A team of doctoral students led by University of Utah physicist Orest Symko have constructed a device that "converts heat into sound and then into electricity." They believe it could work as an alternative to photovoltaic cells and be in production in two years.
The project was funded by the US military as a way to harness the waste heat produced by radar systems and power electronics in the field.
When heat is applied -- with matches, a blowtorch or a heating element -- the heat builds to a threshold. Then the hot, moving air produces sound at a single frequency, similar to air blown into a flute.
Link (Via Complexity Digest)
"You have heat, which is so disorderly and chaotic, and all of a sudden you have sound coming out at one frequency," Symko says.
Then the sound waves squeeze the piezoelectric device, producing an electrical voltage. Symko says it's similar to what happens if you hit a nerve in your elbow, producing a painful electrical nerve impulse.
Longer resonator cylinders produce lower tones, while shorter tubes produce higher-pitched tones.
Devices that convert heat to sound and then to electricity lack moving parts, so such devices will require little maintenance and last a long time. They do not need to be built as precisely as, say, pistons in an engine, which loses efficiency as the pistons wear.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
A leaked Comcast memo discloses that the company’s consumer data caps have nothing to do with network congestion, contrary to its public claims. The internet service provider has often complained (such as when lobbying against net neutrality) that it must impose limits on service to prevent network congestion. The argument suggests that these measures are […]
LA Makerspace co-founder Tara Tiger Brown shares a project that her kid-friendly maker workshop is trying to make a reality.
The Micro Drone 2.0+ is truly in a league of its own, offering a new perspective on aerial photography, and a world of technological capabilities that make flying ridiculously fun. Simply throw it in the air at any angle and its self-correcting algorithm will stabilize for smooth sailing in no time. You’ll stay entertained with […]
Celebrate Cyber Monday with some brain food. Save on any eLearning deal in the Boing Boing Store today using coupon code: CYBERMONDAY25. Below are a couple of our favorite eLearning offers: eduCBA Tech Training Bundle: Lifetime Subscription:Welcome to your personal online classroom, where you can finally study at your own pace, on your own time (and […]
This minimalist multi-tool will see to it that instead of rocking a tool belt, you’ll carry just one. It’s shaped slightly like a key and weighs less than an ounce, so it plays nice with your keychain. The strong surgical-grade stainless steel blade will last, and is handy for everyday tasks like opening boxes and […]