In our latest set of experiments we have introduced Cs vapor to our experimental setup and are testing the emission of the cathode. This is the latest experimental run we have done and we are hoping to have a combustion fired thermionic energy converter for testing soon. This experimental setup was done to illustrate the potential current increase by Cs addition to our experimental setup. The results confirmed what the literature has tested from the 1950’s, the addition of Cs into the thermionic converter drastically increased the current output from the cathode.
This experiment was done to see how effective we could make these converters with other plasma sources. This plasma was generated by AC/DC power and the electrodes were able to move closer and further apart. Our technology can implement thermionic energy conversion at a much larger gap distance than any of our thermionic energy conversion competitors. This experiment did not implement Cesium in the gap so it was not our ideal converter but our next setup will include cesium and compare cathode electron emission with and without Cs present in the gap.
This experiment was done at Argonne National Laboratories (ANL). Our experimental setup was placed in front of an 2 MeV electron beam and electron transport properties between the emitter and the collector were observed. The tungsten filament shown in the picture above is glowing red hot from the amount of current we are running through the wire. As you have seen we have come a long way from proof of concept and are working on commercializing thermionic energy converters for select markets by 2020.