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Thermal Energy-Harvesting Research Gets $1.5M Boost

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Rob Spiegel
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More research yet needed
Rob Spiegel   7/9/2013 2:56:50 PM
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While it's good to see dollars going into energy harvesting research, it's still a small amount. I'm also curious about the potential scale of energy-harvesting devices. So far, the instances I've seen are on a relatively small scale.

Charles Murray
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Re: More research yet needed
Charles Murray   7/9/2013 6:38:40 PM
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Thermal energy harvesting seems like a logical idea. Automobiles appear to be a logical application -- a lot of hot spots combined with a lot of sensors and microcontrollers.

Elizabeth M
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Re: More research yet needed
Elizabeth M   7/10/2013 4:57:39 AM
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Yes, I think energy harvesting researchers are starting to see the potential of the automobile for providing its own energy. Thermal would definitely be a good way to go, Chuck. And in case you missed it, here's a link to a story I did on energy harvesting shock absorbers: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=264515

That focused on vibration, but still was part of the same concept of reusing energy from the automobile.

Charles Murray
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Re: More research yet needed
Charles Murray   7/10/2013 7:08:41 PM
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Yes, Liz, vibration is another area of interest for energy harvesting on automobiles.

vimalkumarp
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Re: More research yet needed
vimalkumarp   7/11/2013 1:36:48 AM
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It is true that The potential of harvesting thermal energy doesn't get nearly the attention that taking energy from wind and solar sources does. Thermal energy harvesting will herald a new age in energy harvesting. I am working on a project in energy harvesting for the strustural health monitoring of aircarfts and I am keen to know thermal energy harvesting. but what I understand is that temperature level has to be very high so as to enable this. 

Elizabeth M
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Re: More research yet needed
Elizabeth M   7/11/2013 6:15:42 AM
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That sounds like an interesting proejct, vimalkumarp. I think vehicles like cars and aircrafts are good applications for thermal energy and think some of the key research is in this area. With all the heat generated by engines and other parts on these vehicles, there is great potential for harvesting energy that can be used to power other parts of them.

vimalkumarp
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Re: More research yet needed
vimalkumarp   7/11/2013 6:17:49 AM
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yes I agree with you. My PhD thesis is on structrual healthmonitoring using wireless sensor network powered by energy harvesting. Your points are really excellent.

Elizabeth M
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Re: More research yet needed
Elizabeth M   7/10/2013 4:54:27 AM
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You're right, Rob, it's not a lot of money. But this is just one effort. I'm sure there are other thermal-energy research efforts I'm not aware of getting funding.

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