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Thermo Electric Converter


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The Thermo Electric Converter technology is a new answer to the heat to electricity puzzle that has been challenging scientists and engineers since the beginning of the industrial revolution. The technology basically utilizes a cyclic electrochemical reaction, in a cyclic endothermic/exothermic closed system. The implementations of this technology can be solar thermal or even waste heat recovery from industrial processes. The chemicals used in the mechanism are inexpensive and non toxic. I would like to see this system installed beneath roads, as to provide electricity to surrounding buildings. The theory is very simple and the technology is cheap. Investor enquiries welcome.

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Thermo Electric Converter

  1. 1. Presented by Chris Morton<br />Professional Inventor<br />+27768587777<br /><br />Thermo Electric Converter<br />All content contained in this document and related documents are intellectual property of Chris Morton. Copyright MakeNET 2011<br />
  2. 2. A Thermo Electric Converter cell is a device that converts heat to electricity<br />The quest for such a device has been around for many years, and has resulted recently in many innovations, however there is not yet a machine that converts heat directly to electrical energy by using a chemical reaction.<br />The problems are mostly that most chemical compounds do not react in a reversible way at temperatures below 100 degrees Celsius.<br />There is a specific group of compounds that do react in a way that favours the phenomenon that Thermo Electric Converters employ to generate electricity.<br />What is a ‘Thermo Electric Converter’?<br />
  3. 3. A thermo electric converter uses a reversible chemical reaction.<br />The endothermic side of the reaction uses any heat source above 30 degrees to cause a solution of chemical x to decompose into its components. <br />When the components are recombined, they recombine exothermically, this exothermic reaction can be done in a similar environment to a hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell and thusly electrical current can be observed.<br />Simply put, the suns energy is absorbed into the chemical x solution which is then stored in the chemical bonds of the components of chemical x. The components react readily with each other in a way that releases the energy stored in those bonds, which in an engineered solution such as a TEC can be used to provide Electro Motive Force and cause electrical current.<br />The most important factor at work in a TEC is that the chemical x endothermic/exothermic reaction is cyclic, and the equilibrium is maintained, which means that it is like a re-chargeable battery.<br />How does a TEC work? <br />
  4. 4. The mechanism that any energy transfer uses always has an associated energy loss. For example all the noise, heat, extra vibrations and mechanical friction are all energy losses that occur in a typical internal combustion engine in your car. The actual rotational force that is the object that an internal combustion engine is designed for achieves typically only 35% efficiency.<br />Typical commercially available solar panels achieve a maximum of 20%. The most efficient photovoltaic cell in the world achieves on 44% and can only be afforded by agencies such as NASA.<br />In regards to TEC there are 3 main area of energy loss, namely: internal electrical resistance, internal mechanical resistance and thermal loss due to a necessary condenser unit.<br />The efficiency of a TEC depends on its design and implementation, as do most machines. With this in mind I suggest that if one can maintain a maximum of 20% energy loss for electrical resistance, 10% loss of mechanical resistance and 30% loss for thermal loss then perhaps this technology could achieve 40% efficiency. <br />At this stage it is very difficult to estimate how efficient a TEC could be, however think if at least 15% efficiency could be obtained within 3 prototypes then this is absolutely feasible. The first photovoltaic cells were only 1% efficient.<br />Since the TEC Solar (Implementation) uses solar thermal energy, this means that this loss is acceptable in terms of a practical and feasible alternative energy source. <br />Would a TEC be efficient enough to be practical?<br />
  5. 5. TEC Solar is an Thermo Voltaic Organic Solar Cell and is similar to the indictor in red line/red circle.<br />
  6. 6. Compared with typical photovoltaic cells one may consider that TEC would be significantly cheaper.<br /> PV cells are made from refined crystalline silicon semiconductor material. They may also have several toxic inclusions such as cadmium telluride, and copper indium selenide/sulfide or Galliumarsenide.<br />PV cells also have limited life span depending on the surface material.<br />A TEC cell is made from electroplated mild steel, aluminium, ceramics and copper piping. The chemicals that form chemical x are readily available. The most expensive part of the TEC cell may be the catalyst, however only minute amounts will be used, additionally the catalyst may not necessary be limited to platinum group metals as alternatives exist. Experimentation is required in this regard.<br />PV cells typically need a high tech installation for mass production. <br />As the nature of materials in a TEC can be assembled with lower tech tools it may also be considered that setup costs will be less and factor into the price to the consumer.<br />PV cells typically need special installation skill sets.<br />TEC installations may also be cheaper to install, as a plumber would be the appropriate skill set.<br />The price of a PV installation is about R30 per watt. If you factor in the comparisons above then it is not unreasonable to estimate that TEC cells could be more affordable, perhaps even 1/10th the price of PV cells in a large installation.<br />Would a TEC be affordable?<br />
  7. 7. Recently my colleague Jeff Heasley (Research Chemist BSc Hon(s)) and myself conducted some experiments with an analogous reaction. The following data was recorded:<br />Upon mixing the chemicals, and insertion of electrodes, without heat – no voltage was observed. <br />Upon heating the anodic side a voltage was observed. The highest voltage observed was 0.67 volts. This is comparable to most PV cells (not cell array).<br />The amperage was not measured as the beaker test is not a good place to demonstrate load. A more elaborate setup is required to achieve amperage of more than a few milliamps. We did however observe amperage, however it cannot be counted as there was no load on the system. <br />I can repeat this experiment for you on request.<br />The results are obtainable on request.<br />The Science behind TEC<br />
  8. 8. This thermo-electrical effect can exploited in an engineered solution.<br />With sufficient development it will be able to compete with existing technology, and also be much more affordable.<br />Energy is fast becoming a very expensive commodity and there is still room in the market, especially in Africa for another player.<br />The TEC may therefore be worth considering as a capital growth investment as the African market is still relatively unexploited.<br />Interesting, and this means?<br />
  9. 9. As previously mentioned PV cells may contain toxic inclusions, which pose a threat when the end of life occurs (approximately 25 years).<br />TEC cells do not contain toxic inclusions. The chemical x solution is 100% non toxic and biodegradable.<br />TEC cells can easily be recycled should end of life occur.<br /> The energy costs of manufacturing PV in bulk theoretically outweigh the energy costs of manufacturing TEC, therefore from an environmental impact point of view there is less consequence from pollution caused by manufacturing TEC.<br />Overall, TEC may be a better option for an alternative energy supply than existing technology which is not as environmentally friendly as it may seem.<br />What about the environmental impact of TEC<br />
  10. 10. Currently the 2nd prototype of the TEC consists of very efficient solar heat collector, a reactor chamber and a condenser chamber. The assembly of this is currently delayed due to mitigating circumstances. <br />I have drawn several CAD drawings for the construction of the TEC Solar 1, however I need some professional help from engineers and plumbers as well as the resources to finish this project.<br />I have been invited to the 1st World Solar Thermal Summit in China to demonstrate this technology. I would like to go but cannot with no assistance.<br />The project is not on track as far as my trip to China goes, but with some help I can get it back on track.<br />However I am very happy to keep this project in Africa, provided in someway I can make a living from this.<br />I seriously believe that this technology will contribute well for the development and preservation of Africa. The technologly is also possibly worth billions of Rands to the international community and therefore may have some interest to investors or venture capitalists .<br />My research and prototype TEC Solar 1<br />
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  17. 17. Professional Inventor, former Software Engineer<br />Have been involved with technology innovations my entire working career.<br />Can be contacted on +27768587777 or<br />CV can be downloaded from<br />About Chris Morton <br />