The newest technology in the electrical world is somehow……. Salt! Shocking, yet true! All thanks to an assistant professor at Georgia tech named Shannon Yee. Yee is currently working on developing technology that operates with the isothermal expansion of sodium (aka salt) and solar heat to generate energy. He has officially named this technology, NA-TECC which is an acronym that uses the chemical symbol for sodium and the initials of “Thermo Electrical Chemical Converter.” This conversion definitely lives up to its futuristic name.
To break down NA-TECC in the simplest way :
Solar heat generates electricity by thermally enacting a sodium reaction onopposite sides of it’s electrolytes. After that reaction, it produces a positive charge that passes through solids. It’s electrochemical potential is made possible by electrons traveling through an external electrical power. Yee says this new and augmented process improves efficiency and reduces heat leaking out. As Na-TECC goes through trial and error, this energy could be the end of lithium. Our sourcing of lithium is getting more difficult, and salt (sodium) could be a swap for this resource and replace how we look at batteries.
Although it is not all powerful yet, his goal is to reach a heat-to-electricity conversion that is more capable than a car engine. This technology is promising for distributing energy applications.
“A Na-TECC engine could sit inyour backyard and use heat from the sun to power an entire house, it can also be used with other heat sources such as natural gas, biomass, and nuclear power to directly produce electricity without boiling water and spinning turbines.” Yee declares.
Shannon Yee is still in his budding years of research but his journey in sodium is promising for the future’s electrical technology.