On average the human body produces just less than 116 Watts of heat energy each day, and Fujifilm may have developed a product that can take advantage of this power.
At the Nanotech 2013 conference held in Tokyo, Japan, Fujifilm demonstrated the progress that it has made in the production of a new thermoelectric conversion material.
The material has the ability to covert differences in temperature into electricity which can be either used directly to power or charge a device, or stored in a battery. The thermoelectric conversion efficiency is the highest ever seen and allows it to produce power from even the slightest of temperature differences, such as just one degree Celsius from which it can generate several milliwatts.
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Fujifilm, in collaboration with Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), has developed a way to create the organic thermoelectric conversion material using printing technology. This makes it far easier and far cheaper to produce the material in a range of sizes. Also it does not have to be printed onto a rigid structure, meaning that it can be used on clothes, or strapped directly to the skin.
There are two promising areas in which the material can be effectively used. The first is in an attachment that patients can wear on their skin to power medical devices. The second is on solar panels, to harvest the waste heat energy produced and make the whole panel much more energy efficient.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com