2012 Volume 7 Pages 1405050
We have investigated the feasibility of a thermionic energy converter (TEC) system using the high heat flux from divertor plasmas in fusion devices. If the kinetic energy of particles can be converted to electricity by using a TEC, the efficiency of fusion reactors could be improved. The basic properties of the TEC were analyzed by a two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation, including the current-temperature characteristics and potential profile between the electrodes and the magnetic field effect. Verification experiments on the TEC system under divertor-relevant conditions were also conducted in the Active Cooling Test device, in which the heat load is produced by an electron beam.