Heat is energy that spontaneously passes between a system and its surroundings in some way other than through work or the transfer of matter. When a suitable physical pathway exists, heat flows spontaneously from a hotter to a colder body. The transfer can be by contact between the source and the destination body, as in conduction; or by radiation between remote bodies; or by conduction and radiation through a thick solid wall; or by way of an intermediate fluid body, as in convective circulation; or by a combination of these.

  • Electricity from waste heat made possible by ceramics

    Where conventional materials reach their limits, ceramics can display their excellent properties. Functional ceramics – so-called thermoelectric materials – can convert waste heat directly into electricity, for example, in high-temperature processes. At the Hannover Messe 2016, Europe's largest ceramics research institute presents for the first time a system that demonstrates the reliable functionality of thermoelectric ceramic modules developed at Fraunhofer IKTS. (Hall 6, Booth B16)

  • Hamburger Wissenschaftler entwickeln Nanomaterialien für die Umwandlung von Wärme in Strom

    Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler der Technischen Universität Hamburg (TUHH), des Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG) in Kooperation mit der kanadischen University of Alberta haben ein neuartiges optisches Nanomaterial hergestellt, das es ermöglicht, Wärme direkt in Strahlung und danach mit hoher Effizienz in elektrische Energie umzuwandeln. Das neu entwickelte Nanomaterial soll einen wichtigen Beitrag leisten, moderne Industriegesellschaften auf ressourcenschonenden Energieeinsatz umzustellen. Publiziert wird die Arbeit am 6. Juni 2016 in „Nature Communications“, einer der weltweit wichtigsten Fachzeit-schriften für fachübergreifende, wissenschaftliche Forschungsarbeiten.

  • Improving heating-based components with foam

    Open-cell metal foam can be used in heat exchangers, convectors and coolers.   © Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden

    The energy efficiency of heat exchangers, convectors and cooling elements can be improved even further. Open-pore structures made of metal foam, which have good thermal conductivity and a large surface, offer interesting possibilities here. The BINE Projektinfo brochure entitled "Metal foam – a material for heat engineering" (11/2016) presents the development work for these materials. The aim is to optimise the manufacturing process, reduce costs and test the materials on test rigs. The material properties of the different alloys will be recorded in a database.