Considering the fact that a large percentage of the energy generated by us go astray through waste heat, need for some highly efficient products or technologies has been felt more than ever before, so we could make the most out of the available energy. Though, we have thermoelectric materials that can produce electricity through differences in temperature, but the hefty price of thermoelectrics, like most of such influential technologies, make it a forbidden fruit for common users.
Addressing the issue, Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology has developed a new method to produce thin, elastic sheets of tiny thermoelectric generators (TEG) that makes use of ultra-thin layers of an economical thermoelectrically active polymer paste, in lieu of ink, for printing. In addition, this material could be produced with the conventional 3D printing technology.
The latest technology will help in employing films of generators to the inner walls of concrete cooling towers at power stations, which will harness the temperature difference between hot interiors and cool outside facades to preserve the energy produced within the station. Moreover, the innocuous values of the polymer make it entirely safe and sustainable.