New quantum tunneling application captures electricity from Earth’s heat

February 8, 2018 by  
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Researchers at  King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia have learned how to produce electricity from Earth’s excess heat through quantum tunneling. Quantum tunneling is a phenomenon in which particles are able to tunnel through a barrier that, under the rules of classical mechanics, they are usually unable to pass through. First predicted in the early 20th century and generally accepted by mid-century, quantum tunneling plays an important applied role in devices such as the tunnel diode, quantum computing, and the scanning tunneling microscope. Its more recent application, the harvest of electricity from Earth’s radiant heat, involves a specifically designed antenna that can identify this excess heat as high-frequency electromagnetic waves, then transforms the signals into a direct electrical charge. The heat produced by sunlight hitting the Earth results in a constant flow of infrared radiation that, if untapped, is essentially free energy gone to waste. It is estimated that the global output of infrared radiation may be as much as millions of gigawatts per second. Since the infrared wavelengths are so short, scientists at KAUST needed to design micro-antennas suited to catch this heat. “There is no commercial diode in the world that can operate at such high frequency,” said lead researcher Atif Shamim . “That’s why we turned to quantum tunneling.” Related: New double-pane quantum dot solar windows generate power with better efficiency Via a tunneling device known as a metal-insulator-metal (MIM) diode, electrons are able to pass through a small barrier, despite lacking the energy classically required to do so. As the electrons pass through this barrier, they are converted into an electrical direct current. The technology could be applied to solar panels , which currently only harvest a small percentage of the potential heat and light energy available for electrical power. While there is work to be done, the potential for how we gather and use energy is huge. “This is just the beginning – a proof of concept,” said Shamim . “We could have millions of such devices connected to boost overall electricity generation,” Via ScienceAlert Images via Depositphotos and  KAUST (1)

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New quantum tunneling application captures electricity from Earth’s heat

KAUST’s Breakwater Beacon is a Naturally-Cooled Lighthouse in Saudi Arabia

April 16, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of KAUST’s Breakwater Beacon is a Naturally-Cooled Lighthouse in Saudi Arabia Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , contemporary lighthouse , eco tower , eco-art , green architecture , green art , Green Building , green design , KAUST , kaust beacon , kaust breakwater beacon , King Abdullah University of Science and Technology , lighthouse , naturally cooled tower , saudi arabia , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , uap , urban art projecs        

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KAUST’s Breakwater Beacon is a Naturally-Cooled Lighthouse in Saudi Arabia

Atlas Recycled: Tom Tsuchiya’s Eco Sculpture Encourages Recycling in Cities Around the Globe

April 15, 2013 by  
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“ Atlas Recycled ” is a sculpture of the mythical Greek titan bearing the earth on his shoulders that doubles as a recycling receptacle for aluminum cans, plastic bottles and paper. In addition to serving as a recycling aid, the sculpture itself is made primarily from reused materials including over 30 pieces of maps and atlases. Artist Tom Tsuchiya (soo-chee-ya) constructed the sculpture’s internal structure from wood, foam, and steel scraps from his studio. He installed a hidden door on the globe portion of the sculpture to allow the recyclable contents to be removed. “Atlas Recycled” exhibits in various cities to promote the improvement of our environment through art. The sculpture has previously celebrated Earth Day on Cincinnati’s Fountain Square (2010), New York City’s Grand Central Terminal (2011) and Washington D.C.’s National Mall (2012). Though Tsuchiya is best known for creating bronze sculptures for the NFL and Major League Baseball, he has a passion for improving our environment through creative ways. + Atlas Recycled + Tom Tsuchiya The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: atlas , Atlas Recycled , eco-art , green art , green design , Recycled Materials , recycled sculpture , recycling , Recycling initiatives , sustainable design , Tom Tsuchiya , urban art        

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Atlas Recycled: Tom Tsuchiya’s Eco Sculpture Encourages Recycling in Cities Around the Globe

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