Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 15, 2016 at 12:54 am.
Power Chips™ use thermionics to convert heat directly into electricity. This will be one of the first industrial applications of nanotechnology. These small, solid-state devices promise to improve current power generation and waste heat recovery techniques. Power Chips will deliver up to 70-80% of the maximum (Carnot) theoretical efficiency for heat pumps (conventional power generation equipment operates at up to 40% Carnot efficiency). (Ref. PowerChips home page.)
FAQ and explanation of the technology
Agreement between Power Chips and Varmaraf - a geothermal cooperation
Text copied from Power Chips web site
By creating a heat differential, energetic electrons are made to "tunnel" from one side of a tiny vacuum gap to another, creating a usable flow of electric current. This process is called thermotunneling and is based on known principles of quantum physics.
As a result of certain states being forbidden, electrons are forced to a higher energy level. The work function - the amount of energy needed for an electron to leave the surface -- has dropped. And Power Chips that work at low enough temperatures to recover waste heat become achievable.
The projected Carnot efficiency should be 70%-80%, which compares to a 15%-30% Carnot efficiency of today's internal combustion motors and turbines.
Environmental Heat Engine - Yahoo!Groups discussion list surrounding the environmental heat engine concept. Encouraging replications, refinement of theory, and ultimately getting a feasible product to market.