Thermoelectric material expected to convert 15 to 20% of waste heat to useful electricity
September 24, 2012 // Julien Happich
Northwestern University scientists claim they have developed a thermoelectric material with a figure of merit of 2.2, making it a world's best at converting waste heat to electricity.
The inefficiency of current thermoelectric materials has limited their commercial use. Now, with a very environmentally stable material that is expected to convert 15 to 20 percent of waste heat to useful electricity, thermoelectrics could see more widespread adoption by industry. Possible areas of application include the automobile industry (much of gasoline's potential energy goes out a vehicle's tailpipe), heavy manufacturing industries (such as glass and brick making, refineries, coal- and gas-fired power plants) and places were large combustion engines operate continuously (such as in large ships and tankers). Waste heat temperatures in these areas can range from 400 to 600 degrees Celsius (750 to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit), the sweet spot for thermoelectrics use.
The new material, based on the common semiconductor lead telluride, exhibits a thermoelectric figure of merit (so-called "ZT") of 2.2, the highest reported to date, claim the researchers. Chemists, physicists, material scientists and mechanical engineers at Northwestern and Michigan State University collaborated to develop the material.
"Our system is the top-performing thermoelectric system at any temperature," said Mercouri G. Kanatzidis, who led the research and is a senior author of the paper. "The material can convert heat to electricity at the highest possible efficiency. At this level, there are realistic prospects for recovering high-temperature waste heat and turning it into useful energy." Kanatzidis is Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry in Northwestern's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He also holds a joint appointment at Argonne National Laboratory.All news
BAE Systems develops 'smart skin' for aircraft
August 27, 2014
Defense and aerospace company BAE Systems plc is working on a project to give aircraft a "skin" of sensors to enable detection ...
Emberlight connects ordinary light bulbs to your smartphone
Cree targets mid-power LEDs with USD83m Lextar investment
Will 2D semiconductors threaten graphene's PV dominance?
IKEA GreenTech invests in energy-efficient LED technology developer
Searching through big data with the NSA
August 26, 2014
Deepening the NSA scandal, The Intercept detailed yesterday how the US National Security Agency is providing data to nearly ...
China Launching Its Own OS, Seriously?
JEDEC unveils standard for low power memory devices
Audi makes the leap to 48V supply
- Building Blocks for the Internet of Things
- New Linear Regulators Solve Old Problems
- Testing GPS with a Simulator
- DSM presents: Select the best plastic for DDR4
InterviewCEO interview: Tronics' Langlois makes moves in MEMS
Pascal Langlois has been CEO at Tronics for nine months. He discusses plans for the company and directions for the complex and diverse MEMS technology sector.
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Altium Ltd is offering EETimes Europe's readers the chance to win one TASKING VX-Toolset for ARM Cortex-M Premium Edition, normally licensed for 2.395 Euros, for ultra-rapid prototyping and code development around ARM Cortex-M based microcontrollers.
The VX-toolset for ARM is the first TASKING compiler suite to receive the Software Platform technology, which is seamlessly...Read more
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.