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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P012035/1
Title: Energy Resilient Manufacturing 2: Enabling Practical TPVs for Waste Heat Recovery
Principal Investigator: Krier, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Marshall, Dr ARJ Carrington, Dr P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Compound Semiconductor Centre Compound Semiconductor Tech Global Ltd IQE (Europe) Ltd
Department: Physics
Organisation: Lancaster University
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 January 2017 Ends: 30 June 2021 Value (£): 608,817
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Materials Synthesis & Growth
Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
06 Jul 2016 Energy Resillient Manufacturing 2 Interview Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
An efficient, practical and cost-effective means for directly converting heat into electricity is a very appealing concept. In principle, thermo-photovoltaic (TPV) cells could form the critical component of various systems for generating electricity from different types of heat sources including combustion processes, concentrated sunlight, waste process heat, and radio isotopes. This opens up a wide variety of possibilities for technology uptake and so TPV systems can be envisaged for use in applications ranging from small power supplies to replace batteries, to large scale co-generation of electricity.

However, existing TPV cells are based on GaSb and are spectrally matched to heat sources at temperatures of ~1800 oC which limits their practical implementation and widespread uptake. GaInAsSb TPV cells with bandgap 0.53 eV have exhibited excellent performance with internal quantum efficiency near 95%. But, currently these are lattice-matched on GaSb substrates making them too expensive for practical implementation except in specialist high value or space applications. TPV development on larger format GaAs substrates will enable effective technology uptake through cheaper volume manufacturing of TPV cells. Consequently, there is a need to transfer the GaInAsSb cell architecture to GaAs.

In this project we shall build on existing UK based world class III-V semiconductor materials expertise to fabricate novel low bandgap InGaAsSb TPV arrays on inexpensive GaAs substrates, capable of efficient electricity generation from thermal waste heat sources in the range 500-1500 oC commonly encountered in industrial processes. These monolithic arrays will be validated on-site together with our industry partners at Pilkington and MPIUK (Tata steel). The project will demonstrate the next step towards fabrication of large area TPV arrays essential for the commercial viability of TPV heat recovery, and will enable their widespread implementation in a wide range of high energy consumption industries such as glass, steel and cement manufacture, oil/gas and energy generation.

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Organisation Website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk