Decoding a new compound to generate electricity from heat - “THE GOLD STANDARD.”

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Decoding a new compound to generate electricity from heat - “THE GOLD STANDARD.”

In simple terms, thermoelectric generators convert heat flux directly into electrical energy. These generators function like heat engines. But they are more feasible because of their lesser weight. However, thermoelectric generators are often considered to be more expensive and less efficient.

While thermoelectric power generators would be very beneficial for reducing greenhouse emissions, there is the problem of excessive heat. Devices need to make electric contact with one side of the generator to produce electricity. However, that side is too hot, so the devices fail over time because of excessive heat. Devices known as transverse thermoelectrics are used to solve the overheating and heat wastage problems. They create sideways voltage so that the heat density is decreased. Up until a few days back, such devices were regarded to be inefficient.

Recently, Ohio State University researchers released a new study that reveals that a single material, layered crystal consisting of the elements rhenium and silicon, turns out to be the “gold standard” of transverse thermoelectric devices. Thermoelectric materials convert wasted energy into reusable electric current. Ohio State University researchers released a new study that reveals that a single material, layered crystal consisting of the elements rhenium and silicon, turns out to be the “gold standard” of transverse thermoelectric devices. 

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