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Help me by answering my question.

07/20/2008 9:30 AM

hi,i want to do my final year B.E project.i have decided to done in energy conversion..i have an idea that converting Heat Energy into Electrical energy through the conversion of heat into sound ray..so if u have any idea related to this concept..answer this..

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#1

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/20/2008 9:48 AM

'the conversion of heat into sound ray..'

This is a horrible concept...
The energy density you could achive in a round ray is pitiful...

I would suggest you need a better thought out project else you are doomed to fail your degree...in fact I'm amazed that you could even consider such a project after 2 years of 'study'.

Giving you the benefit of the doubt, (and not wishing to be entirely negative) I would think the only hope of transfering any non-trivial amount of energy may be to transmit the sound through a denser medium ..say maybe a piped water system?

Del

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#2

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/20/2008 1:01 PM

for my senior project I developed a system that would light indicators on a wireless display...

All it was for was to see if the buildings laundrette was in use.

That's a big convenience in communal living... not very exciting, but awesomely practical..

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#3

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/20/2008 7:45 PM

heat is a radiation, and wave of sorts, i have no clue how it could be transferred into electricity using sound. I know the old school way of using steam from heat to give you the power you desire. steam or heat in a metal tube creating pressure/ vibration could possibly be harnessed. good luck.

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#4

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/20/2008 9:29 PM

Why not apply the Peltier effect to convert the heat energy into electricity directly instead?

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#5

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/20/2008 10:42 PM

See "Laminar Flow" and "Thermoacoustic Engine" in a google search.

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#6

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/20/2008 11:55 PM

I have seen Thermocouples operating moving coil analogue meters in some German Machines. Efficiency will be extremely poor. Try cascading many thermo couples in series. It will be OK for some experimental project; practically I think it is not a good idea.

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#10
In reply to #6

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 7:24 AM

Hi Subramanyan,

Thermocouples does not convert heat energy to sound energy. It converts heat energy to electrical energy. "Seebeck effect " When two dissimilar metals( Ni Cr.& Ni , Pt & Pt Rh ) are joined and if the joint is heated it generates electrical energy. This generated emf is used to operate a millivolt meter to measure the temperature by calibrating as degree centigrade.

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#28
In reply to #10

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/22/2008 12:03 AM

Dear Mr.Abraham,

Yes. I never said sound. TC convert electrical only. I have working experience over 30 years with Thermocouples.

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#7

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 12:00 AM

I'd hate to see anyone going into this at all. There just is no substance. The key is "sound ray". Maybe someone else can pick up on that one.

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#8

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 1:01 AM

I assume by sound ray, you mean sound wave, or perhaps focused sound waves. In any case, how do you propose to convert the heat into sound, and then how do you propose to convert the sound into electricity? As indicated by others, I see two very low efficiency conversions. Very low multiplied by very low equals extremely low efficiency!

Unless you have something radically new in both of those conversions, I suggest you pick a (different) topic where you have at least a glimmer of hope in succeeding!

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#20
In reply to #8

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 3:32 PM

Here's how...

You take the heat you have, convert it into electricity, (Simple) with this you power a hi power audio amplifier to produce a "Sound Ray" (same procedure as "Death-Ray"), with your death-ray, sorry, sound ray, and based on our poster engineering skills, you convert it to electricity and vualla... you did it.!

Piece of cake...

Pd: If our poster doesn't know the difference between "Sound-Ray" (what to hell is this?)and "Sound wave," After 2 or more years of engineering, I suggest we close that school.

Wangito.

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#24
In reply to #20

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 5:25 PM

C'mon Wangito - you know about second languages! Be kind... If the OP's first language is English, then you are right, but I presume it is not.

I had not heard of the 'Thermoacoustic Prime Mover' referred to in posts 15 and 16, so it may well be that the project fits my 'Unless...' category.

I suspect that many of us were led off in the wrong direction by the poor English and lack of detail in the original post. At this point, it sounds significantly better than most of the HHO proposals we've seen recently.

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#9

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 5:16 AM

You can check the end results of hundreds of years of testing in Hansard, and probably the Congressional Record. Politicians make noise, result lot of hot air. Nobody has come up with a way of harnessing the hot air yet.

Simon

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#11

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 7:55 AM

It is always good to think differently and find new area of invention. In this particular case ( You may feel that I am rude) the fact is ,it is a bad idea for a BE project as it does not serve any useful purpose and is impracticable and inefficient. Conversion of energy results in losses and then why double conversion when you can directly convert heat and light of sun to electricity with available technology. The present day problem is this conversion is costly and storing is another problem. Try to invent cheap material which can be used for generating cheap solar cells and a combination of lenses and mirrors to concentrate solar energy to limited location instead of having large area for the installation. Invention of large capacity miniature battery if possible can serve a lot of energy storing problems.

Best of luck . Think and find great ideas.

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#12

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 10:52 AM

Say What?

Heat into a sound beam?

I can see the other way around as you can heat things up with sound as is the case with ultrasonic welding of plastic parts.

