Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Seminar


Energy Conversion Engineering supported by Nano-and/or Micro-scaled Technologies-Generation of Electricity by Solid Oxide Fuel Cell and thermophotovoltaic Cells


Prof. Katsunori Hanamura


Mechanical Engineering Dept, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan


Monday, April 23, 2012 at 3:30:00 PM


MARC Building, Room 114


Andrei Fedorov


This talk will focus on generation of electricity using a thermophotovoltaic cell and a solid oxide fuel cell through nano- and/or micro-scaled technologies. The first part will be related to spectral control of evanescent wave using a pillar-array structure on a metal surface and related to application to generation of electricity using a GaSb thermophotovoltaic cell setup above the emitter with a nanogap. Near-field radiation transfer between pillar-array surfaces is enhanced through an interference of SPP (surface plasmon-polariton) compared with that between plan surfaces. Even in nano-scaled channels between the pillars, the SPP can propagate, and then, a king of interference and resonance takes place based on the depth of channel between pillars. With decreasing pillar-height, the frequency at the maximum radiation transfer is shifted to a high-frequency side. The near-field radiation that has a high intensity of electric field is applied to enhance conversion from thermal energy to electricity in a wavelength range shorter than 1.8 microns. A commercial thermophotovoltaic cell made of GaSb semiconductors was used to confirm that the near-field radiation effect (the evanescent wave effect) can be applied to enhance generation of electricity. As a result, an increase in output power by the evanescent wave effect is detected and the short-circuit current density increases about 3.0 times larger than those obtained by the conventional propagating-wave radiation. The second part will be related to a SOFC with a new anode including a proton conductor BCY (Barium Cerium Yttrium oxide). The most striking feature is that the power density of an SOFC with an anode made of Ni(50%)/GDC(35%)-BCY(15%) becomes almost twice compared with that made of Ni(50%)/GDC(50%, Gadoria-doped Ceria). In this case, through Thermal Desorption Spectroscopy, it is disclosed that a large amount of hydrogen is adsorbed on the BCY-particles surface and the adsorption energy becomes smaller when the BCY particles contact with the nickel particles. Consequently, the BCY particles play an important role on enhancement of adsorbed-hydrogen supply for anodic reaction at the triple phase boundary.


Prof. Katsunori Hanamura graduated in Japan at the Toyama University in mechanical engineering, with a major in numerical simulation and experiment of air-suspension bearing. He obtained his PhD in 1990 from Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech.), Tokyo where he got the master degree and worked on thermal radiation transfer and combustion in porous media. Prof. Hanamura was a Research Associate in Tokyo Tech. from the finish of master course until the middle of 1991 where he developed combustion enhancement by radiation energy recirculation. He was appointed to Associate Professor at Gifu University in 1991. He was working on energy conversion from super-adiabatic combustion energy into electricity, mechanical power and hydrogen through photovoltaics, an internal combustion Stiring engine and autothermal reforming, respectively. He was appointed to Professor at Tokyo Tech. in 2003. His research is related to energy conversion supported by nano- and/or micro-scaled technologies. His current activities cover electrochemical engineering and physics of photonics for high density energy conversion.