Abstract In the last decade Thermo-Photo-Voltaic (TPV) generators have gained an increasing attention as cogeneration systems for the distributed generation sector. Nevertheless, these systems are not fully developed and studied: several aspects need to be further investigated and completely understood. The aim of this study is to highlight and outline the current state of the art of the TPV generation; more in details, in this study, the characteristics of a TPV generator will be analyzed with a particular attention to the physical relationships which govern the behavior of its main components. Further, the current technology regarding the combustor, the emitter, the optical filter and the photovoltaic cells will be analyzed and investigated taking into account both the role of each component and also their integration in the whole system. Finally, a comprehensive review off all the prototypes realized up to now and reported in literature will be presented and discussed.