Some things just don't work in reverse too well...

Travis

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#13

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 1:19 PM

I brought your idea to the small group of the engineering students.

Most of them repeated the same negative opinions you might read above.

The only one (in Instrumentation major) stated that this kind of multi-stage energy conversion could be seen in specific monitoring processes. His idea (by the way was not approved by the rest of the group) was to:

a. create a vibrator which output = the sound wave amplitude would be a (maybe linear?) function of the heat or temperature in the chamber. The output signal should have a triggering point.

b. Acoustic signal would indicate alert - to - alarm level around the monitored object (its heat/temperature level).

c. in the some permanent/constant distance of the sound source would be installed a microphone. Its electrical signal could be transmitted via wires to the remote Control Room to the attenuator/meter. Because of very hard to calibrate this "installation + devices" system, it could be used only just to alert - alarm monitoring.

The positive here is doubled alert/alarm: locally and remotely using two type of phenomena: sound and vision. A good redundancy

Some students suggested putting this idea to Psychology or Political Science -101 courses.

P.S. Our question: How many year of study is required in your School/University for Bachelor degree? Your project is in .... year of the study? Thanks in advance for your answers.

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#14

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 2:06 PM

As others have said, this seems like a profoundly bad idea: it virtually never makes sense to add interim conversion steps to a process: heat to electricity is already difficult to do efficiently... why add another step?

Even worse, however, is the illogic of the post. It ends, "answer this." Answer what??? There is no question.

I understand that English is not your first language (and that you certainly do better in your first language than I do in your first language), but most web translators do well enough that if you ask a question, it at least comes out as a question.

Why not do a project that might have some likelihood of advancing the state of the art in energy conversions (a critically important topic) rather than constructing a Rube Goldberg contraption to see just how profoundly inefficient things can get?

A related rant: We get so many posts like this: "I am a third year engineering student preparing for my final year, and have no idea what to do for my final year project. What do you suggest?" What the heck happened to enthusiasm, curiosity, self-direction, and self-reliance. Fist year engineering students should be saying to themselves "I am majoring in engineering because I'd love to ..." Your senior year project should, obviously, be related to that thing you'd love to do. If you don't have such ideas overflowing, then you are in the wrong major.

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#15

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 2:25 PM

I think I hurt my brain on this one. If you are trying to find a source of energy to power things from free heat, why not. I remember reading about a device called a thermoacoustic prime mover which was ring or torroidally shaped. The principle of operation is this. Heat which consists of many frequencies is converted into sound using a hot and cold heat exchanger with something called a "stack" that consists if wire mesh or other material and helium. I do not know the physics behind it but somehow the inert gas condenses in this stack and creates a sound whose frequency is determined by the size of a resonator. In the old style resonators they used a tube for a standing or traveling wave but someone had the idea that you could use a ring shaped resonator and instead of reflecting back the sound off the end of the tube it would travel around back on itself and reinforce the resonant frequency of the device. This was supposed to make it much more efficient thus enabling a smaller device which allows for better energy densities. The sound is converted into electricity using the piezo effect.

I don't know why so many people on this thread are giving you such a bad time about this, but this is a GREAT idea that other universities are feverishly working on. These resonators can be set up in an array so they are very scalable. It may not be quite as efficient as thermoelectric conversion, but it is not orders of magnitude less like it has been suggested.

Here is a picture of a standing wave type TPM (Thermoacoustic Prime Mover) I found. Very simple, small, and no moving parts.

This is a good idea to pursue if you can convince the "old school" guys you are not crazy.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 3:13 PM

GA for you! I probably completely misconstrued the intention of the original poster. Thanks for taking the time for giving the idea some serious thought.

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 3:17 PM

This is a good idea to pursue if you can convince the "old school" guys you are not crazy.

You don't have to convince us of anything...we merely gave an opinion as asked, we don't actually mind if someone ignores our advice, we are however, unkilely to be able to offer constructive suggestions.

Blink has already posted a lucid reply.

You seem to think that magic words like resonance and Peizo Crystal can generate power from thin air, or efficiently from heat. Many of us are familiar with travelling wave tubes, lasers, magnetrons and such.

The original question is to get electricty from heat. It then adds the intermediate stage of a sound ray. It is this intermediate stage which we are querying.

A sound ray will have great difficulty transmitting useable power for many reasons which are well known.
E.G If you consider a laser beam as a similar way of transmitting power you will know that a laser isn't very efficient and there are problems transmitting the power through the atmosphere due to localised heating and other effects. Sound would be harder to direct and focus than a laser.

We are not giving anyone a 'bad time' we are giving them sound advice (ho ho) in an attempt to stop them wasing their time on a fool's quest.

When you next want to go upstairs, maybe if you do it via the window and climbing the drain pipe, you will realise the inefficiencies we are trying to avoid.

