Recent studies from the Copenhagen Institute of Technology have been working on a project to help turn excess heat into a way of powering gadgets.
It might sound crazy at first, but the Heat Harvest project is serious business and is being sponsored by furniture giant Ikea.
The technical name for what they are dealing with is thermoelectric power. This is a wide-ranging term but the work being carried out in Denmark refers to how we can recover heat this is lost on a daily basis and use it wisely.
They are carrying out their work in the Studio10 lab and one example they have given of the subject is that laptop computers usually consume about 40 watts of electricity. However, the heat that is generated by the laptop is then lost. With their project, the idea is that the heat that would normally be lost is captured.
Furniture with a Special Pad
In theory, this could mean that you have a piece of furniture with a special pad on it. As you produce excess heat from your laptop, food or steaming cup of tea it would be moved on to a thermoelectric generator. From there, it would be used to power your gadgets.
In fact, it could be possible for your device to power itself in this way. However, the big issue has traditionally been about finding the perfect material to conduct the heat and the electricity.
Sergey Komardenkov is one of the students taking part in the Heat Harvest project. He said that the latest advances in nanotech making harvesting energy from a more efficient option now than ever before.
Does this sound like a way of powering gadgets you would like to try?