LitroEnergy Power Cells Produce Continuous Output
By combining a non-stop luminescing technology that has a 20-year
duration (12-year half-life), with thin film photovoltaics in a layered
arrangement, MPK Co. has devised a portable, continuous generator that could
change the planet.
Imagine a laptop or cell phone battery that never has to be recharged. Imagine an electric vehicle that can drive non-stop with no need to recharge. Imagine a generator in your garage that requires no fuel, essentially no maintenance, and provides enough power for all your electrical needs.
Such a day may not be far away with the advent of a marriage of two energy technologies. Simply join solar thin film technology that
turns photons into electrons together with the luminescent microspheres by MPK Co. to produces continuous photons, and you have continuous electricity generation.
Well…, not exactly “continuous”, because the LitroSphere™ photon output rate very gradually diminishes over time, but we’re talking over many years, like 20, rather than hours. But unlike batteries, there is no “off” switch for these betavoltatic devices. They just generate electricity at a fixed rate, and they keep on going, and going, and going, and going – without any waste byproduct.
The cell-phone battery and electric vehicle capability may be a ways off yet,
but some of the portable applications that can handle a little more size and
weight will be available first.
You’ve heard of thin film solar. Konarka, a leader in that industry, for example, just announced this week that they are now in mass production of their low-cost, printed rolls of solar sheets at a rate of 1 gigawatt of simultaneous output capacity per year – the same capacity as one nuclear power plant, and at a price that is in the same ballpark.
What about MPK? Perhaps not yet a household word, but they certainly are not unknowns. Last year their luminescent microspheres technology won
first place in NASA’s “Future Design” contest. The microspheres can be embedded in transparent paint to create essentially a permanent-lighting paint. MPK has subsequently developed Litroenergy sheets that create on-going light. Their light emitting micro particles and/or sheets are not affected by heat or cold and will produce consistent/constant light while also being extremely durable.
Now, with this concept of joining their Litroenergy sheets with solar thin film sheets, MPK may win the NASA contest again this year. Posting this idea for the first time last Friday
deadline) on the NASA contest website, they have already risen in the top tier among 766
contestants this year. (Ref.)
The combining these two technologies – the thin-film solar and the LitroSpheres™ – would entail very thin, repeated layers of each so that a large number of stacked sets would comprise a significant power density. They call these versatile hybrid species, Litroenergy Power Cells, which can be scaled from micro applications to large utilities.
How long will the wait be until we see this on the market? According to Steve Stark,
Director of Marketing for MPK, product could be rolling out of manufacturing plants in as little as three months from now, depending on financing. The technology and players are already in place, and the independent testing of this combination will be completed in a few weeks. The results from MPK’s in-house testing have been very encouraging. “There is a lot going on behind the scenes that I can not disclose at this time, but it is huge” said Stark.
MPK has been able to gain the cooperation of both major government and corporate
interests, which they are not yet ready to disclose publicly, but which speaks highly of their persistence and accomplishment. (Steve filled me in on some of the details.)
It is "definitely worth doing", said one of the government experts who
has actually tested another version of the concept.
The match of the wavelength of the LitroSphere™ luminescence, and the solar cell collection is close to optimal – something that could be improved in future versions, but which is already more than adequate for efficient pairing.
The Litroenergy technology is based on a combination of an advanced phosphorus and tritium, hence the 12-year half-life. Tritium is the most harmless of the various radioactive elements, and is ubiquitous in nature, in the air we breathe and the water we drink.
Tritium is quite benign. Only in recent years has it no longer been considered perfectly safe. The MPK packaging of tritium into microspheres that have a
5,000-pound crush resistance, makes this technology safe. In the case of release into the air, it essentially is released as hydrogen. The
minute, "soft" radioactive emissions from the tritium do not penetrate through the
walls of the microsphere encapsulation. MPK is having the Litroenergy Power Cells tested for classification as non-toxic and non-radioactive.
Taking the gradual diminishment over time, the power output will need to be
engineered in such a way that it is overbuilt for the devices it is powering so that it matches the desired lifespan of the device.
In many applications, an accompanying battery may be designed into the system to serve as a reservoir of the continuous
trickle charge output of the Litroenergy Power Cell, while the device may only be used transiently. How the excess energy is dispersed during the first portion of the device lifetime can be engineered appropriately.
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