Del

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#18
In reply to #15

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 3:17 PM

Just given 14 and 15 a GA which sounds weird, but I agree with Ken on the issue of where is the enthusiasm. And I am about to start a seriously contentious post on this topic, but Accudave has a valid point, "hey guys it might work" and that surely is what engineering is about. So having given a GA to two contadictory posts, I thought I ought to explain.

Simon

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 3:28 PM

Actually I'm rather insulted by #15. If you care to read my #1 it offers reasons why it is a bad idea but also offers positive suggestions if one is hell bent on persuing the sound wave idea.

The 'Hey guys it might work' card can only be played succesfully in some circumstances. I don't think this is a valid case.

Del

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 4:16 PM

Sorry to have stepped on your tail Del. I value your judgment and experience. Following your posts you a wide ranging knowledge base and good deal of rather uncommon common sense. At first blush I felt the same as you with this question. In fact I started to write an entirely different reply but then I faintly remembered an article I read about Thermo-acoustic engines and Thermo-acoustic Prime Movers. So I googled it trying to find info on their efficiencies to prove my point, which was basically the same as yours (Which I interpreted was, that while possible, it was not efficient enough to merit further study), only to have my mind changed by what I found. What separates "old school" from "new school" is the ability to accept new ideas. The kid is not the crackpot everyone is making him out to be. You could call him lazy for fishing for "free" answers with almost no effort. Maybe he is just being efficient. It doesn't matter to me either way. I enjoy the mental exercise and the brainstorming that is normally in these posts. I really disliked the nature of most of the posts here as they treated the original poster quite roughly. I imagine he felt rather insulted as well.

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 5:12 PM

No prob...maybe I shall take my blinkers off and read a bit more about those thermo acoustic prime movers too...maybe there is something there that isn't a 'ray' but is of interesting value...

Cheers

Del (the smiley purry diplomatic cat...with the squished tail)

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#22
In reply to #19

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 4:38 PM

Del, sorry, firstly, although I had read your original post, didn't re read it before my latest reply. Secondly was waiting for you to have a go at me for putting a picture of ferrets and a dog on idyllic pictures.

I must admit the thought of power being transmitted by noise is pretty frightening if you actually think. The noise as a byproduct of power (just spent a happy half hour angle grinding) is ghastly. What would the national grid sound like?

Had I re read your number 1 wouldn't have posted my 16ish

Simon

still going to come back with a question that will have your back arched. tail thrashing and whiskers trembling.

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#26
In reply to #22

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 10:31 PM

"I must admit the thought of power being transmitted by noise is pretty frightening if you actually think. "

Been to a rock concert lately?

You can feel the "power" of the death metal in your chest from the speakers..

Not quite a Ray, though.

milo Come to think of it the subwoofers in those little "new school" tuner cars can be felt at a distance as well.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 10:53 PM

Holy cow! Are those all speakers?

No, I've never been to a rock concert, and now I know I won't ever!!!!

If I can remember to take them, I use ear plugs in a movie theater - I can only imagine what it must be like there...

And yes, I hate those cars that can be heard a block away. Like most people my age, I'm a bit hard of hearing - people who can withstand that kind of noise (yes, that's what it is to me) level must be approaching Beethoven's last hearing ability...

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#31
In reply to #26

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/25/2008 8:14 AM

YEP!

milo

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#25

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/21/2008 6:16 PM

Guys, I've got no (plausible) idea about the initial conversion "heat to sound", but at the other end, "sound to electricity" please read on.

If the sound receiver was a movable VERY strong magnetic wafer contained within an appropriate coil. The the movement (of the magnet) caused by the sound would cause a moving magnetic flux inside a fixed coil.

There is a basic principal of physics, relative movement of conductor and magnetic flux gives voltage. (Effectively this could be regarded as the secondary side of a transformer that would produce ac signal at the sound frequency used.)

The mechanical guys can buy into it from here, but if the frequency were relatively stable, the wafer could be mounted such that it matched harmonic responce to the sound. It becomes a single frequency microphone.

I hope the originator enjoys the challenge. If this project is truly their "passion" then there will be challenges to overcome, scheptics to tolerate and burdens to bear. If from this they learn good analytic skills, good experimental skills and good recording and presentation skills, then they will make a good Engineer.

Crikey, if every task we attempted was a success, then we'd never know that those HHO devices are such bunkum.

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#29
In reply to #25

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/22/2008 7:00 AM

A member of this family is called microphone.

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#30

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/25/2008 2:34 AM

Tbh, as stated above your idea is a bit bad and in my opinion too narrow for a final year BE project. Maybe you should study energy conversion as a whole and add that heat conversion to sound wave to it.

In most cases even in BE projects the idea isn't that you get nobel prize from it but to give student some insight how these kinds of studies are made and how they should be scheduled. Also you should maximise the benefits of this study by asking if you could do it for some company/corporation. If not, then pick atleast a subject that interest you most.

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#32
In reply to #30

Re: Help me by answering my question.

07/25/2008 3:59 PM

Flux, Good Answer. The more we enjoy a subject, the less it feels like work.

Dragon

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