Low Grade Thermal Energy Harvesting Device and its Manufacturing Techniques

More than 60% of total energy produced by various renewable and non-renewable sources is exhausted into the atmosphere as waste heat. Currently, thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are used to generate electricity from thermal energy. TEGs are almost effective for applications near room temperature and at low thermal gradient (less than 50°C). A novel device called thermomagnetic wheel has been proposed. The device is based on reverse magnetocaloric effect. Localized heating of a soft magnetic rotor followed by cooling in the atmosphere produces continuous rotation in the presence of a permanent magnet. An electric generator can be attached to magnetic rotor to generate electricity. Initial studies have shown that the device is capable enough to produce electricity near room temperature at thermal gradient less than 50°C. The device can be used as a thermal energy harvester, a device to enhance thermal cooling, a thermal actuator, or a heat engine.

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For Information, Contact:
Grant Brewer
Senior Licensing Associate
Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
(540) 443-9218
Ravi Kishore
Shashank Priya