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DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2011.TMNN-2011.300
9 pages

Mathieu Francoeur
Dept.of Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah; and Radiative Transfer Laboratory,Dept. of Mechanical Engineering,University of Kentucky, USA; and Département de Génie Mécanique, Université Laval, Québec, G1K 7P4, Canada

Rodolphe Vaillon
Centre de Thermique de Lyon (CETHIL, CNRS/INSA Lyon/UCBL), Domaine Scientifique de La Doua, 20 av. A. Einstein, 69621 Villeurbanne Cedex, France

M. Pinar Menguc
Center for Energy, Environment and Economy (CEEE), Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ozyegin University, Cekmekoy, 34794, Istanbul Turkey; and University of Kentucky, Radiative Transfer Laboratory, Lexington, KY 40506, USA


The performance characteristics of nanoscale-gap thermophotovoltaic (nano-TPV) power generators are investigated via a coupled near-field thermal radiation, charge and heat transport formulation. A nano-TPV device consisting of a tungsten radiator, maintained at 2000 K, and cells made of indium gallium antimonide is considered; the thermal management system is modeled assuming a convective boundary with a fluid temperature fixed at 293 K. Results reveal that in order to maintain the cell at room temperature, a heat transfer coefficient as high as 105 Wm−2K−1 is required for nanometer-size vacuum gaps. In future studies, near-field radiation spectral conditions leading to optimal performance characteristics of the device will be investigated.

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