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This device would consist of two close but not touching objects in space. Ideally
not necessarily, they would be of high mass, low thermal radiance (what's the
for that?) and conduct heat well.
Shield one from the sun, leave the
in sunlight as much as possible. Paint
the one in the sun black, paint the other
white. Just from being in and out of the sun they will develop a large temperature
difference that can be exploited to generate electricity. Asteroids would work, as
would lumps of rock or defunct satellites.
Scroll to "New Mercury: Kim Stanley Robinson" [mouseposture, Aug 15 2010]
Scroll to "The Outsiders are thought to..." [mouseposture, Aug 15 2010]
Maximize radiant cooling. [bungston, Aug 15 2010]
Energy by cooling
a concept similar to what is described here but with more detail. [bungston, Aug 15 2010]
In theory, the most effecient engine. One side needs to be hot, the other side cool. [Wily Peyote, Aug 17 2010]
||This will generate power until the shade one is as hot as the sun one. Unlike objects on earth which can convect or conduct away heat, things do not cool off well in space. See the IKECE concept for lots of interesting reading about heat in space.
||Why not just make the cold side of the device a
filament of some sort that radiates all the energy
away into space? So you would have this huge
radiation absorber thing connected to this huge
lightbulb and you'd be sucking all the juice you
in the middle, so long as the thing stays lit.
||To generate the power between the two sides, a Stirling Engine comes to mind...
||Maybe the hot side could be a giant parabolic cone reflecting all of the light onto a point. The greater delta T is, the more effecient a Stirling Engine works. (Which means less heat that will need to be radiated away.)
||The cold side also would need to be a giant radiator of some sort, as [daseva] mentioned.