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Tapping Waste Heat June 5, 2007

Posted by federalist in Energy.
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We are surrounded by heat differentials that represent usable energy, but that currently go untapped.  All of our generators, fuel engines, and electric devices throw off waste heat.  The amount of waste can be astonishing — for example, piston engines aren’t even 30% efficient!  But waste heat doesn’t have to be wasted:  Physicists are demonstrating thermoacoustic electric generators (with no moving parts!) that can convert some of this (maybe 20% at best) back to electricity.

Jennifer Ouellette’s blog puts this in context with a fascinating review of acoustic energy technology, from sonoluminescence to sonofusion.

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