Author: Keilman, M.V.
Paper Title Page
Modeling and Evaluation Thermionic Energy Converters in the Space-Charge Limit  
  • N.M. Cook, J.P. Edelen, C.C. Hall, Y. Hu, M.V. Keilman, P. Moeller, R. Nagler
    RadiaSoft LLC, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • J.-L. Vay
    LBNL, Berkeley, California, USA
  Funding: This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics under Award Number DE-SC0017162.
Thermionic energy converters (TECs) are a promising technology for modular, efficient thermoelectric energy transfer. A TEC is comprised of a narrowly-separated cathode and anode, thermionic emission at the cathode drives a current across the gap which may generate electrical power. For high operating temperatures and large gap distances, currents can meet or exceed the Child-Langmuir limit. The steady-state operation of a TEC depends upon the emission characteristics of the cathode and anode, the presence of intra-gap electrodes, and the self-consistent transport of the electrons in the gap, for which high fidelity simulations with self-consistent emission models and complex boundary interactions are required. We present results from simulations of TECs using the Warp code, developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. We demonstrate newly developed tools to accurately model a broad array of devices, including mesh refinement and cut-cell techniques for improved resolution, Schottky emission from shaped emitter surfaces, and CAD I/O for grid design and optimization. These tools are employed to validate and optimize realistic device designs for future energy applications.
slides icon Slides WEZBB5 [4.415 MB]  
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