This is an idea I've been playing around with for a while, even though many people tell me it's impossible. However, as far as I can tell, it does not actually violate the laws of physics. I am talking about creating a temperature differential using a heat pump, then passing ambient (warmer) air over the cool side of the compressor. Then, passing the hot side of the compressor over water or some other substance that will be boiled, extracting all of the energy. Potentially even some hydrocarbon that boils at low temp. Passing this boiled fluid through a generator turbine, and then using the left over heat to preheat the fluid going into the compressor in addition to the atmospheric heat.
Simply put, the machine would run the same way as your home heat pump does, except instead of heating your house, the output heat would be used to generate electricity.
It may require leaving the device to run for some amount of time in order to build up enough heat in the machine to be able to deliver usable temperature heat.
With all of current technologies limitations put aside, would this be possible at all? Every heat transfer IS in fact going from hot to cold differential. Yes there is some input power required, but it seems like it would effectively multiply what ever amount of power you put into the compressor.
After all, isn't it more efficient to heat something using a compressor cycle instead of restive heating directly?
I can add images or more information if I was unclear. Thanks for any help!