Thermal PhotoVoltaics

“A new approach to converting heat into electricity using solar cells could make a technology called thermal photovoltaics (TPVs) more practical. MTPV, a startup based in Boston that has raised $10 million, says that it has developed prototypes that are large enough for practical applications. The company recently announced agreements to install the devices in glass factories to generate electricity from hot exhaust.

“In general, thermal photovoltaics use solar cells to convert the light that radiates from a hot surface into electricity. While the first applications will be generating electricity from waste heat, eventually the technology could be used to generate electricity from sunlight far more efficiently than solar panels do. In such a system, sunlight is concentrated on a material to heat it up, and the light it emits is then converted into electricity by a solar cell.

Thermal Photovoltaics