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This is how UK is going to use rivers to heat millions of homes

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Soon British rivers will be heating millions of homes. England’s Energy Secretary Ed Davey is trying to promote water-source heat pumps; carbon-free devices that extract thermal energy from waterways to heat water for radiators and showers.

The technology is already in use in Scandinavian countries where heat from nearby rivers and canals is pumped into houses.

He has identified more than 4,000 rivers, estuaries, coastal sites and canals with water warm and accessible enough to heat more than a million homes in the vicinity, the Independent reported.

The technology is not only clean and renewable but cheap too. It will allegedly slash power bills of Brits by 20%.

‘We need to make the most of the vast amount of clean, renewable heat that lays dormant and unused in our rivers, lakes and seas’ the Independent quoted the Secretary.

The heating systems used in Britain will be more effective than the ones used in the Scandinavian countries. The new systems developed by scientists at Mitsubishi and Mike Spenser-Morris, a London property developer and director of the Zero Carbon Partnership can create 45C heat and cover a wider area.

The system requires a network of pipes running 2 meters below the surface of the water where the temperature is about 8C to 10C. These pipes are filled with a solution of water and anti-freeze which is heated by the warmer water outside the pipe and pumped into the house.

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IIT Mandi Researchers Developing Thermoelectric Materials to Efficiently Convert Heat into Electricity

Generating power from heat, for example, is attractive as there is a lot of energy that is generated through human activity in industries like power plants

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IIT, Thermoelectric, Electricity
While solar power has received a lot of attention, other alternative sources, even if less known, are equally promising. Pixabay

 Indian Institute of Technology Mandi researchers in Himachal Pradesh are developing thermoelectric materials that can efficiently convert heat into electricity.

While solar power has received a lot of attention, other alternative sources, even if less known, are equally promising.

Generating power from heat, for example, is attractive as there is a lot of energy that is generated through human activity in industries like power plants, home appliances and automobiles, where most of this heat is lost.

A research team led by Ajay Soni, Associate Professor (Physics) with the School of Basic Sciences, IIT-Mandi, is studying materials that can convert heat into electricity.

IIT, Thermoelectric, Electricity
Indian Institute of Technology Mandi researchers in Himachal Pradesh are developing thermoelectric materials that can efficiently convert heat into electricity. Pixabay

The team has been engaged in research on thermoelectric materials and many of its papers have been published in reputed peer-review international journals, including Applied Physics Letters, Physical Review B and Journal of Alloys and Compounds.

“Thermoelectric materials work on the principle of Seebeck effect, in which electricity is generated due to temperature differences across the junction of two materials,” Soni said.

A typical thermoelectric material must have the trifecta properties of high thermoelectric power and electrical conductivity, and low thermal conductivity with a capability of maintaining a temperature gradient.

This combination of properties, Soni said, is hard to come by and a few semiconducting materials must be tweaked further for good thermoelectric efficiency.

Also Read- 42% of Organizations Struggling with Sourcing Quality Tech Talent Globally

In the Western world, many automobile companies, including Volkswagen, Volvo, Ford and BMW, are developing thermoelectric waste heat recovery systems that promise three to five per cent improvement in fuel economy.

Other potential applications of thermoelectric energy harvesting include powering consumer devices and electronics, aviation, as well as space applications.

About 70 per cent of energy globally is wasted as heat and this heat is released into the environment, becoming one of the key drivers of global warming.

The trapping and conversion of waste heat into electricity can serve the dual purpose of energy self-sufficiency and environmental preservation. (IANS)