Thermionic converters have a multitude of applications once we make them cost-effective.
Oil and Gas
The oil and gas industry has many sources of high-temperature heat and the every-increasing need for reliable power on site. Thermionic converters can be applied to dedicated power production systems similar to thermoelectric power boxes, they can extract power from volatile organic compound incinerators, and they can even be scaled up to large flare gas capture systems to provide large amounts of power near the wellhead.
We have been approached many times by customers needing uninterruptible power supplies for remote cell towers. These cell towers are often in very remote locations with no access to mainline power. The industry currently uses diesel or gas generators that can require maintenance as often as every 30 days. Thermionic converters could provide power for years without maintenance, drastically reducing the number of trips needed to the remote locations while ensuring that the cell tower remains operational.
At its largest scale, thermionic conversion can be even be applied to utility scale power. The technology can be used as a topping cycle for coal and natural gas power plants, applied to concentrated solar systems, and even be used to create a nuclear reactor with no moving parts. In fact, the technology has successfully applied to each of these applications in the past.
Military and Defense
Of course there are many uses of thermionic conversion in military and defense applications. Thermionic converters can be used to create a lightweight and energy dense portable power system for soldiers to carry instead of the dozens of pounds of batteries that they currently carry. The technology can also be applied to the leading edges of hypersonic vehicles; converting the heat generated from air friction into usable power for the aircraft. Additionally, the high power density of thermionic converters could be used to create lightweight energy sources for drones to extend their reach and flight time.
You Tell Us!
Customers are constantly telling us about applications that they see for thermionic converters that we have never even thought of. Contact us if you think you can use our technology!