Researchers discover new alloy for generating ‘green’ electricity from waste heat

New multiferroic alloy Ni45Co5Mn40Sn10 goes from non-magnetic to strongly magnetic with only a small temperature rise, spontaneously producing electricity in a surrounding coil. Clean energy with no carbon emissions. Could be attached to your car exhaust, power station exhausts, etc.

Some of the heat energy is lost in a process called hysteresis, but the researchers found a way to limit that. Hysteresis just means that there’s a time lag between the material heating, turning magnetic, and inducing current in the surrounding coil so the conversion isn’t perfect. What the article doesn’t go into is whether the magnetic field is maintained with steady heat; if it isn’t, the metal would have to be cooled and heated repeatedly to keep inducing electricity in the coil…not very efficient.

More here.

2011.06.23