Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Professional croissant on closed course. Do not attempt.

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temperature difference solar energy storage mechanism

Freeze things in space and generate power with them
  [vote for,

This device would consist of two close but not touching objects in space. Ideally but not necessarily, they would be of high mass, low thermal radiance (what's the word for that?) and conduct heat well.

Shield one from the sun, leave the other in sunlight as much as possible. Paint the one in the sun black, paint the other one 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.
Voice, Aug 15 2010

Parabaked (1) http://en.wikipedia.../Mercury_in_fiction
Scroll to "New Mercury: Kim Stanley Robinson" [mouseposture, Aug 15 2010]

Parabaked (2) http://en.wikipedia...sider_(Known_Space)
Scroll to "The Outsiders are thought to..." [mouseposture, Aug 15 2010]

Maximize radiant cooling. [bungston, Aug 15 2010]

Energy by cooling Energy_20by_20cooling
a concept similar to what is described here but with more detail. [bungston, Aug 15 2010]

Stirling Engine http://en.wikipedia...iki/Stirling_engine
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.
bungston, Aug 15 2010

       Why not just make the cold side of the device a huge filament of some sort that radiates all the energy away into space? So you would have this huge solar radiation absorber thing connected to this huge lightbulb and you'd be sucking all the juice you could in the middle, so long as the thing stays lit.
daseva, Aug 17 2010

       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.
Wily Peyote, Aug 17 2010


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