FUTURE PRIMATE
thermoelectric_futureprimate

Generating power from heat will soon be dirt cheap

Thermoelectrics — which use wasted heat to generate electricity — could get a lot more interesting thanks to a company called Alphabet Energy. It’s set to commercialize tetrahedrite, a metal that more than doubles the efficiency of current tech for as little as a fiftieth the cost.

Thermoelectric materials work because they can do a rare trick: transfer heat poorly while conducting electricity well. However, current materials are pricy and polluting, and only convert about 2.5 percent of heat energy to electricity. Tetrahedrite, meanwhile, could reach 5 to 10 percent efficiency while running a mere $4 per kilogram.

Alphabet Energy says it could tap waste heat from industrial plants or even a vehicle’s exhaust system to produce electricity, making it virtually free. That’d mean you could power your car’s cooling AC using wasted heat, ironically — without a solar panel in sight.

Learn more here http://www.technologyreview.com/news/528841/thermoelectric-material-to-hit-market-later-this-year/

This entry was published on July 17, 2014 at 9:35 am and is filed under Politics. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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