Could we generate electricity from domestic heaters?

12 February 2012

Question

What about domestic gas boilers? Could we scale down TEGs technology to a domestic level?

Answer

Andrew - Domestic gas boilers, I suspect, would probably not be a particularly good use for thermoelectrics because thermoelectrics are inherently very inefficient at the moment, maybe 5%.

However, if you take something like a wood burning stove, the primary purpose of that is to produce heat in the room and if you covered the surface of the stove with thermo electric material, you could generate a certain amount of electrical energy from the heat transfer through the thermoelectrics. In other words, the primary purpose of the stove is to heat the room and the heat going through the thermoelectrics does that but you can convert a percentage of that into electricity.

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