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(PolicyMic)   Scientists discover a way to harvest a completely new source of renewable energy: infrared radiation. Preliminary prototype will be attached to Monica Belluci as a stress test   (policymic.com) divider line 27
    More: Interesting, infrared, renewable energy, diodes, thermal radiations, reflecting telescopes, prototypes, harvests, National Academy of Sciences  
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1755 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Mar 2014 at 9:54 AM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



27 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-03-06 09:06:21 AM  
You mean heat?  We haven't, up until recently, discovered a way to harness heat?
 
2014-03-06 09:56:06 AM  
Well, photovoltaic don't, Stirling engines do.
 
2014-03-06 09:57:15 AM  
My cat has been doing this for years.
 
2014-03-06 10:03:17 AM  

xanadian: You mean heat?  We haven't, up until recently, discovered a way to harness heat?


Heat when radiated as photons, not heat when in the form of kinetic energy of particles.

Infrared gives an approximation of heat because it's the only wavelength of light that matches the discrete energy changes in electrons from the impacts between particles.
 
2014-03-06 10:14:23 AM  
It's like nobody has ever heard of Sterling Engines and thermocouples.....
 
2014-03-06 10:18:52 AM  

I invented a way for getting fresh water from sea water.

img.fark.net

 
2014-03-06 10:21:04 AM  

xanadian: You mean heat?  We haven't, up until recently, discovered a way to harness heat?


ikanreed: xanadian: You mean heat?  We haven't, up until recently, discovered a way to harness heat?

Heat when radiated as photons, not heat when in the form of kinetic energy of particles.

Infrared gives an approximation of heat because it's the only wavelength of light that matches the discrete energy changes in electrons from the impacts between particles.


To be more specific, the relationship between "heat" (i.e. EM radiation) and "temperature" is described with Plancks Law (for a black body).  Since the earth isn't a black body (it's an ideal, doesn't really exist), you can only say it's an approximation.
 
2014-03-06 10:26:48 AM  
i58.tinypic.com
 
2014-03-06 10:35:57 AM  

Smoky Dragon Dish: It's like nobody has ever heard of Sterling Engines and thermocouples.....


Or the reporter has never heard of those things, most of the science and math went right over their heads so it is a "new" source of energy, instead of a potential improvement on an existing concept that can be added to solar power to allow it to harvest some form of energy 24/7. You have to admit that, if this proves out and can be added to solar panels it makes those solar panels a heck of a lot more efficient.

The initial research looks good, but I imagine the engineering is going to be a bear, besides it sounds like their preferred method, the antenna thingy they want to do in the nano scale.
 
2014-03-06 10:40:08 AM  
projectshanks.com

www.mendaily.com

planetems.cluster014.ovh.net
 
2014-03-06 10:50:34 AM  

AbiNormal: [projectshanks.com image 850x531]

[www.mendaily.com image 850x1275]

[planetems.cluster014.ovh.net image 850x1199]


That's more like it
 
2014-03-06 10:54:39 AM  
www.hdpaperwall.com

www.cosplayisland.co.uk
 
2014-03-06 11:14:50 AM  

Slaves2Darkness: You have to admit that, if this proves out and can be added to solar panels it makes those solar panels a heck of a lot more efficient.


Not at 2.7 Watts per square meter. That's "a smidgen" not "a heck of a lot" more efficient.
 
2014-03-06 11:14:54 AM  
Still, turning the Earth into a giant Sterling engine is kinda cool. The amount of energy produced is apparently very small, but I imagine it would be enough to do something useful if you had a dirigible or drone to power in the upper atmosphere. It might be enough energy to power a tiny satellite or one of those giant balloons that Google plans to use for WiFi and such.

This idea seems to be linked to some research into making solar cells more productive. Currently they collect sunlight but neglect infrared. There's a lot of infrared to collect and with the energy flowing at over 1200-1300 Watts per square meter at the top of the atmosphere, collecting even a small part of it would be very useful.

Like most schemes to fight climate change it would cause some global dimming. Mind you, with all the pollution China, India and the rest of us put out, there's considerable solar dimming. It is enough to make a big difference in global warming (several percent) and replacing some of the coal burning with infrared solar or terrestrial radiation would be a good thing. It means we could fight global dimming.

Judging from climate change threads, there's a lot of dimness out there.
 
2014-03-06 11:21:08 AM  
Here's a thought: Jupiter is a gas giant which puts out more energy than it receives from the Sun. It's not big enough to be a brown dwarf, let alone a red dwarf, but locally it has more power than the yellow dwarf that gives us almost all of our energy.

This discovery could lead to big things when we colonize the solar system or even if we never send out anything but drones. I imagine you could put a lot of very light satellites and even space stations in orbit around Jupiter. They could be made of aerogels and powered by infrared and visible light. I don't know exactly what we would do with them, but as the Sun warms and then becomes a red giant, we need to move out. The Earth is at the inner edge of the Goldilocks zone. It won't take a lot to render it unihabitable in a billion years or so. If we survive as a series of species or as cybermen (the Daleks are technically cybernetic men, although they are a terribly stupid design), then we need to move to Mars and eventually to Jupiter's moons or turn asteroids into homes and run-abouts.

