Could Rock and Roll power your house? Well, not quite, however good old-fashioned sound just might do the trick thanks to the work by University of Utah Physicist Orest Symko and his students who have developed a way to turn excess heat into sound and electricity. If it sounds too good to be true, well then you might be surprised to hear that it actually works!
It works via a very simple and well known process. If you take a source of heat and apply to any enclosed area, the air inside it will expand increasing the pressure inside. This pressurized air will then move through a filter or opening on one side, producing a simple clear sound at a standard frequency. That’s the key to the system. The more focused and directed the frequency is, the easier it is to extract energy from (which explains why rock and roll wouldn’t power your home, though it made for a nice intro). The sound waves then pass through “piezoelectric” devices which transform the sound into electricity when squeezed by sound.
Can this technology be used to actually power your home? At this point it is difficult to say. But it does have some practical uses. Take for instance your laptop, desktop, or television screen. It could be possible to install these devices to them and recuperate some of the heat lost back into electricity which can be fed back into your battery.
Here’s hoping that Dr. and his students, Bonnie McLaughlin, Nick Webb, Brenna Gillman, Ivan Rodriguez, Myra Flitcroft can turn this very interesting technology into a usable product.