The conversion of heat into mechanical or electrical energy is notoriously inefficient. Power stations generate electricity with only 40% or so efficiency whilst motor vehicles are only 20-25% efficient.
This paper describes a new approach to harnessing heat energy. Hot air rises. The products of combustion rise because of gravity as cold air, which is heavier, is drawn in at the base of any fire. The upward flow of combustion products or the flow of incoming air could be used to rotate a turbine to generate electricity. This is the principle of what is described as the Convector Generator.
If the flue gases are used to preheat incoming air and the preheated incoming air used to rotate a turbine, very high conversion efficiencies should be possible. Several illustrative examples have been devised. The ideas can be scaled up for power stations or miniaturised for motor vehicle engines. By rigorously eliminating energy losses, efficiencies of over 80% should be possible.
The principles described should also apply to harnessing solar energy in large scale solar farms or in roof collectors. Using relatively cheap and unsophisticated materials an efficiency of conversion of solar energy into electricity of over 80% should be possible.
No experimental work has been carried out to illustrate the principles or to develop any working models. The ideas however are based on convection currents and about 10 examples are quoted from everyday life as proof of concept.
If the assertions made are found to be correct and the relevant technologies developed, fuel demand for power stations and transport and carbon dioxide emissions could be halved. If solar energy can be converted into electricity with high efficiency and cheaply that is global warming solved. Hence the title – global warming solutions.