Re: Feel the Heat (was Re: Nuclear heater for Expeditions)

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 06 Jan 1998 21:15:43 -0500

Michael Butler wrote:
> On Tue, 6 Jan 1998, Adam Foust wrote:
> > How about a small chemical heater of some sort that cleanly and
> > efficiently metabolizes some substance and generates heat as a
> > byproduct? Like an ideal fuel cell? Humans maintain an average body
> > temp of 98.6F from metabolizing a variety of molecules broken
> > down from food substances; couldn't something much much simpler
> > than a life form perform something similar for the specific purpose
> > of generating varying levels of heat efficiently?
> So far, you're spot on. There used to be little naphtha-fired catalytic
> heaters the size of a thin bar of soap that you could buy at sporting
> goods stores, for pocket handwarmers. I don't know if they're still sold,
> or if not, why not; maybe one too many sauced ice fishermen with
> frostbite damage compounded by third-degree burns?. Getting complete
> combustion seems a bit tricky, but I see no reason why you couldn't put a
> platinum post-stage combustor on one. Cost would go up, of course.
> A microprocessor-mediated warmer of this type seems possible, as does
> combustion regulation using bimetals or shape memory alloys.

Here's a solution that is already here.

J.D. Krystall, Inc, in Issaquah, WA, has been working for several years,
in a project with WSU and the Energy Dept in developing furnaces that
burn propane or natural gas, and use GaAs/An composite solar cells to
generate electricity. The original application was for a hubrid car, but
the company is developing all sorts of products that are in testing,
including a combination camp stove/heater/generator, a furnace/generator
for the home that recesses into the wall, and others. The solar cells
are 35% efficient when exposed to the high intensity visible and IR
radiation of the burning fuels, and the hot exhaust gasses can then be
used for heating purposes, which can be force driven by electric fans
powered by the solar cells.

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------	Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
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