Sustainable Energy

Flexible Heat Miner

Thermoelectric generators directly convert waste heat into electricity. The Perpetua Power Puck is the first to use a thermoelectric semiconductor on a flexible substrate developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Because they’re flexible, the pucks–which have pins to disperse excess heat–can conform to curved heat-­producing surfaces such as a hot-water pipe or pump. A startup based in Corvallis, OR, is initially marketing the pucks as power sources for wireless sensors at sites such as power plants and dams; affixing the gadget to a surface just 10 ˚C warmer than the surrounding temperature can produce more than five volts and several hundred microwatts of power, enough for a typical wireless sensor. The company will begin shipping products this spring.

Credit: Kevin Twomey

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Sustainable Energy

Can we sustainably provide food, water, and energy to a growing population during a climate crisis?

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Basic.
  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning magazine and daily delivery of The Download, our newsletter of what’s important in technology and innovation.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.