The onset of rapid industrialization has conceived numerous heat generating items or units. In most instances, the society has considered the heat produced as waste. However, did you know that, the same heat can be transformed into electric power, which in turn is distributed to equally numerous homes and commercial stations? Researchers at the University of Arizona are working tirelessly to actualize this dream.
Charles Stafford, who is an associate professor in the University of Arizona along with a great team are determined to harvest the waste energy and therefore all their activities are geared into realizing this goal. The team is optimistic about their project as it is said to be 100 times more efficient than those invented before. Unlike the previous devices, their heat conversion device does not require ozone depleting materials or machines to convert the waste energy into electric energy. In addition, their machines are self-contained meaning they do not require moving parts to operate. These devices operate by putting a polymer between two electrodes.
Turning Waste Heat Into Electricity | Dr. Charles Stafford
Usage of the waste heat as electricity has enormous life changing benefits. First is the total eradication of materials that deplete ozone, which are constituents of the waste heat. When theoretical molecular thermoelectric model of electricity is put on use, it will assist in ensuring efficiency in power plants, cars, solar panels and other renewable energy sources. In addition, more efficient thermo-electric materials render ozone-depleting materials such as the chlorofluorocarbons outdated.
The waste energy can be harvested in multiple ways. The factory and car waste can be harvested by coating the exhaust pipes with special thin materials. The researchers apply the law of aquarium to achieve more quantitative results in generating and converting the waste heat into electricity. Most importantly, the thermoelectric devices are used to harvest energy from the sun independent of the photovoltaic cells, which have been less efficient for some time now.