Lonnie Johnson, an Atlanta-based scientist and inventor, has worked for SAC and JPL, holds about 100 patents … and he invented The Super Soaker squirt gun! The revenue from squirt gun sales has allowed him to continue to be creative and he was recently honored for a new technology deemed the “Johnson Thermo-Electrochemical Converter System” (JTEC). It is a solid state, closed system thermodynamic engine that uses a temperature differential to generate electrical energy by pushing hydrogen ions through two membranes. The closed JTEC system does not burn oxygen and heat is the only fuel required. It is claimed to be highly scalable and suitable for space-based applications.
When I read about JTEC, I thought it might be a possible alternative to PV cells for collecting and converting space-based solar power. The naturally occurring temperature differential in the vacuum of space would fuel the system and it seems like it might be much easier to harden it against damage from micrometeorites and space debris.
Here is the website where I read about JTEC: Johnson Electro Mechanical Systems : JTEC. I hope some of the contributors here will take a look at JTEC and see if it merits further evaluation for a space-based solar power application.