More line worker jobs to open

Capital News Service
LANSING—Consumers Energy plans to hire more than 50 line workers to expand its electric line workforce next year to respond more effectively to emergencies. In addition, the company will hire up to 50 apprentice line workers annually for the next several years. “The goal is to hire more qualified workers to increase the workforce that responds to emergencies, enhances system reliability and restores electric service following storms,” Terry DeDoes, the public information director at Consumers Energy, said. According to DeDoes, the company currently has 700 line workers. Typically, line workers are on the job eight hours a day, and their work hours might increase during storms and other emergencies.

Recycled waste heat may light up your life

Capital News Service
LANSING – It may soon be possible to use wasted heat from your vehicle’s tailpipe to power electronics in your car, thanks to a new thermoelectric material developed by researchers in Michigan. That’s just one of many potential uses of the new material, which is based on tetrahedrites, natural minerals found in abundance. Thermoelectric materials are chemical compounds capable of converting waste heat into usable electricity. According to Donald Morelli, a professor of chemical engineering at Michigan State University and the lead researcher on the project, the material provides a cheaper way to turn heat energy that would have been wasted into something useful, like electricity. “What we’ve managed to do is synthesize some compounds that have the same composition as natural minerals,” said Morelli, who also directs MSU’s Center for Revolutionary Materials for Solid State Energy Conversion.