Editor’s note: The Mars Rover Curiosity is powered by a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG)—See my EDN article The Rover’s Energy. NASA’s use of an RTG is probably one of the most high tech uses of this principle but using a heat source to produce electricity is not a new concept. In the following blog Ioannis tells us how the unique Thermocouple Lamp used the thermocouple concept and got started in Russia (The References and images at the end of this slideshow have history going back to the very beginnings of thermocouple technology as well as some newer more modern industrial uses and applications). Now let me let Ioannis tell the story:
I was ransacking my archives for some thermoelectricity matters and I located the following pictures and links regarding an old Russian invention to produce light and electricity for the remote Russian areas back in the 50s. The apparatus is so much analog related that with more analog than that you are burned -:)
The following three images are from an exhibition of a friend of mine whom I had visited back in 2003 that contained some old analog radio stuff, as one can see. Among the items was a very peculiar hanging kerosene lamp attached to a circular metallic arrangement of fins.
Please share with our readers your feedback and experiences of this technology and enjoy the following slide images.
Click on the slideshow image below to see some great photos :