How Thermionics Work
Thermionic converters are devices that transform heat directly into electricity with no moving parts. Historically, this technology was used to power satellites because devices are compact and require no maintenance.
Thermionic converters consist of two metal plates separated by a vacuum gap. When one of the metal plates is heated to high temperatures, the heated metal’s surface will emit electrons across the vacuum gap to the cold metal plate, resulting in usable electrical energy.
For many years, the drawback of thermionics was low conversion efficiency and their need for extremely high temperatures. By improving the materials used in these devices and developing new system architectures, Modern Electron has increased efficiency by >10x and lowered the activation temperature. The resulting technology is finally compatible for use in our residential heating appliances, creating the world’s first cost-effective residential combined heat and power applications.
Small and lightweight, our thermionic converters can be designed into a variety of shapes to fit inside heating appliances.
Thermionics flew in space for a reason. With no moving parts, they never need maintenance.
Thermionic converters are the most power dense heat to electricity devices on the planet.