25 Sep 2012

Researchers have been able to make thermoelectric material which is key in the process of converting waste heat to electricity. This could signify that there is a paradigm shift in the way things have been done for a while as inefficiency in energy usage is being faced out.

The current thermoelectric materials have been found to be very inefficient and as a result of this, they have not been used so much in the commercial industry. The new environment friendly material has the capacity to convert about 15 to 20% of waste heat to electricity that is very useful.

The adoption of the industry is likely to spread with time due to this innovation. There are various industries such as the automobile where they are useful such as the automobile. Heavy manufacturing industries are also important in ensuring that heat generated from these areas can be converted to electricity for other usage.

Waste heat temperatures in automobile and heavy manufacturing industry are about 400 to 600 degrees Celsius. This makes them hot spots where the thermoelectric energy is likely to benefit the nation in many ways. The new material is based on semiconductors and telluride is the best material that is known.

The work of mechanical engineers that began some time back has been able to bear fruits and the long run. The top performing thermoelectric material can be utilized at any temperatures to ensure that electricity has been generated. The material is nearly 30% more efficient as compared to previous material that was in use.

Researchers were able to reveal this after they scattered several spectrums of phonons that achieved a thermal conductivity that has seen more heat being converted to electricity. The optimization process has seen that there is hope in the future of thermoelectricity apart from hot waters being released into waters.