refrigerator in your kitchen is the only "free energy machine"
you currently own. It's an electrically operated heat pump. It uses
one amount of energy (electricity) to move three amounts of energy
(heat). This gives it a "coefficient of performance" (COP)
of about 3. Your refrigerator uses one amount of electricity to pump
three amounts of heat from the inside of the refrigerator to the
outside of the refrigerator.
is its typical use, but it is the worst possible way to use the technology.
Here's why. A heat pump pumps heat from the "source" of
heat to the "sink" or place that absorbs the heat. The
"source" of heat should obviously be HOT and the "sink"
for heat should obviously be COLD for this process to work the best.
In your refrigerator, it's exactly the opposite. The "source"
of heat is inside the box, which is COLD, and the "sink"
for heat is the room temperature air of your kitchen, which is warmer
than the source.
is why the COP remains low for your kitchen refrigerator. But this
is not true for all heat pumps. COP's of 8 to 10 are easily attained
with solar assisted heat pumps. In such a device, a heat pump draws
heat from a solar collector and dumps the heat into a large underground
absorber, which remains at 55° F, and mechanical energy is extracted
in the transfer. This process is equivalent to a steam engine that
extracts mechanical energy between the boiler and the condenser,
except that it uses a fluid that "boils" at a much lower
temperature than water.
such system that was tested in the 1970's produced 350 hp, measured
on a Dynamometer, in a specially designed engine from just 100-sq.
ft. of solar collector. The amount of energy it took to run the compressor
(input) was less than 20 hp, so this system produced more than 17
times more energy than it took to keep it going! It could power a
small neighborhood from the roof of a hot tub gazebo, using exactly
the same technology that keeps the food cold in your kitchen.
comprehensive essay on this technology is being prepared for this
page. Please check back soon for more information.