Proposing a Revolution in Renewable Energy

A new concentrating solar power (CSP) system is proposed to reduce levelized and energy costs of electricity. A photovoltaic (PV) panel-assisted solar Stirling engine (SE) with thermal field emission (TFE) converters as a topping cycle is a first step towards a power tower plant that collect the direct and diffuse sunlight. The movement of electrons between the TFE emitter (cathode 7) and collector (anode 8) is controlled by the single or double gate (grid 10) serving as an electron generator itself.

A high efficiency  (45%) SE system with the thermal energy storage (TES) and TFE modules cooled by the fluid at the temperatures of about 550°C also serves to test micro-channel or tubular solar receiver 5 of power tower CSP with supercritical CO2 (sCO2) Brayton cycle. The receiver consists of a cylindrical container with TFE and U-tubes submerged in a TES. The irradiation flux hits the TFE emitter while the heat transfers to the TES from the collector. The compressed gas comes from the SE and flows inside the tubes. The PV cells with a dichroic mirror or heat reflective film are attached to the primary dish. The PV cells at the secondary mirror could be used to track the sun. An additional concentrator also acts as homogenizer (Fig. 1).




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