermo-photovoltaic; power; source; miniature; tpv; device; generation; electrical; electronic; devices; constructed; provide; heat; chemical; reactor; capable; various; fuels; liquid; hydrocarbons; including; limited; propane; lpg; butane; alcohols; oils; diesel; generate; photons; reflector; dish; guides; misdirected; photon; energy; photovoltaic; array; transparent; protector; sheet; disposed; reflect; thermal; converted; electricity; protect; damage; microlens; focuses; tailored; band; cells; whereby; recuperator; removes; chamber; exhaust; gases; preferably; mini-; micro-bellows; force; air; fuel; past; preheat; oxidant; reaches; increasing; efficiency; ambient; supply; cooling; finally; insulator; super; reduce; consumption; cool; touch; hand-held; provide cooling; chemical reactor; photon energy; photovoltaic power; thermal damage; liquid hydrocarbon; liquid hydrocarbons; photovoltaic cells; ambient air; exhaust gases; power source; electrical power; thermal energy; heat source; electronic devices; photovoltaic cell; exhaust gas; diesel fuel; reactor chamber; photovoltaic array; reactor capable; electronic device; photon source; fuel consumption; /136/