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Waste Heat - Alphabet Energy Tackles a Hot Problem

Have you ever opened and worked on your car engine while it is still hot?  Ouch - the average temperature of a running engine is 170-200 degrees farenheit. One thing I have never considered - cars (and basically all things that run hot) are creating heat waste.   Wasted heat  is created as a by-product of the conversion process of fuel into usable energy. 

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One of the ideas that really caught my attention at the Cleantech Open was presented by finalist Alphabet Energy Inc.  They are working on technology that will recapture waste heat.   According to Alphabet Energy, the average power plant is only 30% efficient and the same efficiency number has been cited for automobiles.  This sounds like a huge opportunity to both reduce our usage of fossil fuels as well as improve efficiency of green energy alternatives.  Of course the true viability and benefit of this approach will depend the feasibility of an economical approach to implementing solutions.   I look forward to hearing more from Alphabet Energy and others as they tackle the problem and the opportunity presented by waste heat.