Researchers Claim Development of Totally New Power Generation Device (2)

Jun 20, 2014
Kouji Kariatsumari, Nikkei Technology Online
The demonstration in which a blue LED lamp was lit
The demonstration in which a blue LED lamp was lit
[Click to enlarge image]

Continued from Researchers Claim Development of Totally New Power Generation Device

Because I still had doubts about the new power generation device, I asked some questions. First, I wondered if it is a primary cell because the structure of the device is similar to that of a capacitor.

"It is true that the device has some capacitor-like characteristics," the researchers said. "But since there is nothing that indicates an oxidation-reduction reaction, it is difficult to consider the device as a chemical cell."

When asked if it is a thermoelectric transducer using Seebeck effect, they said that it is not explicable because the device generates electricity with almost no temperature difference.

Commenting on the possibility of thermophotovoltaic (TPV) generation of electricity, which has been actively studied recently, they said that, while TPV generation realizes photoelectric conversion like a solar cell by filtering the radiant light of a solid state device, the structure of the new device is too simple to realize a similar mechanism.

Power generation becomes possible with low temperatures

Shinshu University and N.T.S consider that the new power generation device can be used for various applications because its power generation is not based on temperature difference and it is made of cheap materials.

For example, the temperature of solar cell reaches 60-80°C in summer, lowering solar power generation efficiency, and the new device can be installed on the reverse side of a solar panel to improve the efficiency, they said. Also, the device can generate power by using a hot spring or waste heat, and it can be attached on an automotive dashboard, whose temperature rises to about 80°C in summer.

Furthermore, if the temperature at which the device starts power generation can be lowered to a human body temperature, it might become possible to generate electricity on clothes, bed, etc, they said.