A review on advances in alkali metal thermal to electric converters (AMTECs) Article

Wu, SY, Xiao, L, Cao, YD. (2009). A review on advances in alkali metal thermal to electric converters (AMTECs) . INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESEARCH, 33(10), 868-892. 10.1002/er.1584

cited authors

  • Wu, SY; Xiao, L; Cao, YD



  • The alkali metal thermal to electric converter (AMTEC) is one of the most promising technologies for direct conversion of thermal energy to electricity and has been receiving attention in the field of energy conversion and utilization in the past several decades. This paper aims to present a comprehensive review of the state of the art in the research and development of the AMTEC, including its working principles and types, historical development and applications, analytical models, working fluids, electrode materials, as well as the performance and efficiency improvement. The current two major problems encountered by the AMTEC, the time-dependent power degradation and relatively low efficiency compared to its theoretical value, are discussed in depth. In addition, a brief comparison of the AMTEC with other direct thermal to electric converters (DTECs), such as the thermoelectrics converter (TEC), thermionics converter, and thermophotovoltaics converter, is given, and combinations of different DTECs to further improve DTECs' power generation and overall conversion efficiency are demonstrated. Future research and development directions and the issues that need to be further investigated are also suggested. It is believed that this comprehensive review will be beneficial to the design, simulation, analysis, performance assessment, and applications of various types of AMTECs. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

publication date

  • October 6, 2009

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 868

end page

  • 892


  • 33


  • 10