Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 12th Feb 2012

Reclaiming Wasted Watts - Thermoelectric Generators

 -ver two-thirds of the energy in the fuel you put into your car is wasted, most of it in the form of heat that exits along the exhaust pipe. The same is true of large-scale power stations, which are only 50% efficient at best. But now researchers are bringing 200 year old physics to bear against the problem by developing thermoelectric generators (TEGs) that can turn waste heat into useful electricity and this week we find out how. Plus, news that disguising cancer cells as Salmonella could hold the key to producing effective anti-cancer vaccines, why the Y chromosome boosts heart attack risk, and a new drug that can knock Alzheimer's on the head...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

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  • 01:20 - Thermo-Electric Generators

    Incredible as it sounds, over 70% of the energy released when you burn the fuel in your car gets wasted as heat. Researchers are looking for ways to scavenge back some of that wasted energy to make some efficiency savings, using Thermo-Electric Generators or TEGs that turn heat...

  • 09:49 - How Heat Pumps Push Power Plant Efficiency

    Traditional power stations are very inefficient, losing lots of energy to the environment. But Thermo-Electric heat pumps could now help to claim back some of that wasted heat, and make a bucket of coal go a little bit further...

  • 17:51 - Y Chromosome yields heart disease clues

    Although deaths from heart disease are falling, it's still a major killer. And men are more likely to suffer coronary heart disease than women of the same age. Now, research published in the Lancet shows that there may actually be a genetic component at work...

  • 21:30 - Feed a cold, starve a cancer

    A self-inflicted fast might double the effectiveness of anticancer treatments, new research has shown...

  • 23:47 - Disguising Cancer as Salmonella

    Can we trick the immune system into attacking cancer cells by disguising them as bacteria? New research suggests that adding a bacterial flagellum gets results...

  • 30:36 - Drug knocks Alzheimer's on the head

    A drug licensed for lymphoma and used to treat several forms of cancer may also be an effective anti-Alzheimer's agent, new research has revealed...

  • 33:00 - Olympic Effort to get Children into Biology

    A new project launched in London this week ahead of the 2012 Olympics to get school children across the country thinking about their bodies and how they work (if they needed any help with that) using sports exercise and a range of scientific experiments. Meera Senthilingam went ...

  • 38:54 - Revitalising Urban Rivers - Planet Earth Online

    Rivers in cities and towns have had a rough time over the years – often diverted, hidden or lined with concrete. Some even end up as sewers! But now, around the world, urban rivers are undergoing a revival…many becoming havens for wildlife....

  • 44:10 - Powering Spacecraft with TEGs

    Powering space craft is a challenge. Traditional chemical batteries go flat and for deeper space explorations where the Sun don't shine, solar power is out of the question. Instead, the European Space Agency is working on units that rely on radioactivity to provide the heat ne...

  • 51:35 - Could we harness energy from vertical pipes in the sea?

    Could Thermo-Electric Generators be used as a major non-polluting energy source with vertical pipes in the sea, in the bottom of pipe, at depth there’ll be a temperature of about 4 or 5 degrees, the top end would of course be about 35 degrees. Is that enough of a temperature dif...

  • 55:30 - When does using TEGs in a power plant become worthwhile?

    What size of generating station do you need to be working with in order for the system like the one you were discussing to be cost effective?

  • 55:57 - Can you brew beer in zero gravity?

    Can you brew beer in zero gravity? In 0G, terms like top fermented and bottom fermented cannot exist. What happens instead? Core/surface fermentation? Or will the yeast be heterogenously distributed throughout the brew? If the latter, is that likely to be similar to bottom fer...

 

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hi,here in my town in mexico.some companies,that dedicated to do this kind of investigations,of TEGs works the facts is that we have a lake near by the town,and the `place they are digging ,and thei already setting three,plants,i wanna what kind of risk we have to spected change of tempeture or what, i·ll ve apreciated for any information thank you, jose alfredo ledezma, Wed, 4th Dec 2013

hi,here in my town in mexico.some companies,that dedicated to do this kind of investigations,of TEGs works the facts is that we have a lake near by the town,and the `place they are digging ,and thei already setting three,plants,i wanna what kind of risk we have to spected change of tempeture or what, i·ll ve apreciated for any information thank you, jose alfredo ledezma, Wed, 4th Dec 2013

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