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Production Method Of Electrical Energy by Enhanced Thermal Electron Emission by the Use of Superior Semiconductors

Objective

The project aims to develop, validate and implement a novel solid-state conversion mechanism able to transform concentrated solar radiation into electric energy, at very high efficiency, with a direct conversion obtained by an enhanced electron emission from advanced semiconductor structures. Its application is in high-flux concentrating solar systems, characterized by presently mature optical technology, reduced request for active components, high cost-effectiveness.
The energy conversion exploits the high radiation flux, provided by solar concentrators, by combining an efficient thermionic emission to an enhanced photo-electron emission from a cathode structure, obtained by tailoring the physical properties of advanced semiconductors able to work at temperatures as high as 1000 °C. The high operating temperatures are also connected to the possibility to exploit the residual thermal energy into electric energy by thermo-mechanical conversion.
ProME3ThE2US2 will develop a proof-of-concept converter working under vacuum conditions, composed of an absorber able to employ the solar infrared (IR) radiation to provide a temperature increase, a semiconductor cathode properly deposited on it, and a work-function-matched anode, separated from the cathode by an inter-electrode spacing. The concept novelty bases on (1) use of both bandgap and over-bandgap energy to generate electrical current; (2) additional use of sub-bandgap IR radiation, with a spectral energy not able to excite photo-emitters, for augmenting the thermionic emission from cathode, (3) engineered semiconductors, able to emit electrons at lower temperatures than standard refractory metals; (4) experimentation of a hetero-structured cathode for emission enhancement by an internal field; (5) recovery of exhaust heat from the anode by thermo-mechanical conversion. It is estimated that the proposed technology could achieve a conversion efficiency of 45% if used under high-flux irradiation conditions (~1000 suns).

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/energy conversion
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/electric energy
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/electromagnetism and electronics/electrical conductivity/semiconductor
  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/atmospheric sciences/meteorology/solar radiation
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/metals

Call for proposal

FP7-ENERGY-2012-1-2STAGE
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP - Collaborative project (generic)

Coordinator

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE
Address
Piazzale Aldo Moro 7
00185 Roma
Italy
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 778 783,25
Administrative Contact
Daniele Maria Trucchi (Dr.)

Participants (7)

TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY
Israel
EU contribution
€ 469 768
Address
Ramat Aviv
69978 Tel Aviv
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Lea Pais (Ms.)
TECHNION - ISRAEL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Israel
EU contribution
€ 472 642
Address
Senate Building Technion City
32000 Haifa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Grosbart Klara (Dr.)
FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.
Germany
EU contribution
€ 460 272
Address
Hansastrasse 27C
80686 Munchen
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Maximilian Steiert (Dr.)
Ionvac Process Srl
Italy
EU contribution
€ 317 760
Address
Viale Anchise 24 25
00040 Pomezia (Rm)
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Aniello Vitulano (Mr.)
EXERGY LTD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 175 216
Address
Puma Way The Technocentre Coventry University Technology Park
CV1 2TT Coventry
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Centeno Fernando (Mr.)
SOLARIS PHOTONICS LTD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 61 440
Address
Almond Avenue 23
UB7 9EL Westdrayton
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Arnaldo Galbiati (Dr.)
ABENGOA RESEARCH SL

Participation ended

Spain
EU contribution
€ 241 677,23
Address
Calle Energia Solar 1 - Campus Palmas Altas Sect Sunp Gu I Parcela Ze 3
41014 Sevilla
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Alvaro Pérez (Mr.)