>Why basic engineering knowledge is important


From Gizmag:

“We have mile after mile of asphalt pavement around the country, and in the summer it absorbs a great deal of heat, warming the roads up to 140 degrees or more,” said Prof. K. Wayne Lee, leader of the URI project. “If we can harvest that heat, we can use it for our daily use, save on fossil fuels, and reduce global warming.”

The article discusses placing water tubes in the road, and then using the warm water to melt ice, heat homes or hot water, or generate steam in power plants.

If you have a hot road, you don’t usually have ice.  It’s going to take a huge system to move heat from a 140F road to heat hot water even to the lowest heated water temperature of 120F.  I don’t know any power plant that uses steam at Th of 140F.

More science and engineering literacy, please.  Just build a concentrated solar power plant in New Mexico and send electricity to people’s water heaters if you want hot water.

This reminds me of those plans to build speed bumps that harvest energy.  The only problem is that the energy you collect is worth less than the value of the speed bump you installed.


About perkinsms

I'm an engineer and father interested in transit, parking and economics.
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