Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Energy News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



ENERGY TECH
Harnessing heat to power computers
by Staff Writers
Lincoln NB (SPX) Apr 19, 2017


Sidy Ndao and Mahmoud Elzouka, University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering, developed this thermal diode that may allow computers to use heat as an alternate energy source. Credit: Karl Vogel | University of Nebraska-Lincoln Engineering

One of the biggest problems with computers, dating to the invention of the first one, has been finding ways to keep them cool so that they don't overheat or shut down.

Instead of combating the heat, two University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineers have embraced it as an alternative energy source that would allow computing at ultra-high temperatures.

Sidy Ndao, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering, said his research group's development of a nano-thermal-mechanical device, or thermal diode, came after flipping around the question of how to better cool computers.

"If you think about it, whatever you do with electricity you should (also) be able to do with heat, because they are similar in many ways," Ndao said. "In principle, they are both energy carriers. If you could control heat, you could use it to do computing and avoid the problem of overheating."

A paper Ndao co-authored with Mahmoud Elzouka, a graduate student in mechanical and materials engineering, was published in the March edition of Scientific Reports. In it, they documented their device working in temperatures that approached 630 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ndao said he expects the device could eventually work in heat as extreme as 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit, which could have major implications in many industries.

"We are basically creating a thermal computer," Ndao said. "It could be used in space exploration, for exploring the core of the earth, for oil drilling, (for) many applications. It could allow us to do calculations and process data in real time in places where we haven't been able to do so before."

By taking advantage of an energy source that has long been overlooked, Ndao said, the thermal diode could also help limit the amount of energy that gets wasted.

"It is said now that nearly 60 percent of the energy produced for consumption in the United States is wasted in heat," Ndao said. "If you could harness this heat and use it for energy in these devices, you could obviously cut down on waste and the cost of energy."

The next step is making the device more efficient and making a physical computer that could work in the highest of temperatures, Ndao said.

Though the researchers have filed for a patent, Elzouka said there is still work to be done to improve the diode and its performance.

"If we can achieve high efficiency, show that we can do computations and run a logic system experimentally, then we can have a proof-of-concept," Elzouka said. "(That) is when we can think about the future."

Yet Ndao has even bigger ambitions for his group's research.

"We want to to create the world's first thermal computer," he said. "Hopefully one day, it will be used to unlock the mysteries of outer space, explore and harvest our own planet's deep-beneath-the-surface geology, and harness waste heat for more efficient-energy utilization."

Research paper

ENERGY TECH
New infrared-emitting device could allow energy harvesting from waste heat
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 20, 2017
A new reconfigurable device that emits patterns of thermal infrared light in a fully controllable manner could one day make it possible to collect waste heat at infrared wavelengths and turn it into usable energy. The new technology could be used to improve thermophotovoltaics, a type of solar cell that uses infrared light, or heat, rather than the visible light absorbed by traditional sol ... read more

Related Links
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

ENERGY TECH
U.S. emissions generally lower last year

World Bank urges more investment for developing global electricity

US states begin legal action on Trump energy delay

Program to be axed saves energy in LA buildings

ENERGY TECH
Harnessing heat to power computers

A battery prototype powered by atmospheric nitrogen

Art of paper-cutting inspires self-charging paper device

Making batteries from waste glass bottles

ENERGY TECH
Oklahoma to end tax credits for wind energy

German power company examining new wind energy options.

Canada sees emerging role for wind energy

U.N. says low-carbon economy not a "pipe dream"

ENERGY TECH
Center for Sustainable Energy Partners with EnergySage to Offer an Online Multifamily Solar Marketplace

Powerpedia Forms Nonprofit to Provide Free Solar Systems to Orphanages Throughout Baja Mexico and Beyond

Mechanism behind the electric charges generated by photosynthesis

Swedish leading solar energy technology provider Midsummer offers complete BIPV metal roof systems

ENERGY TECH
The critical importance of Predictive Power when building NPPs

AREVA NP Signs Contract for Outage Services at Farley Nuclear Generating Station

AREVA and KAZATOMPROM sign a strategic agreement

S.Africa to re-think nuclear deal after junk status : ANC

ENERGY TECH
Degradable electronic components created from corn starch

Towards more efficient biofuels by making oil from algae

Algal residue - an alternative carbon resource for pharmaceuticals and polyesters

For Palestinian family, an udder-ly unique power source

ENERGY TECH
Hazardous chemicals go unregulated in routine oil and gas operations

Chinese investors launch Oman industrial project

Shale gas threat to forests can be eased by consolidating infrastructure

Canada pipeline development facing headwinds

ENERGY TECH
Models, observations not so far apart on planet's response to greenhouse gas emissions

Drought, conflict and famine in Africa

How ENSO and Atlantic ADO impact East Asian winter monsoon

Plants have been helping to offset climate change, but now it's up to us




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement