Expert View

Anthropogenic Heat Generation and Heat Exhaust to the Ultimate Sink

[+] Author and Article Information
Kaufui Vincent Wong

Mechanical and Aerospace Department,
University of Miami,
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received August 31, 2016; final manuscript received September 23, 2016; published online October 13, 2016. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 139(3), 034701 (Oct 13, 2016) (3 pages) Paper No: JERT-16-1354; doi: 10.1115/1.4034859 History: Received August 31, 2016; Revised September 23, 2016

Anthropogenic heat generation in the world has been shown to be non-negligible, as it was a previous misconception. The scientific contribution of the current work is to urge scientists and engineers to develop technologies to reject heat from engineering systems to outer space. Outer space acts as a definitive heat sink since a statistical average temperature may be assigned to it as 3 K. This temperature is a lot lower than the average temperature anywhere on Earth, at any time of the year. Until recently, the concept was well known but not systematically developed nor advanced using modern engineering knowledge. Looking at recent figures of heat generated associated with power plants worldwide, a theoretical potential exists to reduce the amount of anthropogenic heat rejected in the world's environment by very significant amounts. Outer space is the ultimate sink for man's heat from engineered systems, and the upper limit is comfortably very large to not be of any concern at the present time.

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