NanoCaTe (Nano-carbons for versatile power supply modules)
Efficient thermoelectric generators (TEGs) and energy storage devices can be applied as universally employable and maintenance-free power supplies. Combined with sensors they operate in a self-sufficient manner and are highly suitable for tasks such as health monitoring. The interdisciplinary project NanoCaTe focuses its research into the development of such devices. The materials, being researched, are based on nanostructured carbons such as nano tubes and graphenes. When adequately modified and in the right combination they transform waste heat into re-usable electrical energy. Additionally, this material can be applied for energy storage purposes in double-layer capacitors or accumulators.
Furthermore specially printed components for energy conversion and storage are analyzed as they can be easily miniaturized and thus embedded into devices of only a few cm2 sizes.
To substitute currently used batteries by a combination of thermoelectric generators and energy storage systems means less waste, a lower level of maintenance and a longer life time for these devices.