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IPFS News Link • Science

Thermionics Sharply Improved

• arclein
Such devices may be realized, for example, in a flip-chip arrangement of oxide-coated wafers separated by tens of micrometers using thermal-insulation spacers. This produces hundreds of Watts of power from active areas of some 100 cm2. The magnetic fields, typically 1 T with large tolerances in strength and spatial distribution, can be generated by permanent magnets or, for applications such as power plants, by superconducting coils. Achieving viable, highly efficient devices requires substantial

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Comment by PureTrust
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Regular computer chips are made of thousands upon thousands of layers of two different kinds of dielectric materials. They have hooked to each of them, microscopic "wires" in the form of solid-state circuitry.

Imagine making a thermocouple the same way. You could run your computer off your body heat by strapping a unit containing several hundred thousand microscopic thermocouples to your wrist while you were working.

Okay, okay. It probably wouldn't work. But you get the idea. Thermocouples like this could be built easily. Fifty years ago it would have been difficult.

Solid-state thermocouple technology could be made to easily supply all of our electricity needs, virtually for free, and without damage to the environment.