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Title: Ultraefficient thermophotovoltaic power conversion by band-edge spectral filtering

Abstract

Thermophotovoltaic power conversion utilizes thermal radiation from a local heat source to generate electricity in a photovoltaic cell. It was shown in recent years that the addition of a highly reflective rear mirror to a solar cell maximizes the extraction of luminescence. This, in turn, boosts the voltage, enabling the creation of record-breaking solar efficiency. Now we report that the rear mirror can be used to create thermophotovoltaic systems with unprecedented high thermophotovoltaic efficiency. This mirror reflects low-energy infrared photons back into the heat source, recovering their energy. Therefore, the rear mirror serves a dual function; boosting the voltage and reusing infrared thermal photons. This allows the possibility of a practical >50% efficient thermophotovoltaic system. Based on this reflective rear mirror concept, we report a thermophotovoltaic efficiency of 29.1 ± 0.4% at an emitter temperature of 1,207 °C.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Materials Sciences Division
  2. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  3. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  4. Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA (United States). Dept. of Engineering
  5. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Nuclear Engineering
  6. Physical Insights Associates, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  7. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Applied Physics
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Renewable Power Office. Solar Energy Technologies Office
OSTI Identifier:
1561936
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1545259
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5900-73229
Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424; ark:/13030/qt2kh465km
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 116; Journal Issue: 31; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; energy; photovoltaics; thermophotovoltaics; TPV; solar; 14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; thermophotovoltaic; back mirror; high efficiency

Citation Formats

Omair, Zunaid, Scranton, Gregg, Pazos-Outón, Luis M., Xiao, T. Patrick, Steiner, Myles A., Ganapati, Vidya, Peterson, Per F., Holzrichter, John, Atwater, Harry, and Yablonovitch, Eli. Ultraefficient thermophotovoltaic power conversion by band-edge spectral filtering. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1903001116.
Omair, Zunaid, Scranton, Gregg, Pazos-Outón, Luis M., Xiao, T. Patrick, Steiner, Myles A., Ganapati, Vidya, Peterson, Per F., Holzrichter, John, Atwater, Harry, & Yablonovitch, Eli. Ultraefficient thermophotovoltaic power conversion by band-edge spectral filtering. United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1903001116.
Omair, Zunaid, Scranton, Gregg, Pazos-Outón, Luis M., Xiao, T. Patrick, Steiner, Myles A., Ganapati, Vidya, Peterson, Per F., Holzrichter, John, Atwater, Harry, and Yablonovitch, Eli. Tue . "Ultraefficient thermophotovoltaic power conversion by band-edge spectral filtering". United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1903001116. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1561936.
@article{osti_1561936,
title = {Ultraefficient thermophotovoltaic power conversion by band-edge spectral filtering},
author = {Omair, Zunaid and Scranton, Gregg and Pazos-Outón, Luis M. and Xiao, T. Patrick and Steiner, Myles A. and Ganapati, Vidya and Peterson, Per F. and Holzrichter, John and Atwater, Harry and Yablonovitch, Eli},
abstractNote = {Thermophotovoltaic power conversion utilizes thermal radiation from a local heat source to generate electricity in a photovoltaic cell. It was shown in recent years that the addition of a highly reflective rear mirror to a solar cell maximizes the extraction of luminescence. This, in turn, boosts the voltage, enabling the creation of record-breaking solar efficiency. Now we report that the rear mirror can be used to create thermophotovoltaic systems with unprecedented high thermophotovoltaic efficiency. This mirror reflects low-energy infrared photons back into the heat source, recovering their energy. Therefore, the rear mirror serves a dual function; boosting the voltage and reusing infrared thermal photons. This allows the possibility of a practical >50% efficient thermophotovoltaic system. Based on this reflective rear mirror concept, we report a thermophotovoltaic efficiency of 29.1 ± 0.4% at an emitter temperature of 1,207 °C.},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1903001116},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 31,
volume = 116,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
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Cited by: 10 works
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Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: Increasing the efficiency of thermophotovoltaics by managing the low-energy thermal photons that cannot be absorbed by the semiconductor. There are two approaches for doing this. (A) Use a spectrally selective coating that will ideally emit high-energy photons or (B) exploit the semiconductor band edge itself as the spectralmore » filter. The presence of a rear mirror ensures that any unabsorbed photons are reflected back to the emitter and are rethermalized.« less

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