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Improved Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) Performance Using Dielectric Photon Concentrations (DPC)

Description: This report presents theoretical and experimental results, which demonstrate the feasibility of a new class of thermophotovoltaic (TPV) energy converters with greatly improved power density and efficiency. Performance improvements are based on the utilization of the enhanced photon concentrations within high refractive index materials. Analysis demonstrates that the maximum achievable photon flux for TPV applications is limited by the lowest index in the photonic cavity, and scales as the minimum refraction index squared, n{sup 2}. Utilization of the increased photon levels within high index materials greatly expands the design space limits of TPV systems, including: a 10x increase in power density, a 50% fractional increase in conversion efficiency, or alternatively reduced radiator temperature requirements to as low as {approx} 1000 F.
Date: January 3, 2003
Creator: Baldasaro, P.F. & Fourspring, P.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Physical Basis for the Maximum Thermal Radiation Emission between Materials

Description: An analytic basis for the limit on intra-media thermal radiation transport has been obtained as a simple function of temperature and material optical properties (n,k). It is shown that optical parameters determine the maximum radiative energy transfer rate by altering media radiative state density and energy density. Quantitative analysis shows that intra-media radiative transfer rates may exceed the radiation into free space as described by the Stephan-Boltzmann equation by several orders of magnitude. The frequency dependence of the optical properties further alters the expected blackbody spectral dependence. This generalized formulation of the limit to thermal radiation transfer in terms of media optical properties expands the understanding and future potential of radiative processes.
Date: April 24, 2003
Creator: Baldasaro, P.F. & Beausang, J.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Segregated tandem filter for enhanced conversion efficiency in a thermophotovoltaic energy conversion system

Description: A filter system to transmit short wavelength radiation and reflect long wavelength radiation for a thermophotovoltaic energy conversion cell comprises an optically transparent substrate segregation layer with at least one coherent wavelength in optical thickness; a dielectric interference filter deposited on one side of the substrate segregation layer, the interference filter being disposed toward the source of radiation, the interference filter including a plurality of alternating layers of high and low optical index materials adapted to change from transmitting to reflecting at a nominal wavelength {lambda}{sub IF} approximately equal to the bandgap wavelength {lambda}{sub g} of the thermophotovoltaic cell, the interference filter being adapted to transmit incident radiation from about 0.5{lambda}{sub IF} to {lambda}{sub IF} and reflect from {lambda}{sub IF} to about 2{lambda}{sub IF}; and a high mobility plasma filter deposited on the opposite side of the substrate segregation layer, the plasma filter being adapted to start to become reflecting at a wavelength of about 1.5{lambda}{sub IF}.
Date: December 31, 1996
Creator: Brown, E.J.; Baldasaro, P.F. & Dziendziel, R.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

InGaAsSb thermophotovoltaic diode physics evaluation

Description: The hotside operating temperatures for many projected thermophotovoltaic (TPV) conversion system applications are approximately 1,000 C, which sets an upper limit on the TPV diode bandgap of 0.6 eV from efficiency and power density considerations. This bandgap requirement has necessitated the development of new diode material systems, never previously considered for energy generation. To date, InGaAsSb quaternary diodes grown lattice-matched on GaSb substrates have achieved the highest performance. This report relates observed diode performance to electro-optic properties such as minority carrier lifetime, diffusion length and mobility and provides initial links to microstructural properties. This analysis has bounded potential diode performance improvements. For the 0.52 eV InGaAsSb diodes used in this analysis the measured dark current is 2 {times} 10{sup {minus}5} A/cm{sup 2}, versus a potential Auger limit 1 {times} 10{sup {minus}5} A/cm{sup 2}, a radiative limit of 2 {times} 10{sup {minus}6} A/cm{sup 2} (no photon recycling), and an absolute thermodynamic limit of 1.4 {times} 10{sup {minus}7} A/cm{sup 2}. These dark currents are equivalent to open circuit voltage gains of 20 mV (7%), 60 mV (20%) and 140 mV (45%), respectively.
Date: June 1, 1998
Creator: Charache, G.W.; Baldasaro, P.F. & Danielson, L.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A thermophotovoltaic energy conversion device

Description: A thermophotovoltaic device and a method for making the thermophotovoltaic device are disclosed. The device includes an n-type semiconductor material substrate having top and bottom surfaces, a tunnel junction formed on the top surface of the substrate, a region of active layers formed on top of the tunnel junction and a back surface reflector (BSR). The tunnel junction includes a layer of heavily doped n-type semiconductor material that is formed on the top surface of the substrate and a layer of heavily doped p-type semiconductor material formed on the n-type layer. An optional pseudomorphic layer can be formed between the n-type and p-type layers. A region of active layers is formed on top of the tunnel junction. This region includes a base layer of p-type semiconductor material and an emitter layer of n-type semiconductor material. An optional front surface window layer can be formed on top of the emitter layer. An optional interference filter can be formed on top of the emitter layer or the front surface window layer when it is used.
Date: December 31, 1996
Creator: Charache, G.W.; Baldasaro, P.F. & Egley, J.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bulk single crystal ternary substrates for a thermophotovoltaic energy conversion system

Description: A thermophotovoltaic energy conversion device and a method for making the device are disclosed. The device includes a substrate formed from a bulk single crystal material having a bandgap (E{sub g}) of 0.4 eV < E{sub g} < 0.7 eV and an emitter fabricated on the substrate formed from one of a p-type and an n-type material. Another thermophotovoltaic energy conversion device includes a host substrate formed from a bulk single crystal material and lattice-matched ternary or quaternary III-V semiconductor active layers.
Date: December 31, 1996
Creator: Charache, G.W.; Baldasaro, P.F. & Nichols, G.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lapped substrate for enhanced backsurface reflectivity in a thermophotovoltaic energy conversion system

Description: A method is described for fabricating a thermophotovoltaic energy conversion cell including a thin semiconductor wafer substrate having a thickness ({beta}) calculated to decrease the free carrier absorption on a heavily doped substrate; wherein the top surface of the semiconductor wafer substrate is provided with a thermophotovoltaic device, a metallized grid and optionally an antireflective (AR) overcoating; and, the bottom surface (10 ft) of the semiconductor wafer substrate is provided with a highly reflecting coating which may comprise a metal coating or a combined dielectric/metal coating.
Date: December 31, 1996
Creator: Baldasaro, P.F.; Brown, E.J.; Charache, G.W. & DePoy, D.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Status of Thermophotovoltaic Energy Conversion Technology at Lockheed Martin Corp.

Description: In a thermophotovoltaic (TPV) energy conversion system, a heated surface radiates in the mid-infrared range onto photodiodes which are sensitive at these energies. Part of the absorbed energy is converted into electric output. Conversion efficiency is maximized by reducing the absorption of non-convertible energy with some form of spectral control. In a TPV system, many technology options exist. The development efforts have concentrated on flat-plate geometries with greybody radiators, low bandgap quaternary diodes, front surface tandem filters and a multi-chip module (MCM) approach that allows selective fabrication processes to match diode performance. Recently, the authors achieved conversion efficiencies of about 20% (radiator 950 C, diodes 22 C) for a module in a prototypic cavity test environment. These tests employed InGaAsSb diodes with 0.52 eV bandgap and front surface filters for spectral control. This paper provides details of the individual system components and describes the measurement technique used to record these efficiencies.
Date: January 31, 2003
Creator: Brown, E.J.; Baldasaro, P.F.; Burger, S.R.; Danielson, L.R.; DePoy, D.M.; Nichols, G.J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

TPV efficiency measurements and predictions for a closed cavity geometry

Description: A thermophotovoltaic (TPV) efficiency measurement, within a closed cavity, is an integrated test which incorporates four fundamental parameters of TPV direct energy conversion. These are: (1) the TPV devices, (2) spectral control, (3) a radiation/photon source, and (4) closed cavity geometry effects. The overall efficiency of the TPV device is controlled by the TP cell performance, the spectral control characteristics, the radiator temperature and the geometric arrangement. Controlled efficiency measurements and predictions provide valuable feedback on all four. This paper describes and compares two computer codes developed to model 16, 1 cm{sup 2} TPV cells (in a 4 x 4 configuration) in a cavity geometry. The first code, subdivides the infrared spectrum into several bands and then numerically integrates over the spectrum to provide absorbed heat flux and cell electrical output performance predictions (assuming infinite parallel plates). The second code, utilizes a Monte Carlo Photon Transport code that tracks photons, from birth at the radiation source, until they either escape or are absorbed. Absorption depends upon energy dependent reflection probabilities assigned to every geometrical surface within the cavity. The model also has the capability of tallying above and below bandgap absorptions (as a function of location) and can support various radiator temperature profiles. The arrays were fabricated using 0.55 eV InGaAs cells with Si/SiO interference filters for spectral control and at steady state conditions, array efficiency was calculated as the ratio of the load matched power to its absorbed heat flux. Preliminary experimental results are also compared with predictions.
Date: May 1, 1997
Creator: Gethers, C.K.; Ballinger, C.T.; Postlethwait, M.A.; DePoy, D.M. & Baldasaro, P.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

