MIT researchers pioneer affordable way to turn waste heat into power

June 13, 2017 by  
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Steel and glass manufacturing generates large amounts of waste heat that’s not easy to capture – devices that do the job are either prohibitively expensive or don’t work in the requisite high temperatures. But a team of three Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have created a device that solves both issues at once. The high-temperature liquid thermoelectric device, which converts industrial waste heat into energy , could be a game-changer. Converting waste heat to electricity is often accomplished through solid-state thermoelectric devices, but at certain high temperatures they just don’t work, or are so expensive they can’t be used in much other than spaceships. In contrast, the MIT liquid thermoelectric device could pave the way for affordable conversion of waste heat into electricity. It includes a molten compound of tin and sulfur much cheaper than the solid-state bismuth telluride found in many commercial thermoelectric devices. That material is around 150 times more expensive than tin sulfide per cubic meter, according to MIT, and it only operates at temperatures of around 500 degrees Celsius. Related: Tiny thermophotovoltaic device harvests energy from infrared wavelengths The new MIT device, built by graduate student Youyang Zhao, operates at temperatures of 950 to 1,074 degrees Celsius. And as he changed the temperatures in which the device operated, he saw no significant performance drop. The researchers, however, don’t think most glass or steel plants would adopt the device simply to save the planet. But assistant professor of metallurgy Antoine Allanore, of whose research group Zhao is a part, said they might be interested if heat management could enable them to operate at even higher temperatures – allowing them to increase productivity or lengthen the lifespan of their equipment. According to MIT, thanks to the molten compounds in the new device, managing heat at high temperatures is now a possibility. The two scientists were joined by recent PhD graduate Charles Rinzler for a paper published by ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology . Via MIT News Images via Youyang Zhao and Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

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MIT researchers pioneer affordable way to turn waste heat into power

Lethal extreme heat and wildfires scorch the American southwest

June 20, 2016 by  
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The American southwest is battling extreme temperatures and blazing wildfires . The National Weather Service issued heat advisories – and in some cases excessive heat warnings – in California , Arizona, and New Mexico as temperatures threaten to climb higher this week. In Arizona , four people have already died. A crazy ‘ firenado ‘ was captured on video in California’s Sherpa Fire in Santa Barbara County. The fire has burned close to 8,000 acres so far and is just 51 percent contained. Fires in Arizona and New Mexico have scorched even more acres. Arizona’s Cedar Head Fire has burned 12,140 acres and New Mexico’s Dog Head Fire has blazed through 17,891. Neither of those are as contained as the Sherpa Fire, and the Dog Head Fire is just nine percent contained. CNN reports all together, an area larger than Paris is burning. Related: India shatters records with temperature of 123.8 degrees Fahrenheit A weather pattern called a ‘heat dome’ has exacerbated temperatures. This occurs when a high pressure system in the atmosphere pushes hot air back down, trapping it and resulting in hotter temperatures than normal. CNN’s meteorologist said the three states have seen the hottest temperatures at the beginning of summer ever . Phoenix hit 118 degrees Fahrenheit, and the National Weather Service warned that in some desert areas, the temperature could reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit. 14 California locations hit at least 117 degrees Fahrenheit. In New Mexico, seven locations shattered heat records as well. In Pima County, Arizona, two hikers perished because of the heat, and a 25-year-old male and 28-year-old female died in Phoenix. 30 million people live in the areas that have received heat warnings. The National Weather Service warned that such extreme temperatures “can be life-threatening.” Via CNN and Global News Images via Susie Cagle on Flickr , Josh Berlinger on Twitter , and the National Weather Service Video via Global News

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Lethal extreme heat and wildfires scorch the American southwest

Climate change may be lowering our sex drives

November 14, 2015 by  
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Its’ no secret that the birth rate has been dropping in the US, and there are numerous reasons for the drop. But a new study reveals that one of those reasons is one you might not expect: climate change . Studies show that fewer children are born nine months after really, really hot days. READ MORE > image via Shutterstock

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Climate change may be lowering our sex drives

Rolling right along: This heat-gathering tire could charge your electric car

March 11, 2015 by  
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What if your car could be powered where the rubber meets the road? Range anxiety persists as a fear among electric car drivers, as heavy batteries with limited capacity remain slow to charge. Goodyear has announced its concept for a heat-gathering, electricity-generating tire at the 2015 Geneva International Auto Show, and the tire could change all that by making a few changes to an oft-overlooked component. Read the rest of Rolling right along: This heat-gathering tire could charge your electric car Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: battery , bh03 , car charged by tire , charging , concept , electric car , goodyear , heat-gathering tire , range anxiety , tire

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Rolling right along: This heat-gathering tire could charge your electric car

