A Study and Mathematical Analysis of Thermionic Energy Conversion Materials Based on Their Solid State Emission Properties 2019-28-0084
The physical mechanism of direct energy conversion technology for space applications is well known for over a century. Whereas thermionic energy conversion is now being explored for automotive regeneration applications considering its high conversion efficiency. The thermionic emission used in space applications has operating temperatures >20000C which is much higher than available temperature at terrestrial automotive applications. Hence the key research interests are focused towards effective utilization of thermionic energy conversion for automotive waste heat recovery at considerably lower temperatures i.e. <10000C. This strongly needs a selection of suitable materials in thermionic convertor. This work shows a comprehensive study on materials and their work function for thermionic emission at relatively lower temperature. The selection of different emitter materials is based on simulation applying Richardson Dushman equation and child’s law at operating temperature ranges. The paper concludes with a comparative analysis of high and low work function materials showing their behavior of thermionic emission at specified temperature.