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Seasonal Liquid Nitrogen

Make it in the winter, save it for summer
  [vote for,

The process of making liquid nitrogen gives off a lot of heat. Extra heat is useless in the summer, but can be rerouted to homes in the winter.

Store the liquid nitrogen, build up a year's supply over the winter, and deplete the stockpiles in the summer.

Because Liquid Nitrogen is energy intensive, as is air conditioning, this will smooth out the seasonal fluctuations in electricity usage.

Bonus if liquid nitrogen usage becomes more commonplace.

Madai, Jun 30 2004


       Or you could just produce it in the southern hemisphere during the northern summer and ship it up here.   

       Of course both transporting and storing liquid nitrogen are probably more expensive than wasting a little bit more energy during the summer.
scad mientist, Jun 30 2004

       I imagine storage won't be too expensive. I agree on the transportation question however.   

       The spirit of this idea is to use less total energy in both the winter and summer. By using waste heat from nitrogen liquefaction, we save on heating bills, and then have a stockpile to us in summer, with little shipping required.   

       If Cyrocars catch on, people can make LN2 in their own homes for this.
Madai, Jun 30 2004

       You would need some careful calculations to know whether or not this would be more or less efficient than more conventional heating and cooling. I’d reckon less. Until then verdict is in, you'll have my bun.
Laughs Last, Jun 30 2004

       As a heat transfer engineer in the cryogenic fluids industry... bad idea. Regrigeration of LN2 does indeed generate heat, but you would get much more heat with the same energy input by refigerating something that wasn't so cold (like the air or ground around you as in a heat pump system). Cooling a house with LN2 is also extremely inefficient because of the amount of temperature difference between the LN2 and the house air. The concept is known as entropy generation as I'm sure you have heard of it. Now using the heat generated by LN2 refrigeration to heat your home in winter and selling the LN2... that could be a good idea.
dr249, Jul 01 2004

       I don't doubt that the cooling would less efficient.   

       However, if heating produces a surplus of N2, then using that N2 inefficiently won't be so bad.   

       I don't think any heating should be "direct". So many processes produce waste heat that we should strive to find a useful process to do to get heat from.   

       For example, why burn gas just for heat? Why not have the gas power a generator or something? You'll still get the heat eventually.
Madai, Jul 01 2004


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