Turning Heat Into Electricity
If you have ever read any content from us before, you will know that incandescent light bulbs waste a lot of electricity.
Why? Simply put, the purpose of a light bulb is to provide light. The problem with incandescent bulbs is that much of the electricity gets converted into heat. Heat serves no purpose to a light bulb, so therefore, that energy is wasted.
This is just one reason why we highly recommend upgrading all of your light bulbs and fixtures to LED Heat energy is not just wasted in various light bulbs. It is wasted in many other forms too. Car exhausts and industrial processes are two examples.
Imagine if this heat energy could be captured and turned back into electricity. A sort of electricity recycling. Well, it turns out that we don't have to dream too hard about this. Scientists have recently discovered a way to do so!
Turning Heat into Energy
Joseph Heremans, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and Ohio Eminent Scholar in Nanotechnology at The Ohio State University recently stated "It's something that, until now, nobody thought was possible."
He went on to say "Because of this discovery, we should be able to make more electrical energy out of heat than we do today."
How does this work? The process utilizes what are known as thermoelectric semiconductors. These devices are materials that convert heat into electricity. Over the past 20 years, these devices have been too inefficient. But as technology has progressed, so too have the devices.
What This Could Mean
While the research is still in an early phase, there is cause for excitement.
As of 2013, Americans spend around $130 billion on wasted energy every year. It seems logical to believe that the figure is now substantially higher.
Moreover, a typical home in America wastes 30 percent more energy than an efficient one. Much of this waste comes in the form of heat.
Imagine if scientists and engineers can progress this technology enough so that homes could recycle their own wasted electricity. This would be great news for your wallet and the environment. A true win-win scenario.