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Title: Solar thermophotovoltaics: reshaping the solar spectrum

There has been increasing interest in utilizing solar thermophotovoltaics (STPV) to convert sunlight into electricity, given their potential to exceed the Shockley-Queisser limit. Encouragingly, there have also been several recent demonstrations of improved system-level efficiency as high as 6.2%. Here, we review prior work in the field, with particular emphasis on the role of several key principles in their experimental operation, performance, and reliability. In particular, for the problem of designing selective solar absorbers, we consider the trade-off between solar absorption and thermal losses, particularly radiative and convective mechanisms. For the selective thermal emitters, we consider the tradeoff between emission at critical wavelengths and parasitic losses. Then for the thermophotovoltaic (TPV) diodes, we consider the trade-off between increasing the potential short-circuit current, and maintaining a reasonable opencircuit voltage. This treatment parallels the historic development of the field, but also connects early insights with recent developments in adjacent fields.With these various components connecting in multiple ways, a system-level end-to-end modeling approach is necessary for a comprehensive understanding and appropriate improvement of STPV systems. Our approach will ultimately allow researchers to design STPV systems capable of exceeding recently demonstrated efficiency values.
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  1. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States). Birck Nanotechnology Center
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2192-8606
de Gruyter
Research Org:
Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; solar power; thermophotovoltaics; selective solar absorbers; selective emitters; selective filters
OSTI Identifier: