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Energy Express

  • Editor: Bernard Kippelen
  • Vol. 19, Iss. S3 — May. 9, 2011
  • pp: A245–A257
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Design and global optimization of high-efficiency solar thermal systems with tungsten cermets

David Chester, Peter Bermel, John D. Joannopoulos, Marin Soljacic, and Ivan Celanovic  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue S3, pp. A245-A257 (2011)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.19.00A245


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Abstract

Solar thermal, thermoelectric, and thermophotovoltaic (TPV) systems have high maximum theoretical efficiencies; experimental systems fall short because of losses by selective solar absorbers and TPV selective emitters. To improve these critical components, we study a class of materials known as cermets. While our approach is completely general, the most promising cermet candidate combines nanoparticles of silica and tungsten. We find that 4-layer silica-tungsten cermet selective solar absorbers can achieve thermal transfer efficiencies of 84.3% at 400 K, and 75.59% at 1000 K, exceeding comparable literature values. Three layer silica-tungsten cermets can also be used as selective emitters for InGaAsSb-based thermophotovoltaic systems, with projected overall system energy conversion efficiencies of 10.66% at 1000 K using realistic design parameters. The marginal benefit of adding more than 4 cermet layers is small (less than 0.26%, relative).

© 2011 OSA

1. Introduction

Solar thermal, solar thermoelectrics, and solar thermophotovoltaics (TPV) offer three potentially high-efficiency paths for converting sunlight into electricity. All three ideally absorb sunlight strongly but have low thermal reradiation – a combination known as a selective solar absorber [1

1. W. Spirkl and H. Ries, “Solar thermophotovoltaics: an assessment,” J. Appl. Phys. 57, 4409–4414 (1985). [CrossRef]

]. The heat can then be either used directly, or used to drive an electrical generator. In the most traditional case, heat is driven into a working fluid to run a mechanical engine [2

2. D. Y. Goswami, F. Kreith, and J. F. Kreider, Principles of Solar Engineering (Taylor and Francis, 2000).

]. Solar thermoelectrics instead use the Seebeck effect to generate electricity across a thermal gradient [3

3. F. J. DiSalvo, “Thermoelectric cooling and power generation,” Science 285, 703–706 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 4

4. G. Chen, Nanoscale Energy Transport and Conversion: a Parallel Treatment of Electrons, Molecules, Phonons, and Photons (Oxford University Press, 2005). [PubMed]

]. In the case of solar TPV, as illustrated in Fig. 1, the selective absorber is thermally coupled to a selective emitter, which thermally radiates onto a nearby TPV cell capable of converting photons above the TPV bandgap energy directly into electricity [5

5. H. H. Kolm, “Solar-battery power source,” Quarterly Progress Report (1956), Group 35, p. 13.

8

8. F. O’Sullivan, I. Celanovic, N. Jovanovic, J. Kassakian, S. Akiyama, and K. Wada, “Optical characteristics of 1D Si/SiO2 photonic crystals for thermophotovoltaic applications,” J. Appl. Phys. 97, 033529 (2005). [CrossRef]

]. The advantage of these approaches over traditional solar photovoltaics (PV) is that they can avoid two major sources of PV loss: thermalization of high-energy photons and reflection of low-energy photons. By absorbing almost all incoming solar photons as heat, and only re-radiating a small amount, the overall system efficiencies can approach the Carnot limit [9

9. N. Harder and P. Wurfel, “Theoretical limits of thermophotovoltaic solar energy conversion,” Semicond. Sci. Technol. 18, S151–S157 (2003). [CrossRef]

]. However, experimental systems have fallen well short of this ideal. A substantial amount of loss has been observed to occur both in selective solar absorbers as well as selective emitters, particularly under conditions of low concentration or high operating temperatures [10

10. P. Bermel, M. Ghebrebrhan, W. Chan, Y. X. Yeng, M. Araghchini, R. Hamam, C. H. Marton, K. F. Jensen, M. Soljacic, J. D. Joannopoulos, S. G. Johnson, and I. Celanovic, “Design and global optimization of high-efficiency thermophotovoltaic systems,” Opt. Express 18, A314–A334 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

].

Fig. 1 Schematic illustration of a solar TPV system. Sunlight is collected via optical concentrators and sent to a selectively absorbing surface. That structure is thermally coupled to a selective emitter, which in conjunction with a filter, thermally emits photons with energies matched to the semiconductor bandgap of the TPV cell receiving them.

Ideal selective solar absorbers generally have strong solar absorption up to a cutoff wavelength, and very little beyond, in order to minimize thermal radiation predicted by Kirchoff’s law [11

11. G. Rybicki and A. Lightman, Radiative processes in astrophysics (John Wiley and Sons, 1979).

]. There are multiple classes of structures designed specifically for selective absorption, such as intrinsic materials, semiconductor-metal tandems, multi-layer absorbers, metal-dielectric composite coatings, surface texturing, and coated blackbody-like absorbers [12

12. C. Kennedy, “Review of mid- to high-temperature solar selective absorber materials,” Tech. Rep. TP-520-31267, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (2002).

]. Among these, metal-dielectric composites known as cermets are generally considered to have the greatest promise for high temperature applications (i.e., over 400 °C), with, for example, spectrally averaged absorbance of 0.94 and emittance of 0.07 for a single layer of graded Ni-Al2O3 cermet on stainless steel with an SiO2 AR coating at 500 °C [13

13. T. Sathiaraj, R. Thangarj, A. Sharbaty, M. Bhatnagar, and O. Agnihotri, “Ni-Al2O3 selective cermet coatings for photochemical conversion up to 500° C,” Thin Solid Films 190, 241 (1990). [CrossRef]

].

Fig. 2 Diagram depicting the layers of the cermet structures examined in this manuscript, which include a dielectric AR coating, back reflector, and 1–4 cermet layers in between.

We will present data which suggests that tungsten is a desirable metal for these applications because of its high melting point and suitable optical properties. Ideal optical properties result in reflection of low energy photons and absorption of high energy photons with a sharp cutoff around the range needed for the semiconductor. Out of the many metals which were considered, tungsten is a strong candidate (if protected from reactions such as oxidation or silicide formation). Furthermore, tungsten has the highest melting point out of any pure metal, which is important for any high-temperature system. For these reasons, the following sections will demonstrate why tungsten cermets should offer the best performance for cermet-based selective absorbers and selective emitters.

2. Computational Approach

The University of Ghent developed the software package CAMFR, which can handle 1D and 2D structures [15

15. P. Bienstman, “Rigorous and efficient modelling of wavelength scale photonic components,” Ph.D. thesis, University of Ghent, Belgium (2001).

]. With this software, the user can specify the refractive index of any material and stack multiple materials together. The thickness of each layer of the stack is also chosen by the user. CAMFR then calculates reflectance, transmittance, and absorptivity for the stack at each wavelength. Note that this calculation should be integrated over every angle, but normal incidence has been shown to be a good approximation in 1D structures for angles within ±π/3 (which encompasses the vast majority of incoming and outgoing radiation). Next, the spectrally averaged absorptivity and emissivity can be calculated. The following thermal transfer efficiency is used as the figure of merit:
ηt=1CI0dλɛ(λ)[BdIdλπhc2λ4(exp(hc/λkT)1]BαɛσT4CI,
(1)
where α and ɛ are the spectrally-averaged absorptivity and emissivity at a temperature T and solar concentration C, and B reflects absorption by the vacuum encapsulation system necessary to prevent convective heat losses (typically, B = 0.91 [14

14. Q.-C. Zhang, “High efficiency Al-N cermet solar coatings with double cermet layer film structures,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 32, 1938–1944 (1999). [CrossRef]

]).

Next, we can consider how to properly model the properties of cermets for arbitrary metal volume fractions between zero and one. First, a model for the constituent materials is required. The dielectrics can generally be modeled simply by constant refractive indices over the range of relevant wavelengths. Metals can be modeled by employing a Lorentz-Drude model matching the dispersion data provided in Refs. 16

16. A. Rakic, A. Djurisic, J. Elazar, and M. Majewski, “Optical properties of metallic films for vertical-cavity opto-electronic devices,” Appl. Opt. 37, 5271–5283 (1998). [CrossRef]

and 17

17. E. D. Palik, ed., Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids (Academic Press, 1998), Vol. 1.

.

Modeling the interaction between the two requires employing solutions of Maxwell’s equations based on differing assumptions about the interlocking microstructure of the ceramic and metallic regions. Two of the most well-known alternatives include the Bruggeman approximation [18

18. R. Landauer, “Electrical conductivity in inhomogeneous media,” (American Institute of Physics, 1978), Vol. 40, pp. 2–45.

] and the Maxwell-Garnett approximation [19

19. P. Jepsen, B. Fischer, A. Thoman, H. Helm, J. Suh, R. Lopez, and R. Haglund, “Metal-insulator phase transition in a VO2 thin film observed with terahertz spectroscopy,” Phys. Rev. B 74, 205103 (2004). [CrossRef]

] (also known as the Clausius-Mossotti relation [18

18. R. Landauer, “Electrical conductivity in inhomogeneous media,” (American Institute of Physics, 1978), Vol. 40, pp. 2–45.

]). They were both implemented numerically and compared to results from Refs. 13

13. T. Sathiaraj, R. Thangarj, A. Sharbaty, M. Bhatnagar, and O. Agnihotri, “Ni-Al2O3 selective cermet coatings for photochemical conversion up to 500° C,” Thin Solid Films 190, 241 (1990). [CrossRef]

and 14

14. Q.-C. Zhang, “High efficiency Al-N cermet solar coatings with double cermet layer film structures,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 32, 1938–1944 (1999). [CrossRef]

. While the Maxwell-Garnett approximation yields a close fit to experimental data at smaller metal fraction volumes, it fails for larger values above 0.4. By contrast, the Bruggeman approximation was found to be accurate over the entire range of physical metal volume fractions.

The Bruggeman approximation for the effective dielectric constant ɛ of two materials in three dimensions is given by:
v=εmεεm+2ε+(1v)εdεεd+2ε=0,
(2)
where v and ɛm are the metal volume fraction and dielectric constant, respectively, and ɛd is the ceramic dielectric constant. Fig. 3 plots the dielectric function for tungsten-silica cermets versus metal volume function as well as wavelength.

Fig. 3 Behavior of the dielectric constants associated with the Bruggeman approximation (a) as a function of metal volume fraction (λ = 2μm) (b) as a function of wavelength (real part) and (c) as a function of wavelength (imaginary part).

It was also an important goal to accurately model the optical properties of cermets over a wide range of temperatures. Ref. 20

20. I. Celanovic, D. Perreault, and J. Kassakian, “Resonant-cavity enhanced thermal emission,” Phys. Rev. B 72, 075127 (2005). [CrossRef]

offers a semi-empirical model for modifying the Lorentz-Drude equation to match experimental observations over a range of temperatures:
Γo(T)=Γo(To)(TTo)α.
(3)
The most obvious guess for α in a material with collisions dominated by phonons and a heat capacity following the law of Dulong and Petit is α = 1. However, in order to obtain the best fit, we compared the predicted spectral emissivity for tungsten with measurements by Ref. 21

21. S. Roberts, “Optical properties of nickel and tungsten and their interpretation according to Drude’s formula,” Phys. Rev. 114, 104–115 (1959). [CrossRef]

taken at the temperatures of 1100 K, 1600 K, 2000 K, and 2400 K. The best choice was found to be α = 0.85. Fig. 4 graphs spectral emissivity versus wavelength for multiple temperatures. Our data matches Ref. 21

21. S. Roberts, “Optical properties of nickel and tungsten and their interpretation according to Drude’s formula,” Phys. Rev. 114, 104–115 (1959). [CrossRef]

over a broad spectral range. Data points at two sample wavelengths, extracted from Ref. 21

21. S. Roberts, “Optical properties of nickel and tungsten and their interpretation according to Drude’s formula,” Phys. Rev. 114, 104–115 (1959). [CrossRef]

, are shown in Fig. 4.

Fig. 4 Emissivity spectrum of tungsten for various temperatures both in experiment (circles) and in our numerical model (lines).

Fig. 5 The figure of merit for a two-layer cermet selective absorber as a function of cermet thicknesses for the first and second layers. The rest of the parameters are from the optimized two layer structure, with the other parameters set identical to the selective solar absorber at 400 K given in Table 3(b).

Table 3. Parameters for 1–4 Layer Tungsten–Silica Cermet Structures at 400 K and 1000 K for (a) 1-Layer Cermets, (b) 2-Layer Cermets, (c) 3-Layer Cermets, and (d) 4-Layer Cermets (All Thicknesses in nm)

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3. Results and Discussion

In setting up our two material systems, silica (SiO2) was chosen as the ceramic to be mixed with tungsten, primarily due to its low refractive index, while AlON was used in combination with aluminum, to facilitate direct comparison with the results of Ref. 14

14. Q.-C. Zhang, “High efficiency Al-N cermet solar coatings with double cermet layer film structures,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 32, 1938–1944 (1999). [CrossRef]

. Ref. 14

14. Q.-C. Zhang, “High efficiency Al-N cermet solar coatings with double cermet layer film structures,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 32, 1938–1944 (1999). [CrossRef]

only used 2 and 9 cermet layers in his structures and then suggested that using 9 layers does not offer a significant efficiency advantage compared to 2. However, it is possible that the extremely large phase space of the 9-layer system was not fully explored, since his 9-layer design is almost identical to the 2-layer one. One of our goals is to use a global optimization on 1 through 4 cermet layers to determine if there was any advantage to adding more than 2 layers.

With the selective solar absorber structures thus chosen, we then proceed to employ the techniques outlined in Section 2 to calculate and then optimize our aluminum and tungsten designs. This optimization is performed for two different operating conditions, roughly in line with known solar applications. Our first condition is an operating temperature of 400 K with no solar concentration; our second condition is an operating temperature of 1000 K with a concentration of 100 suns. Since Refs. 13

13. T. Sathiaraj, R. Thangarj, A. Sharbaty, M. Bhatnagar, and O. Agnihotri, “Ni-Al2O3 selective cermet coatings for photochemical conversion up to 500° C,” Thin Solid Films 190, 241 (1990). [CrossRef]

and 14

14. Q.-C. Zhang, “High efficiency Al-N cermet solar coatings with double cermet layer film structures,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 32, 1938–1944 (1999). [CrossRef]

quote their spectrally averaged absorptivity and emissivity, these numbers can be used in the same thermal efficiency equation for a direct comparison. Refs. 13

13. T. Sathiaraj, R. Thangarj, A. Sharbaty, M. Bhatnagar, and O. Agnihotri, “Ni-Al2O3 selective cermet coatings for photochemical conversion up to 500° C,” Thin Solid Films 190, 241 (1990). [CrossRef]

and 14

14. Q.-C. Zhang, “High efficiency Al-N cermet solar coatings with double cermet layer film structures,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 32, 1938–1944 (1999). [CrossRef]

perform their analysis at 353 K and 373 K, respectively. It is known that as the temperature increases, thermal efficiency decreases, so the efficiencies they calculated are lower at our target temperatures of 400 K and 1000 K. Also, some more recent work has directly considered efficiencies for multiple structures at 400 K and 1000 K [10

10. P. Bermel, M. Ghebrebrhan, W. Chan, Y. X. Yeng, M. Araghchini, R. Hamam, C. H. Marton, K. F. Jensen, M. Soljacic, J. D. Joannopoulos, S. G. Johnson, and I. Celanovic, “Design and global optimization of high-efficiency thermophotovoltaic systems,” Opt. Express 18, A314–A334 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Only the full set of tungsten-silica cermet designs were fully optimized at 400 K and 1000 K, after it became apparent that it would perform better than the aluminum structure. Table 1 shows the efficiencies at 400 K and 1000 K for 1–4 layer cermet structures with AR coatings (illustrated in Fig. 2), as well as the calculated equivalent efficiency for other structures. Figures 6 and 7 show the reflection spectrum as well as metal volume fraction versus thickness for 1–4 layer cermets at 400 K and 1000 K, respectively.

Fig. 6 For silica-tungsten cermet selective absorbers with C=1 at 400 K: (a) Optimized reflection spectra for 1–4 layer structures (b) corresponding metal volume fractions as a function of thickness for optimized structures of 1–4 layers.
Fig. 7 For silica-tungsten cermet selective absorbers with C=100 at 1000 K: (a) Optimized reflection spectra for 1–4 layer structures (b) corresponding metal volume fractions as a function of thickness for optimized structures of 1–4 layers.

Table 1. Spectrally Averaged Absorptivities α, Emissivities ɛ, and Thermal Transfer Efficiencies ηt for 1–4 Layer Tungsten–Silica Cermet Structures (Illustrated in Fig. 2) Compared to Other Selective Absorbers at 400 K with Unconcentrated Sunlight, and 1000 K with Concentration of 100 Suns

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Fig. 8 For silica-tungsten cermet selective emitters at 1000 K: (a) Optimized emissivity spectra for 1–4 layer structures (b) Metal volume fraction as a function of thickness for optimized 1–4 layer structures.

Table 2. Overall Figures of Merit (Defined as Efficiency Times Power Output of System Based on Ref. [10]) for 1–4 Layer Tungsten–Silica Cermet Selective Emitter Structures

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4. Conclusions

In this paper, we examined the basic physical mechanism for the operation of selective absorbers and emitters based on cermets. We explored a wide range of metals and dielectric materials that could be employed in fabricating a high-performance design, and suggested a combination of tungsten and silica is optimal. It was found that subdividing the cermet layer into multiple layers with varying metal volume fractions and globally optimizing using the software package NLopt yields gradually increasing performance, although there appears to be a law of diminishing returns when adding more layers. To the best of our knowledge, the overall performance of the optimized 4-layer selective solar absorber exceeds anything else found in the literature, even compared to a 9-layer design in Ref. [14

14. Q.-C. Zhang, “High efficiency Al-N cermet solar coatings with double cermet layer film structures,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 32, 1938–1944 (1999). [CrossRef]

], with a thermal transfer efficiency of 84.3% for 400 K and unconcentrated sunlight, and an efficiency of 75.59% for 1000 K at 100 suns concentration. Furthermore, it was found that a separately optimized but similar 3-layer selective emitter design could yield an energy conversion efficiency of 10.66% for a TPV system as a whole, exceeding other 1D designs of equal or greater complexity. In future work, the role of angular dependence will be explored, and additional optical elements will be introduced to yield higher and even more realistic performance predictions.

Acknowledgments

We thank Yi Xiang Yeng for valuable discussions. This work was supported in part by the MRSEC Program of the National Science Foundation under award number DMR-0819762, the MIT S3TEC Energy Research Frontier Center of the Department of Energy under Grant No. DE-SC0001299, and the Army Research Office through the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies under Contract Nos. DAAD-19-02-D0002 and W911NF-07-D0004.

References and links

1.

W. Spirkl and H. Ries, “Solar thermophotovoltaics: an assessment,” J. Appl. Phys. 57, 4409–4414 (1985). [CrossRef]

2.

D. Y. Goswami, F. Kreith, and J. F. Kreider, Principles of Solar Engineering (Taylor and Francis, 2000).

3.

F. J. DiSalvo, “Thermoelectric cooling and power generation,” Science 285, 703–706 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

4.

G. Chen, Nanoscale Energy Transport and Conversion: a Parallel Treatment of Electrons, Molecules, Phonons, and Photons (Oxford University Press, 2005). [PubMed]

5.

H. H. Kolm, “Solar-battery power source,” Quarterly Progress Report (1956), Group 35, p. 13.

6.

B. Wedlock, “Thermo-photo-voltaic conversion,” Proc. IEEE 51, 694–698 (1963). [CrossRef]

7.

R. Black, P. Baldasaro, and G. Charache, “Thermophotovoltaics - development status and parametric considerations for power applications,” in International Conference on Thermoelectrics (IEEE, 1999), Vol. 18, pp. 639–644.

8.

F. O’Sullivan, I. Celanovic, N. Jovanovic, J. Kassakian, S. Akiyama, and K. Wada, “Optical characteristics of 1D Si/SiO2 photonic crystals for thermophotovoltaic applications,” J. Appl. Phys. 97, 033529 (2005). [CrossRef]

9.

