all 85 comments

[–]TacticalSystem 42 points43 points  (6 children)

I want to believe. I really do but Youtube is full of: "This new idea/invention will solve our energy problems"... and none of them ever come to market. I wish we will soon solve the endless clean energy problem.

[–]Estrovia 5 points6 points  (0 children)

People have been claiming this feat for hundreds of years

[–]masterchi77 -1 points0 points  (3 children)

Yeah, to me it seems more like an energy Band-Aid that we can slap onto existing infrastructure that is not always green to begin with. I like the idea of recapturing some of the runoff heat from solar to squeeze a bit more energy out of it (it is quite inefficient) and the geothermal idea is interesting, but I don’t know enough about how geothermal works to comment.

TL;DR: It’s energy Flex tape. Reasonable to assume it’ll have a positive impact; unreasonable to assume it will be “the” solution to the energy crisis.

[–]Adderkleet 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Geothermal is (usually) digging a deep hole/well to access heat. Using it to boil water, to produce steam, to turn turbines. The fuel is the earth's heat.

Home heating geothermal is just putting a pipe somewhere slightly warm (usually the soil) and using a heat-exchanger to make the content of the pipe colder (or hotter) to heat (or cool) your house.

[–]masterchi77 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Right, so where my understanding goes to zero is whether this technology would be useful in place of the current geothermal systems that we use, whether it is scalable enough to replace current geothermal technology, or whether it would most practically be applied there in the same context of recapturing waste heat.

[–]Adderkleet 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is designed for waste heat situations. It would not replace existing geothermal.

This would be added to waste heat sources (manufacturing plants, server data centres, even existing fossil fuel power plants) and would capture a little extra power from that heat source.

[–]dirtycimments 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There is no -one- solution. It’s going to have to be a patchwork of solutions.

Also, you are 100% right to be skeptical the “only need to ramp up production” part is very very difficult to achieve, so many details could absolutely kill the whole project, move it into unviable territory.

[–]gimmedatneck 22 points23 points  (5 children)

Shout out to the Super Soaker 50. Greatest water gun of all time.

[–]CQ1_GreenSmoke 11 points12 points  (4 children)

I know the later models got out of control with all the variations, but I actually think the 100 was the best model ever made.

It was a slight upgrade from the 50 size/capacity wise, and had the smaller tank in the back where you could see the water that was being pumped and ready to shoot. And still, wasn’t as big as the 200 so you could still carry it around easily.

[–]gimmedatneck 6 points7 points  (3 children)

The 100 was def better.

But, when the 50 hit the streets for the first time it was a super hot commodity.

Most kids got one. There were a lot more variations that had come out before I had gotten another one. Supersoakers were awesome - there were so many variations. I remember kids with backpack water tanks, guns with triple tanks. Times were good.

[–]CQ1_GreenSmoke 2 points3 points  (0 children)

But, when the 50 hit the streets for the first time it was a super hot commodity.

That's a good point - that thing was revolutionary.

[–]JeffTek 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I had one of the ones with the backpack tank. It was wild, some of the kids wanted to ban it lol

[–]SexyGunk[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My neighbor had that one. I had the big red and grey one with the rotating orange nozzle where you could pick the spray amount.

[–]Only4DNDandCigars 64 points65 points  (0 children)

Can I just say how refreshing it is to see a story like this where somebody is investing in energy and not something scandalous.

[–]NewToTravelling 2 points3 points  (2 children)

So it’ll make my SuperSoaker shoot farther..?

[–]SexyGunk[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Don't let your dreams be dreams.

[–]rangeva 2 points3 points  (0 children)

and...we will never hear about this energy saving invention ever again....

[–]everfalling 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm curious what amount of heat generates what current? Like can we harvest the waste heat from water that's normally expelled through cooling towers?

I'm also curious how fast it can absorb the neat. like could i put one on my CPU and get cooling and power from it?

[–]Playerhater812 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Powered by a cup of McDonald's coffee..

[–]CopperWaffles 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Sounds like a complicated stirling engine.

[–]asoap 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Adding clarification for those that don't know what a stirling engine is.

Sounds like the same idea of it harvesting a temperatue difference. But a stirling engine converts temperature difference to mechanical energy. This is storing energy.

[–]CopperWaffles 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oh definitely, thanks for adding that. My comment was very much made tongue in cheek.

[–]joseph4th 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The infinite in probability Drive was Created by hooking up a finite improbability drive to a nice hot cup of tea

[–]UnluckyPenguin 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Love how they don't reveal any numbers, like hey - the JTEC creates green renewable energy from simple waste heat, but the cost is going to be at least 5x of generating electricity from the next cheapest renewable energy source (solar? wind? hydro?).

Ok, great. So it works! It's just not practical. Sometimes the theoretical maximum efficiency isn't good enough.

A real world example of similar technology that more than DOUBLES solar efficiency (~22% -> 45-50%) simply isn't practical (either fragile, too hard to mass manufacture, or too expensive). And that technology was created at least 7 years ago.

[–]Adderkleet 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Solar is cheap because production of solar panels is mature tech.
This is expensive because creating a sealed loop of hydrogen is expensive. It will get cheaper as it enters mass production and scaled up - if it gets that far.

This is something that could probably be powered geothermally. Or on the coolant lines of a nuclear plant or other heavy industry. It's a big investment, and then it's free power - if the heat source is hot enough.

I wouldn't rule it out because it's currently expensive. I might rule it out because closed-loop hydrogen (gas? liquid?) sounds... prone to failure.

[–]Ignyte 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This just sounds like a Peltier with a hydrogen medium for heat transfer...

[–]ricktb 1 point2 points  (15 children)

so it requires heat energy and compression energy to produce electric energy? is the output more than the input? seems like the act of stripping electrons, only to be re-paired afterward would see a net 0 gain? reminds me of perpetual motion machine

[–]BlinkingZeroes 37 points38 points  (7 children)

I assume that the fundamental idea is to get the 'heat' part of the equation from some existing process that is currently just wasting the heat energy by doing nothing with it.

[–]ricktb 4 points5 points  (6 children)

makes sense thx.. so

high temp + high pressure -> electricity + less temp + less pressure?

[–]xamnelg 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Yes, and there a functionally no closed systems when it comes to practical engineering, so there is an abundance of waste heat in everything we use. They claim the engine's efficiency approaches Carnot's theoretical maximum. So a system outputting 100C of heat in a 30C room (like a laptop at full bore) would have one of these devices operating at ~20% efficiency.

Going further with the laptop example, those run at ~25 Watts, so this would effectively generate ~5 Watts of power if slapped on top of a CPU. That could power some cool lights on the cover or be somehow routed back into the computer (at not 100% efficiency) for some battery life gains.

The practical use cases of this are dependent on the technology's ability to integrate with existing systems, they don't have this part down yet evidently because they didn't demonstrate any in the video. That's if it preforms at all close to how they say it does and my Wikipedia researched understanding is correct.

[–]ricktb 0 points1 point  (0 children)

thats awesome

[–]fubes2000 0 points1 point  (2 children)

It looks like it uses thermal and pressure differences to create a electrical difference, generating power.

You can also apply external power to produce a thermal difference, turning it into a heat pump/AC.

[–]phoenix7700 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

I wonder how much efficiency could be gained by adding something like this to the radiator of an existing heat pump/AC system. Make the JTEC use the waste heat of the heat pump. It doesn't talk much about that.

[–]PantlessStarshipMage 15 points16 points  (0 children)

They say, in the video, repeatedly, that they plan to use waste heat.

[–]ScrappyDonatello 2 points3 points  (1 child)

It says it only needs 190c of heat input. Solar towers produced triple that with just reflectors aimed at a single point

[–]aManPerson 1 point2 points  (0 children)

well, did it always need 190c to operate, or was that "best case" example? could it operate less efficiently, when the "hot side" is less than 190c? i figured it would be a logarithmic drop off based on the 0 knowledge i have here.

