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Entropy 2016, 18(6), 210; doi:10.3390/e18060210

Unified Quantum Model of Work Generation in Thermoelectric Generators, Solar and Fuel Cells

Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, University of Gdansk, Wita Stwosza 57, 80-952 Gdansk, Poland
Academic Editor: Ronnie Kosloff
Received: 25 March 2016 / Revised: 9 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantum Thermodynamics)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [337 KB, uploaded 28 May 2016]   |  

Abstract

In the previous papers, the idea of “hidden oscillations” has been applied to explain work generation in semiconductor photovoltaic cells and thermoelectric generators. The aim of this paper is firstly to extend this approach to fuel cells and, secondly, to create a unified quantum model for all types of such devices. They are treated as electron pumps powered by heat or chemical engines. The working fluid is electron gas and the necessary oscillating element (“piston”) is provided by plasma oscillation. Those oscillations are localized around the junction that also serves as a diode rectifying fast electric charge oscillations and yielding a final output direct current (DC). The dynamics of the devices are governed by the Markovian master equations that can be derived in a rigorous way from the underlying Hamiltonian models and are consistent with the laws of thermodynamics. The new ingredient is the derivation of master equations for systems driven by chemical reactions. View Full-Text
Keywords: quantum open systems; quantum heat engines; photovoltaic cells; thermoelectric generators; fuel cells; 03.65.Yz; 05.70.Ln; 05.30.Fk quantum open systems; quantum heat engines; photovoltaic cells; thermoelectric generators; fuel cells; 03.65.Yz; 05.70.Ln; 05.30.Fk
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Alicki, R. Unified Quantum Model of Work Generation in Thermoelectric Generators, Solar and Fuel Cells. Entropy 2016, 18, 210.

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