The new self-powered thermoelectric generator device uses an ultra-broadband solar absorber (UBSA) to capture sunlight, which heats the generator. Simultaneously, another component called a planar radiative cooling emitter (RCE) cools part of the device by releasing heat.
CREDIT: Haoyuan Cai, Jimei University
Scientists have created a new way to generate electricity from the sun and heat, which could revolutionize the way we power our devices.
The new technology, called a thermoelectric generator (TEG), is made of a flexible material that can be attached to a variety of surfaces. This makes it ideal for powering wearable devices and other small electronics. TEGs are also more sustainable and environmentally friendly than traditional batteries, as they do not produce any emissions.
This new technology has the potential to change the way we power our devices. It could lead to the development of new wearable devices that are powered by the sun and heat, and it could also help to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
In a world where reliable and sustainable energy is an ever-growing necessity, a groundbreaking invention has emerged from the shadows to light up the future.
Researchers have harnessed the power of the sun and the cool embrace of the night to develop a revolutionary thermoelectric generator (TEG) that works tirelessly, day or night, rain or shine. This incredible innovation could provide a sustainable and continuous power source for small electronic devices, such as outdoor sensors or wearable electronics, liberating them from the constraints of traditional power sources like batteries.
Jing Liu, the research team leader from Jimei University in China, passionately explained the limitations of conventional power sources, stating that batteries have limited capacity and require regular replacement or recharging, which can be both inconvenient and unsustainable. However, the new TEG design has the potential to offer an eco-friendly and sustainable energy solution for small devices.
This innovative TEG, detailed in the Optica Publishing Group journal Optics Express, uses a groundbreaking design that allows it to generate the heat and cold necessary to create a substantial temperature difference, even when the sun isn’t shining. The passive power source is crafted from easily manufactured components, emphasizing its potential for mass production.
Liu proudly declared, “The unique design of our self-powered thermoelectric generator allows it to work continuously, no matter the weather. With further development, our TEG has the potential to impact a wide range of applications, from remote sensors to wearable electronics, promoting a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to powering our daily lives.”
The researchers have triumphed over the limitations of existing TEGs by developing a new device that utilizes an ultra-broadband solar absorber (UBSA) to capture sunlight, heating one side of the generator. Simultaneously, a planar radiative cooling emitter (RCE) cools down the other side by releasing heat. Both components can be applied to a flexible substrate, paving the way for wearable devices powered by this incredible invention.
The researchers conducted outdoor experiments under varying weather conditions to test the device’s prowess. The results were nothing short of astounding: the device generated electricity continuously throughout the day and night and during cloudy daylight conditions. The peak voltage output reached 166.2 mV during clear daytime conditions, enough to power a small sensor or device. Even during clear nighttime and cloudy daytime conditions, it generated 14.7 mV and 95 mV, respectively.
Haoyuan Cai, a member of the research team, emphasized the significance of this achievement, stating, “Our innovative method for combining solar heating with radiative cooling allows the TEG to generate electricity that is uninterrupted. This could improve access to critical services, particularly in remote or underdeveloped areas where traditional power sources are not available.”
The researchers now set their sights on optimizing the device’s efficiency, durability, and scalability, as well as testing its long-term stability and reliability under various conditions. They also plan to explore the potential for mass production at reasonable costs and enhance the device’s performance and adaptability to different applications. The future is bright for this trailblazing technology, as it holds the promise of reshaping the way we power our lives in a more sustainable and eco-friendly manner.
- Researchers have developed a new thermoelectric generator (TEG) that can generate electricity continuously using heat from the sun and a radiative element that releases heat into the air.
- The TEG works during the day or night and in cloudy conditions, making it a reliable power source for small electronic devices, such as outdoor sensors or wearable electronics.
- Traditional power sources like batteries have limited capacity and require regular replacement or recharging, while the TEG offers a more sustainable and continuous energy solution.
- TEGs are solid-state devices that use temperature differences to generate electricity without any moving parts.
- The new TEG design can simultaneously generate heat and cold necessary to create a temperature difference large enough to generate electricity even when the sun isn’t out.
- The passive power source is made of components that can easily be manufactured.
- The TEG has the potential to impact a wide range of applications, from remote sensors to wearable electronics, promoting a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to powering our daily lives.
- Researchers developed a new type of TEG using an ultra-broadband solar absorber (UBSA) to capture sunlight and a planar radiative cooling emitter (RCE) to release heat, which can be applied to a flexible substrate for wearable devices.
- The device was tested under different weather conditions and showed that it could generate electricity continuously throughout the day and night and during cloudy daylight conditions.
- Researchers are working to optimize the device’s efficiency, durability, and scalability, and plan to test its long-term stability, reliability, and potential for mass production at a reasonable cost.
Discovery Origin: New passive device continuously generates electricity during the day or night
More from: Jimei University
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