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Can We Create Electricity While Cooling our Homes?

  1. Jan 23, 2010 #1
    In the summer most of us turn on our air conditioning and we use lots of electricity in the process. But by cooling our home we're just taking heat out our homes. Heat is a form of energy. If we are taking heat away why are we also using electricity in the process? Can't we turn heat into electricty so that we are cooling our homes and creating electricity in the process?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2010 #2
    A house isn't cooled by removing heat energy, such as if it were cooled by a heat sink of some sort. The air in a house is compressed, and this compression occurs at a cost of waste heat. Turning waste heat into electric energy isn't really a viable technology yet, is it?
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  4. Jan 23, 2010 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Heat, like water, flows from high to low. To make it flow the other way, you need a pump. An air conditioner can be seen as a pump that moves heat instead of water.
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