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Thread: Capturing energy from heat

  1. #1 Capturing energy from heat 
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    Would it not be possible to capture energy by taking advantage of heat differences in different ares? I'm thinking that this could be done using a reverse refrigeration system.... where the differences between maybe the insulated underground and the sky would condense and evaporate a CFC and use that to turn an energy producing turbine.


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  3. #2  
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    There is a system that does something similar to that. It traps heat in a form of greenhouse on the ground, and vents the hot air into a funnel which goes some distance into the sky. There are turbines places in the funnel which extract energy from the moving air.


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  4. #3  
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    What I am talking about is closer to the OTEC systems that they have running and are trying to expand and improve upon today. When I look at the diagrams of how this looks, it seems so similar to an every day refrigeration system, with high temperature high pressure ammonia instead of some HCFC running through the pipes. When I look at that, I can't help but wonder why a person doesn't just modify a normal refrigeration system or air conditioner to make use of nature's other temperature differences. Dig not that far underground, and you have a cool area that is quite insulated from the ambient heat of outside. There are many other places where you can find even more naturally stabilizing temperature differentials. If you created a working model that could capture that energy statically...
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    You mean like a geothermal heat pump? or possibly combine it with a Stirling engine?
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  6. #5  
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    Similar. Again, what I had in mind was more similar to OTEC than the Geothermal Heat Pump, but yes. Maybe we could bring the size down a little. Make it cheaper, make it smaller. Make it require a smaller difference in the temperature. It seems so simple. What problems would I encounter when trying to make one? What other places could I find easier accessible heat differences than digging that far into the earth?
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  7. #6  
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    Hehe, I actually designed such a device some time ago. However, TEC's are not very efficient, and my design was not much more efficient than a common solar panel, but it was much larger and considerably more difficult to build. Until TEC's become more efficient or superior technologies are developed, I do not think such a system would be much more than a fun toy to show off, "Hey guys, I power my computer with geoaerofied thermal differentials facilitated by an electron convection P/N semiconductor array on a ceramic SUBSTRATE!!!"
    Of all the wonders in the universe, none is likely more fascinating and complicated than human nature.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence"

    -Einstein

    http://boinc.berkeley.edu/download.php

    Use your computing strength for science!
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  8. #7  
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    HAHAHA! That was one thing I was afraid of. And the few areas that have a constant naturally occurring difference in temperature also would produce so little energy even with an efficient device that it might not be worth the trouble even than.

    It was just an idea that popped into my head as I was running up one of the large air conditioning units I take care of.

    Nice to know we were thinking along the same lines for a while though.
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