An interesting story about a new method of generating solar power from the inventor of the super-soaker. The article claims efficiencies of 60 % are possible.
As some of the comments point out this idea might not be feasible. The Carnot efficiency of a heat engine is given by:
efficiency = 1-(T COLD/T HOT)
(with absolute temperatures used)
The article suggests temperatures as high as 600 degrees centigrade. So (assuming T COLD is room temperature):
1 - ((273+25)/(600+273)) = 0.66.
Giving a theoretical efficiency of 66%.
Of course it's possible there is some error in my understanding of the article and/or theory.
However the endoreversible process is a slightly more accurate method of measuring the efficiency of a heat engine (at least according to the Wikipedia article), which is given by:
efficiency = 1 - (T COLD/T HOT)^0.5.
efficiency = 1 - ((273+25)/(600+273))^0.5 = 0.41
Giving a theoretical efficiency of 41%, rather less than as advertised.
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