A new thermoelectric generator (TEG) has demonstrated how it can turn wasted energy into 200 watts of electricity that can be used in vehicles for added power. The device created by GMZ Energy is a module measuring one square inch, and a quarter-inch thick that uses a unique method to decrease heat leakage and provide an increase in performance.
The TEG generates electricity when heat enters at the top of the module and moves through a semiconductor material to the cooler side of the module. Electrons in the semiconductor material move and the resulting motion is what creates a voltage that can be extracted as electricity. This new TEG can operate at temperatures as a high as 600 degrees Celsius on the hot side and maintain a 100 degree Celsius temperature on the cool side. With the difference of 500 degrees between the hot and cold sides, a four centimeter squared module can generate 7.2 watts of power. The TEG could be installed near the exhaust pipe of a car to convert electricity to power electrical components within the car and reduce the load on the vehicle’s alternator, ultimately leading to reduced fuel costs and emissions.