We often wonder that what would happen if we could run our air conditioner on the sun’s heat instead with the help of conventional electricity during a warm summer’s day. According to the researchers, this sustainable solution might one day become a reality due to much advancement in thermoelectric technology.
Thermoelectric devices have been made from those materials that have the ability to convert a temperature difference into electricity and for this purpose; they do not require any moving parts.This is the only reason behind that why thermoelectric is potentially an appealing source of electricity. On the other hand, the thing is different that the thermoelectric can produce a temperature difference when the electricity has been applied to this device.
Presently, these thermoelectric devices are being used for the purpose of relatively low power applications, for example: powering small sensors along oil pipelines, backing up batteries on space probes as well as cooling minifridges. But scientists are putting their efforts for designing more powerful thermoelectric devices that could harvest heat as well as turn into electricity which has been produced as a byproduct by many industrial processes and combustion engines otherwise wasted heat into electricity.
However the efficiency of these thermoelectric devices or the amount of energy is limited currently which is necessity to be produced. Now a way for increasing that efficiency threefold has been discovered by the researchers by using topological materials which have unique electronic properties.
It has been suggested by the past work that efficient thermoelectric system may be served by topological materials as in order to produce a thermoelectric effect, there has been a little understanding in regarding how electrons would travel in response to temperature differences in such topological materials.
According to a paper published in many news papers, underlying property has been found by the researchers that makes certain topological materials more efficient thermoelectric material in comparison to existing devices.
Researchers said that the boundaries of this nanostructured material can be pushed in a way that converts topological material into a good thermoelectric material in comparison to conventional semiconductors such as silicon.
Electrons in that material start to flow from the hot end to the cold end When a thermoelectric material has been exposed to a temperature gradient, as well as generating an electric current, For example: one end is heated while the other is cooled.