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Help the poor: turn their wood into heat into sound into electricity

"Rural communities in the developing world could soon be using a combined cooker, electricity generator and fridge powered by a system that turns heat from burning wood into sound waves." IET Engineering & Technology, June 2007


Is it April the first?

No it's not April the first

This is a weird but fascinating technological development. It's a very large and well-funded project to improve the efficiency of energy use in impoverished places, and develop a robust piece of equipment that people all round the world can use.

Crazy as it seems, using a simple open wood fire is less efficient than the proposed technique, which involves: burning wood in a special chamber that heats gas "patchily" in a specific way that produces sound, then converting that sound to electricity.

The project is here: the SCORE project (warning - the site is a complete botch). Here's a pleasant little intro to the phenomenon of thermoacoustics.

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