We all know that computing tools generate heat equivalent to the electricity it utilizes. Powerful and faster computers generate more heat in comparison to the small and portable models. It is important to keep the computers functioning at safe temperatures, particularly when the outside temperature elevates. But have you thought if this heat can be used as an alternative energy source? Yes, a research team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States, has designed a device that transforms the heat produced by computers into an alternative energy source.
The team has developed a thermal diode, or nano-thermal-mechanical device, that will enable computing at ultra-high temperatures. Thus, they have found a solution for one of the biggest problems concerned with computers. The assistant professor, Sidy Ndao, said, “When you think about it, anything that can be done with electricity should also be possible to be done with heat as they are analogous in several ways. Theoretically, they both are carriers of energy. If it is possible to manage heat, it will also be possible to utilize it for computing and prevent the issue of overheating.”
The team is expecting their device to function in heat to an extent of 1,300°F that has approached 630°F while working in temperatures. The team aims to use this thermal computer for exploring the core of the earth, in space exploration, for oil drilling, and many such other purposes. The device can also enable them to process data and do calculations in real time in places where it was previously not possible.
The scientists also believe that the thermal diode can assist in curbing the amount of energy wasted. As per the reports, almost 60% of the energy generated for consumption in the Unites States is wasted as heat. If this heat is harnessed and utilized for energy, it can probably decrease the energy wastage as well as the cost of energy. The next step of the team is to make the device more competent and make a physical computer that is capable of working in the highest temperatures.
A patent is filled by the team and it is also working on enhancing the diode and its performance. So, don’t you think this can come up with a new approach of creating alternative energy sources?