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Theoretical studies of thermionic conversion of solar energy with graphene as emitter and collector

Theoretical studies of thermionic conversion of solar energy with graphene as emitter and collector Abstract.Thermionic energy conversion (TEC) using nanomaterials is an emerging field of research. It is known that graphene can withstand temperatures as high as 4600 K in vacuum, and it has been shown that its work function can be engineered from a high value (for monolayer/bilayer) of 4.6 eV to as low as 0.7 eV. Such attractive electronic properties (e.g., good electrical conductivity and high dielectric constant) make engineered graphene a good candidate as an emitter and collector in a thermionic energy converter for harnessing solar energy efficiently. We have used a modified Richardson–Dushman equation and have adopted a model where the collector temperature could be controlled through heat extraction in a calculated amount and a magnet can be attached on the back surface of the collector for future control of the space-charge effect. Our work shows that the efficiency of solar energy conversion also depends on power density falling on the emitter surface, and that a power conversion efficiency of graphene-based solar TEC as high as 55% can be easily achieved (in the absence of the space-charge effect) through proper choice of work functions, collector temperature, and emissivity of emitter surfaces. Such solar energy conversion would reduce our dependence on silicon solar panels and offers great potential for future renewable energy utilization. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Photonics for Energy SPIE

Theoretical studies of thermionic conversion of solar energy with graphene as emitter and collector

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Publisher
SPIE
ISSN
1947-7988
eISSN
1947-7988
DOI
10.1117/1.JPE.8.018001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract.Thermionic energy conversion (TEC) using nanomaterials is an emerging field of research. It is known that graphene can withstand temperatures as high as 4600 K in vacuum, and it has been shown that its work function can be engineered from a high value (for monolayer/bilayer) of 4.6 eV to as low as 0.7 eV. Such attractive electronic properties (e.g., good electrical conductivity and high dielectric constant) make engineered graphene a good candidate as an emitter and collector in a thermionic energy converter for harnessing solar energy efficiently. We have used a modified Richardson–Dushman equation and have adopted a model where the collector temperature could be controlled through heat extraction in a calculated amount and a magnet can be attached on the back surface of the collector for future control of the space-charge effect. Our work shows that the efficiency of solar energy conversion also depends on power density falling on the emitter surface, and that a power conversion efficiency of graphene-based solar TEC as high as 55% can be easily achieved (in the absence of the space-charge effect) through proper choice of work functions, collector temperature, and emissivity of emitter surfaces. Such solar energy conversion would reduce our dependence on silicon solar panels and offers great potential for future renewable energy utilization.

Journal

Journal of Photonics for EnergySPIE

Published: Jan 1, 2018

References