Friday 27 May 2022
- Advertisement -

This chip converts wasted heat into electricity

The method, described in Nature Nanotechnology, uses a silicon chip called 'device' that converts more thermal radiation into electricity

Washington, DC: Scientists have discovered a way to produce more electricity from heat than thought possible by using a newly developed silicon chip.

It is estimated that as much as two-thirds of the consumed in the US each year is wasted as heat, said researchers from the University of Utah. Take, for example, car engines, laptop computers, phones, even refrigerators, that heat up with overuse.

The method, described in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, uses a silicon chip called “device”, that converts more thermal into electricity.

Researchers have previously determined that there is a theoretical “blackbody limit” to how much can be produced from thermal radiation (heat).

However, the team demonstrated that they can go well beyond the blackbody limit and produce more if they create a device that uses two silicon surfaces very close together.

The researchers produced a 5mm-by-5mm chip (about the size of an eraser head) of two silicon wafers with a nanoscopic gap between them only 100 nanometres thick, or a thousand the thickness of a human hair.

While the chip was in a vacuum, they heated one surface and cooled another surface, which created a heat flux that can generate electricity.

The concept of creating energy in this manner is not unique, but researchers have discovered a way to fit the two silicon surfaces uniformly close together at a microscopic scale without touching each other.

The closer they are to each other, the more electricity they can generate.

“Nobody can emit more than the blackbody limit. But when we go to the nanoscale, you can,” said Mathieu Francoeur, an associate professor at the University of Utah.

In the future, Francoeur envisions that such technology could be used to not only cool down portable devices like laptops and smartphones but also to channel that heat into more battery life, possibly as much as 50 per cent more.

A laptop with a six-hour charge could jump to nine hours, for example.

The chip could be used to improve the efficiency of solar panels by increasing the amount of electricity from the sun’s heat or in automobiles to take the heat from the engine to help power the electrical systems.

They could also be designed to fit in implantable medical devices such as a pacemaker that would not require replaceable batteries, researchers said.

Another benefit is such technology can help improve the life of processors by keeping them cool and reducing wear and tear, and it will save more otherwise used for fans to cool the processors, they said.

Contribute to our cause

Contribute to the nation's cause

Sirf News needs to recruit journalists in large numbers to increase the volume of its reports and articles to at least 100 a day, which will make us mainstream, which is necessary to challenge the anti-India discourse by established media houses. Besides there are monthly liabilities like the subscription fees of news agencies, the cost of a dedicated server, office maintenance, marketing expenses, etc. Donation is our only source of income. Please serve the cause of the nation by donating generously.

Join Sirf News on

and/or

Similar Articles

Comments

Scan to donate

Swadharma QR Code
Advertisment
Sirf News Facebook Page QR Code
Facebook page of Sirf News: Scan to like and follow

Most Popular

[prisna-google-website-translator]
%d bloggers like this: