Korean scientists discover ingenious power-saving concept5. August 2021
Korean scientists discover ingenious power-saving concept
Shanghai, Aug. 5, 2021
Scientists at Seoul National University and Northwestern University have developed a cheap material that can convert wasted heat into electricity.
Background: a normal coal-fired power plant typically converts only 30% of the energy it generates into electricity, while the rest is wasted as heat. In a typical thermal power plant, workers have to make sure that the materials used don’t overheat. So materials with low heat transfer are used. But what happens when two materials have the same temperature? Then there is no thermoelectric effect and a lot of electricity is wasted.
Researchers have developed a thermoelectric generator that slows heat transfer but allows energy transfer. The generator is made of tin and selenium powder, two of the cheapest materials with high availability.
But they haven’t stopped there. They have discovered that a Chinese scientist has developed a tin selenide counterpart, which means there is probably nothing to stop their method from being widely used commercially.
The study was published in Nature Materials.