Originally posted by John OsmarIt's not exactly a new thing. What he is trying to do is increase the efficiency of existing Peltier effect devices. You can already buy Peltier refrigerators for picnics and such.
Haoran Yang, a scientist associated with The Nature Conservancy, is creating materials to capture and re-use thermoelectric energy. This electricity is generated when heat passes from the hot side of a surface to the cool side, as on an auto exhaust pipe, for instance. This seems to have interesting possibilities in a number of areas.