Viking 29 - A Thermophotovoltaic Hybrid Vehicle Designed and Built at Western Washington University 972650
Viking 29 is being built under a U.S. Department of Energy contract by the Vehicle Research Institute (VRI) at Western Washington University and JX Crystals of Issaquah, WA to demonstrate a thermophotovoltaic (TPV) generator. The 10 kW TPV generator being developed for use in a vehicle makes use of gallium antimonide (GaSb) photovoltaic (PV) cells surrounding a central emitter heated by a compressed natural gas flame to 1700 Kelvin. The infrared photons generated activate the PV cells to produce electricity which maintains a charge in the battery. Preliminary emission testing has shown that this generator is 50 times cleaner than an equivalent internal combustion engine (ICE).