Friday, May 23, 2008

Blacktop Turbine

When people think of harnessing the suns energy, they think of solar panels. However, there are other ways.

Everyone knows that in the summer, blacktop pavement gets unbearably hot. So much that if you were to find yourself in a large parking lot sans the foot covers, you would surely be quickly moving across the blacktop to the nearest patch of grass. Why not try to recoup some of that energy?

One option would be for large complexes like malls and stadiums to (the next time they repave) lay down a network of tubing (aluminum? cheap cost for the thermal conductivity) and pave over it.Then, when the air inside the tubing heats up and expands, it rushes to the exit (most likely located centrally, in the stadium, mall, etc.) and power an engine or turbine. The energy created by this would most certainly not power an entire mall, but would be a nice subsidy that could pay for itself within a few years.

The primary problem I see with this is maintenance. In order to ensure good heat conductivity, the blacktop should be in contact with the tubing. This prevents any easy fixes as the blacktop would have to be chipped away to gain access. (Although like any other problem, this can be dealt with)

"Difficult we can do immediately, but impossible?... that might take a few days"

No comments: