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Comment Re:Needs a temperature gradient (Score 5, Insightful) 94

Right, I'm not a scientist, but TFA talks about all sorts of fantastic things (e.g. charging your iPod with body heat) that aren't mentioned in the Abstract of the cited piece in Nature. While the article does quote one of the authors for such claims, what the Nature article Abstract (I'm not paying $ to read stuff online) alludes to is improving the efficiency of potential co-generation from sources of waste heat from combustion--power plants, car engines, etc. Besides, if it's cold enough out that I'm wearing a winter coat, do I really want to shove a heat sucking iPod down my pants? Not really. But sticking it against my car's engine? Sure.

Also TFA mentions "...the discovery will depend on whether these rough nanowires will be efficient enough to make commercial sense." So yeah, I don't see it (soon) being any more energy efficient to manufacture heat converting nanowires for my iPod Nano than it would be to say, construct a battery. But maybe they have something that could better convert a massive heat gradient into electrical energy cheaper for the purposes of co-generation. Who knows, maybe even cut down on heat pollution.

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