Researchers at ASU have developed an isothermal PETE conversion device that optimizes CPV efficiency by installing low-work-function diamond-doped films as emitter and collector electrodes. Diamond has a wider optical bandgap and a lower electron emission threshold, which means that it absorbs a wider range of the solar spectrum and emits more electrons under TEC and the photoelectric effect. Unlike conventional TEC, this device operates at a uniform temperature (isothermally), and the vacuum gap instead functions by aligning conduction bands to create a direct path for low-work electron transfer. The device’s absorption region is also specially configured to concentrate electrons at the surface of the diamond film, further enhancing electron transfer. The collective innovations generate a much stronger current and substantially increase electrical output. Additionally, heat transfer fluid transfers excess heat outside the device that can be used for secondary energy conversion.
- CPV Systems
- PETE Devices
- Solar Power
Benefits and Advantages
- Absorbs a wider range of the solar spectrum.
- Electron emission does not require as much work.
- Effective – Substantially increases electrical output.
- Innovative – Diamond delivers better performance at higher temperatures.
- Practical – Fluid transfers excess heat outside the device for secondary energy conversion.
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