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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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The president and CEO of Eneco, a "development stage company" that claims to have developed a small chip that can convert heat into electricity, claims that he is in talks with both Apple and Dell regarding his company's technology.

First reported on an IT Week blog "Green Business News", Eneco claims that their chips can produce electricity from heat at up to 30% efficiency.

The company says it is already in talks with both Dell and Apple about how the chips could be used in their devices. Initial talks have focused on integrating the heat conversion chips into the device so it can harness the heat generated by processors and turn it into electricity to power fans or other cooling technologies. By harnessing this power the devices, be they initially laptops and handhelds, or later even servers and PCs, should see improved energy efficiency, extended battery life and enhanced performance.

There are issues with the chip, as are to be expected from a development-stage product based on a new technology. At the present time, Eneco hopes to begin production late next year or early 2008.
 

amoda

macrumors 6502a
Aug 9, 2006
657
8
That's actually pretty cool. And it's a good example of killing a bird with two stones. Not only does it take away the heat but it also uses the energy gained to reduce the heat remaining.

Wish my mbp cd had that in it :(
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,827
1,945
Interesting concept, but their website scares me away in a hurry. What was that about making a good first impression?
 

mgargan1

macrumors 65816
Feb 22, 2003
1,218
0
Reston, VA
hmm... i wonder if they're a public company. If they can get rid of those problems, and what they're talking about actually works, then i think that company's stock will get pretty high
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,827
1,945
hmm... i wonder if they're a public company. If they can get rid of those problems, and what they're talking about actually works, then i think that company's stock will get pretty high

No...they're not public.
 

sososowhat

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2003
287
42
Palo Alto, CA
FireWire III ???

I want to charge my MacBook from a campfire! Seriously, this is a very cool idea (please forgive the pun).

Brown also sees the chips ultimately replacing batteries altogether. He argues that by linking the modules to a microburner - a catalytic burner that produces between 275 and 600 degrees centigrade – you can heat the chips and generate enough power to run the device.
 

bigandy

macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
8,852
0
Murka
That sounds pretty cool - if it could be harnessed to charge from the heat developed by a processor, RAM, or even the battery itself... :)
 

lepidoptera

macrumors newbie
Nov 4, 2006
2
0
interesting, but...

Wouldn't using the "extra" electricity to power fans to decrease heat lead to less "extra" electricity???? :rolleyes: I hope they really think this through - and I'm sure they will. Of course powering fans isn't the only use for electricity.
 

danielwsmithee

macrumors 65816
Mar 12, 2005
1,121
402
Fanless

This could be very cool if it works. Just slap one of these between your processor and heat sink and get 30% more battery life. Or on desktops force cool your system without liquid.
 

azraq27

macrumors newbie
Nov 21, 2006
3
0
Hmmm...

Here's my idea:

Hook up that chip, and then just keep overclocking the thing... you don't have to worry about it overheating and melting, it'll just give you more battery life.

It could go infinitely fast for infinitely long!

There's probably something in there about conduction and efficiency and stuff, but I'll leave that to the engineers
 

shawnce

macrumors 65816
Jun 1, 2004
1,442
0
Wow...

Hate to say it but the website sure makes the company and product to be a bunch of BS... they make a lot of claims with little to back them up.

They may have a real and useful product but... man they could present it in a much better way.
 

justflie

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2005
888
1
Red Sox Nation
If they can get it to work, engineers around the world will love them forever. Heat is always such a huge waste in any machinery, from computers to pumps to anything. The cost and environmental savings would be great if this tech (or something like it) can be effectively applied over a broad range of machinery!
 

Bosunsfate

macrumors 6502
Jan 20, 2006
344
0
Silicon Valley, CA
At first read I was going to be skeptical....I mean isn't this just cold fusion?

Having read through the science on this now...we'll this is pretty interesting.

The main hurdle appears to be the actual application of this into some type of consumer device...and that being cost effective at the end of the day.

If this works out..yea, we are talking about some major changes....

Why are these guys in Utah though?
 

danielbriggs

macrumors 6502
Jun 13, 2006
291
1
Manchester, UK
This is nothing new...

I used those devices in last year for my GCSE courwork (15-16 yrs old). I used them in a drinks cooler / heat thingy.

I won't ramble on about my product, but: The devices are called "Thermo electric coolers. i.e. TEC's

And they offer 3 functions.

1. The cool something.
2. They heat something.
3. They produce electricity.

This heat / cooling effect is called the Peltier effect (some French guy) and some people call these things peltiers etc.

They work, buy passing a relativly large current 3-20 amps, depending on wattage. to draw heat from one side to another basically. one side is -10 degrees c. The other is +80 degrees c. However, if you don't power them and instead create a temperature difference, i.e. stick ontop of a hot computer chip. You wil have set up a temperature gradient. So it will generate electricity. Typically you get around 4ma per 1 degree C. So nothing huge, unless they have refined them. So in this case, the bigger the delta T, the more power. I guess it could power a fan then! Seem's easily possilbe, but I wouldn't expect battery life to be much more than 30 mins at most extra. As 1 fan doesn't draw THAT much power!

Still a good idea though!

If anyone else has any questions, on how they work, images, tech drawing, or my product, i'm happy to answer them all!

BTW: Forgot to add, the generating electricity idea, from one of these, is called the "Seebeck Effect"



Dan :)
 

psionic001

macrumors member
Feb 21, 2006
49
12
Wouldn't using the "extra" electricity to power fans to decrease heat lead to less "extra" electricity???? :rolleyes: I hope they really think this through - and I'm sure they will. Of course powering fans isn't the only use for electricity.

I think that maybe you could think of this as something that harnesses the heat and slows the power drain from the battery for the same amount of heat produced by the cpu.

Of course they could use the extra power to provide a little more cooling to the chip, but only enough not to take the thermal difference (which generates the power in the first place) away. Now that makes it a lot clearer dosn't it! :confused: :rolleyes:

Another cool idea would be to use one of those microscopic steam turbines. Steam turbines would remove heat and create power at the same time.... or was that some dream I had. :eek:
 
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