Do you remember the movie “The Matrix”? There is a scene where people are described as “human batteries”. It is true that we generate electricity, albeit at a very low level. But that can also be used. The energy of the human body can charge devices. It may not be necessary to use cell phone chargers in the future. You will do this yourself.
In the heat of the environment
It was scientists from the Moscow National University of Science and Technology who came up with it. It’s a new type of heat cell and device that converts heat into electricity. The results were published in Renewable Energy magazine. This makes it possible to produce batteries for portable electronic devices that are powered by the heat of the environment. For example, they can be embedded in clothing. Thermoelectrochemical cells are small devices that produce electricity. They do this from the energy of temperature differences between different objects or environments.
The MISiS scientists investigated a new type of heat cell. Use metal oxide electrodes and aqueous electrolytes. This solution makes it possible to increase the current and reduce the internal resistance. And it offers an increase in performance compared to similar ones.
“We have proven it. It is possible to use a nickel oxide electrode based on hollow nickel microspheres in a heat cell. ‘So says Igor Burmístrov, the study’s lead expert. It set a record for aqueous electrolytes in the Seebeck effect. It is the one that measures the conversion of temperature differences directly into electricity.
Due to the high value of the Seebeck coefficient, even the warmth of the human body can be used as an energy source. What will happen in the future? Scientists want to develop an electrochemical supercapacitor. It would be charged by simple contact with hot surfaces, and the charge would be maintained for a long time. Reduces manufacturing costs and increases cell safety. In the short term, it will become commercially attractive systems, according to scientists.
“The materials we design will make it possible, for example, to make electronic drums that are integrated into clothing. Temperature gradients surround us on all sides. Devices of this type help to extract the dispersed energy. It’s in the environment; There are industrial plants, buildings and many other simple and free sources, ”explained Burmistrov. The energy of the human body can charge devices. It’s as close to “free” as you can imagine.
The developed thermoelectrochemical cell can deliver an open circuit voltage of up to 0.2 V. According to the study’s authors, it’s 10 to 20 times higher than similar developments.
In the future, scientists want to increase performance by optimizing the composition of the electrode material and improving the cell design.