In the 1960’s Charles Brown was granted US Patent #3,890,161 for his ultimate solid-state heat-to-electricity converter. His nano-diode array system literally “rectifies” electromagnetic energy in the infrared frequencies producing DC electric power and cooling of the panel. The panel is a large “half-wave rectifier” for heat. Theoretically, it can be 50% efficient (half-wave rectification), well above current solar cell efficiencies. It also absorbs the heat of the environment and converts it to electricity, thereby producing refrigeration effects.
Once developed, energy densities are expected to be quite high, on the order of over 100 watts per square inch.
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