Monday, June 13, 2011

An electric pot (and not in the way you are probably thinking)

Welcome back to JJNN.

Today's article comes from the Yomiuri Online.

Ever since the huge earthquake in Japan that occurred 3 months ago people are finding new ways to deal with emergency situations in Japan. Lifelines such as gas, water and electricity are something that people have to struggle to reestablish after a major earthquake, so there are companies that are trying to find new and novel ways to help people that have lost a lifeline.

In this case we are talking about both electricity and clean drinking water. One of the best way to make sure water is free of viruses or bacteria is to boil it. A company from Osaka called TES New Energy have found a way to connect boiling water and the production of electricity. It is actually an ingenious little pot that is pictured below.

The Electric Pot in action charging an iPhone
The pot can create electricity because a temperature difference between two different metals with a common connection point (thus forming a circuit) produces electricity. This is know as the thermoelectric effect. The temperature difference at the bottom of the pot and the top can be as much as 400 degrees Celsius. That temperature difference along with the choice of metals for the pot produces enough electricity to fully charge an iPhone in about 3 to 5 hours.

It is  now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 熱(ねつ). It is pronounced netsu and it means heat. There sure are a lot of new and wonderful ways to make electricity.

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