Shape memory alloy
General Motors received a grant to pursue development of a technology that creates mechanical energy from a difference in temperature. It could be used to use the waste heat of cars into useful energy, the same way that people envision using thermoelectric chips, which convert heat to electricity. A spring made out of shape memory alloy would stretch or contract based on changes in heat. This machine shows a spring coil, fitted around the wheels, turning the wheels based on a flow of heat coming from the bottom of the enclosure.
March 3, 2011 9:31 AM PST
Photo by: Martin LaMonica/CNET
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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