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Back You are here: Home Physical Technologies Technological offers A photothermoelectric cell converts thermal energy into electricity

A photothermoelectric cell converts thermal energy into electricity

Researchers from the Instituto de Ciencias de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM-CSIC) have developed a photo thermo-electric cell which produces electricity when it is exposed to temperature differences. It could be part of a thermo-electric generator.

Schematic representation of the photo thermo-electric cell. The invention combines a spectrally selective coating of visible and infrared light with a thin thermoelectric film on a substrate with a very low conductivity. The coating causes differences in temperature. Due to the nature of its materials, the technology for its manufacture is simple.

This cell transforms residual heat of machines into electricity

The cell can transform the residual heat of machines and electrical circuits into electrical energy.

These mechanisms have very useful applications in remote sensors (such as the feeding of satellites or antennas in remote locations) or in low consumption devices, such as wearable products  (watches, personal coolers on the skin, among others).

The thicknesses of the different cell layers, together with a coating and a suitable insulating substrate, make possible to obtain more efficient architectures at a lower cost than the current ones in the market. In terms of manufacture, its basic components are abundant in nature, a factor that contributes to a sustainable production.

Contact:

José Antonio Luceño Sánchez
Deputy Vice-Presidency for
Knowledge Transfer -CSIC
Tel.: +34 91 568 1445
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Investigadores del Instituto de Ciencias de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM-CSIC) han desarrollado una célula foto-termoeléctrica capaz de producir electricidad al verse sometida a diferencias de temperatura y formar parte de un generador termoeléctrico.