Direct Energy Conversion: From Macro to Nano

Professor: 
Bargatin
School: 
SEAS
Department: 
MEAM
Course Code: 
503
Topic: 
Engineering

The course focuses on devices that convert heat or solar energy directly to electricity, i.e., without intermediate mechanical machinery such as a turbine. A variety of converters with sizes ranging from macro to nano scale will be discussed. Topics will include thermoelectric energy converters and radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTGs), thermionic energy converters (TEC), photovoltaic (PV) and thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cells. Additional topics may include alkali metal thermal to electric converter (AMTEC), as well as magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) and piezoelectric generators.