7 October 2014 Coherence-limited solar power conversion: the fundamental thermodynamic bounds and the consequences for solar rectennas
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Abstract
Solar rectifying antennas constitute a distinct solar power conversion paradigm where sunlight’s spatial coherence is a basic constraining factor. In this presentation, we derive the fundamental thermodynamic limit for coherence-limited blackbody (principally solar) power conversion. Our results represent a natural extension of the eponymous Landsberg limit, originally derived for converters that are not constrained by the radiation’s coherence, and are irradiated at maximum concentration (i.e., with a view factor of unity to the solar disk). We proceed by first expanding Landsberg’s results to arbitrary solar view factor (i.e., arbitrary concentration and/or angular confinement), and then demonstrate how the results are modified when the converter can only process coherent radiation. The results are independent of the specific power conversion mechanism, and hence are valid for diffraction-limited as well as quantum converters (and not just classical heat engines or in the geometric optics regime). The derived upper bounds bode favorably for the potential of rectifying antennas as potentially high-efficiency solar converters.
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Heylal Mashaal, Heylal Mashaal, Jeffrey M. Gordon, Jeffrey M. Gordon, } "Coherence-limited solar power conversion: the fundamental thermodynamic bounds and the consequences for solar rectennas", Proc. SPIE 9178, Next Generation Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion V, 917808 (7 October 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2060657; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2060657
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