• Question: if you had to improve the way we conduct energy how would you do it ?

    Asked by anon-201615 to Sophia, Meirin, George, Andy on 14 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: George Fulton

      George Fulton answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      We could use superconductors. That way we wouldn’t lose any energy when we put electricity through wires and cables. The only problem is that the superconductors require cooling and this cooling requires electricity. It’s a delicate compromise but at the moment, superconductor cooling needs more energy than it would save it almost all applications 🙁

    • Photo: Sophia Pells

      Sophia Pells answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      @George gave a good answer. We would have to use different materials for all our wiring which had less resistance, so less electrical energy was lost as heat. Superconductors have no resistance when they are kept below a low temperature so they would be ideal but like George said we would need to use electricity to keep the wires cool so it doesn’t really solve our problem.

    • Photo: Meirin Oan Evans

      Meirin Oan Evans answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      @George and @Sophia have already given good answers. The solution might be to find materials that can superconduct at higher temperatures, so would require less cooling and therefore less electricity input. The dream of many scientists working in this field would be to find “room temperature superconductors”, so no cooling would be required!