Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-28-0027

Prototype design of a small scale thermionic energy generator for waste heat recovery in hybrid electric vehicle. 2019-28-0027

The sustainability of energy generation is primarily based on the effectiveness of the methods used for minimizing the wastes and optimum utilization of available energy resources. Mobility and its ease is therefore being an essential component of development. Automotive technology is an area where methods are explored in recent times to provide sustainable solution for reduction of fuel consumption and carbon emission by switching to hybrid technology and electric vehicles where regeneration of energy plays an important role. At present the research is focused on achieving methods of solid state conversion of heat into electricity but its limited to thermoelectric which has lower conversion efficiency. A comparative analysis of the direct energy convertors shows that thermionic energy conversion stands better with a higher conversion efficiency. Very close and non contact type of electrode spacing having electrical insulation provided with vacuum or inert gas environment is the basic requirement while designing any thermionic energy generator. Identifying these key research challenges, this article discusses a design of a prototype small scale thermionic generator. The paper hence explores a platform for conducting experimental research on solid state thermionic conversion, space charge limitation and thermionic emission using low work function materials. Keywords: thermionic energy generator; thermionic emission; electrode spacing.


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