01 June 2007

Man, that's one HOT sound...

Slightly OT: from Discovery News, a thermoacoustic device is being produced for developing nations. Snip:

An appliance being designed for developing communities in Africa and Asia not only generates electricity, but also cooks and cools using acoustic technology.

The "Stove for Cooking, Refrigeration and Electricity," or SCORE, could help improve the health and quality of life for the two billion or so people in the world who cook over open fires. When used in enclosed places, smoke from such fires can cause health problems.

And these stoves are notoriously inefficient. A person can spend two hours a day collecting wood to burn in a fire that is so wasteful that 93 percent of the energy generated, literally, goes up in smoke.

"We make the burning more efficient so that they use less wood and have more time to spend on other things like education," said Paul Riley, the project director at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

The efficiency comes from a technology known as thermoacoustics, which produces sound waves from heated gas and then converts them to electricity.

Link, via discovery.com.

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