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The truth about thermoelectrics

Among the many technologies contending for a role in the future energy mix, thermoelectricity is one area where researchers have hoped that a big breakthrough in technology could reap equally large benefits in improving energy efficiency. Up until this point thermoelectric technologies, which use materials to draw electricity from heat, haven’t been widely applied to electricity generation owing to their high cost and inefficiency. But changing the materials and their properties could — in theory at least — make a wide range of products more energy-efficient at a lower cost. Last year the field made some important gains and seemed 


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