Technical Briefs

Practical Considerations for Waveguide-Ballistic Thermal Energy Conversion

[+] Author and Article Information
Michael Wieckowski

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48105wieckows@umich.edu

Martin Margala

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA 01854martiṉmargala@uml.edu

J. Heat Transfer 130(4), 044503 (Mar 21, 2008) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2818784 History: Received July 03, 2007; Revised August 14, 2007; Published March 21, 2008

The potential of converting heat energy into electrical energy using a previously reported waveguide-ballistic device is presented. The interactions between incident electromagnetic waves and free electrons in a metal waveguide are analyzed with respect to their transport through a high-frequency ballistic rectifier using finite element method simulation. It was determined that the resulting conversion efficiency to a dc potential is approximately 6%, yielding a power density on the order of 30Wm2.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Simplified ballistic rectifier structure

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Figure 2

Simplified energy converter structure

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Figure 3

Example guide wall partitions

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Figure 4

Simulated field distributions demonstrating the compression that results from rectifier insertion

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Figure 5

Relation between average rectifier current density and total number of rectifiers

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Figure 6

Results from electrical current optimization

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Figure 7

Bandwidth of an optimized converter

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Figure 8

Current density in converter with 15 rectifiers

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Figure 9

Power per rectifier along the length of the guide



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