There has been always a need to get rid of excess heat which creates a major source of inefficiency in everything from computer processor chips to car engines or to electric power plants. But a new research has been done by the team of researchers which points out the way to a technology through which it might be possible to harvest much of that wasted heat as well as turn it into useful electricity.
That kind of waste energy which will be harvesting might be useful in many ways such as it could lead the cell phones with double talk time, laptop and computers that would be able to operate twice as long before it needs to be plugged in and power plants can put out more electricity for a given amount of fuel etc. in order to convert heat into electricity, the existing solid state devices are not very efficient according to the researchers.
In order to achieve the theatrical limits for the efficiency of such conversion, the new research has been focused on to find how close realistic technology could come in this regard. According to this theory, a specific value called the Carnot limit can never be exceeded by such energy conversion. It is based on 19th century formula for the purpose of determining the maximum efficiency that can be achieved by any device in order to convert heat into work.
But there are only one tenth of those limits which can be achieved by current commercial thermoelectric devices. For the purpose of demonstrating efficiency as high as 40 percent of the Carnot limit, experiments have been done by the team of researchers which also includes different new technologies like thermal diodes etc and it has been shown by these new calculations that this new kind of system could ultimately reach as much as 90 percent of that ceiling.
An analysis has been carried out by the researchers with the help of using a very simple system through which power has been generated by a single quantum dot device.It is a type of semiconductors in which electrons and holes, through which the electrical charges are carried by the device, are too tightly confined in all the three dimensions.
There can be an opportunity to better understanding for the design ideal thermal to electric converter by controlling all aspects of the device. Although it is possible to convert heat into electricity efficiently but with very low power.