American engineers believe that the thermal energy of the Earth, which is released into the environment, can be used as a renewable energy source for electricity production in some areas of the planet.
The new technique, developed by Federico Capasso and his colleagues at Harvard University (USA), allows to produce electricity from the heat radiated by Earth into the environment. The experts came up with this idea when they discovered that the planet is “heating” space with a capacity of 100 million gigawatts.
At present there are no technologies to extract electricity from the heat of the Earth. The authors of this study created a special scheme of “thermal batteries”, focusing on the data on heat flux emanating from the Earth. These data were collected by specialists in the town of Lamont (Oklahoma).
This device includes a set of special antennas and connecting electrical circuits. They are set up in such a way that they interact with the long-wavelength infrared radiation when a current passes through them.
The device is similar to the induction loops that are used in e-tickets, as well as in “wireless” chargers for mobile phones.
At the moment, as the experts say, there are no such antennas in practice. However, the results of calculations and simulations demonstrate the feasibility of such “thermal” generators. However, the authors of the study emphasize that their efficiency will initially be very low.