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Working to make cars more efficient


Video transcript:

John Bowers: Automobiles are a good example of something which is a very inefficient device. Maybe fifteen percent. Most of the energy coming out of burning gasoline goes out the radiator or out the exhaust pipe, so the engine gets very hot, right, it has to be cooled. That's not helping you move forward at all, that's a large inefficiency. So, there's a lot of room for improvement. So, what we're looking at is to make more efficient thermoelectric that take that waste heat and convert it into electricity, so it could be used to charge your car battery. In that case, you don't really need an alternator anymore. And the improvement in your miles per gallon could be say, from thirty to forty, so it's not an insignificant advantage. If you have a car seat that will heat or cool, that's a thermoelectric. You apply one sign of voltage to heat the other sign of voltage to cool. So again, you have sunlight in the car, it's heating up the windows, the doors, everything else. It takes a lot more energy to cool that whole car down than just to cool your body itself directly, by the car seat.

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