Will Thermoelectric Servers Power Greener Data Centers?

August 17, 2010 source:Gigaom

Most of the recent research into thermoelectrics has centered around using nanotechnology to design thermoelectric materials that conduct electricity but not heat. In March, researchers at Boston College and MIT announced that they had achieved a major thermoelectric efficiency increase in bismuth telluride by breaking it down and “rebuilding it in a composite of nanostructures in bulk form,” according to Boston College physicist Zhifeng Ren.

Other startups appear to be pursuing similar nanotechnology routes to more efficient thermoelectric devices. In May, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory spin-out Alphabet Energy landed a seed round of $1 million from Claremont Creek Ventures and the CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund to work on its thermoelectric materials, which it claims will be 50 times cheaper than existing materials, bringing its power generating costs to around $1 per watt. …