Powering small electronics like mobile devices off-grid has remained a challenge; hence, there exists a need for an alternate source of powering these devices. This paper examines the efficacy of a novel nanoparticle-immobilized polyethylene wick in maintaining sufficient thermal gradient across a thermoelectric generator to power these devices with energy from waste heat. The work examines several other heat exchangers including heat pipes and loop heat pipe setups. The experimental evidence reveals that the nanoparticle-immobilized polyethylene wick is capable of generating sufficient thermal potential resulting in 5V, which is the minimum voltage required to power small mobile devices. In the opinion of the authors, this is the first ever recorded account of utilizing waste heat to generate enough voltage to power a mobile device. Experiment demonstrated that the nanoparticle-immobilized polyethylene wick showed over 40% thermoelectric voltage generation increment over a plain polyethylene wick and a metal wick in a loop heat pipe setup.

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