SunCell® Optical Power Measurements

Mar 2022

SunCell® Optical Power Measurements

The visible-light concentrator thermophotovoltaic SunCell® (cTPV-SunCell®) shown in this photo comprises a plasma cell that injects hydrogen and catalyst, and two electromagnetic pumps serve as electrodes by injecting intersecting molten tin streams from corresponding reservoirs containing 10-12 kg of tin wherein the connected streams carry a low voltage, high current to form a Hydrino®-reaction plasma with an energy release of 200 times that of burning the hydrogen that can be obtained from water as a 0.5% parasitic load. The SunCell® is an optical power source that is mated with a commercial dense receiver array (DRA) comprising an ensemble of concentrator photovoltaics cells (CPV) that operate at 1000 times the light intensity of solar-farm PV cells to produce electrical power for total electrification of essentially all power loads.

Optical power or radiation transfers power at 10 to 100 times the power per area compared to conduction and convection of combustion and nuclear power plants. The 3000-5000K SunCell® plasma emits radiation at a power density of 4.6 to 35 MW/m2, corresponding to an extraordinary 150 kW to 1.14 MW, respectively, transmitted through an 8-inch diameter window. With light recycling, the transmitted radiation incident a CPV DRA can be converted from optical to electrical power at over 50% efficiency enabling extraordinary performance, logistics, low capital cost, and projected electricity costs of less than $0.001/kWh.

Power measurements were recorded with a Mightex UV-Vis-IR spectrometer over the range 180 nm to 800 nm at a 10 ms sampling time and with a 25 um slit. First, spectra were recorded with very low concentrations of hydrogen reactant and HOH catalyst such that a stable plasma just formed at an input power of 33.5 kW. The condition of limited reactants serves as control plasma light source for calibration purposes. A representative spectrum is shown below.

Next, the power was increased over time by adding 20 sccm O2 and about 2000 sccm flow of H2 based on the cell pressure while maintaining the input power constant. A representative spectrum is shown below.

The wavelength-corrected optical power for the control over the very small solid angle of the 25 micron slit was 5.07 W, and the wavelength-corrected optical power from the high power run was 173 W. Using the constant input power to the plasma of 33.5 kW, the gain of 34.1 times indicates that the power from the high power run was 1.14 MW.

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