Thermoradiative cells: proof of concept
Tutor / director / evaluatorStrandberg, Rune
CovenanteeUniversitetet i Agder
Document typeMaster thesis
Rights accessRestricted access - author's decision
A new method for converting heat to electrical power called thermoradiative energy conversion is experimentally studied with the aim of proving this concept. The existing theory about this topic suggests that a semiconductors PN-junction should be able to produce electrical current by harvesting heat from an external source and emitting it as radiative energy to colder surroundings. For testing this principle, a commercial infrared photodiode is heated while it is placed in a cavity at lower temperature, the resulting voltage across the photodiode pins is measured. It will first be defined the design and manufacturing of a set-up that enables the required testing conditions. The obtained results show voltages with polarity corresponding to a reverse-bias performance when following the convention of photovoltaic literature. The absolute voltage values measured are very little (in the order of microvolts) but they show to increase together with the difference of temperature between the photodiode and its surroundings. These results match what first stated by the theory, regardless of their magnitude. Therefore, the principle of thermoradiative cells is proven along this work. There will be no discussions about how to improve the efficiency and delivered power of thermoradiative cells or whether if this method has practical potential or not.
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