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1. (WO2014179183) DEVICES AND METHODS FOR HEAT GENERATION
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CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A reactor device comprising:

a sealed vessel defining an interior;

a fuel material within the interior of the vessel; and

a heating element proximal the vessel,

wherein the fuel material comprises a solid including nickel and hydrogen, and further wherein the interior of the sealed vessel is not preloaded with a pressurized gas when in an initial state before activation of the heating element.

2. The reactor device of claim 1, wherein the sealed vessel contains no more than a trace amount of gaseous hydrogen.

3. The reactor device of claim 1, wherein the sealed vessel is sealed against gas ingress or egress.

4. The reactor device of claim 1, further comprising a first ceramic shell between the sealed vessel and the heating element.

5. The reactor device of claim 4, further comprising a second ceramic shell surrounding the first ceramic shell and the heating element.

6. The reactor device of claim 1, wherein the sealed vessel consists of steel.

7. The reactor device of claim 1, wherein the sealed vessel comprises a steel tube having two ends sealed by steel caps.

8. The reactor device of claim 1, wherein the interior of the sealed vessel is cylindrical, and wherein the fuel material is uniformly distributed within the interior of the sealed vessel.

8. The reactor device of claim 1 , wherein the heating element surrounds the sealed

vessel.

9. The reactor device of claim 1, further comprising a first ceramic shell surrounding the sealed vessel and surrounded by the heating element.

10. The reactor device of claim 9, further comprising a second ceramic shell surrounding the heating element.

11. The reactor device of claim 1, wherein the heating element comprises a resistor coil assembly.

12. The reactor device of claim 12, wherein the heating element comprises at least three resistor coils that are disposed of parallel to and equidistant from a center axis of the device.

13. A method comprising:

providing a sealed vessel with a fuel material therein, wherein the interior of the sealed vessel is not preloaded with a pressurized gas when in an initial state; heating the sealed vessel with an input amount of energy without ingress or egress of material into or out of the sealed vessel during heating; and

receiving from the sealed vessel an output amount of thermal energy.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein heating the sealed vessel comprises heating the sealed vessel from outside the sealed vessel.

15. The method of claim 13, wherein heating the sealed vessel comprises initiating a reaction within the vessel of a fuel material having a specific energy greater than 1 × 105 wattxhour/kg.

16. The method of claim 13, wherein heating the sealed vessel comprises alternating a heating element between on and off states.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein alternating a heating element between on and off states comprises periodically providing electrical current to a resistor coil assembly.

18. The method of claim 13, wherein providing a sealed vessel comprises providing a sealed vessel that contains a solid fuel material and no more than a trace amount of gaseous hydrogen.

19. The method of claim 19, wherein the solid fuel material comprises nickel and

hydrogen.

20. The method of claim 13, further comprising:

monitoring a temperature of the sealed vessel; and

wherein heating the sealed vessel comprises selectively heating the sealed vessel in response to the monitored temperature.

21. A system for converting thermal input and fuel into a heat output, comprising:

a device that includes:

a sealed vessel defining an interior;

a heating element proximal the vessel and being selectively activatable to provide heat to the sealed vessel,

a fuel material within the interior of the vessel that comprises a solid including nickel and hydrogen, and wherein the interior of the sealed vessel is not preloaded with a pressurized gas when in an initial operating state before activation of the heating element;

a temperature measuring gauge in communication with the device and configured for monitoring the temperature thereof; and

a controller in communication with the heating element and the temperature measuring gauge, the controller configured to activate the heating element in response to measurements from the temperature measuring gauge.

22. The system of claim 21, wherein the sealed vessel contains no more than a trace amount of gaseous hydrogen.

23. The system of claim 21, wherein the sealed vessel is sealed against gas ingress or egress.

24. The system of claim 21, further comprising a first ceramic shell between the sealed vessel and the heating element.

25. The system of claim 23, further comprising a second ceramic shell surrounding the first ceramic shell and the heating element.

26. The system of claim 21, wherein the sealed vessel consists of steel.

27. The system of claim 21, wherein the sealed vessel comprises a steel tube having two ends sealed by steel caps.

28. The system of claim 21, wherein the interior of the sealed vessel is cylindrical, and wherein the fuel material is uniformly distributed within the interior of the sealed vessel.

29. The system of claim 21, wherein the heating element surrounds the sealed vessel.

30. The system of claim 21, further comprising a first ceramic shell surrounding the sealed vessel and surrounded by the heating element.

31. The system of claim 30, further comprising a second ceramic shell surrounding the heating element.

32. The system of claim 21, wherein the heating element comprises a resistor coil

assembly.

33. The system of claim 32, wherein the heating element comprises at least three resistor coils that are disposed of parallel to and equidistant from a center axis of the device.