UCLA researchers have developed a novel way to harvest waste heat by combining thermal radiation at the nanoscale with pyroelectric energy conversion.
UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical Engineering have developed a new technology that combines nanoscale radiative heat transfer and pyroelectric energy conversion in a single device to harvest waste heat with large power output and energy efficiency. The device consists of bringing the pyroelectric element in close proximity successively with a hot surface and with a cold surface while performing the Olsen cycle. Displacement can be achieved using low power piezoelectric actuators, for example. The proposed technology is relatively simple to setup and microfabricate.
• Harvest low grade waste heat energy and convert it to usable electricity.
o Heat from cell phones
o Heat from CPUs
o Heat from industrial processes
o Heat from chemical processes
The invention is conceptual and simulations have shown its feasibility. Experiments have established radiative heat transfer enhancement between surfaces in close proximity.
|United States Of America||Published Application||20110298333||12/08/2011||2010-532|
pyroelectric effect, ferroelectric, direct energy conversion, nanoscale thermal radiation, waste heat harvesting, direct energy conversion, CleanTech