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Thread: Thermovoltaic car close to reality?

  1. #1 Thermovoltaic car close to reality? 
    Forum Professor
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    Currently record for solar cell efficiency is 42% which
    is larger then peak efficiency for internal combustion engine (38%).Typical solar concentrators are able to concentrate light up to 1000 times.It should give power density about 100 Kw-h per 1/4 square meter of panel.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_c...aics_.28CPV.29
    So will we be able to see thermovoltaic combustion cars in which light of burning body (such as gas) is converted into electricity?It could be especially good for plug-in hybrid vehicles.Contain much less parts,etc.


    Antislavery
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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    What is the energy efficiency of burning fuel (any fuel) to produce light?


    Leszek. Pronounced [LEH-sheck]. The wondering Slav.
    History teaches us that we don't learn from history.
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  4. #3  
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    What is the energy efficiency of burning fuel (any fuel) to produce light?
    I think it depends on conditions in which burning occur.
    I guess if we have thermally isolated system,nearly all
    energy should convert into infrared light.Burning hydrocarbons,for example,have frequency around 4.5 microns.Semiconductors such as Lead Selenide http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_selenide should be proper for this frequency.You would need to have combustion camera surrounded by vacuum or at least some thermal isolator such as silica gel to prevent heat to escape as energy of moving particles.Exhaust managing could be a problem,so you
    may need to surround exhaust pipe with thermovoltaic
    cells too.But this is difficult to say,engineers should know.
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