Researchers developed a thermoelectric technology method to produce power-generating tubes using 3D printing techniques.
Factory chimneys generate an enormous amount of heat which can be converted into electronics with the help of thermoelectric devices. Professor Son from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology(UNIST) says this is because the existing thermoelectric devices were in rectangular parallelepiped shapes.
The researchers created a thermoelectric tube using a 3D printed ink made of lead (Pb) and tellurium (Te) mixed inside a glycerol solvent to provide viscoelasticity. The tube has a high thermoelectric performance at temperatures between 400 and 800 degrees Celsius, which is the temperature range of a car’s exhaust gases. The tube shape makes it more effective in collecting heat than a conventional cuboid type.
“If we use 3D printing technology in the production of thermoelectric materials, we will be able to overcome limits of conventional materials,” said Professor Chae. “The new technology for providing viscoelastic characteristics to 3D printed materials will be used in various other sectors.”
The work appeared in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.