Improving the Efficiency of a Thermionic Energy Converter Using Dual Electric Fields and Electron Beaming

Neil A Fox, Ian Bickerton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Experiments have been conducted on a dual electric grid thermionic device to investigate
an alternative method of space charge mitigation in a thermionic energy convertor (TEC).
Two electric grids, the attractor and deflector grids, provide opposing electric fields to
overcome space charge while minimizing power losses to the attractor grid. Electron
beams are formed in the electrode gap providing a more efficient electron transport from
hot cathode to collector. The attractor gird can be run in DC or pulse mode which usefully
supports transformer coupling for the energy convertor output. This is a simple low cost
inter-electrode space charge solution running at low voltage which has the potential to
improve TEC efficiency, increase reliability, and reduce the cost of manufacture.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalFrontiers in Mechanical Engineering
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017

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