With a high power output proportional to its size, a micro-power generator has the potential to replace the best existing conventional batteries. The thermo photovoltaic (TPV) design is currently the most technically evolved of the different available micro-power designs, and as such will be used in this report. The design operates by converting heat from a combusted hydrocarbon fuel, in this case LPG, into electrical energy.
This report aims to resolve one of the biggest shortcomings of this device, which is the lack of a built-in fuel delivery system. Because the fuel delivery must operate within very strict parameters, all previous research has been performed using an external air tank. Described in this report is the means to design a micro-carburettor to suitably control the fuel flow while drawing the correct air flow rate from the atmosphere.
A micro-carburettor, with its corresponding TPV device has been modelled in SolidWorks, constructed then tested for its performance. The two most important aspects of importance for it to fulfil are providing steady thermal conditions combustor wall and combustion at maximum efficiency. Using an infrared thermometer, the temperature along the wall of the combustor was found to vary by 22º from 139ºC up to 161ºC. Using a combustion analyser of the exhaust gas, the combustion efficiency was found to be 78.6%.