Analysis of a Single-Layer Thermophotovoltaic System at Moderate Temperatures

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A study of a parallel-plate system for thermophotovoltaic power production at moderate temperatures is reported. The impetus behind this analysis is the desire to apply systems of this type in microdevices where large temperature differences would be difficult to sustain. The emphasis is on the combination of the photovoltaic (PV) modeling (which has been relatively well documented in the literature) with the thermal transport aspects, particularly the radiative properties, which have been addressed less fully. Of the latter, the monochromatic emissivity is defined in detail. In0.8Ga0.2As is considered as the basic PV material, and two emitter surface treatments are assumed in the analysis including the gray approximation and both an idealistic and a realistic selective surface. Estimates of both the power generation and the power generation efficiency are determined. As expected for temperature differences of these magnitudes, the energy production is shown to be quite small.


Electric power production; Photovoltaic power systems; Solar thermal energy


Energy Systems | Mechanical Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Power and Energy | Sustainability


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