Linear thermomagnetic energy harvester for low-grade thermal energy harvesting

Ravi Anant Kishore, Deepa Singh, Rammohan Sriramdas, Anthony Jon Garcia, Mohan Sanghadasa, Shashank Priya

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23 Scopus citations


Low-grade thermal energy, either from waste heat or from natural resources, constitutes an enormous energy reserve that remains to be fully harvested. Harvesting low-grade heat is challenging because of the low Carnot efficiency. Among various thermal energy harvesting mechanisms available for capturing low-grade heat (temperature less than 100 °C), the thermomagnetic effect has been found to be quite promising. In this study, we demonstrate a scalable thermomagnetic energy harvester architecture that exhibits 140% higher power density compared to the previously published spring-mass designs. The alternating force required to oscillate the thermomagnetic mass is generated through the interaction between two magnetic forces in opposite directions. We employed numerical modeling to illustrate the behavior of a thermomagnetic device under different operating conditions and to obtain the optimal hot-side and cold-side temperatures for continuous mode operations. A miniaturized thermomagnetic harvester was fabricated and experiments were conducted to systematically evaluate the performance. The prototype was found to exhibit an oscillation frequency of 0.33 Hz, a work output of 0.6 J/kg/cycle, and a power density of 0.2 W/kg of gadolinium under the temperature difference of 60 K.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044501
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 31 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
R.A.K. acknowledges the financial support from the ICTAS Doctoral Scholars Program and the Army SBIR Program. D.S. acknowledges the support from the DARPA MATRIX Program. R.S. and A.J.G. are thankful to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for supporting their work through I/UCRC: Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems (CEHMS). S.P. acknowledges the support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Author(s).


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