As fellow students and local television reporters looked on, Engineering Science major Diana Kelly demonstrated how to boil lukewarm water – without a spark of flame.
The set-up involved a bell jar, a hose and the creation of a vacuum that lowered the air pressure inside; the cool water soon broke into a rolling boil. Another device demonstrated the principle in the opposite manner: increased pressure in a tube can cause tissue paper to burn.
The scientific principles aren’t just fascinating, but they’re key to understanding the geothermal energy system under the Quad that heats and cools the Calice Advanced Manufacturing Center, explained Professor Robert Lofthouse.
Student demonstrations were just one part of SUNY Broome’s Clean Energy Open House on May 16. Local companies and nonprofits were also on hand, sharing information on how to save money, conserve energy and help the environment. Topics ranged from utility rebates and home energy audits to solar energy, LED lights, electric cars and more.
Diana is one of the college’s green energy interns, who work to promote sustainability efforts both on campus and off. Many of the demonstrations on display during the open house were student projects.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to become more involved on campus and learn more about sustainability and sustainable energy,” said Diana, who plans to present a proposal promoting carpooling on campus. “There are so many little ways in which a person can make a difference.”