Performance of Thermophotovoltaic Cells Operated Under Rare Earths Based Selective Emitters

  • Yao-Tsung Hsieh

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) systems use heat (i.e. infrared radiation) as the energy source and convert it into electricity using the photovoltaic effect. At present, the TPV system efficiency is still low. One of the reasons is that the cell cannot use the input thermal radiation efficiently. This limitation could be solved by using low bandgap cells and selective emitters. We investigated TPV systems that are composed of different cells and selective emitters. We selected three cells which are the Si conventional PV cell, the Ge TPV cell and the newly developed low bandgap InGaAs cell. The three cells operating in systems with Yb and Er based selective emitters were simulated. The effects of emission spectra on the cell response and overall system performance are presented and discussed. There are essentially three main effects: the emitter temperature, the emitter host material, and the emitter chemical composition. In addition, the effect of using a filter and the cell temperature effect were also investigated and discussed. By comparing the overall system performances, the best combinations of cells and selective emitters were determined
Date of Award2011
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMahieddine Emziane (Supervisor)


  • Photovoltaic Power Generation
  • Photovoltaic Power Systems

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