I am sick and tired of hearing these stories of LEDs being more than 100% efficient – that is, outputting more power than they consume.
Usually, the stories are embellished, non-factual, or have a severe scientific flaw (the laws of thermodynamics have yet to actually be broken). Did they actually perform cold fusion? No, they’re just idiots looking for press. However, there is in fact a way LEDs can be more than 100% efficient – when packaged appropriately – and here’s how.
In, Out, Repeat
LED takes electric current in. LED chemical structure outputs visible light due to electron effects of said electric current on its chemical structure. LED dissipates some energy as heat in the process. LED returns energy.
This is the basic process an LED uses in its lifecycle, continuously.
However, if a part of the LED’s package allowed it to overcompensate for that lost energy in the same way a steroid user compensates for his loss of…er…”ego,” then efficiency >100% can be achieved, though the term “LED” must apply to its package instead of simple the current->light p-n junction that makes it an actual diode.
Enter the quasi crystal.
Energy From Nothing? Go on.
Except, it’s not from nothing – it’s from the air. Passing all around us are radio waves that our radios pick up and turn into sound, all radiated energy from the base transmission station (they’re literally everywhere).
While not enough voltage to charge a battery, lighting a single LED off of the numerous spare frequency and amplitude modulated waves is possible, using this little thing that has struck the curiosity of engineers in recent years called the quasi crystal.
The quasi crystal has chemical compounds within it offset just enough to resonate with the energy in the air around us, literally sapping it right out and into a circuit connected to the crystal itself.
Now attach a quasi crystal (or multiple for multiples of the fun!) in parallel with an LED, just enough to compensate for the loss but not so many that the package size becomes impractical and the LED is always on, and >100% efficiency is achieved by allowing the crystals to make up for all the lost current in the heat dissipation.
Pretty cool, eh?
But put that quasi-LED package in a faraday cage, and you lose the gains. No radio signals reaching the device = no more adequate compensation, and the crystal quits. Just like a disgruntled worker.
It would be cool if LEDs were packaged with little quasi crystals built in for the little perk that comes with it, so any Radio Shack hardware dealers out there: jump on this, and freely market the “magic” involved.
Any thoughts on this cool trick? Leave a comment!
Raphael is a Physics major in college. He is the least-frequent contributor, but his posts focus on Physics and the mathematics behind some thing. He specializes in quantum physics, but is fluent in Newtonian mechanics, relativity, Maxwell electromagnetism, and nearly any other physical field you can pitch at him other than exercise (though he can calculate energy needed to burn off calories). He is not a member of the Ninja Turtles.