TPV efficiency predictions and measurements for a closed cavity geometry

Description: A thermophotovoltaic (TPV) efficiency measurement, within a closed cavity, is an integrated test which incorporates four fundamental parameters of TPV direct energy conversion. These are: (1) the TPV devices, (2) spectral control, (3) a radiation/photon source, and (4) closed cavity geometry affects. The overall efficiency of the TPV device is controlled by the TPV cell performance, the spectral control characteristics, the radiator temperature and the geometric arrangement. Controlled efficiency measurements and predictions provide valuable feedback on all four. This paper describes and compares two computer codes developed to model 16, 1 cm{sup 2} TPV cells (in a 4x4 configuration) in a cavity geometry. The first code subdivides the infrared spectrum into several bands and then numerically integrates over the spectrum to provide absorbed heat flux and cell performance predictions (assuming infinite parallel plates). The second utilizes a Monte Carlo Ray-Tracing code that tracks photons, from birth at the radiation source, until they either escape or are absorbed. Absorption depends upon energy dependent reflection probabilities assigned to every geometrical surface within the cavity. The model also has the capability of tallying above and below bandgap absorptions (as a function of location) and can support various radiator temperature profiles. The arrays are fabricated using 0.55 eV InGaAs cells with Si/SiO interference filters for spectral control and at steady state conditions, array efficiency was calculated as the ratio of the load matched power to its absorbed heat flux. Preliminary experimental results are also compared with predictions.
Date: May 1, 1997
Creator: Gethers, C.K.; Ballinger, C.T.; Postlethwait, M.A.; DePoy, D.M. & Baldasaro, P.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Performance Limits of Low Bandgap Thermophotovoltaic Antimonide-Based Cells for Low Temperature Radiators

Description: This paper assesses the performance of antimonide-based thermophotovoltaic cells fabricated by different technologies. In particular, the paper compares the performance of lattice matched quaternary (GaInAsSb) cells epitaxially grown on GaSb substrates to the performance of ternary (GaInSb) and binary (GaSb) cells fabricated by Zn diffusion on bulk substrates. The focus of the paper is to delineate the key performance advantages of the highest performance-to-date of the quaternary cells to the performance of the alternative ternary and binary antimonide-based diffusion technology. The performance characteristics of the cells considered are obtained from PC-1D simulations using appropriate material parameters.
Date: August 29, 2000
Creator: Borrego, J.M.; Wang, C.A.; Dutta, P.S.; rajagopalan, G.; Bhat, I.B.; Gutmann, R.J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Current status of low-temperature radiator thermophotovoltaic devices

Description: The current performance status of low-temperature radiator (< 1,000 C) thermophotovoltaic (TPV) devices is presented. For low-temperature radiators, both power density and efficiency are equally important in designing an effective TPV system. Comparisons of 1 cm x 1 cm, 0.55 eV InGaAs and InGaAsSb voltaic devices are presented. Currently, InGaAs lattice-mismatched devices offer superior performance in comparison to InGaAsSb lattice-matched devices, due to the former`s long-term development for numerous optoelectronic applications. However, lattice-matched antimony-based quaternaries offer numerous potential advantages.
Date: May 1, 1996
Creator: Charache, G.W.; Egley, J.L.; Danielson, L.R.; DePoy, D.M.; Baldasaro, P.F.; Campbell, B.C. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

0.52eV Quaternary InGaAsSb Thermophotovoltaic Diode Technology

Description: Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) diodes fabricated from 0.52eV lattice-matched InGaAsSb alloys are grown by Metal Organic Vapor Phase Epitaxy (MOVPE) on GaSb substrates. 4cm{sup 2} multi-chip diode modules with front-surface spectral filters were tested in a vacuum cavity and attained measured efficiency and power density of 19% and 0.58 W/cm{sup 2} respectively at operating at temperatures of T{sub radiator} = 950 C and T{sub diode} = 27 C. Device modeling and minority carrier lifetime measurements of double heterostructure lifetime specimens indicate that diode conversion efficiency is limited predominantly by interface recombination and photon energy loss to the GaSb substrate and back ohmic contact. Recent improvements to the diode include lattice-matched p-type AlGaAsSb passivating layers with interface recombination velocities less than 100 cm/s and new processing techniques enabling thinned substrates and back surface reflectors. Modeling predictions of these improvements to the diode architecture indicate that conversion efficiencies from 27-30% and {approx}0.85 W/cm{sup 2} could be attained under the above operating temperatures.
Date: June 9, 2004
Creator: Dashiell, M. W.; Beausang, J. F.; Nichols, G.; Depoy, D. M.; Danielson, L. R.; Ehsani, H. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department