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TECHNICAL BRIEFS

Design and Performance of a Prototype Thermophotovoltaic System

[+] Author and Article Information
Chris J. Astle

 Alberta Research Council, 250 Karl Clark Road, Edmonton, Alberta, T6N 1E4, Canada; Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, 114 St–89 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E1, Canadaastle@telus.net

Gary J. Kovacik

 Alberta Research Council, 250 Karl Clark Road, Edmonton, Alberta, T6N 1E4, Canada

Ted R. Heidrick

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, 114 St–89 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E1, Canada

J. Sol. Energy Eng 129(3), 340-342 (Feb 06, 2007) (3 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2735351 History: Received October 25, 2004; Revised February 06, 2007

A prototype thermophotovoltaic (TPV) system, utilizing a cylindrical radiant burner, and GaSb cells, was assembled and tested. A unique combination of nine-layer dielectric and quartz-214 optical filtering components was utilized to minimize circuit heating, and increase emitter temperature. An evaluation of the performance of each of the spectral filtering components, and a mapping of energy losses throughout the system are provided for burner firing rates ranging from 6kW to 9kW. Fuel to electric conversion efficiency for this prototype TPV system was found to increase linearly from 1.2% at 6kW to 1.5% at 9kW. This corresponded to power densities ranging from 0.07Wcm2 at 6kW to 0.13Wcm2 at 9kW Areas that require additional improvement in order to increase system efficiency are addressed.

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Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Solid model representation of experimental apparatus (dimensions are in mm (in.))

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Figure 2

Operational TPV prototype

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Figure 3

Power response of Circuit No. 1 under varied burner firing rates

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