Engineers develop a new & # 39; hydrogel & # 39; material that can overheat phones and computers and convert waste heat into electricity
- Thin hydrogel film straps on phone batteries to convert waste heat to electricity
- The new polymer-based film transfers electrons as heated to generate power
- Water in the hydrogel then evaporates to cool the patch has a cooling effect
Engineers have created a cooling hydrogel material that can convert excessive heat from electronic devices into electricity.
The thin hydrogel film, which consists of a polymer and water, can draw heat from the batteries of smartphones, tablets and computers, so they do not go too high.
Investigators tested the film on a battery of a mobile phone and found that the temperature dropped by 68 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).
Some of the waste heat was also converted into electricity that could not be used to power the device.
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The hydrogel (pictured in a petri dish) can cool electronics and generate electricity from their waste heat. Scale bar: 0.39 inches (2 cm)
& # 39; The reduced working temperature ensures safe operation of & # 39; e battery, and the energy that is being harvested is enough to control the battery or the cooling system, & # 39; said Dr Xuejiao Hu of & # 39; e Wuhan University in China.
Excessive use of electronic devices can cause them to overheat, which can slow them down, damage their components or even explode or catch fire.
The most high profile of these was the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in 2016, which had to be recalled due to a defect that generated excessive battery heat and burst into flames.
Researchers say their new device, which is yet to be marketed, is the first for both cool appliances and convert waste heat into electricity.
The heat generated by batteries, lights and processors reduces the efficiency, reliability and service life of devices – and wastes energy.
The hydrogel (seen here as a beige strip) attaches to the device's battery. As the hydrogen patch is heated, ions transfer into gel electrons between electrodes, and generate electricity
The hydrogel could often save smartphone users from having to buy new devices regularly, while being more environmentally friendly.
The thermogalvanic hydrogel, which is attached in a device to the battery, changes its structure in response to temperature.
It consists of a framework of polyacrylamide – an organic polymer currently used as a suspending, lubricant, and oil recovery agent – that is infused with water and ions.
As the hydrogen patch warms up, two of the ions – ferricyanide and ferrocyanide – transfer electrons between electrodes, and then generate electricity.
Meanwhile, water evaporates in & # 39; hydrogel, which has a cooling effect on & # 39; a patch.
After use, the hydrogel regenerates itself by absorbing water from the surrounding air.
Excessive use of electronic devices can cause them to get too high, which can slow them down, damage their components or even explode or catch fire
Water in & # 39; hydrogel can even adaptively escape from & # 39; e hydrogel and re-enter through an evaporation and absorption cycle – a temperature-controlled & # 39; thermodynamic & # 39; cycle.
To demonstrate the new material, the researchers hung it on a phone battery during rapid discharge.
Some of the waste heat was converted to 5 microwatts (μW) of electricity around the temperature of & # 39; low battery.
The findings were published in the American Chemical Society Nano Letters journal.
SMARTPHONE BATTERIES CAN EXPLODE BECAUSE THEY GOVERN
Lithium batteries provide the most modern, portable gadgets – from smartphones to laptops and handheld gaming devices.
The batteries are incredibly safe, but they are known to explode if they are defective or overheated.
Rechargeable batteries store an incredible amount of power in a small space, and are designed to release that power for extended periods of time.
A faulty battery may lose its ability to provide controlled power, which does not release this energy at the same time, which can cause an explosion.
Bad batteries fall broadly into three categories.
Some, like the infamous Galaxy Note 7 battery, come with a design flaw which means they can't properly store the charger.
Errors can also be fixed during normal use, for example, if a device is splashed with water or left in the sun for too long.
Counterfeit products are also a common source of battery explosions because they are designed and built on cheap ones – often ignoring safety regulations.
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