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Eneco: heat-to-energy chip being developed

a network cableWhen we talk of disruptive new technologies, they don’t get much more disruptive than this. Converting heat directly into energy is as big of a deal as you’re going to read about anywhere today.

So the heat is on to create one cool chip that if viable, could well have an enormous impact on our lives.

“This chip compares with the invention of the transistor, or the TV, or the first aircraft,… It is a genuinely disruptive technology.”

A bold boast indeed!

But if Eneco are as good as their word, then they’re not wrong, either:

Eneco is a development stage company that claims to have invented and patented a ‘solid state energy conversion / generation chip’ that will convert heat directly into electricity or alternatively refrigerate down to -200 degrees Celsius when electricity is applied.”

Quite apart from the fact that Eneco is in desperate need of a good website, I’d say they have something pretty special on their hands.

With interest being the operative word: “interested parties have also traveled from Italy, Switzerland, Ireland and all over the UK to see if the miracle chip might deliver on its promises.”

Now, there’s a pretty nuts ‘n’ bolts explanation of what this thing needs to do to pull the energy from heat, but you can read that for yourself:

“The result is a solid state energy conversion chip that can operate at temperatures of up to 600 degrees celcius and deliver absolute efficiencies in terms of how much heat energy is converted to electricity of between 20 and 30 percent.”

For the likes of you and me, the most obvious and immediate application for this kind of technology “lies in portable power, where [Eneco] hopes the chips will ultimately replace high end lithium ion and polymer batteries used in laptops and other handheld devices.”

And they’re not sitting around, either:

“The company says it is already in talks with both Dell and Apple about how the chips could be used in their devices.”

Low power consumption is the topic of the moment in terms of consumer electronics.

With energy coming at a premium, such ‘disruptive technology’ will easily find the gaze of eager eyes flitting across in their direction from complimentary areas of technology, such as computer manufacturers like Apple, Dell et al.

But these processors are extremely versatile, which will put Eneco in good stead for the future, where diversification will help insulate Eneco should one avenue fail to take off:

“Currently we spend around $1,500bn a year globally on fossil fuels, but when they are burned around 50 percent of the energy is wasted. Eneco envisages a situation where integrating its chips onto the side of a furnace for example would help capture much of that wasted heat and turn it into useful energy.”

So with all of these truly amazing benefits at hand, the question is: are these guys for real?

“These theoretical deployments are all well and good but the big issue for investors is whether the technology works and how close Eneco is to realising these many applications. And, in fairness to [Dr Lew] Brown he has an answer to almost every question from the floor.”

I could go on all day about the stuff here, but if you’re as captured by this new, novel technology as I am, then read the article for yourself, you’ll be electrified…

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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