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4 results for: All records
Author ORCID ID is 0000000171400667
Full Text and Citations
  1. Creating selective solar absorber systems using simple, stable structures capable of surviving high temperatures is essential for widespread adoption of efficient, high-temperature solar thermal technologies. In this study, semiconductor-metal tandem selective solar absorbers based on commercially available Si wafers are fabricated and measured at different high temperatures. High selectivity of the devices is obtained at temperature as high as 490 °C, and the structure is demonstrated to be mechanically and thermally stable even at slightly higher temperatures (up to 535 °C). Increased free carrier absorption and lattice absorption of Si are observed at elevated temperatures, which raise thermal re-radiation dramatically.more » In order to mitigate this effect, a thin Si film-based selective absorber has also been computationally designed and optimized, which is predicted to exhibit even higher thermal transfer efficiency (60–70%) at a wide range of solar concentrations (20–100 suns). In conclusion, the simple structure combined with the mechanical and thermal stability enables the low-cost Si substrate-based selective solar absorber to find wide applications in solar thermal energy conversion systems.« less
  2. As we approach a “Full Earth” of over ten billion people within the next century, unprecedented demands will be placed on food, energy and water (FEW) supplies. The grand challenge before us is to sustainably meet humanity’s FEW needs using scarcer resources. To overcome this challenge, we propose the utilization of the entire solar spectrum by redirecting solar photons to maximize FEW production from a given land area. We present novel solar spectrum unbundling FEW systems (SUFEWS), which can meet FEW needs locally while reducing the overall environmental impact of meeting these needs. The ability to meet FEW needs locallymore » is critical, as significant population growth is expected in less-developed areas of the world. As a result, the proposed system presents a solution to harness the same amount of solar products (crops, electricity, and purified water) that could otherwise require ~60% more land if SUFEWS were not used—a major step for Full Earth preparedness.« less
  3. Thermophotovoltaics (TPV) convert heat into electricity by capturing thermal radiation with a photovoltaic (PV) cell, ideally at efficiencies of 50% or more. However, excess heating of the PV cell from close proximity to the emitter substantially reduces the system efficiency. In this paper, we theoretically develop and numerically demonstrate an approach to fundamentally improving TPV systems that allow for a much greater separation of an emitter and a receiver. Thus, we solve the excess heating dilemma, required for achieving theoretically high efficiencies. It consists of a spherically graded index lens known as Maxwell's Fish-Eye (MFE) structure, capable of collimating hemisphericalmore » emission into a much narrower range of angles, close to the normal direction. To fully characterize the power radiation profile of the MFE, we perform finite-difference time-domain simulations for a quarter MFE and then map it onto a Gaussian beam approximation. The modeled beam properties are subsequently used to study a half MFE. In an optimized half MFE design, 90% of all thermal photons reach a receiver at a distance of 100 λ; by comparison, only 15.6% of a blackbody emitter reach a receiver in the same geometry. It is also shown that the emission achieved by a half MFE can lead to a photon recycling rate above 95% for below bandgap photons at an emitter-receiver separation of 100 λ. Finally, by applying a half MFE, the absolute TPV efficiency can be improved from 5.74% to 37.15%, which represents a significant step forward in realizing high-efficiency TPV systems.« less

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