Tag: Thermodynamics

How Relying Too Much on Natural Gas Can Hurt Resiliency

How Relying Too Much on Natural Gas Can Hurt Resiliency

How Relying Too Much on Natural Gas Can Hurt Resiliency

03/09/19

“How can natural gas be a detriment to resilience?”

In many conversations about the future of the electricity supply, natural gas is thought of as a great stabilizer. However, since it is also used for heating purposes, during cold winter months there may not be enough natural gas for both electricity and warmth, causing major problems. This is How Relying Too Much on Natural Gas Can Hurt Resiliency.

Biochar

Biochar

Biochar

02/26/19

“How can we have a safe form of carbon which can’t easily escape into the atmosphere?”

Carbon is one of the most fundamental elements in the world. Given its role in energy production and global warming, it is both the foundation and destroyer of our civilization. But can there be a cleaner form of carbon? Well, if we burn dead organic matter such as plants in a container with very little oxygen, then it will release very little fumes and turn into a stable form of carbon known as Biochar. The energy created in the burning process can be used to power mechanical processes.

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CPU Coolers

CPU Coolers

CPU Coolers

01/14/19

“How does your CPU keep cool?”

 

A computer’s CPU is the central communicator for all processes. However, it’s so process intensive that it ends up heating up very quickly. To solve this, engineers have devised intricate temperature cooling systems. They work by applying thermal paste to the CPU, which is then in contact with small pipes with coolant flowing through them. These pipes are u-shaped with the CPU located under the center. When the fluid comes in it absorbs the heat from the thermal paste and evaporates. This vapor then rises through the other end with plates attached to facilitate heat transfer and condensates to form fluid again. These CPU Coolers are responsible for keeping our computers smooth and operational.

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How Heat Transfer is Used to Model Climate Change

How Heat Transfer is Used to Model Climate Change

How Heat Transfer is Used to Model Climate Change

12/16/18

“How is Heat Transfer Used to Model Climate Change?”

 

Heat Transfer is one of the foundational course for a Mechanical Engineer. But internal combustion engines and HVAC are not the only things that the theory can be applied to. Climate Scientists will use many of the same Heat Transfer equations when designing climate models. In this way, Heat Transfer is Used to Model Climate Change.

 

Image credit singularityhub.com

Steam Accumulators

Steam Accumulators

Steam Accumulators

11/25/18

“How can we store energy using steam?”

 

With the advent of the new energy paradigm, energy storage will play a bigger and bigger factor. Although batteries are promising, they are not an all-encompassing technology and will need support from other systems.

 

One simple method for storing energy involves steam. What if we were to have a container half filled with cold water and connected to a boiler. Steam can be blown if from the boiler into the container, which condenses and warms the water. When the water is about ¾ of the height, it will be considered stable. A valve can then be opened to release energy by driving the steam through a turbine and boiling the water from the resulting pressure drop. This system is known as a Steam Accumulator and is being constructed in conjunction with many solar thermal plants.

 

How if Restaurants Used Less Ice it Would be Good for Climate Neutrality

How if Restaurants Used Less Ice it Would be Good for Climate Neutrality

How if Restaurants Used Less Ice it Would be Good for Climate Neutrality

11/21/18

“Why should restaurants use less ice?”

 

In the United States, it is customary for restaurants to serve ice with water. Although it may seem benign, having to store extra ice uses energy and water which contribute to climate change. Therefore, if Restaurants Used Less Ice it Would be Good for Climate Neutrality.

Fuel-Limited Fire

Fuel-Limited Fire

Fuel-Limited Fire

10/18/18

“How does a basic open-air fire develop?”

 

Depending on environmental conditions, fires develop in many different ways. The one that firefighters are first taught is often the simplest case. In this scenario, a couch is burned in an open lot, and the temperature curve can be seen by the image above. First, the object combusts, and the temperature begins to rise. It eventually reaches a maximum temperature and stays that way until the fire becomes less potent and cools off. This is known as a Fuel-Limited Fire and is one of the most famous fire curves in the world.

 

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