Harnessing Waste Heat
The Waste Heat Issue
Out of all generated energy, 66% is wasted as unused heat. In addition to this, the energy demand of the United States is forecasted to increase around 12% by 2050. Thermoelectric generators use the Seebeck effect to turn temperature differentials into electricity. Thermoelectric Generators have a low power conversion efficiency but are capable of providing a higher specific energy than any battery or fuel cell. Currently, solid-state thermoelectric technology uses expensive precious metals, is inefficient (5 - 8% average thermal efficiency), and heavy, using various metallic elements. Current technology requires precious metals such as Tellurium, one of the most widely used elements in thermoelectrics that is also three times rarer than gold.