This Paint Can Power Your Home from Inside or Outside
In this day and age, waste is something we have to completely eliminate from our life. With 7.5 billion people and rising fast, every small piece of waste, whatever that may be, really adds up, and we can’t really afford that anymore. And one of the biggest forms of waste coming from most of us is in heat. This is why a group of scientists have found a way to create thermoelectric paint capable of converting excess heat into electricity. This technology has been presented in a report in the journal Nature.
Sung Hoon Park led a team of researchers from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), and the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute in creating and developing thermoelectric paint along with a technique designed in capturing waste heat.
Unlike the usual thermoelectric devices which capture excess heat, thermoelectric paint is far more efficeinet at capturing waste heat from various objects such as engines or refrigerators. Moreover, this paint can offer a complete surface coverage, preventing heat from escaping.
This paint contains bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3), which is used in most thermoelectric materials. But unlike these, the research team also added molecular sintering aids that cause the particles to fuse together. This means that once the paint is applied to a surface, it’s heated to temperatures of 450 °C (840 °F) for 10 minutes, increasing its density and making it far more efficient at energy conversion than ever before.
The researchers believe that this paint will be especially effective during the summer months when roofs and walls in direct sunlight can reach temperatures as high as 50 °C (122 °F). Moreover, this paint can easily be applied on ships or cars, and can be manufactured at affordable prices
“This approach has a potential for cost-effective manufacturing of well-designed TE (thermoelectric) devices depending on heat sources,” the authors wrote in the study.
“We strongly believe that the currently developed technology can be easily transferred to other communities such as 3-D printed electronics and painted electronic artworks,” the authors wrote.