This seems pretty useless.
The article states that when the power is halved by a factor of four, then the light output is halved. This means when you increase the power by a factor of 4, the light output is only doubled.
Given it is "230% efficient" (which in itself is a BS play on semantics), let's say I wanted, oh, a watt of light. Just one watt. If the quadrupling the power to double the light holds true, we're talking megawatts of power.
Seems to me the concept is that you run each one at the almost vanishingly low power level where it works very efficiently, but make up for the low output by having millions of microscopic versions of this thing etched onto a single chip. Since light output will scale linearly with number of LEDs, this theoretically could get you useful amounts of light at very high efficiency.
Such a device would be the equivalent of a Peltier device where the "hot" side emits visible radiation instead of infrared (heat).
Another amusing implication of this phenomenon: Such a device would cool itself down as it operates, and eventually stop working because it gets too cold! There would need to be the inverse of a heat sink (a cold sink?) attached to it to enable it to operate reliably!
Okay. Nothing is 230% efficient. I don't care what the article says. Or what they claim. Or why it "doesn't break" conservation laws. It just CANNOT break it. The energy comes from somewhere. Oh wow it "draws it in" from the surroundings... that's energy consumption. That's not 230% efficiency.
Actually, any engineering students who've done any undergrad level thermodynamics classes should be familiar with air conditioning systems which are greater than 100% efficient. Note however that entropy is not violated, as the heat output has higher entropy than the original system.
Yup, systems that utilize this effect can actually have a "coefficient of performance" of up to 5.0 (i.e. "500% efficiency", if we use the misleading interpretation from in the original article).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pump#Efficiency