Finding New Energy from Wasted Energy

There have been worries over the last few years about where Texas will get the future energy they need to power our expanding economy. The electricity demand on the grid in Texas continues to get worse and our power generation infrastructure has not been able to keep up.

Fascinating science however is finding out things that we could only dream about a few short years ago. Take for instance new metal alloys only recently discovered as little as a year ago. It is known as: Ni45Co5Mn40Sn101. Whatever that means 🙂

There is one known alloy material that was discovered at the University of Minnesota that can directly take heat and convert it to electricity at the lowest hysteresis ever found. This simply means it converts heat to electricity better then anything currently in the market. Imagine this working on a car exhaust or electricity turbine?

Although most of us practically look at things like our current power infrastructure such as the natural gas and coal fired power plants we mainly use to produce electricity in Texas we may be able to make these plants much more efficient in the not so distant future.

Imagine being able to take the heat coming off of steam generated turbines that are already heating metal in these generation facilities and send that on to the electric power lines.

You could drastically reduce the waste of burning fuel only to then create a another form of power. When you burn up fuel you lose some of that resource when electricity is generated so any way to capture that energy as it turns to heat is a great benefit.

The alloy is a  multiferroic composite of nickel, cobalt, manganese and tin. The metal can be non-magnetic and highly magnetic based on what temperature it gets heated up to. Having magnetism and a permanent electric polarization is very rare for an alloy.

A small increase in temperature is all that is needed for the metal to go from non-magnetic to very magnetic. Unfortunately this metal loses some of the heat energy but a good amount of it is converted to electricity. The positive aspect to this alloy is that it has a very low hysteresis compared to other things which allows it to be the most efficient method of turning large amounts of heat energy into electricity that would have normally gone to waste.

A common example to help explain just how this metal could work is the idea of capturing the heat from a car exhaust and allowing that heat to be converted into electricity.

General Motors is already working on similar devices for their vehicles but the efficiencies is nothing like what is found in this new alloy. You will likely see this alloy being deployed in future cars, power generation plants and other applications in the future.

If you would like to read more about this topic please visit this link: popsci.com and watch the video below.

Comparing Texas Electricity Prices and Green Energy

When comparing Texas electricity prices you have several energy companies out there competing for your business. If these companies have to use words like green energy, environmentally friendly or quite a few other buzz words to get your business they will.

Now comparing these green energy plans is a little challenging as you have to deal with companies selling quite a few different variations of this green energy stuff.

For instance, many of these electric companies are buying biomass renewable energy credits in other states and than applying that to their dirty energy.

These electric provider in Texas than sell you clean energy but in reality you are cleaning up another state and not the state of Texas.

It’s great that at least you are doing your part for the US as a whole but wouldn’t it be nice if it helped out Texas?

The government is about to cramp down on these green energy buzz words that providers use to sell their electricity service.

Soon many packages for things as simple as baby diapers may have to remove the environmentally friendly labels from their packaging.

Texas electricity providers may not be able to call their electricity renewable energy unless it meets a high enough percentage and overall things will hopefully be a little more transparent as to what it is your buying.

In the big picture it will be easier to compare green energy providers in an apples to apples comparison and choose the lowest price.

However, this may have more to do with setting up the whole cap and trade system rules in which electricity companies and manufacturers aren’t simply no longer advertising that their products are no longer environmentally friendly. Instead, government deadlines are set for manufacturers, energy generation facilities, electricity providers, and so on to make their power plants and products meet these new green friendly and carbon neutral requirements.

A large part of the requirement will be a tax on these products and services if these power plants and so forth can’t operate as carbon neutral as required. These taxes will than go into a slush fund where the government may choose to do something completely different with this money as they did with Social Security taxes.

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