Scientists invented a hyperbolic thermal effect that can absorb intense heat, compress it, and emit it as narrow light that can be converted into electricity. The efficiency of such a system for converting heat to electricity can reach 80% and increase the standard characteristics of solar panels…
Infrared radiation not only delivers heat from the Sun to the planet, but also comes from all hot bodies. However, the problem is that it is broadband so it is inefficient to convert it to electricity.
Heat Trap: A New Way to Generate Electricity Using Nanotechnology?
Scientists at Rice University were looking for new ways to convert heat into electricity using turbines, steam or some kind of liquid, and the final efficiency of which would not be inferior to existing systems. A simple method for making films from aligned carbon nanotubes was developed, the team decided to test the possibility of their use for converting thermal radiation.
Films provide channels that absorb waste heat and convert it into narrow-band photons. This is due to the fact that electrons in nanotubes can only move in one direction. Films of nanotubes isolate infrared radiation of the medium wavelength range (3-8 microns). Due to hyperbolic dispersion, infrared photons can hit the film from any direction, but released in only one.
Narrow band unidirectional light emission model.
Carbon Nanotubes help to recyle waste heat by converting into Light.
Instead of moving from heat directly to electricity, scientists added an intermediate link to this – shine. While one might logically assume that two steps would be more effective than three, this is not the case in this case. According to researchers, the theoretical conversion efficiency is 80%..
The picture shows submicron-scale cavities formed as films of aligned carbon nanotubes.
In order to confirm the narrowband output, practical tests devices the size of a chip were run at 700 °C but it can withstand up to 1700 °C.
Recall that recently an international research group is synthesizing a new material that has a high electrical conductivity, like a metal, but at the same time is superhard and can withstand enormous pressure, like a diamond..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Rice University