Impact of thermal contact resistances on micro-gap heat losses for microthermionic power generators

Remi Yacine Belbachir, Zhonglie An, Takahito Ono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Thermionic power generation is a safe and clean energy source that allows for converting heat into electrical energy using thermionic electrons. The miniaturization is an advantage of this technology that led to the recent development of micro-gap thermionic power generators. In this work, thermal contact resistances between the micro-gap insulators and the emitter as well as between the micro-gap insulators and the collector are measured. A thermal resistance of 48.6 K/W is obtained by downsizing the insulators until 60 × 45 μm2 of contact area with the emitter, demonstrating a high impact for decreasing the micro-gap conduction heat loss density from the emitter to the collector from 28 W/cm2 (theoretical value obtained without considering contact resistances) to 5.6 W/cm2. Downsizing the contact area between the insulators and the emitter from 320 × 300 to 60 × 45 μm2 leads to an increase of the power conversion efficiency from 9.1 × 10−5 until 1.5 × 10−3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2811-2820
Number of pages10
JournalMicrosystem Technologies
Volume22
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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