Guest Seminar - From Heat to Electricity, From Laboratory to Startup

4:30pm - 6:00pm
Room 4620 (Lift 31‐32)

Low‐grade waste heat is abundantly available in the environment and even in human body, which could be valuable for converting it into electricity. Conversion is however still a great challenge because converting low‐grade heat to electricity is inefficient due to the low temperature differential and the distributed nature of the heat sources. Our team at HKU invented a new electrochemical system named direct thermal charging cell (DTCC) for efficient conversion of low‐grade heat to electricity, surpassing all existing thermoelectric and thermoelectrochemical technologies in low grade heat regime. The system used asymmetric electrodes of graphene oxide (GO)/Pt nanoparticles cathode and polyaniline anode in aqueous Fe2+/Fe3+ redox electrolyte for efficient conversion of low‐grade heat to electricity. Continuous energy conversion is achieved under isothermal heating throughout the charge and discharge process. The system can be self‐regenerated when cooled down, thus allowing device cyclability. This system is the first demonstration of heat‐to‐electricity conversion under isothermal heating and chemical regeneration, which revolutionizes the design of thermoelectrochemical systems. DTCCs have uniqueness and advantages for practical application including a wide operation window, isothermal and continuous charging/discharging operation, low‐cost, bendable, simple system and the ability to form stacks of cells. Through this patented technology, a start‐up, High Performance Solution Ltd. (HPS), was established and supported by the Technology Start‐up Support Scheme for Universities (TSSSU) for 3 consecutive years. HPS was selected to enter the Incu‐Tech 3‐year programme at the Hong Kong Science Park and received its first revenue from the prototypes. By establishing startup and collaborating with industries, the invention has been moved from academic research toward real products in various applications, such as HVAC, smart window and self‐powered/wearable technologies. This new technology is expected to open new horizons for many applications, bringing tangible economic and environmental benefits.  

Event Format
Speakers / Performers:
Prof. Shien Ping FENG
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong

Dr. Shien‐Ping FENG is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). He received his BS, MS, PhD from National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. Before entering academia, he was an engineer and manager at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company from 2001 to 2008 and a deputy director at Tripod Technology Corporation from 2008 to 2009. He was employed as a Postdoctoral Associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2009 to 2011. He joined HKU as an Assistant Professor in October 2011 and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in September 2017.   His research focuses on the development of electrochemical technology for low‐grade heat recovery, solar and indoor light harvesting, and nanomaterial fabrication. Dr. Feng’s research has been well funded by external competitive grants as well as industry from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and USA. He has published 120 journal papers and holds 21 patents. Through his patented technologies, Dr. Feng and his team established two start‐up companies. Dr. Feng received the HKU Research Output Prize and Faculty Knowledge Exchange Award, the Silver Medal Award at the 2nd Asia Exhibition of Inventions, the Gold Medal and Top 10 Best Invention Award at the 5th International Invention Innovation Competition in Canada (iCAN), the Business Start‐up Award and Energy Award at the IChemE Global Awards, the Gold Medal at the 48th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva (2021 Special Edition), and the IAAM Scientist Medal from International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM), Sweden. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng), a Chartered Scientist (CSci), a Fellow (FIMMM) of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, and a Fellow (FRSC) of the Royal Society of Chemistry.  

Recommended For
Faculty and staff
HKUST Family
PG students
UG students
Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
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