The Non Required

Let there be light… and money
September 17, 2007, 5:24 pm
Filed under: Big deal

Tomorrow’s big bucks lie in the energy sector. Here’s a way of making money.

The traditional incandescent light bulb is a dud. It radiates 95% of the energy it consumes as heat rather than light. Its life is also relatively short, culminating in a dull pop as its filament fractures. The next new new thing will have to be an environmentally friendly light bulb that uses very little energy, serves many lighting purposes and should never need changing. Can you imagine that?

The trick to a longer life – for light bulbs – is to ensure that the lamp has no electrodes. Although electrodes are convenient for plugging bulbs into the lighting system, they are also the main reason why lamps fail. (1) Electrodes wear out. (2) They can react chemically with the gas inside the bulb, making it grow dimmer. (3) They also are difficult to seal into the structure of the bulb.

In order to eliminate electrodes, some researchers have invented a device that uses microwaves to transform electrivity into light. It consists of a relatively small lump of aluminium oxide into which a hole has been bored. When the aluminium oxide is bombarded with microwaves generated from the same sort of device that powers a microwave oven, a concentrated electricity field is created inside the void.

If a cylindrical capsule containing a suitable gas is inserted into the hole, the atoms of gas become ionised. As electrons accelerate in the electric field, they gain energy that they pass on to the molecules of the gas as they colide with them, creating a glowing plasma. The resulting light is bright, and the process is energy efficient. Indeed, whereas traditional light bulbs emit just 5% of their energy as light, and fluorescent tubes about 15%, this new lamp has an efficiency greater than 50%.

Because it has no filament, it should last thousands of hours of use – in other words, decades ! As the light it generates comes from what is almost a single point, the bulb can be used in projectors and televisions. The lamp’s small size makes it comparable to light emitting diodes, but the new lamp generates much more light than those semi-conductor devices do. Another advantage is that it does not need mercury which you today find in bulbs, energy saving fluorescent bulbs, fluorescent tubes and high-pressure bulbs used in projectors.

NB: if you invest and earn money based on the above info, you will owe me 15% of your gains; if you lose money instead of making profits, you will by no account hold me responsible for your own faulty choices.


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[…] idées il y a quelque temps. L’une est désormais protégée par un brevet. Désolé. L’autre reste à exploiter. Comme c’est bientôt Noël, je vous en propose une troisième qui a fait […]

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