NASA mystery fluid could convert ocean waves into energy

NASA is looking into a promising high-pressure fluid that emerged as a result of studies on how the agency's underwater robots could power themselves far below the surface. Known as a phase-change substance, a system developed by NASA uses water temperature and motion to pressurize the fluid, which could then be transported to land and converted into energy.

"When the material melts, it expands, compressing a central tube in which another liquid is stored. This liquid, now under high pressure, is used to generate electricity," Yi Chao of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement. JPL thinks the system shows promise, as various bodies of water including lakes and rivers could be mapped by computers for the potential energy the system could produce. Really, what else are those rivers and lakes doing, other than looking pretty? It also beats building a massive dam for hydroelectricity.

Via Computer World