Thursday, November 1, 2007

Creating power out of thin air

The Princeton, N.J.-based company is working on a material that, when combined with another substance, will generate electricity with ambient room heat, Andrew Surany, the company's president, told CNET News.com this week.

Conceivably, one could take that material and fashion it into a passive fuel cell that can create power by just sitting in an ordinary room heated to about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to self-charging electronic devices.

...It's not just theoretical: Germany's EnOcean, another energy-harvesting specialist, has come up with sensors that get power from the temperature differentials between the interaction material that makes up a pipe filled with hot gases and a material heated to room temperature.

...Outlandish as it sounds, the CEA, the atomic energy agency of France, has already concocted a microgenerator that can produce electricity at ambient temperatures via the Seebeck effect.

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