Tapping Waste Heat for Electricity

Monday, July 1, 2024

We humans are very good at producing heat — significant amounts of it. In many cases, much or even most of the energy we generate and put into our systems, whether appliances, transportation, factories, or even the electrical grid, is lost as heat.

“Waste heat is everywhere,” said UC Santa Barbara mechanical engineering associate professor Bolin Liao, who specializes in thermal science and renewable energy. “Our power plants, our car exhaust pipes — there are so many places where we create excess heat waste."

For the moment, we’re fairly limited as to how we can make the most out of this dissipating heat. But Liao and UCSB colleagues, along with collaborators from Thee Ohio State University and the University of Hong Kong, are making headway toward putting that heat to use. In a paper published in the journal Advanced Materials, they describe a first-time comprehensive characterization of the thermoelectric properties of high-quality cadmium arsenide thin films.

Read the entire article.

An images suggesting heat being transformed into electricity