Re: Laser Cooling

From: Christian Weisgerber (
Date: Sun Jul 30 2000 - 05:31:56 MDT

[Non-member submission]

Everitt Mickey <> wrote:

> I've also heard of OTEC's....(Ocean Thermal something or another)....where
> electrical energy is supposed to be generated via tempeture differential of
> surface vs deep sea.

Yes. You have a heat source, a heat sink, and thus a heat flow
from source to sink. Part of that heat flow can than be turned
into work, i.e. usable energy. Typically it's turned into mechanical
work first, then converted into electrical, which is easier to
distribute. That's the way most commercial power plants work, in
particular all fuel burning and nuclear ones.

The environment serves as heat sink (bodies of water are popular,
because of their enormous heat capacity and their strong convection),
so all you need to find is some heat source. However, efficiency
is a function of the temperature differential. Yes, this matters
even for "free" energy like geothermal sources, because at low
efficiency you need huge machinery to produce sensible amounts of

Christian "naddy" Weisgerber                 

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