Renewable grid: Recovering electricity from heat storage hits 44% efficiency

To measure the power produced by his photovoltaic cells, Roy-Layinde holds a heat source held over the photovoltaic cell, which emits the infrared radiation that the cell converts into electricity. Wires connected to the photovoltaic cell run the electricity to a sensor that reads the voltage and amperage. Image credit: Brenda Ahearn, Michigan Engineering

Closing in on the theoretical maximum efficiency, devices for turning heat into electricity are edging closer to being practical for use on the grid, according to University of Michigan research.

Heat batteries could store intermittent renewable energy during peak production hours, relying on a thermal version …
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