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Research Article

Thermal-mechanical-electrical energy conversion system based on Curie effect and soft-contact rotary triboelectric nanogenerator

Xiaole Cao1,2Xuelian Wei1,2Ruonan Li1ZhongLin Wang1,2,3( )Zhiyi Wu1,2,4( )
Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 101400, China
School of Nanoscience and Technology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
CUSTech Institute of Technology, Wenzhou 325024, China
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Graphical Abstract

This work develops a thermal-mechanical-electrical energy conversion system based on the Curie effect of ferromagnetic material and soft-contact rotary triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG). It not only demonstrates a useful process to achieve low temperature difference and fluctuating thermal energy harvesting, but also broadens the application fields of TENGs.

Abstract

Untapped thermal energy, especially low-grade heat below 373 K from various sources, namely ambient, industries residual, and non-concentrated solar energy, is abundant and widely accessible. Despite that, there are huge constraints to recycle this valuable low-grade heat using the existing technologies due to the variability of thermal energy output and the small temperature difference between the heat source and environment. Here, a thermal-mechanical-electrical energy conversion (TMEc) system based on the Curie effect and the soft-contact rotary triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is developed to recycle thermal energy in the mid-low temperature range. According to the phase transition mechanism between ferromagnetic and paramagnetic, disk-shaped ferromagnetic materials can realize stable rotation under external magnetic and thermal fields, thus activating the operation of TENGs and realizing the conversion of thermal energy and electrical energy. During the steady rotation process, an open-circuit voltage (VOC) of 173 V and a short-circuit current (ISC) of 1.32 µA are measured. We finally obtained a maximum power of 4.45 mW in the actual working conditions, and it successfully charged different capacitors. This work provides a new method for mid-low temperature energy harvesting and thermal energy transformation and broadens the application of TENG in the field of thermal energy recovery.

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Nano Research
Pages 2502-2510
Cite this article:
Cao X, Wei X, Li R, et al. Thermal-mechanical-electrical energy conversion system based on Curie effect and soft-contact rotary triboelectric nanogenerator. Nano Research, 2023, 16(2): 2502-2510. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-022-5056-1
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Received: 30 July 2022
Revised: 06 September 2022
Accepted: 14 September 2022
Published: 08 November 2022
© Tsinghua University Press 2022
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