We live in a world where we consume more and more energy, which means that we need to find new technologies that generate it. The renewable energy we use at the moment, such as the one coming from the sun and the wind, is still not enough. Another idea would be to use geothermal energy.
The crust of our planet produces heat which produces energy, and if we use special devices to make use of it, we can turn it into usable geothermal energy. Recently Dr. Sachiko Matsushita led a team of scientists at Tokyo Tech into developing and understanding sensitized thermal cells (STCs). These things generate electric power from heats less than 100 degrees Celcius hot.
Even though several methods could be used to convert heat into electric power, their idea can’t be taken into account. Unfortunately, there are no devices at the moment that could handle the heat from the crust of the Earth and also exploit it.
We Can Extract Geothermal Energy From Earth’s Crust
According to the team, dye-sensitized solar cells could be used to turn heat directly into electric power, and they have previously reported how they can do this using STCs.
In addition to that, they also used a semiconductor to replace the dye, and this way the system would no longer use light, but the heat to operate. The STC is represented in the figure 1 illustration, and it shows a battery that its made out of three layers sandwiched between electrodes: a solid electrolyte layer (copper ions), a semiconductor layer (germanium), and an electron transport layer (ETM).
This way the electrons can reach a high-energy state in the semiconductor from a low-energy state because of the excitement they get from the heat and then the transfer to the ETM happens naturally.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.