Batteries eventually need to be recharged, but there's not
always a handy place to plug them in. Yet there is energy all around us (e.g.
light, heat, motion etc.) that can be used for power if we could easily capture
it and convert it to electricity. Current "energy harvesting"
technologies are too bulky, expensive, and inefficient.
ITN has developed a thermal energy harvesting device that
converts waste heat directly into electricity. Using plasmonics technology,
these inexpensive thin-film devices capture and convert excess heat from
sources where energy is currently wasted...or worse, actively removed by
applying additional energy-using processes (e.g., air conditioning).
Our plasmonics energy harvesting will create electricity from
ambient heat sources like car exhaust, industrial processes (e.g. steel
production, glass manufacturing), industrial ovens, and power plants, etc. That
electricity can be used immediately or stored in batteries.