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Accuflect®; Reflectors in Thermophotovoltaics  

Accuflect®; reflectors are used to improve the efficiency of the next generation of thermophotovoltaic power sources being researched.

Thermophotovoltaic devices rely on semiconductors with band gaps small enough to generate electricity when exposed to infrared radiation.  Materials such as germanium and various antimonides with band gaps on the order of 0.7electron volts are being used  to produce usable electric power from a 1000°C emitter.

A typical converter consists of a heated emitter that may be designed to emit radiation unidirectionally and configured to minimize conductive, convective and stray radiation energy losses.   Various heating methods including joule, solar and combustion are used to raise the emitter temperature high enough so the radiative energy exceeds the bandgap of the semiconductor photovoltaic receiver.  The emitted radiation passes through a photonic crystal high pass filter.  Wavelengths with energy levels below the bandgap of the receiver are reflected back to the emitter, those with usable energy levels are passed through the crystal and fall on the semiconductor receiver where they generate an electrical current.

Accuflect®; IR is used on the surrounding insulating structure to reflect stray radiation away from the walls and back onto the emitter.  The material serves to reduce energy losses at the walls of the converter housing and the reflected radiation falling on the emitter results in a recuperative effect reducing the energy requirement to maintain the emitter temperature.
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