GREEN BUILDING 101: Energy & Atmosphere – Keeping Cool and Staying Warm

March 6, 2015 by  
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  The very root of what makes a home green is how effectively it responds to its surrounding environment. You could say that this has defined the primary material pursuit of mankind for all time – building better shelters to keep us warmer, cooler, and drier. Many of the native building techniques employed centuries ago are still reliable in similar climates today, and used as optimal models for environmentally conscious architects . That said, since global acceptance of the air conditioner in the 1950s, the benefits of responding to a unique climate have been left by the roadside. Read the rest of GREEN BUILDING 101: Energy & Atmosphere – Keeping Cool and Staying Warm Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , “leed” , air conditioning , cooling , green architecture , Green Building , Green Building 101 , green design , green insulation , heat , heating , insulating , insulation , passive solar , passive solar building , solar , solar heat , sustainable design , warming , window , windows

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GREEN BUILDING 101: Energy & Atmosphere – Keeping Cool and Staying Warm

Tim Van Cromvoirt’s Trippy Thermophores Change Color with Heat

January 17, 2015 by  
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Dutch designer Tim Van Cromvoirt wanted to create a wall application that would look organic and act like living organism. So he used his final year at the ST. Joost Academy , in Breda to experiment with materials and reactions. What he developed was Thermophores, a spiky, sensitive and surreal piece of wall-art that reacts to changing temperatures. Read the rest of Tim Van Cromvoirt’s Trippy Thermophores Change Color with Heat Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Art , biomimicry , Decorative Objects , Design Aacdemy of Eindhoven , dutch design , heat , sensitive , Spiky organism , Thermophores , thermosensitive , Tim van Cromvoirt

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Tim Van Cromvoirt’s Trippy Thermophores Change Color with Heat

6 Simple Lifestyle Changes that Save Both Energy and Money

July 30, 2014 by  
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Even though a lot of people may disagree, choices that can help save the environment  often  save you money as well. By learning from and curbing our regular habits , we can decrease our impact and contribute meaningfully to the Earth. Teaching our kids these alternatives while they’re young is also important: if kids know where things come from and how the world works, they’ll be more likely to continue these eco-friendly habits throughout their own lives. Here are 6 subtle changes you can make to save both money and energy in your everyday life. Read the rest of 6 Simple Lifestyle Changes that Save Both Energy and Money Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “light bulbs” , activity , air conditioning , beach , black bean burgers , burgers , carbon , carbon footprint , clothesline , Consumption , cows , dogs , dryer , Eating , eco-friendly , economy , Electricity , Environment , food , foraging , fossil fuels , Future , hanging clothes , heart attack , heart failure , heart problems , heat , hiking , house , kids , LED , Life , lifestyle , livestock , Meat , medicinal , Medicine , methane , money , outdoors , outside , plants , renewable energy , savings , Sustainability , Sustainable , television , TV , washing machine , writing

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6 Simple Lifestyle Changes that Save Both Energy and Money

American Meteorological Society Finally Takes a Stance On Climate Change

August 30, 2012 by  
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When it comes to climate change , certain groups in the United States are still resistant to the idea despite evidence from the US Military , US Forestry Commission , NASA and assorted independent studies. Now after years of sitting on the fence over the issue, the American Meteorological Society has released its official position on climate change, and they say that the Earth is indeed warming as an effect of human activity. Read the rest of American Meteorological Society Finally Takes a Stance On Climate Change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: american meteorological society , Climate Change , cold , Drought , extreme weather , global warming , heat , Hurricane , independent study , rising sea levels , united states , us climate change , weather

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American Meteorological Society Finally Takes a Stance On Climate Change

Glass Roof Tiles Collect Energy

September 3, 2011 by  
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The roof is typically the best and biggest part of most homes for energy collection. But most of the available systems for gathering this energy are unsightly. That’s not a concern for these roof tiles from a Swedish company, SolTech Energy , that are made from glass. With a roof made from these tiles, it is possible to produce 300-500 kWh per square meter per year (28-46 kWh per square foot per year). Heated air collects under the glass tiles like a greenhouse, and is then drawn in and concentrated to transfer the heat to a hot fluid for use in heating the building. The system is ideal for use with a heat pump or a boiler where a hot water storage tank stores the collected heat. Then, when heat is needed, the heat pump or boiler has pre-heated water available, so that less external energy is needed to heat the space. In addition to the energy benefits, glass tiles are expected to have a longer lifespan than traditional clay or concrete roof tiles. And because the glass is a smooth material, snow tends to slide off more readily, so that the system keeps itself cleared and in operating condition more of the time. The tiles also match common tile shape so that the glass roof system can be incorporated into a conventional tile roof. via: Sweets News and Products

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Glass Roof Tiles Collect Energy

Bacteria Can Build Better Roads for Our Peak Oil Years

October 31, 2010 by  
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Local jurisdictions in Red state America, increasingly unable to agree to taxes to jointly afford repaving at peak oil prices are simply letting roads decline – in the same way as after the fall of the Roman Empire, in the dark ages there, many roads in Europe returned to mud tracks. But an innovative new oil-free way of surfacing roads could be on the way to save us from peak oil

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Bacteria Can Build Better Roads for Our Peak Oil Years

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