Fast food heat produces electric energy
A group of Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) students designed a micro generator to provide electricity to outdoor vendors by using the heat produced by fast food cooking.Manizales, 15 de diciembre de 2016 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
The device works with an aluminum rod capable of collecting heat and transporting it through an internal water system to a Peltier cell which works with the Seebeck effect, (temperature difference between two dissimilar electrical conductors or semiconductors produces a voltage difference among two substances.)
“This cell has nickel and copper connected to a polystyrene cooler full of ice which cools a part while the other is heated, in other words, the system shares electrons,” explained UNal-Manizales Electric and Electronic Engineering undergraduate Wilson Gualteros, along with fellow students Juan Esteban Guarín and Luisa Fernanda Morales.
The plate is capable of producing one volt in both terminals which passed through an inverter which turns it into alternating current that is boosted into 12 volts, feeding a small street vendor fast food cart.
“The power output will be connected to a load in each cart producing light and complete independence for every food stand,” said the students.
The students say that the idea of designing an independent electric feeding system for different types of fast food carts emerged from the current issue of having unsafe electric lighting connections.
For this they drew upon an innovative proposal thinking on a solution within the same food cart, taking advantage of an unseen input, such as the heat produced by combustion.
“We analyzed the properties of each type of food stand to determine if they had elements which could be used to obtain our objective. When we saw that we could use the heat from this energy loss we built a system based on the Seebeck effect,” said the students.
After the group assembled a voltage increasing electronic circuit which amplifies voltage and guaranteeing food stands a basic lighting system to comply with the daily need.
“This device is totally innovative, as we are unaware of any device of this sort, at least in Colombia,” they said.
The students showcased their project during the final submittal of a Project Management course held at the La Nubia campus in Manizales.
Besides providing a lighting solution, the prototype could help eradicate pirate electric connections which cause penalties and fines that impact the electric grid, and produce accidents among other situations.(Por: End/