Prometheus Project

Production Method Of Electrical Energy by Enhanced Thermal Electron Emission by the Use of Superior Semiconductors

Expected Impact

The development of ProME3ThE2US2 production method will have a significant and committed impact on Solar Thermal Electricity Industry, focused on solar plant efficiency and reducing deployment and operating costs, the use of a heat recovery system will offer a significant alternative to most advanced PV cells by allowing a maximum use of thermal energy achieving conversion efficiencies up to 45% (current PV generation systems have efficiencies around 25%).

Expected Impact, solar energy efficiency buildings, solar energy production

The ProME3ThE2US2 method of electrical energy production is similar in many aspects to development of the Dish Sterling systems: both technologies employ concentrated solar radiation for power generation for power generation and require a secondary thermo-electric generator.

ProME3ThE2US2 is mainly aimed for the development of an innovative solid-state conversion system based on advanced semiconductors and for the combined design integration of different thermo-electric engines for heat recovery.

The project will create new path leading to high performance solar energy converters, highly innovative technologies for energy application, emerging areas in the energy field. The project also contributes to the establishment of a strong scientific and technical base for European science and technology.

Steps needed to bring out the impact:

In order to acknowledge the desired impacts it is necessary to proceed through several steps that involve both a deepening and validation of basic physical-electronic processes, a detailed modelling of the entire process, and finally the development of a “proof-of- concept” module.

  • The first steps will involve a detailed examination and analysis of the fundamental knowledge associated to the conversion process, and a simulation of the single active components of the concept-module.
  • Next steps will involve the preparation/assembly and engineering of the different components of the module to quantify experimentally the potential of the proposed approach.
  • Finally, the conclusive procedure will integrate all the active and accessory components to test and validate a conversion device as “proof-of-concept” for the proposed approach.
  • The last steps should include a detailed engineering effort to take the proposed conversion concept from basic research into the industry world, including aspects of reducing fabrication costs and large-scale manufacturing, integration of devices and interfaces, robustness and reliability, etc.

These steps are difficult to define at the current initial stage, but they will become clear near the end of the project, when selection of materials and surface treatments, selection of operational conditions, and device configuration design will be finalized. Consortium has been designed considering integration of research expertise and development efforts needed, with a remarkable specific attitude of partners to each required step.