1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Converting everyday heat energy into electricity

  1. Nov 8, 2013 #1
    Separate question. Can anyone tell me what the limitations would be of trying to convert the planet's ever increasing heat into electricity. I'm imagining building materials that could take 100-120 degree heat and convert it for use in running home appliances, including air conditioners. How likely is this?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2013 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    You'd need some sort of heat engine, but those require differences in temperatures, so you'd need a cooler place to act as a heat sink. Unfortunately the way you're imagining it isn't quite feasible, as heat engines work poorly when there is only a small difference between the hot and cold sides.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook