Thermalvanic gel cools and charges the batteries simultaneously

A group of scientists from China conducted a successful experiment to test a new material - thermomalvanic gel. It was specially designed to eliminate the vulnerabilities of modern lithium ion batteries, which become very hot during operation. The idea is not just to remove excess heat, but to turn it into electricity immediately.

Nowadays, in order to maintain powerful batteries in electric cars under optimal thermal conditions, they are forced to cool down. That is, first the system uses energy to heat the cell, and then it uses energy to cool it - this is hardly a rational approach. Chinese scientists have developed a hydrogel with a special structure in which, as it heats up, more and more ions are released. They move between two electrodes and generate electric current.

The heat that remains after the electrons start goes to heat the water contained in the hydrogel. Eventually, it evaporates, taking this heat away from the system. But when the heating stops, the hydrogel, on the contrary, starts to absorb moisture from the air until it stabilizes. Scientists still find it difficult to say how the system will behave if it works continuously for a long time - there is a risk that the hydrogel itself will dry out.

During the experiment, a 2 mm thick film was used, which was wrapped around a smartphone battery. Scientists have managed to obtain a temperature drop of 20 degrees and produce 5 microwatts of energy. Of course, the index is low, but the technology is also experimental. Like braking energy recovery systems, it can become an auxiliary module in the general power grid of an electric car.

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