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Scientists Successfully Developed a Thermoelectric Generator with 5° C Thermal Difference

This entry was posted in thermoelectric technology and thermoelectric generator on September 13, 2018 by II-VI Marlow Industries

The world as we know it is getting closer and closer to becoming a completely IoT-based society. For those unfamiliar with the Internet of Things, we wrote all about it in our last blog post! It is essentially a system of integrated computing devices or sensors that transmit data over a network. Think about all the devices in your home that have WiFi capabilities. Your phone, smartwatch, television, heating and air conditioning, and the list goes on.

The growth of the IoT is inevitable and may seem complicated, but it has made our lives easier than ever before. It is complex, yet warrants a satisfying level of simplicity by integrating each of our individual gadgets together into one. 

Thermoelectric Technology and the Internet of Things

So how is thermoelectric technology entering the sphere of the Internet of Things? In the same way other technologies are evolving, so are those with thermoelectric capabilities. They are becoming more common and easily integrated into everyday life.

A team of Japanese researchers recently developed a device with the ability of utilizing a thermal difference of only 5 degrees C to generate power. This device is a silicon-nanowire thermoelectric generator that demonstrated a power density high enough to drive sensors or realize intermittent wireless communication, at a small thermal difference of only 5 degrees C.

This new development could channel untapped potential within the world of thermoelectric technologies. A generator that can operate off of such small temperature differences is an exciting apparatus that could extend the range of industries that thermoelectricity serves. If researchers can create an optimized and miniaturized model, these generators could allow common appliances to charge themselves autonomously or through environmental heat and body heat. Imagine the possibilities!

In our upcoming blog post, we will introduce new advances in the world of small, portable thermoelectric generators and its potential. It may be heading in a direction that you wouldn’t expect. Check back for our September 27 blog to learn more and be sure to explore what services II-VI Marlow can provide to suit your thermoelectric needs.


The research and information provided for this post was provided by Waseda University.


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