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Converting heat into electrical energy

  1. Aug 27, 2015 #1

    I have a science project to make and i have an idea but i am not so sure about it, the idea is to convert thermal energy into electrical energy which will run a small engine.

    I want to put that device in a cooking pan and that heat will be converted into electrical energy which will run a small engine that will mix the liquids in the cooking pan. I did some research about converting thermal energy into electrical energy and i did understand the basics "maybe", since there are many words i didn't understand, i am still in grade 11.

    This is a drawing of what i understood so far :-

    https://physicsforums-bernhardtmediall.netdna-ssl.com/data/attachments/70/70927-c5b66fd0d41a6502db5ef1ce5ebae3f2.jpg [Broken]

    well, i don't know if that sketch could produce electricity, but if it does, how can i increase the amount of the electricity that this converter produce, is it by increasing the number of copper/iron wires?, and/or is it by increasing the heat?

    the thing i have read is that if we connected the iron wire into different tides of a battery one will heat up and one will be cold, i don't know why, but if that was true, should i heat one iron wire only? i know that the heat would transfer and try to be equal between copper/iron wires.

    my final question is, is this converter gives a fair amount of electricity, or should i give up or use another kind of converter?.


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    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric#Thermoelectric_generators. Is one place to start.

    It can be done and it has been done, but it is probably much more difficult than you imagine. I suspect that you have a better chance of making a self stirring pot using the water circulating currents and some kind of a propeller.

    I went to youtube.com and did searches for "self stirring pot", "thermoelectric generator" and "thermoelectric stirrer". All those searches returned dozens of hits.

    Good luck.
  4. Aug 27, 2015 #3
    thank you so much, actually i found youtube is more friendly and i have learned quite new things through it, at least that was faster than google, thank you so much for your reply :)
  5. Aug 27, 2015 #4
    heat into electricity is what all coal-fired and nuclear-powered power stations do.
    Functionally though, they still require a temperature Gradient. a difference between somthing Hot and Cold. I.e. a hot thing and a cold resivoir.

    thermoelectrics and peltier coolers do the same thing but are solid state and much smaller scale.
    you can buy a peltier cooler for $4 on amazon.
  6. Aug 29, 2015 #5

    jim hardy

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