Hey ya, all science buddies, did you ever get curious in your life, and how if we could use the heat energy produced in many ways and uses it for generating electricity. If yes, you are not alone. In automobiles and factories most of the energy wastes as heat. Other heat sources are burnt fossil fuels and sun. So if we somehow convert that into useful energy, would be a great idea in fulfilling the demands of the human beings to some extent. The energy need is increasing day after day, we all hears it. But the sources are not. Hence it becomes critically important to find alternate sources or convert the unharnessed energy into useful energy.
Today, in this article I have explained and let all my readers know that it is possible for the conversion of heat energy into electrical energy. The main advantage with electric energy is that it can be used in no of ways to get our work done and can be stored into electrical reservoirs. Not many people have heard of thermionic generators right? But not to worry here we are, enlightening you with some details of it and uses.
Well, thermionic generators as the name symbolizes – are the materials which uses thermal energy or temperature difference between a hot and a cold metallic plate to create electricity. “Electrons are evaporated or kicked out by light from the hot plate, then driven to the cold plate, where they condense, explained experimental solid-state physicist Jochen Mannhart of Germany. The resulting charge difference between those plates thus produces a voltage, hence an electrical current without moving the mechanical parts.
The former model of thermionic generators failed because of the ‘charge space problem’. In that model the clouds formed at the hot plate of the electrons which repelled the other electrons backwards because of the negative charge at the plate. That was the main reason for the ineffective functioning of the model. The problem then sorted out by the students of Stanford University by using an electric field to full the charge cloud away from the hot plate thus, enabling the electrons to make way to the old plate, making the flow of current. Development of thermionic devices
At this point it is crucial to know that how much current is formed by this method. Well, practical thermionic generators have reached an efficiency of about 10 percent which means that ten percent of the heat energy is converted by this technology which is not very much but something is better than nothing that we all know. Theoretical prediction of the thermo electronic generators suggests about 40 percent energy conversion. Though, we would be much surprised if there was a commercial application in the market place within the next 5-6 years, but if companies that are hungry for power recognize via thermionic generators, the development might be faster. It is amazing to know How space charge problem was solved with Thermionic devices
So this was all about thermionic generators. I hope this idea would be helpful in making your Engineering projects. You now think something related to this, add some technical possibilities to make it yours and help researchers achieve that early. In case you have any query regarding the article or want to know some more technicalities, please don’t hesitate to ask. We would love to reply you to the most possible way we can. Stay tuned with us for other Project Ideas and Engineering Projects.