Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences
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.
energy, photovoltaics, thermophotovoltaics, TPV, solar
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
Z. Omair, G. Scranton, L. M. Pazos-Outón, T. P. Xiao, M. A. Steiner, Vidya Ganapati, P. F. Peterson, J. Holzrichter, H. Atwater, and E. Yablonovitch.
"Ultraefficient Thermophotovoltaic Power Conversion By Band-Edge Spectral Filtering".
Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences.
This work is freely available under a Creative Commons license.