Waste Heat Harvesting Eliminates CFCs, Increases PV Performance

Waste Heat Harvesting Eliminates CFCs, Increases PV Performance

A new method of harvesting waste heat could make CFCs obsolete and increase the performance of solar panels. University of Arizona physicists have discovered a new way to harvest waste heat and turn it into electrical power. Common heat wasters such as car engines, power plates, solar panels, and factories could all benefit from the potential of thermoelectricity.

Unlike current devices that take advantage of heat-conversion technology in steam turbines and refrigerators, these new devices require no mechanics or CFCs. A rubber polymer nestled between two metals acting like electrodes does the job.

Thermoelectric technology could prove especially useful regarding solar panels. Solar panels typically suffer from an efficiency decline after getting too hot. Thermoelectric technology could harvest the excess heat and use it to generate additional power, all while cooling down the solar panels.


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