MTPV Power Corporation

Austin, TX, United States

MTPV Power Corporation

Austin, TX, United States
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Patent
MTPV Power Corporation | Date: 2017-01-18

An improved method and apparatus for thermal-to-electric conversion involving relatively hot and cold juxtaposed surfaces separated by a small vacuum gap wherein the cold surface provides an array of single charge carrier converter elements along the surface and the hot surface transfers excitation energy to the opposing cold surface across the gap through Coulomb electrostatic coupling interaction.


Patent
MTPV Power Corporation | Date: 2017-04-04

An improved method and apparatus for thermal-to-electric conversion involving relatively hot and cold juxtaposed surfaces separated by a small vacuum gap wherein the cold surface provides an array of single charge carrier converter elements along the surface and the hot surface transfers excitation energy to the opposing cold surface across the gap through Coulomb electrostatic coupling interaction.


Patent
Mtpv Power Corporation | Date: 2017-02-08

A thermophotovoltaic panel assembly including a heat sink and a plurality of thermophotovoltaic modules mounted on the heat sink. Each thermophotovoltaic module includes a photovoltaic element separated from an emitter assembly by a gap. The emitter assembly includes an emitter and applies force towards the photovoltaic element to maintain the gap. The thermophotovoltaic panel assembly may also utilize a force application layer on the emitter and be bolted in place. A housing can be used for protection and to transfer energy to the emitter. The heat sink cantilevers into the housing to define a space between the thermophotovoltaic modules and the inner surface of the housing. Preferably, the housing maintains a vacuum and, in turn, the gap is evacuated. The heat sink can be monolithic and cooled with fluid pumped therethrough. The emitter may be transparent or at least partially transmissive.


A photovoltaic panel assembly including a heat sink and a plurality of photovoltaic modules mounted on the heat sink. Each photovoltaic module includes a photovoltaic element separated from an emitter assembly by a gap. The emitter assembly includes an emitter and applies force towards the photovoltaic element to maintain the gap. The photovoltaic panel assembly may also utilize a force application layer on the emitter and be bolted in place. A housing can be used for protection and to transfer energy to the emitter. The heat sink cantilevers into the housing to define a space between the photovoltaic modules and the inner surface of the housing. Preferably, the housing maintains a vacuum and, in turn, the gap is evacuated. The heat sink can be monolithic and cooled with fluid pumped therethrough. The emitter may be transparent or at least partially transmissive.


Patent
MTPV Power Corporation | Date: 2014-03-14

The present invention relates to multi-cell devices fabricated on a common substrate that are more desirable than single cell devices, particularly in photovoltaic applications. Multi-cell devices operate with lower currents, higher output voltages, and lower internal power losses. Prior art multi-cell devices use physical isolation to achieve electrical isolation between cells. In order to fabricate a multicell device on a common substrate, the individual cells must be electrically isolated from one another. In the prior art, isolation generally required creating a physical dielectric barrier between the cells, which adds complexity and cost to the fabrication process. The disclosed invention achieves electrical isolation without physical isolation by proper orientation of interdigitated junctions such that the diffusion fields present in the interdigitated region essentially prevent the formation of a significant parasitic current which would be in opposition to the output of the device.


A method and device for maintaining a low temperature of a cold-side emitter for improving the efficiency of a sub-micron gap thermophotovoltaic cell structure. A thermophotovoltaic cell structure may comprise multiple layers compressed together by a force mechanism so that the sub-micron gap dimension is relatively constant although the layer boundaries may not be substantially flat compared to the relatively constant sub-micron dimension. The layered structure includes a hot side thermal emitter having a surface separated from a photovoltaic cell surface by a sub-micron gap having a dimension maintained by spacers. The surface of the photovoltaic cell opposite the sub-micron gap is compressibly positioned against a surface of microchannel heat sink and the surface of the microchannel heat sink opposite the photovoltaic cell is compressibly positioned against a flat metal plate layer and a compressible layer.


Patent
MTPV Power Corporation | Date: 2012-11-30

An improved submicron gap thermophotovoltaic structure and method comprising an emitter substrate with a first surface for receiving heat energy and a second surface for emitting infrared radiation across an evacuated submicron gap to a juxtaposed first surface of an infrared radiation-transparent window substrate having a high refractive index. A second surface of the infrared radiation-transparent substrate opposite the first surface is affixed to a photovoltaic cell substrate by an infrared-transparent compliant adhesive layer. Relying on the high refractive index of the infrared radiation-transparent window substrate, the low refractive index of the submicron gap and Snells law, the infrared radiation received by the first surface of the infrared radiation-transparent window substrate is focused onto a more perpendicular path to the surface of the photovoltaic cell substrate. This results in increased electrical power output and improved efficiency by the thermophotovoltaic structure.


Patent
MTPV Power Corporation | Date: 2015-04-20

An improved method and apparatus for thermal-to-electric conversion involving relatively hot and cold juxtaposed surfaces separated by a small vacuum gap wherein the cold surface provides an array of single charge carrier converter elements along the surface and the hot surface transfers excitation energy to the opposing cold surface across the gap through Coulomb electrostatic coupling interaction.


Patent
Mtpv Power Corporation | Date: 2015-06-16

A device, method and process of fabricating an interdigitated multicell thermo-photo-voltaic component that is particularly efficient for generating electrical energy from photons in the red and near-infrared spectrum received from a heat source in the near field. Where the absorbing region is germanium, the device is capable of generating electrical energy by absorbing photon energy in the greater than 0.67 electron volt range corresponding to radiation in the infrared and near-infrared spectrum. Use of germanium semiconductor material provides a good match for converting energy from a low temperature heat source. The side that is opposite the photon receiving side of the device includes metal interconnections and dielectric material which provide an excellent back surface reflector for recycling below band photons back to the emitter. Multiple cells may be fabricated and interconnected as a monolithic large scale array for improved performance.


Patent
MTPV Power Corporation | Date: 2014-01-20

An MTPV thermophotovoltaic chip comprising a photovoltaic cell substrate, micron/sub-micron gap-spaced from a juxtaposed heat or infrared radiation-emitting substrate, with a radiation-transparent intermediate window substrate preferably compliantly adhered to the photovoltaic cell substrate and bounding the gap space therewith.

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