Innovative Battery Technology to Harvest Ambient Thermal Energy

The University of Utah’s College of Engineering researchers may have discovered how to power wireless devices used to monitor automobiles, industrial machinery, and agricultural products. They developed a new battery they dubbed the pyroelectrochemical cell, which may be able to fuel system sensors that are extremely difficult to keep charged, operational, and working efficiently in the field.

The battery uses materials that change electrical properties when cooled and heated to power a device based on environmental temperature fluctuations. The findings were published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.

By creating an electric field inside the battery, it can store energy for numerous applications. The new photoelectrochemical cells do not have the obstacles of solar cells, like not getting enough sunlight and needing to remain clean for optimal power transition.

The development is a breakthrough because the sensors can be distributed and do not require charging in the field; they just need temperature changes to create ambient energy. The battery can generate enough charge for practical applications across many industries, allowing wireless sensor systems, for example, to become energy-independent.

These pyroelectrochemical cells could be the key to smart environments that promote energy conservation.

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