Researchers are developing a technique that uses nanotechnology to harvest energy from hot pipes or engine components to potentially recover energy wasted in factories, power plants, and cars.

Researchers have coated glass fibers with a new thermoelectric material they developed. When thermoelectric materials are heated on one side electrons flow to the cooler side, generating an electrical current.

Coated fibers also could be used to create a solid-state cooling technology that does not require compressors and chemical refrigerants. The fibers might be woven into a fabric to make cooling garments.

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Also: Learn more about energy harvesting .