When I was a co-op student working at a nuclear plant near my town,
I noticed the station was very hot and noisy inside. At one point
I put my hand on one of the steam transfer pipes, and it was very hot.
I asked my supervisor why insulation wasn't on the pipes, which would
help retain heat, but they said it wouldn't be cost effective to
insulate the pipes or something like that. Then again, I saw a lot of
other stupid things when I was there also, so I wasn't really surprised
they said that.
I have also thought about what you said, using shielding or something
to either keep the energy in the wires/pipes, or something to capture
the excess energy. In the case of the nuclear station, either thermal
insulation around the pipes to keep the heat in or some sort of heat
pump or thermoelectric system to create electricity from the excess
heat. Or maybe both, whichever would be more efficient.
Seems to me something like this could be used in house wiring as well,
if the wires were shielded it would mean less energy loss and probably
a better living environment for the people around it, due to less
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