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Thermoelectric material made in paintable liquid form

Date:
December 8, 2016
Source:
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology(UNIST)
Summary:
Scientists have developed liquid-like TE materials that can be painted on almost any surface. This new technology can convert exhaust heat into electricity for vehicles and other applications.
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Schematics illustrate the fabrication of painted thermoelectric devices.
Credit: UNIST

A new study, led by Professor Jae Sung Son of Materials Science and Engineering at UNIST has succeeded in developing a new technique that can be used to turn industrial waste heat into electricity for vehicles and other applications.

In their study, the team presented a new type of high-performance thermoelectric (TE) materials that possess liquid-like properties. These newly developed materials are both shape-engineerable and geometrically compatible in that they can be directly brush-painted on almost any surface.

Scientists hope that their findings, described in the journal Nature Communications this week, will pave the way to designing materials and devices that can be easily transferred to other applications.

The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa. This effect can be used either for heating or for cooling, such as in small cooling systems, automotive cooling systems, as well as waste heat recovery system for ships. In addition, the thermoelectric generator modules used in these devices are configured as rectangular parallelepipeds.

The output power of thermoelectric generators depends on device engineering minimizing heat loss, as well as inherent material properties. According to the research team, the currently existing liquid-like TE materials have been largely neglected due to the limited flat or angular shape of devices.

However, considering that the surface of most heat sources where these planar devices are attached is curved, a considerable amount of heat loss is inevitable. To address this issue, the research team presented the shape-engineerable thermoelectric painting technique where they they directly brush TE paints onto the surface of heat sources to produce electricity.

Using this technique, one can now easily achive electricity via the application of TE paints on the exterior surfaces of buildings, roofs, and cars. Scientists hope that their findings will pave the way to designing materials and devices that can be easily transferred to other applications.

To show the feasibility of the currently proposed technology, they also fabricated TE generators through painting TE paints on flat, curved and large-sized hemispherical substrates, demonstrating that it is the most effective means of heat energy collection from any heat sources with exceedingly high output power density of 4.0?mW?cm?2, which is the best value among the reported printed TE generators.

"By developing integral thermoelectric modules through painting process, we have overcome limitations of flat thermoelectric modules and are able to collect heat energy more efficiently." said Professor Son. "Thermoelectric generation systems can be developed as whatever types user want and cost from manufacturing systems can also be greatly reduced by conserving materials and simplifying processes.."

"Our thermoelectric material can be applied any heat source regardless of its shape, type and size." said Professor Son. "It will place itself as a new type of new and renewable energy generating system."


Story Source:

Materials provided by Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology(UNIST). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sung Hoon Park, Seungki Jo, Beomjin Kwon, Fredrick Kim, Hyeong Woo Ban, Ji Eun Lee, Da Hwi Gu, Se Hwa Lee, Younghun Hwang, Jin-Sang Kim, Dow-Bin Hyun, Sukbin Lee, Kyoung Jin Choi, Wook Jo, Jae Sung Son. High-performance shape-engineerable thermoelectric painting. Nature Communications, 2016; 7: 13403 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13403

Cite This Page:

Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology(UNIST). "Thermoelectric material made in paintable liquid form." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 December 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161208125916.htm>.
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology(UNIST). (2016, December 8). Thermoelectric material made in paintable liquid form. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 25, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161208125916.htm
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology(UNIST). "Thermoelectric material made in paintable liquid form." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161208125916.htm (accessed May 25, 2017).

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