How it works

Our technology utilizes the electric double-layer capacitor (EDLC) principle and harvests energy from the ionic thermoelectric effect by charging carbon nanotube supercapacitor electrodes under a temperature gradient. The energy can be stored without the temperature gradient and then delivered (or discharged) to an external circuit. The resulting device operates in a cycle with an intermittent heat source, and it is here referred to as an Ionic Thermoelectric Supercapacitor (ITESC). We propose to harvest thermal energy by letting a heat flow charge a supercapacitor, or eventually a battery, with the so-called ionic thermoelectric effect. The ITESC, combines the functions of a thermoelectric generator and a supercapacitor. The ITESC could store electrical charges, and the energy could then be used by discharging the device later.