Energy Conversion and Management ( IF 8.208 ) Pub Date : 2020-09-15 , DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2020.113360 Susu Qiu; Zemin Ding; Lingen Chen
An irreversible thermionic generator model utilizing the structure of van der Waals heterostructure is proposed, in which various irreversibilities are taken into account. Analytical expressions of efficiency and output power of the thermionic generator are derived by the combination of non-equilibrium thermodynamics and finite time thermodynamics. Relations among thermionic generator performances and key parameters, such as output voltages, Schottky barrier heights and various irreversibilities, are numerically investigated. The optimal performance regions of the thermionic generator are determined. To ensure that the thermionic generator works in the optimal performance regions, the output voltages need to be carefully modulated in practical designs.