This kit demonstrates the direct conversion of heat into electrical energy via the Seebeck effect. Like in photovoltaic cells, the generation of electricity results from processes on an atomic scale without macroscopic movement of mechanical parts. The atomic vibrations that correspond to heat result in a gradient of the electron’s distribution, i.e. an electrical voltage.
The car is powered by a food warmer candle. Put the car on flat, smooth ground, fill the upper reservoir with cold water (about one third), and light the candle. The resulting temperature difference between both sides of the thermogenerator produces electricity, supplying the electrical motor on the front wheel. After a minute or two the car starts moving and slowly speeds up. It moves on a straight path or turns around in circles, which is adjustable by twisting the middle joint. Increase the car’s speed by using cold water from the fridge or adding some ice cubes.
Includes assembly drawing and hints for construction both in English and German. Dimensions: diameter ~100 mm, height ~150 mm. The included candle gives an operation time of about three to four hours.