N. Harder and P. Wurfel, “Theoretical limits of thermophotovoltaic solar energy conversion,” Semicond. Sci. Technol. 18, S151–S157 (2003). [CrossRef]

10.

P. Bermel, M. Ghebrebrhan, W. Chan, Y. X. Yeng, M. Araghchini, R. Hamam, C. H. Marton, K. F. Jensen, M. Soljacic, J. D. Joannopoulos, S. G. Johnson, and I. Celanovic, “Design and global optimization of high-efficiency thermophotovoltaic systems,” Opt. Express 18, A314–A334 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

11.

G. Rybicki and A. Lightman, Radiative processes in astrophysics (John Wiley and Sons, 1979).

12.

C. Kennedy, “Review of mid- to high-temperature solar selective absorber materials,” Tech. Rep. TP-520-31267, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (2002).

13.

T. Sathiaraj, R. Thangarj, A. Sharbaty, M. Bhatnagar, and O. Agnihotri, “Ni-Al2O3 selective cermet coatings for photochemical conversion up to 500° C,” Thin Solid Films 190, 241 (1990). [CrossRef]

14.

Q.-C. Zhang, “High efficiency Al-N cermet solar coatings with double cermet layer film structures,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 32, 1938–1944 (1999). [CrossRef]

15.

P. Bienstman, “Rigorous and efficient modelling of wavelength scale photonic components,” Ph.D. thesis, University of Ghent, Belgium (2001).

16.

A. Rakic, A. Djurisic, J. Elazar, and M. Majewski, “Optical properties of metallic films for vertical-cavity opto-electronic devices,” Appl. Opt. 37, 5271–5283 (1998). [CrossRef]

17.

E. D. Palik, ed., Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids (Academic Press, 1998), Vol. 1.

18.

R. Landauer, “Electrical conductivity in inhomogeneous media,” (American Institute of Physics, 1978), Vol. 40, pp. 2–45.

19.

P. Jepsen, B. Fischer, A. Thoman, H. Helm, J. Suh, R. Lopez, and R. Haglund, “Metal-insulator phase transition in a VO2 thin film observed with terahertz spectroscopy,” Phys. Rev. B 74, 205103 (2004). [CrossRef]

20.

I. Celanovic, D. Perreault, and J. Kassakian, “Resonant-cavity enhanced thermal emission,” Phys. Rev. B 72, 075127 (2005). [CrossRef]

21.

S. Roberts, “Optical properties of nickel and tungsten and their interpretation according to Drude’s formula,” Phys. Rev. 114, 104–115 (1959). [CrossRef]

22.

S. Kucherenko and Y. Sytsko, “Application of deterministic low-discrepancy sequences in global optimization,” Comput. Optim. Appl. 30, 297–318 (2005). [CrossRef]

23.

M. Powell, Advances in Optimization and Numerical Analysis (Kluwer Academic, 1994), pp. 51–67.

24.

M. Ghebrebrhan, P. Bermel, Y. Avniel, J. D. Joannopoulos, and S. G. Johnson, “Global optimization of silicon photovoltaic cell front coatings,” Opt. Express 17, 7505–7518 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

OCIS Codes
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(230.5298) Optical devices : Photonic crystals

ToC Category:
Thermophotovoltaic

History
Original Manuscript: January 27, 2011
Revised Manuscript: March 9, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: March 10, 2011
Published: March 29, 2011

Citation
David Chester, Peter Bermel, John D. Joannopoulos, Marin Soljacic, and Ivan Celanovic, "Design and global optimization of high-efficiency solar thermal systems with tungsten cermets," Opt. Express 19, A245-A257 (2011)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-19-S3-A245


