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New Type of Heat Engine

Started by J. Wilhelm, April 16, 2022, 06:55:38 PM

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J. Wilhelm

Researchers at MIT and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), develop a new type of heat engine, a thermophotovoltaic cell device with no moving parts, which converts heat to electricity with at least 40% efficiency, matching the efficiency of a steam turbine, greatly outperforming similar devices like thermocouples and other solid state devices.

https://scitechdaily.com/new-heat-engine-with-no-moving-parts-could-fully-decarbonize-the-power-grid/

QuoteThe team's design can generate electricity from a heat source of between 1,900 to 2,400 degrees Celsius, or up to about 4,300 degrees Fahrenheit.

The researchers plan to incorporate the TPV cell into a grid-scale thermal battery. The system would absorb excess energy from renewable sources such as the sun and store that energy in heavily insulated banks of hot graphite. When the energy is needed, such as on overcast days, TPV cells would convert the heat into electricity, and dispatch the energy to a power grid.

Image below: A thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cell (size 1 cm x 1 cm) mounted on a heat sink designed to measure the TPV cell efficiency. To measure the efficiency, the cell is exposed to an emitter and simultaneous measurements of electric power and heat flow through the device are taken. Credit: Felice Frankel

MWBailey

Interesting! I wonder how much one such unit can handle (what kind of use load, I mean).

(Sorry, I kept intending to comment on this, but literally everything these past couple of weeks [including forgetting to click on "Post, lol"] has kept getting in the way).
Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"

"WHAT?! N0!!! NOT THAT Button!!!"

J. Wilhelm

Quote from: MWBailey on April 22, 2022, 10:44:54 PM
Interesting! I wonder how much one such unit can handle (what kind of use load, I mean).

(Sorry, I kept intending to comment on this, but literally everything these past couple of weeks [including forgetting to click on "Post, lol"] has kept getting in the way).

Don't know much more about it other than what the article reads. I'll have to investigate, but it called my attention, because at that efficiency it's outperforming a typical internal combustion engine (25% efficiency).

MWBailey

Quote from: J. Wilhelm on April 23, 2022, 02:30:01 AM
Quote from: MWBailey on April 22, 2022, 10:44:54 PM
Interesting! I wonder how much one such unit can handle (what kind of use load, I mean).

(Sorry, I kept intending to comment on this, but literally everything these past couple of weeks [including forgetting to click on "Post, lol"] has kept getting in the way).

Don't know much more about it other than what the article reads. I'll have to investigate, but it called my attention, because at that efficiency it's outperforming a typical internal combustion engine (25% efficiency).




Wow! Here's hoping output is at a useful level!
Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"

"WHAT?! N0!!! NOT THAT Button!!!"

J. Wilhelm

#4
Quote from: MWBailey on April 23, 2022, 04:33:59 AM
Quote from: J. Wilhelm on April 23, 2022, 02:30:01 AM
Quote from: MWBailey on April 22, 2022, 10:44:54 PM
Interesting! I wonder how much one such unit can handle (what kind of use load, I mean).

(Sorry, I kept intending to comment on this, but literally everything these past couple of weeks [including forgetting to click on "Post, lol"] has kept getting in the way).

Don't know much more about it other than what the article reads. I'll have to investigate, but it called my attention, because at that efficiency it's outperforming a typical internal combustion engine (25% efficiency).
Wow! Here's hoping output is at a useful level!

The idea is to use large arrays of these devices. I'm not sure if you can wire them in parallel or in series, but that's irrelevant because you can convert current to voltage or vice versa. But the range of uses is incredible. Here in Texas we're always thinking of electric generators. Think of a fuel burning generator without moving parts. A "stove generator."

And then think of all the applications where you could use high power electric generation from fuel in a small package. This is a really important development, if a bit late in the calendar because we're moving out of reliance on fuel; however there's still many applications where you still need to burn fuel, because batteries are very limited in the energy density they can store, and they're still very heavy.

Then there's the fact that the device doesn't care how you generate the heat. Solar collection. It could be nuclear power too , and you can make very simple and compact fission electric generators.

This is big!