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Issue 3, 2019
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Energy scavenging from ultra-low temperature gradients

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Thermal energy harvesting from natural resources and waste heat is becoming critical due to ever-increasing environmental concerns. However, so far, available thermal energy harvesting technologies have only been able to generate electricity from large temperature gradients. Here, we report a fundamental breakthrough in low-grade thermal energy harvesting and demonstrate a device based on the thermomagnetic effect that uses ambient conditions as the heat sink and operates from a heat source at temperatures as low as 24 °C. This concept can convert temperature gradients as low as 2 °C into electricity while operating near room temperature. The device is found to exhibit a power density (power per unit volume of active material) of 105 μW cm−3 at a temperature difference of 2 °C, which increases to 465 μW cm−3 at a temperature difference of 10 °C. The power density increases by 2.5 times in the presence of wind with a speed of 2.0 m s−1. This advancement in thermal energy harvesting technology will have a transformative effect on renewable energy generation and in reducing global warming.

Graphical abstract: Energy scavenging from ultra-low temperature gradients

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The article was received on 20 Oct 2018, accepted on 21 Jan 2019 and first published on 23 Jan 2019

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8EE03084G
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2019,12, 1008-1018

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    Energy scavenging from ultra-low temperature gradients

    R. A. Kishore, B. Davis, J. Greathouse, A. Hannon, D. Emery Kennedy, A. Millar, D. Mittel, A. Nozariasbmarz, M. G. Kang, H. B. Kang, M. Sanghadasa and S. Priya, Energy Environ. Sci., 2019, 12, 1008
    DOI: 10.1039/C8EE03084G

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