Researchers at the University of Tokyo have made a significant breakthrough by generating electricity from latent heat produced during a substance’s phase transition through the phenomenon known as the thermoelectric effect.
This breakthrough has profound implications for enhancing thermocells, devices that convert temperature differences into electricity. With increasing global temperatures and demand for cooling, this milestone is timely. It opens up exciting opportunities to harness waste heat from chilling systems like air-conditioning and refrigeration to reduce their electrical consumption and sustainability.
“For the first time, we’ve confirmed that latent heat has the potential to be used for thermoelectric conversion,” said Professor Teppei Yamada from the University of Tokyo’s Department of Chemistry.
“With this method, in principle, it is possible to extract electrical energy from even the slightest temperature difference, greatly increasing the number of situations in which thermoelectric conversion can be used.”
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