A team of researchers from UT Dallas have developed a generator to convert waste heat into electricity. The researchers used liquid metal to initiate this conversion, and were able to produce clean electricity. For the purpose of testing, the team used a smart motor that can follow the commands of the user. The waste heat used by the generator comes from data centers, electric cars, and other similar sources. The findings of the research published in the print edition of Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments. The research shall be a launch pad for fresh research in the domain of clean energy technologies.
Using Waste Heat to Generate Electricity
Meanwhile, researchers point at the viability of using heat as a means to generate electricity. The abundance of heat energy available across the world is the basis for their choice. Additionally, data centers require air-conditioners and chillers to cool down the voluminous amount of heat generated. This is necessary to restore the integrity of operations across data centers. The researchers intend to recycle this heat and convert into electricity. Besides, the untapped potential of electric car batteries and other appliances needs to be utilized in the energy sector. Previous efforts to generate energy from heat focused on harnessing heat by-products from refineries, steel mills, and manufacturing plants.
Viability of Research
The project initiated at UT Dallas focuses on low-temperature sources that have been difficult to convert into electricity. Additionally, use of a magnetohydrodynamic power (MHD) generator helped the researchers in understanding the dynamics of moving electricity. Meanwhile, data centers are growing in size and number, and this is a key consideration for the researchers. The next decade is expected to witness an upsurge in the number of electric cars manufactured annually. This factor is favorable for researchers involved in developing electricity-converting generators.