Challenge: There is a lot of focus on reducing energy and heat waste. Several technologies exist to harvest waste heat from industrial processes, but there is a large production of so-called low-grade heat that is not hot enough to be harvested conventionally. The challenge in this project is to utilise the temperature dependent properties of magnetic materials to harvest waste heat at an economically favourable rate and price.
Idea: The idea in the project is to model and maybe construct a thermomagnetic generator. The principle behind such a device is that the attraction between a magnetic material and a magnet will depend on the temperature of the material. By cycling the temperature this changing attractive force can be used to drive a generator and thus produce electricity. The idea was originally proposed by Tesla in 1889 and developed by other researcher since then. New developments in magnetic materials and the shaping of these has opened up the opportunity to utilise the principle in a real device. In addition, powerful modelling tools developed at DTU Energi allow the optimisation of performance and dimensioning of such a device.
Students’ task: In the project, you will use the modelling tools to identify a possible implementation of a thermomagnetic generator device. If you are interested, it will also be possible to realise a prototype of such a device, either in this project or in a future project.