Device to Draw Power from Daily Temperature Swings

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Researchers developed a new device that can draw power from the daily cycle of temperature swings, according to a study conducted on February 15, 2018.

A continuous remote sensing system could be enabled by using a thermal resonator. Strano says that this resonator can generate energy when placed on a desk and changes in temperature with different frequencies are great sources of energy. To generate energy, this resonator does not require direct sunlight. Changes in environmental conditions does not affect this device and it can be located in any convenient place. In comparison with the pyroelectric material, which is a conventional method, performed better was observed in thermal resonator.

Power can be produced from temperature cycles by using a material which has the feature of thermal effusivity. The properties of thermal conduction and thermal capacity are combined by thermal effusivity. A combination of materials were tailored so that both the properties are available in all the products. A metal foam was the basic structure and a layer of graphene was coated to this metal foam to improve its thermal conductivity. Octadecane was infused into this foam.

A test was conducted by using a sample and a potential of 350 millivolts and power of 1.3 milliwatts was produced by it. Cottrill, the study’s lead author said, “The phase-change material stores the heat and the graphene gives you very fast conduction.”

Heat is captured from one side of the device and by slowly radiating, it reaches the other side. When the system tries to reach equilibrium, there is a lagging on one side compared to the other. This difference can be rectified by using conventional thermoelectrics.

This method of producing power would increase growth of the Power Rental Market, as elaborated in the power rental market report published by Coherent Market Insights.


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