Disciplines

Heat Transfer, Combustion | Other Mechanical Engineering | Power and Energy

Abstract

There is a problem in how modern energy is being distributed throughout the world; less than a quarter of the population have access to energy. Limited energy access is seen in rural areas because of the costs that comes from transporting material and making modern energy resources (solar panels, wind turbines, etc..). Through research on thermoelectric devices, there have been many theories tested in order to improve energy efficiency focusing on easy maneuverable resources. At Boise State’s Advanced Energy Lab, thermoelectric generators are being created and modified which can be used to help communities from rural areas power utilities needed in their daily lives. These generators focus on creating electricity through heat. Many people from these communities depend on fuels such as crop residues, charcoal, and wood to cook their meals. These same fuels can be used to create the heat needed to power the portable generator.

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The Future of Rural Communities

There is a problem in how modern energy is being distributed throughout the world; less than a quarter of the population have access to energy. Limited energy access is seen in rural areas because of the costs that comes from transporting material and making modern energy resources (solar panels, wind turbines, etc..). Through research on thermoelectric devices, there have been many theories tested in order to improve energy efficiency focusing on easy maneuverable resources. At Boise State’s Advanced Energy Lab, thermoelectric generators are being created and modified which can be used to help communities from rural areas power utilities needed in their daily lives. These generators focus on creating electricity through heat. Many people from these communities depend on fuels such as crop residues, charcoal, and wood to cook their meals. These same fuels can be used to create the heat needed to power the portable generator.