Posted by: shoji | September 29, 2007

The New Solar (Part II)

I blogged previously about a not-yet-invented transducer that converts warm/hot water into electricity, thus combining the particular properties of photovoltaics and solar-water heaters.

Innovation Catalyst commented (excerpt):

Warm water doesn’t carry enough energy to be effective in the conversion process – there has to be a steep temperature different to make it effective.

“Steep temperature difference” made me think about phase transition (particularly liquid to gas) to power a turbine. Perhaps the water heated by solar energy could be used to change a low boiling point liquid into a gas that turns a turbine.

boilingwaterreactor.gif

In the image above, the “Reactor Vessel” would be where “warm water” transforms the low-boiling point liquid into a gas. The gas then powers the turbine. I have no idea about the condenser– if the correct low-boiling point liquid is chosen, then maybe air cooling woucl be sufficient? (Image from NRC website via Wikipedia.)

Any takers?

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