This is a step in that direction I imagine. A tiny, very early baby step. But we all had to learn to walk before we could send Saturn rockets into space, and the distance from that to being giant space babies is not dissimilar. Give my regards to Europa, remember me to the Milky Way.
 
2014-03-06 11:48:30 AM  

theorellior: Slaves2Darkness: You have to admit that, if this proves out and can be added to solar panels it makes those solar panels a heck of a lot more efficient.

Not at 2.7 Watts per square meter. That's "a smidgen" not "a heck of a lot" more efficient.


From the article if it proves out, they are predicting 20 watts per square meter. Granted that is if it proves out. They could be 10 years from getting 20 watts per square meter for the next 50 years.
 
2014-03-06 11:59:11 AM  
Goddamnitsomuch.

I hate that one of my exes has ruined Monica Belluci for me.  The look nearly identical.
 
2014-03-06 12:11:00 PM  

A Leaf in Fall: Goddamnitsomuch.

I hate that one of my exes has ruined Monica Belluci for me.  The look nearly identical.


Sure she did.
 
2014-03-06 12:25:39 PM  
One percent of the output of solar panels. "Impressive".
 
2014-03-06 12:30:25 PM  

Slaves2Darkness: theorellior: Slaves2Darkness: You have to admit that, if this proves out and can be added to solar panels it makes those solar panels a heck of a lot more efficient.

Not at 2.7 Watts per square meter. That's "a smidgen" not "a heck of a lot" more efficient.

From the article if it proves out, they are predicting 20 watts per square meter. Granted that is if it proves out. They could be 10 years from getting 20 watts per square meter for the next 50 years.


Still only ten percent the output of PV panels, which are by no means praised for their power density.
 
2014-03-06 12:51:45 PM  

A Leaf in Fall: Goddamnitsomuch.

I hate that one of my exes has ruined Monica Belluci for me.  The look nearly identical.


Pics, etc.
 
2014-03-06 01:15:04 PM  

Fomby_Belcher: A Leaf in Fall: Goddamnitsomuch.

I hate that one of my exes has ruined Monica Belluci for me.  The look nearly identical.

Pics, etc.


i169.photobucket.com
 
2014-03-06 04:27:42 PM  

brantgoose: Still, turning the Earth into a giant Sterling engine is kinda cool. The amount of energy produced is apparently very small, but I imagine it would be enough to do something useful if you had a dirigible or drone to power in the upper atmosphere. It might be enough energy to power a tiny satellite or one of those giant balloons that Google plans to use for WiFi and such.


I wonder if this could be used in areas where it's cloudy, so lots of diffuse scattering, but still lots of temperature differential.

I wonder if you could do the reverse process- using the ocean or lake or something as a ginormous heatsink and having a very heat-absorbent material on top (hey... solar panels are designed to absorb sunlight...)

Have a bi-directional version that could go hot->cold or cold->hot, for temperate zones where the ground stays warm long after the outside air temp drops below freezing in the winter, and where the ground stays freezing long after the outside air temp warms up in the spring.
 
2014-03-06 07:14:13 PM  

theorellior: Slaves2Darkness: You have to admit that, if this proves out and can be added to solar panels it makes those solar panels a heck of a lot more efficient.

Not at 2.7 Watts per square meter. That's "a smidgen" not "a heck of a lot" more efficient.


The big advantage of this is that it can run 24/7 in all kinds of weather. Ordinary solar can't do that.
 
2014-03-06 07:45:30 PM  
Solar nanoantennas?

-reads article-

Yep.  They've been working on this for a while now, the biggest problem was creating rectifiers that worked in the terahertz range.
 
2014-03-07 01:10:03 AM  

Fubini: brantgoose: Still, turning the Earth into a giant Sterling engine is kinda cool. The amount of energy produced is apparently very small, but I imagine it would be enough to do something useful if you had a dirigible or drone to power in the upper atmosphere. It might be enough energy to power a tiny satellite or one of those giant balloons that Google plans to use for WiFi and such.

I wonder if this could be used in areas where it's cloudy, so lots of diffuse scattering, but still lots of temperature differential.

I wonder if you could do the reverse process- using the ocean or lake or something as a ginormous heatsink and having a very heat-absorbent material on top (hey... solar panels are designed to absorb sunlight...)

Have a bi-directional version that could go hot->cold or cold->hot, for temperate zones where the ground stays warm long after the outside air temp drops below freezing in the winter, and where the ground stays freezing long after the outside air temp warms up in the spring.


Ground source heat pumps, yes.  They are quite well suited for heating and cooling. But not great for producing electricity.
 
2014-03-07 08:58:41 AM  
I don't remember what show I was watching the other night, but they were testing that fear gives you "cold feet" by having some fairly cute chick put her feet in front of video and thermal cameras while they scared her with lizards and insects and whatnot. (1) that's probably pretty cool if you're a nerd with a foot fetish. (2) she was wearing tight pants and for a moment the thermal camera got a glimpse of her crotch.  It looked like it was on fire.
 
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