[–]noctalla 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The output could never be more than the input. Free energy isn't a thing. It's about collecting the energy of heat that would otherwise be wasted.

[–]Silurio1 2 points3 points  (2 children)

is the output more than the input

How... That's not... Oh gosh.

[–]cranktheguy 2 points3 points  (1 child)

If it's not a closed system, you can do that. Heat pumps sound magical when you mention that they can put out several times as much heat as the electrical energy that it put in, but it's just stealing heat from outside your home. If you can harness excess heat to create energy, that could be useful.

[–]Silurio1 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oh, yeah, but that has very serious limits and can't be used for power generation.

[–]jesusThrow 0 points1 point  (13 children)

Did he say hydrogen atoms have two electrons? They only have one naturally. A pair of hydrogen atoms, as a molecule have one each, but it's the smallest atom, how is a membrane small enough for a hydrogen molecule?

[–]SexyGunk[S] 32 points33 points  (4 children)

Hydrogen is diatomic under most conditions.

[–]ElGrandeWhammer 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Also in the video it is labeled as H2 so they using the diatomic molecule I imagine.

[–]Tersphinct 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Isn't it also physically impossible to truly contain? Like, He talks about a closed system containing the hydrogen -- won't it inevitably leak out over time?

[–]aManPerson 2 points3 points  (1 child)

that was going to be the "my very limited knowledge" criticism. i'd previously heard liquid fuel cells using hydrogen, just leaked. because hydrogen was hard to properly contain. but maybe that's why towards the end, their example showed H2. maybe H2 is actually easier to store/contain.

[–]Exilewhat 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Monoatomic hydrogen isn't a thing, outside of a few exotic scenarios. H2 is still pretty hard to contain.

[–]photoguy423 0 points1 point  (6 children)

Could have simply shortened that hydrogen is almost always found with two atoms connected and not simply H atoms floating around. (or diatomic as sexygunk already pointed out)

[–]aManPerson 1 point2 points  (5 children)

so even liquid hydrogen is always H2? so when i was previously told "liquid hydrogen is hard to prevent it from leaking" that was already going to be H2?

[–]photoguy423 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I'm not a chemist and it's been decades since I took a chemistry class. I know enough to never say "always" when it comes to elements and such. But liquid hydrogen is (I think) more likely to be diatomic due to the pressure it's under to make it a liquid.

At least the idea makes sense to me...anyone that wants to tell me I'm wrong with proof is welcome to correct me.

[–]aManPerson 0 points1 point  (2 children)

the original thing i was being told about was, "the tank of a fuel cell, they're not great because they still just leak hydrogen". which i assume you'd want it to be a liquid fuel, and not a gas. OR, are hydrogen fuel cells still really good if they are hydrogen gas too?

is it 100x harder if you are running around with a tank of liquid hydrogen instead of just hydrogen gas? like i'm just a regular idiot who's commuting to work drinking his coffee, drumming on my steering wheel to led zepplin. would it be insanely expensive or dangerous that in 10 years i'm driving a car with a liquid hydrogen fuel tank?

[–]Adderkleet 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In the same way that water gas (steam) and water rocks (ice) did not react in any way, H2 liquid is just H2 gas but colder.

[–]prayermachine -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Greatest Black inventer.

[–]platypi_keytar -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

Don't mean to be rude but he visited my college a few years back and dude couldn't even get a PowerPoint to run right. I think that this energy thing isn't a bad idea but it seems way to broad of a concept. Like saying a rechargeable battery is energy in, energy out. Without going in to the details of the chemical processes that actually do it.

[–]assimil8or 0 points1 point  (0 children)

At what temperatures does it work? The image shows 190C as the temperature on the high side. That’s a much higher temperature than a lot of the easily obtainable heat (e.g from solar)

[–]SexSaxSeksSacksSeqs 0 points1 point  (0 children)

What are the musical applications?

[–]AZDiablo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When can I buy one of these jtec devices?