Demonstrator built that converts waste heat into electric power

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Compound Semiconductor Technologies Limited (CST) have been developing a thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cell, conceived at Lancaster University, that directly converts waste heat into electric power.

Company profile

Formed in 2000, Compound Semiconductor Technologies Limited (CST) is a Glasgow based semiconductor foundry specialising in III-V fabrication solutions for a wide variety of photonic devices, including single mode and high power lasers, detectors and integrated circuits. They have clients across the globe in telecommunications, industrial, medical, and consumer markets.

www.compoundsemi.co.uk

The challenge

Energy demand is increasing and there is a huge amount of waste heat created during manufacturing, for example in the glass and steel industry, that could be harnessed.

The solution

Compound Semiconductor Technologies Limited (CST) have been developing a thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cell, conceived at Lancaster University, that directly converts waste heat into electric power. Professor Tony Krier, Dr Min Yin, Dr Andrew Marshall, and Dr Qian Zhuang, collaborated with Dr Wyn Meredith, Commercial Director of CST, and developed a small TPV generator system that can power a radio or LED display from a flame or hot object, to demonstrate the technology.

Cost

CST successfully applied for £5000 of seed funding from Lancaster University’s Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) to develop the demonstrator. The IAA is £600,000 funding from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council to finance range of activities designed to foster greater collaboration with industry and bridge the gap between the lab and the marketplace.

Impact

The device could stimulate a valuable new low carbon energy technology which will have a significant impact on the electricity, heat and transport markets.

Benefits

  • Created a technology demonstrator
  • Potential new low carbon technology which could have a significant impact on the electricity, heat and transport markets
  • Potential increased turnover, profit and exports from/of new products & processes

Company feedback

Dr Wyn Meredith, Commercial Director of CST, commented “I was immediately impressed with the commitment of the team led by Professor Tony Krier, and a real understanding of the requirements of industrial led projects.”