Together with an industry partner, greenTEG is currently developing thermoelectric generators for the integration into an energy autonomous and smart heating valve. Commonly, heating valves let as much hot water flow into the radiator as is necessary to keep the preset temperature. These heating valves function reliably, but from an energy efficiency perspective often not optimally: as long as nobody turns down the heating valve, for example when leaving on vacation, the temperature stays the same continually. Such efficiency losses could be prevented if the room temperature is regulated by an automatic building management system. Building management systems regulate heating (and other systems) smartly i.e. as a function of the absence/presence of people in a room, outside temperature and other factors. According to studies, 25% of heating energy could be saved without any loss of comfort for inhabitants.
Advantage of Thermoelectric Generators
Compared to a regular heating valve, an automatic heating valve contains two additional elements: a radio receiver, which receives the signal of the building management system and secondly, a motor to regulate the valve. Both the radio receiver and the motor need electricity in order to function. This electricity comes either from a battery, the electricity grid or thermoelectric generators (TEGs). The huge advantage of thermoelectric generators is that they do not need to be replaced like batteries and do not require expensive wiring. TEGs generate the electricity needed for the motor and the radio receiver directly in the valve itself without any emissions.
Thermoelectric generators convert temperature differences directly into electricity. This physical phenomenon is also known as a Seebeck-Effect. greenTEG has developed a novel and highly automated production process which allows competitive prices in large volumes.
Read about Automated Heating Control is an innovation project of the strategic platform Transforming the Built Environment (TBE), where greenTEG is one of a partners of the project
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