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# Question about Converting Heat to Electricity

## Question about Converting Heat to Electricity - Physics Forum

### Question about Converting Heat to Electricity - Physics Forum. Discuss and ask physics questions, kinematics and other physics problems.

#1
11-26-2007, 06:17 PM
 Doug Wedel Guest Posts: n/a
Question about Converting Heat to Electricity

My recent readings in geothermal energy have introduced me to the idea that
processes exist to extract heat from fluid at, say, 50 degrees Fahrenheit,
and then raise that temperature (through compression) to, say, 100 degrees
Fahrenheit to heat air in a building. Is there a thermodynamic reason why
the temperature could not be raised high enough to boil water and produce
steam? Can it possibly be efficient to produce electricty from heat in
fluid at temperatures below the boiling point of water? How does one talk

#2
11-26-2007, 06:32 PM
 dlzc Guest Posts: n/a
Question about Converting Heat to Electricity

Dear Doug Wedel:

On Nov 26, 12:17 pm, "Doug Wedel" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote:

Yes, it is called a "heat pump".

Efficiency. The bigger the temperature difference, the less efficient
the process is. Also, there will be selection of working fluids for
the compression process. You will need something that becomes liquid
somewhere near the low temperature sink.

If you have two temperature sinks, you can generate electricity while
"contaminating" one sink with heat from the other.

You are doing fine. However you may want to go to sci.engr.mech.

The field of study that you are embarking on is called
"thermodynamics". I'd recommend some college courses really soon.

David A. Smith
#3
11-26-2007, 06:32 PM
 dlzc Guest Posts: n/a
Question about Converting Heat to Electricity

Dear Doug Wedel:

On Nov 26, 12:17 pm, "Doug Wedel" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote:

Yes, it is called a "heat pump".

Efficiency. The bigger the temperature difference, the less efficient
the process is. Also, there will be selection of working fluids for
the compression process. You will need something that becomes liquid
somewhere near the low temperature sink.

If you have two temperature sinks, you can generate electricity while
"contaminating" one sink with heat from the other.

You are doing fine. However you may want to go to sci.engr.mech.

The field of study that you are embarking on is called
"thermodynamics". I'd recommend some college courses really soon.

David A. Smith

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