How does that work?

I was watching a home improvement show (I was dead bored..and sometimes, they’re interesting) and unless I’m wrong, and I rarely am in matters such as these, a KW of energy produces a set amount of heat (BTU). Yet, all the time, you’ll see that there’s some company that claims to have a product, fueled by electricity, that uses a third of the energy and produces the same amount of heat. I don’t know how the hell they can do that. It’s completely against the laws of nature. You cannot get more energy out of something than you put in/that is already there. Now, if they really are 3 times more efficient, that would put the original at an efficiency of, at most, 33%. Car engines are incredibly inefficient, yet some have a higher efficiency. Hell, some have it in the low 40s, which, for an engine, is incredibly good.

  1. #1 by Chadwick on January 20, 2010 - 7:37 AM

    Just off the top of my head here (since I literally just woke up and read this), I think it has to do with the ever-increasing efficiency. That energy has other ways to express itself than just heat. Like light. Such as the glowing red coils of a space heater (just as an example, mind).

    I presume there’s an upper limit to be reached, but I’m guessing we’re not there yet.

    • #2 by Phillip on January 20, 2010 - 8:29 AM

      But figure, if you used an incandescent bulb, 97.1% of the energy put in would be emitted as heat. I think that’s a bit of a stretch for a space heater to be, at best, 33% efficient, down from the 97.1% efficiency of using an incandescent as a heat source.

      • #3 by Chadwick on January 20, 2010 - 9:18 AM

        Maybe everyone just fails that hard.

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