IIT Mandi Invention: Body Heat for Phone Charging

The innovation by IIT Mandi

Researchers at IIT Mandi have developed a thermoelectric module that can convert body heat into electricity and power low power flexible electronic devices. This invention could revolutionize the renewable energy sector and offer a convenient and eco-friendly way to charge gadgets.

The science behind it

The research team, led by Dr. Ajay Soni, Associate Professor at IIT Mandi’s School of Physical Sciences, published their findings in the German scientific journal Angewandte Chemie. They created the thermoelectric module from silver telluride nanowire, a material that has high thermoelectric performance and flexibility. They showed that the device begins to deliver a significant output voltage upon human touch .

Thermoelectricity is the direct conversion of heat into electricity or vice versa through two related mechanisms. The first mechanism, known as the Seebeck effect, was discovered in 1821 by Thomas Seebeck and Jean Peltier, and it describes how a temperature difference between two conductors generates an electric current. The second mechanism, known as the Peltier effect, was discovered in 1851 by William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), and it describes how an electric current passing through two conductors causes one to heat up and the other to cool down.

The thermoelectric module developed by IIT Mandi researchers exploits both these effects to harvest body heat and produce electricity. The device can charge almost any electronic gadget, such as mobile phones, smart watches, fitness trackers, etc., without the need for any external power source. The device is also flexible and can be integrated into wearable electronics or clothing.

The advantages of it

The invention has far-reaching implications for the renewable energy sector, as it could provide a sustainable and clean alternative to fossil fuels or batteries. It could also reduce the e-waste generated by discarded batteries and chargers. Moreover, it could enhance the user experience and convenience by eliminating the hassle of finding a power outlet or carrying a charger.

The challenges ahead

The researchers are now working on improving the efficiency and durability of the thermoelectric module and exploring its applications in various fields. They hope that their invention will soon become a reality and benefit millions of people around the world.

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