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A Passion Avenue For Science


In this work, we created a product prototype intended to convert heat waste into voltage stored in a supercapacitor. It works off the Seebeck effect,  a phenomenon where electrons gain kinetic energy in the presence of heat.

The P-Type junction is filled with holes (which can be viewed as positive charges), and the N-Type junction is filled with free electrons. When a heat source is applied, the Seebeck effect causes electrons and holes to N-Type to accelerate downward, concentrating and increasing the potential difference This generates an electrical current.

Peltier modules are composed of multiple thermocouples connected in series in such a way that optimizes the electrical current, and voltage, as shown above. This causes the voltages to summate. The concept is shown three dimensionally in a full peltier below.

Research Area

In this work, we designed a prototype product, which was aimed to output 5 volts. This was implemented in a cooking source, where approximately 82% of energy is lost as wasted heat (Springers). Peltier devices could reach temperature differences of the 40-80K range. The photo above demonstrates how the temperature difference is maximized and maintained for as long as possible.

The teflon rubber, insulates the sides of the module, so that heat cannot travel to the cold (back) side. Moreover, the heat sink properly removes heat from the cold side. Furthermore, while it can absorb heat, it will not significantly change its temperature in the process, making it suitable for maintaining a large temperature difference. A voltmeter was set up, and its probes connected to the Arduino Uno, to read its voltage.

Conlcusion, Application and Future Outlook

In prospective uses, this technology has the potential to be further developed to reduce its size while maintaining the same power output. By shrinking its dimensions, it could be integrated into wearable devices, leveraging the body heat to provide warmth and energy during cold seasons. Another application could be installing peltiers onto the surfaces of walls, which would directly capture thermal energy radiated by sunlight. Moreover, stove tops are known to generate substantial heat losses, making them suitable platforms for embedding peltiers. These potential uses could revolutionize the way we harness and mobilize wasted heat energy, ultimately transforming how we power and utilize technology.

In this work, Andrew determined to use wasted heat to generate electricity.

Harvesting Waste Heat Energy from Cooking Stove using Peltier Devices


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