Micro generator

There was an article in the local paper about a new generator that 
has been developed at Wash. State University that is 2 mm square 
and about 2 hairs thick.  It's been dubbed the P3 (Palouse 
Piezoelectric Power).  The P3 uses "heat to create its own 
electricity and lasts thousands of hours before it needs replacing."  
It sounds like a real advancement with incredible possibilities.  I 
wasn't able to find much other info at first try but here is a part of 
the article:

"A thousand engines combined into a generator about the size of a 
sugar cube could power a laptop computer 10 times longer than 
today's batteries."  

"The P3 uses heat to stimulate a vapor bubble, which is 
surrounded by a layer of butane or diesel fuel, all contained in a 
piezoelectric membrane.  Piezoelectric refers to changing 
mechanical energy into electrical energy.  

In this case, the heat causes the membrane to vibrate, which puts 
off an electric current of one thousandth of a watt.  That is about 
the same amount of power needed to run a Palm device or 

Because the generator uses heat to create electricity, computers 
or hot water heaters could run the P3 off the heat they create ... 
The fuel has to be refilled, but the amount of butane contained in a 
lighter could make a laptop computer run 10 to 20 hours."

"Each batch of engines takes about a week to make and is built in 
a clean room ... In these early stages, each generator is built by 
hand at WSU.  When they're mass produced, consumers will be 
able to combine different numbers of P3s to produce the power 

"The device will likely be in use in two to three years."

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