Saturday, March 16, 2013
Panasonic Testing Tubes That Create Power From Waste Heat
OSAKA (Nikkei)--Panasonic Corp. (6752) said Friday that it has begun an operational test for thermoelectric tubes to generate clean electricity from waste heat.
The company is conducting the test at a Kyoto waste-processing plant, feeding water warmed by heat from an incinerator into its innovative power-generating tubes.
- Electricity-generating tubes.
Each tube, measuring 1.4cm in diameter, consists of a thermoelectric material and metal components. It can produce electricity by capturing the temperature difference between the hot water fed into it and cooling water running around it.
A 1 cu. meter thermoelectric system is capable of generating 400 watts, double the capacity of a solar power system of identical size, according to the firm. This means that harnessing just 1% of the waste heat from an incinerator throughout the year can deliver the same power output as one megasolar farm.
Panasonic aims to study the system's efficiency and durability, with an eye toward commercializing it in fiscal 2018.
Waste heat at 200 C or lower from factories has not been used effectively to date, and the company says widespread use of its tubes can produce large amounts of power by tapping this overlooked energy source.
"We want to commercialize the technology as soon as possible so that we can contribute to the creation of a sustainable society," Managing Director Yoshiyuki Miyabe said at a news conference in Kyoto on Friday.
(The Nikkei, March 16 morning edition)