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References

  1. W. Spirkl and H. Ries, “Solar thermophotovoltaics: an assessment,” J. Appl. Phys. 57, 4409–4414 (1985). [CrossRef]
  2. D. Y. Goswami, F. Kreith, and J. F. Kreider, Principles of Solar Engineering (Taylor and Francis, 2000).
  3. F. J. DiSalvo, “Thermoelectric cooling and power generation,” Science 285, 703–706 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. G. Chen, Nanoscale Energy Transport and Conversion: a Parallel Treatment of Electrons, Molecules, Phonons, and Photons (Oxford University Press, 2005). [PubMed]
  5. H. H. Kolm, “Solar-battery power source,” Quarterly Progress Report (1956), Group 35, p. 13.
  6. B. Wedlock, “Thermo-photo-voltaic conversion,” Proc. IEEE 51, 694–698 (1963). [CrossRef]
  7. R. Black, P. Baldasaro, and G. Charache, “Thermophotovoltaics - development status and parametric considerations for power applications,” in International Conference on Thermoelectrics (IEEE, 1999), Vol. 18, pp. 639–644.
  8. F. O’Sullivan, I. Celanovic, N. Jovanovic, J. Kassakian, S. Akiyama, and K. Wada, “Optical characteristics of 1D Si/SiO2 photonic crystals for thermophotovoltaic applications,” J. Appl. Phys. 97, 033529 (2005). [CrossRef]
  9. N. Harder and P. Wurfel, “Theoretical limits of thermophotovoltaic solar energy conversion,” Semicond. Sci. Technol. 18, S151–S157 (2003). [CrossRef]
  10. P. Bermel, M. Ghebrebrhan, W. Chan, Y. X. Yeng, M. Araghchini, R. Hamam, C. H. Marton, K. F. Jensen, M. Soljacic, J. D. Joannopoulos, S. G. Johnson, and I. Celanovic, “Design and global optimization of high-efficiency thermophotovoltaic systems,” Opt. Express 18, A314–A334 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. G. Rybicki and A. Lightman, Radiative processes in astrophysics (John Wiley and Sons, 1979).
  12. C. Kennedy, “Review of mid- to high-temperature solar selective absorber materials,” Tech. Rep. TP-520-31267, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (2002).
  13. T. Sathiaraj, R. Thangarj, A. Sharbaty, M. Bhatnagar, and O. Agnihotri, “Ni-Al2O3 selective cermet coatings for photochemical conversion up to 500° C,” Thin Solid Films 190, 241 (1990). [CrossRef]
  14. Q.-C. Zhang, “High efficiency Al-N cermet solar coatings with double cermet layer film structures,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 32, 1938–1944 (1999). [CrossRef]
  15. P. Bienstman, “Rigorous and efficient modelling of wavelength scale photonic components,” Ph.D. thesis, University of Ghent, Belgium (2001).
  16. A. Rakic, A. Djurisic, J. Elazar, and M. Majewski, “Optical properties of metallic films for vertical-cavity opto-electronic devices,” Appl. Opt. 37, 5271–5283 (1998). [CrossRef]
  17. E. D. Palik, ed., Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids (Academic Press, 1998), Vol. 1.
  18. R. Landauer, “Electrical conductivity in inhomogeneous media,” (American Institute of Physics, 1978), Vol. 40, pp. 2–45.
  19. P. Jepsen, B. Fischer, A. Thoman, H. Helm, J. Suh, R. Lopez, and R. Haglund, “Metal-insulator phase transition in a VO2 thin film observed with terahertz spectroscopy,” Phys. Rev. B 74, 205103 (2004). [CrossRef]
  20. I. Celanovic, D. Perreault, and J. Kassakian, “Resonant-cavity enhanced thermal emission,” Phys. Rev. B 72, 075127 (2005). [CrossRef]
  21. S. Roberts, “Optical properties of nickel and tungsten and their interpretation according to Drude’s formula,” Phys. Rev. 114, 104–115 (1959). [CrossRef]
  22. S. Kucherenko and Y. Sytsko, “Application of deterministic low-discrepancy sequences in global optimization,” Comput. Optim. Appl. 30, 297–318 (2005). [CrossRef]
  23. M. Powell, Advances in Optimization and Numerical Analysis (Kluwer Academic, 1994), pp. 51–67.
  24. M. Ghebrebrhan, P. Bermel, Y. Avniel, J. D. Joannopoulos, and S. G. Johnson, “Global optimization of silicon photovoltaic cell front coatings,” Opt. Express 17, 7505–7518 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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