Heat is often lost unused in industry, commerce and households and is considered a waste product — while there is a lot of energy potential in waste heat. As part of the project “Theasmart”, scientists and companies are exploring just these potentials to find out how the waste product heat can be used for further purposes through the use of an innovative smart materials technology. The goal of the project is the further qualification of shape memory alloys with special focus on thin hysteresis applications for energy harvesting. In certain applications, these metals can be used as a thermal drive, for example for thermal valves or as thermal air flow regulators. Energy efficiency in processes in industrial companies or households could be improved by their use of waste heat. By 2020, the development of thermally driven generators, so-called “energy harvesters”, and the identification of other areas of application is planned. This publication focuses on first steps towards a process tool which can be actuated by waste heat of a thermal annealing sub-process directly, or used as mechanical energy charging device combined with a releasing mechanism.

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