Temperature Changes Could Power Buildings

04/28/2017 |

How the thermoelectric effect can generate usable electricity

For decades, researchers have been searching for a way to produce electricity that is neither toxic nor expensive. A recent discovery comprising a chemical combination of calcium, cobalt and terbium was found to create an efficient, inexpensive and bio-friendly material that could solve energy shortages and price volatility worldwide.

The new material, composed by a team of engineers at the University of Utah led by Professor Ashutosh Tiwari, can be applied to jewelry or other materials. When body heat warms it up, the new alloy generates enough electricity to charge a cell phone or power a cooking pan through a thermoelectric process involving cold and hot air.

The thermoelectric effect occurs when one end of the material is hot and the other end is cold. Charge carriers from the hot end move through the material to the cold end, generating an electrical voltage. The material needs less than a 1 degree F. difference in temperature to produce a detectable voltage.

The potential applications for the new material are limitless, says Tiwari. The range of applications include operating a heart monitor with jewelry, lowering the amount of energy buildings must buy from the grid, generating extra power for an airplane from heat inside the cabin and creating electricity for energy-scarce homes in developing countries.

The Technology & Venture Commercial-ization Office of the University of Utah filed a patent for the material. The team will initially develop it for biosensors and for use in cars.

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See how professionals like you are taking advantage of the highest performing precision cooling system for their computer rooms and data centers, and why Data Aire is fast-becoming the number one choice for facility managers and building owners looking to decrease their energy consumption. 

Data Aire understands how digital technology and data gravity is rapidly impacting and transforming businesses. That’s why they developed ultra-efficient cooling technology to support the most modern (and not-so-modern) data centers.  Learn how One Wilshire in Los Angeles, one of the most advanced carrier hotels today, is surpassing California's strict energy efficiency requirements with Data Aire’s purpose-built system, which provide full-economization for 260 days – almost 72% of the year. That’s a measurable savings! Furthermore, the projected PUE on an annual basis for a full load is at or below 1.2.


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