MIT: Five Grand Thermal Challenges to Decarbonise the Global Economy

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

What would it take to make renewable energy viable, and reduce emissions from industrial processes?

MIT professors Asegun HenryRavi Prasher & Arun Majumdar had a series of meetings with Bill Gates in 2018. The result of those meetings is a recently published paper which describes five thermal challenges which must be overcome, to curb industrial CO2 emissions and make renewable energy a viable solution to the world’s energy needs.

MIT’s Asegun Henry on “Grand Thermal Challenges” to Save Humanity From Extinction Due to Climate Change 

TOPICS:Climate ChangeEnergyGlobal WarmingMIT

By JENNIFER CHU, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY AUGUST 16, 2020

Q: What are the five thermal energy challenges you outline in your paper?

A: The first challenge is developing thermal storage systems for the power grid, electric vehicles, and buildings. Take the power grid: There is an international race going on to develop a grid storage system to store excess electricity from renewables so you can use it at a later time. …

The second challenge is decarbonizing industrial processes, which contribute 15 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. The big actors here are cement, steel, aluminum, and hydrogen. …

The third challenge is solving the cooling problem. Air conditioners and refrigerators have chemicals in them that are very harmful to the environment, 2,000 times more harmful than carbon dioxide on a molar basis. …

The fourth challenge is long-distance transmission of heat. We transmit electricity because it can be transmitted with low loss, and it’s cheap. The question is, can we transmit heat like we transmit electricity? …

The last challenge is variable conductance building envelopes. There are some demonstrations that show it is physically possible to create a thermal material, or a device that will change its conductance, so that when it’s hot, it can block heat from getting through a wall, but when you want it to, you could change its conductance to let the heat in or out. …

Read more: https://scitechdaily.com/mits-asegun-henry-on-grand-thermal-challenges-to-save-humanity-from-extinction-due-to-climate-change/

The abstract of the paper;

Five thermal energy grand challenges for decarbonization

Asegun HenryRavi Prasher & Arun Majumdar

Nature Energy (2020)

Roughly 90% of the world’s energy use today involves generation or manipulation of heat over a wide range of temperatures. Here, we note five key applications of research in thermal energy that could help make significant progress towards mitigating climate change at the necessary scale and urgency.

Read more (paywalled): https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-020-0675-9

Sadly the MIT paper is paywalled, but in my opinion this pretty much seems to confirm the findings of a team of Google engineers in 2016, and pretty much everyone else who genuinely attempts to calculate the exact cost of our glorious green revolution, rather than simply cheerleading punishing carbon taxes and leaving the implementation details to the engineers.

Deployment of current generation green technology is a waste of money.

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Ten Causes of Warming

By Jim Steele – Re-Blogged From WUWT

What’s Natural?

All temperatures are not created equally. Rising temperatures have many causes. Good science demands we explore alternative hypotheses before reaching any conclusions. Below is a list of common causes of warming trends and heat events that everyone should consider in addition to any possible increased greenhouse effect.

1. Heat trapping surfaces: Asphalt and cement not only heat up much faster than natural habitat during the day, those materials hold the heat longer, increasing temperatures at weather stations situated near buildings and near asphalt. More asphalt, more warming, more record temperatures.

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New Idea Could Revolutionize the Electric Power Industry

Re-Blogged From WUWT

University of Cincinnati researchers have developed a more efficient air-cooling system for power plants

University of Cincinnati researchers say they have found a solution to one of the biggest environmental problems facing the energy industry: water consumption.

The William H. Zimmer Power Station, located near Moscow, Ohio, is a 1.35-gigawatt (1,351 MW) coal power plant. Planned by Cincinnati Gas and Electric (CG&E) draws cooling water from the Ohio River.

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Watching Thunderstorms Chase The Hot Spots

By Willis Eschenbach- Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Once on a lovely hot August day in eastern Oregon, my gorgeous ex-fiancee and I sat entranced and watched a parade of dust devils. I’ve written about dust devils before, they’re one of my favorite emergent phenomena.

Like many such emergent climate phenomena, dust devils are driven by a temperature difference between the surface and the surrounding atmosphere. Once that temperature difference (called “delta-T”) is exceeded, dust devils form spontaneously.

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Antarctic Peninsula Now is Cooling

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

A warming trend of 0.32 °C/decade during 1979–1997 to a cooling trend of − 0.47 °C/decade during 1999–2014.

Remember the much ballyhooed paper that made the cover of Nature, Steig et al, “Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year”, Nature, Jan 22, 2009 that included some conspicuously errant Mannian math from the master of making trends out of noisy data himself? Well, that just went south, literally.

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