MIT Technology Review brings to attention Alphabet Energy, a company producing industrial-sized generators that work off waste heat to produce electricity. The generator is able to do this thanks to a "highly efficient thermoelectric material discovered recently at the University of Michigan."
Matt Scullin, the CEO of Alphabet Energy, the startup that developed the new device, says connecting it to the exhaust pipe of a 1,000-kilowatt generator will yield enough electricity to save 52,500 liters of diesel fuel a year, for a reduction of about 2.5 percent. For smaller engines, the savings would be slightly higher, Scullin says.
The first customers will probably be oil, gas, and mining companies that use large generators to produce power in remote areas. The generator could save those companies millions in fuel, Scullin says. “There aren’t many levers these companies can pull to reduce costs that much,” he adds.
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