Spectrally Selective, Matched Emitters for Thermophotovoltaic Energy Conversion Processed by Tape Casting


The thermophotovoltaic (TPV) generator converts radiant energy from a high temperature emitter element into electric power using infrared responding photovoltaic cells. Spectral control is a primary issue in TPV applications. Conventional TPV generators have relied on filters to achieve selectivity and spectral control with near-blackbody ceramic emitters. Several practical problems have limited the success of this approach, particularly the present lack of a satisfactory wide-band infrared filter. A new, spectrally selective emitter, is described in this work, and will be called the `bandgap matched' emitter because its emissive power spectrum is very efficiently matched with the infrared response of the GaSb photovoltaic cell. The superior spectral efficiency has been achieved with a novel combination of spectrally active, transition metal dopants within an infrared-transparent magnesium oxide ceramic matrix. High mechanical integrity, thermal shock resistance, excellent heat transfer characteristics, and near-ideal spectral efficiency have been achieved by fabricating composite Co- or Ni-doped MgO from thin ceramic ribbons made by the tape casting process.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Ceramic matrix composites; Light emission; Magnesia; Optical filters; Semiconducting gallium compounds; Thermoelectric energy conversion; Tape casting; Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) generators; Photovoltaic cells

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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© 2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2001