Convective Energy Conversion Cycle


A new energy cycle is proposed for the efficient conversion of heat into electricity using natural convection. Solar energy or combustion produces warm gases which rise because of their buoyancy. If the current of warm gases is suitably contained it can drive a turbine. If the configuration is structured as a closed cycle, post turbine air which is cooler, falls under gravitation to repeat the cycle. Thus buoyancy is the expander, gravity is the compressor and there is no energy sink in the Convective Energy Conversion Cycle (CECC). The author asserts that this configuration is not subject to the Carnot efficiency limit; it is the First Law of Thermodynamics, the Principle of Conservation of Energy that applies giving a theoretical efficiency for the conversion of heat into electricity of up to 100 per cent.

CECC was devised for conversion of solar energy into electricity in large scale solar collectors. Subsequently the author has come across three instruments from nineteenth century physics that each employs CECC. In each case light is converted into mechanical energy with anomalously high efficiency. They provide a proof of concept. An adaptation of CECC for the conversion of natural gas into electricity in power stations is described. But its main application will be in harnessing solar energy. An experimental approach is outlined that could lead to large scale, low level, sealed glass dome structures that will convert solar energy into electricity at a fraction of the cost of other solar technologies and cheaper than from fossil fuels.

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