Overall topic of our stand: Energy crisis: Nanomaterials for green energy generation
The Cheltenham Science Festival took place at the Imperial Square in Cheltenham from 4 - 9 June 2019. The members of the Computational Nanotechnology Lab (School of Engineering) from the University of Warwick interacted with children and adults alike to share their knowledge and expertise in the field of thermoelectric power generation and green energy. Our collaborators from the University of Exeter also participated in the presentations by displaying graphene based flexible LEDs, smart fabrics. Read on below to learn more.
Brief Background: Energy harvesting is a very relevant subject, potentially able to promote energy sustainability and reduction in the use of fossil fuels, with huge environmental and societal benefits. Two thirds of the energy used in power generation ends up as wasted heat. An incredibly large amount of heat is available basically everywhere from our bodies to our natural environment. Thermoelectric materials can convert this waste heat into useful electrical energy, and vastly contribute to energy sustainability, fighting against energy scarcity and global warming.
Our exhibit captured the essence of thermoelectric power conversion and generation, with an assortment of modules and devices that took heat from common sources to power electronic appliances of everyday use, thereby converting heat to examples of useful work. e.g. charging of a phone, lighting a lamp, and turning a fan.