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Thermogalvanic Hydrogel for Synchronous Evaporative Cooling and Low-Grade Heat Energy Harvesting

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journal contribution
posted on 22.04.2020, 12:33 by Shirui Pu, Yutian Liao, Kyle Chen, Jia Fu, Songlin Zhang, Lurong Ge, Giorgio Conta, Sofia Bouzarif, Ting Cheng, Xuejiao Hu, Kang Liu, Jun Chen
Efficient heat removal and recovery are two conflicting processes that are difficult to achieve simultaneously. Here, in this work, we pave a new way to achieve this through the use of a smart thermogalvanic hydrogel film, in which the ions and water undergo two separate thermodynamic cycles: thermogalvanic reaction and water-to-vapor phase transition. When the hydrogel is attached to a heat source, it can achieve efficient evaporative cooling while simultaneously converting a portion of the waste heat into electricity. Moreover, the hydrogel can absorb water from the surrounding air to regenerate its water content later on. This reversibility can be finely designed. As an applicative demonstration, the hydrogel film with a thickness of 2 mm was attached to a cell phone battery while operating. It successfully decreased the temperature of the battery by 20 °C and retrieved electricity of 5 μW at the discharging rate of 2.2 C.