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Statistical Mechanics of Solar Energy Conversion
Karlstad University, Faculty of Technology and Science, Department of Energy, Environmental and Building Technology.
1999 (English)In: S. Sieniutycz and A. De Vos (eds): Thermodynamics of Energy Conversion and Transport, Berlin: Springer-Verlag , 1999Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The chapter deals with the general class of processes in which solar energy is absorbed and in which the absorbed energy is converted in multistage processes until it eventually is in a storable form. Several such processes are discussed, as well as the difficulties of modelling the processes in the framework of statistical mechanics. The description pays special attention to loss mechanisms, including the temporal aspects. Possibilities and limits for optimisation, arising both from absolute limits and from irreducible losses, are also discussed.

Furthermore, the connection between statistical mechanics and information theory is analysed in the context of solar energy conversion. In this context, the usefulness of the exergy concept as an efficiency measure in the analysis of solar energy conversion processes is discussed. The results for the exergy of general incoherent photon exergy as well as for a more general kind of radiation field are reviewed.

The conversion of black-body radiation, in the form of free photons within a certain volume, is used as a benchmark case. Several problems with this widely used model are described.

It is clear that the actual achievable exergetic efficiency is in some cases considerably less than for the ideal benchmark case and also that the difference is not quantifiable with the existing models

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin: Springer-Verlag , 1999.
National Category
Energy Systems
Research subject
Environmental and Energy Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-23783ISBN: 0387989382 (print)OAI: diva2:597547
Available from: 2013-01-22 Created: 2013-01-22 Last updated: 2013-01-22

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Månsson, Bengt
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