Solid-State Thermionic Power Generators: An Analytical Analysis in the Nonlinear Regime
AbstractSolid-state thermionic power generators are an alternative to thermoelectric modules. In this paper, we develop an analytical model to investigate the performance of these generators in the nonlinear regime. We identify dimensionless parameters determining their performance and provide measures to estimate an acceptable range of thermal and electrical resistances of thermionic generators. We find the relation between the optimum load resistance and the internal resistance and suggest guidelines for the design of thermionic power generators. Finally, we show that in the nonlinear regime, thermionic power generators can have efficiency values higher than the state-of-the-art thermoelectric modules.