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Superhydrophobic thermal plumbing

Push heat and cool through hydrophobic pipes for light insulation
  [vote for,

Living in a hot climate makes you (or maybe just me) spend a fair amount of time thinking of ways to not be hot. Unfortunately, many of my means toward not being hot revolve around air, which can be a pretty awesome insulator. So I was thinking, rather than pump heat from air to air. Why not pump heat from air to water?

This water could be potable or non-potable/gray, it doesn't really matter, but how can we insulate it? I did a quick search and found this paper on the transfer of heat on superhydrophillic, superhydrophobic and superbiphilic surfaces: http://goo.gl/0lRfYX

I don't pretend to understand much of that paper, and correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears that a superhydophilic surface has three times the temperature gain as superhydrophobic surfaces. I've decided to read that as insulation (and the pictures helped, too).

So if we have a pipe that has a negligible change in weight, but has enhanced insulation properties, lower fluid friction, and as a result, reduced wear and tear on the plumbing, we might have a cheap way to transport heat or cool from one location to another.

The idea could be that we could take the heat from an office building and use that to heat the pool in a gym on another floor. Dump heat from an indoor ice skating rink to supply hot water for a hotel next door.

If you wanted to use gray water, the heat generated from a bunch of buildings could be used to maintain optimal temperature for methane production in a sewage treatment plant.

Another part of the paper, is that the thermal exchanges can be treated to be hydrophilic. This would promote greater heat exchange from where you would like to have heat or cool, enter or exit the system.

Finally, enclosed water reservoirs could become heat repositories. Where heat can be stored and tapped later during cooler months.

wuss, Nov 27 2013


       sounds neat... could you put your link in the "link" section of the post (click on the <link> button), and as a straight link, not a redirect. thanks.
FlyingToaster, Nov 27 2013

       So the argument is that heat transfers better between water and a hydrophilic surface than between water and a hydrophobic one?   

       That sounds reasonable, but I don't think it will be significant. My guess is that, whilst heat transfer across the pipe-water interface may be very different, the overall heat transfer (including through the pipe wall, and within the body of the water) will be very little different, unless the pipes are very, very, very narrow.   

       I could be wri...wron...wrog...it's no good - I can't say it. But I may be non-correct.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 27 2013


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