EML4450L14

EML4450L14 - Sustainable Energy Science and Engineering Center Direct Energy Conversion Thermionic Conversion References Direct Energy Conversion

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S ustainable E nergy S cience and E ngineering C enter Direct Energy Conversion: Thermionic Conversion References: Direct Energy Conversion by Stanley W. Angrist, Allyn and Beacon, 1982. Direct Energy Conversion by Reiner Decher,Oxford University press, 1997.
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S ustainable E nergy S cience and E ngineering C enter Basic Principle Process that converts heat directly into electrical power. Two metal electrodes separated by a narrow gap. The binding energies of the emitter and collector surfaces that act on electrons are known as the work functions of the electrode surfaces. The electrons absorbed by the collector produce a usable electrical current as they return to the emitter through an external circuit. Electrical power is produced by virtue of the potential difference between the emitter and collector. It has no mechanical moving parts. The device operates at high temperatures, generates high power and occupies only small volume.
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S ustainable E nergy S cience and E ngineering C enter Work Function An electrode surface can be thought of as atoms arranged in some orderly geometrical fashion in a lattice structure. The electrons that move in the outermost orbits of the atom are held to their respective atom by a very weak force. Hence they may leave their own orbit to enter another orbit around some other nucleus. Thus the electrons in the outermost orbits so not belong to specific atoms and are generally given the name of free electrons. For example copper has about one free electron to every atom while a semiconductor has typically one free electron to about every one million atoms.
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This note was uploaded on 10/22/2011 for the course EML 4450 taught by Professor Greska during the Fall '06 term at FSU.

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EML4450L14 - Sustainable Energy Science and Engineering Center Direct Energy Conversion Thermionic Conversion References Direct Energy Conversion

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