New Alloy Can Convert Heat Directly Into Electricity

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    Researchers at the University of Minnesota have created a metal alloy composed of nickel, cobalt, manganese and tin. This “multiferroic composite” can convert heat into electricity!

    In this case, the new alloy — Ni45Co5Mn40Sn10 — undergoes a reversible phase transformation, in which one type of solid turns into another type of solid when the temperature changes, according to a news release from the University of Minnesota. Specifically, the alloy goes from being non-magnetic to highly magnetized. The temperature only needs to be raised a small amount for this to happen.

    When the warmed alloy is placed near a permanent magnet, like a rare-earth magnet, the alloy’s magnetic force increases suddenly and dramatically. This produces a current in a surrounding coil, according to the researchers, led by aerospace engineering professor Richard James.

    One possible application for this alloy is in automobile exhaust pipes, which vent a lot of heat that could be recycled into electric power for the battery. Read more at Popsci. Link -via reddit

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    New Alloy Can Convert Heat Directly Into Electricity

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