Technical Name Electrical Power by Surrounding Heat
Project Operator Academia Sinica
Project Host 陳洋元
This technology focus on the development of a “Electrical Power by Surrounding Heat " for the potential applications in auxiliary charging of consumer electronics and self-charging for outdoor sensors. In terms of technical highlights, semiconductor manufacturing process is applied to prepare high-density small thermocouples in a thin platform. The device is capable to capture small temperature gradient from human body or ambient heat; however, the voltage generated by small temperature gradient is very limited. To meet practical applications, a boost converter is integrated into the power generation system. In this FUTEX 2020,  we combine the developed “Electrical Power by Surrounding Heat” with a boost converter to make the output voltage reach a regulated voltage of more than 3V at a temperature difference of 15C, solving the threshold required to drive various charging devices and sensing elements.
Scientific Breakthrough
In terms of technological breakthroughs, we applied a tellurium vapor method to make the thermoelectric material of “Electrical Power by Surrounding Heat ” have maximum thermoelectric power factor and extremely low thermal conductivity, and its thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) can be as high as 1 ~ 1.3. At the same time, we have also integrated this “Electrical Power by Surrounding Heat ” into the boost converter, so that the output voltage can reach more than 3V or even a higher regulated voltage, successfully exploiting the advantages of this power generation element with extremely fast and efficient power generation.
Industrial Applicability
Thermoelectric power generation technology has made breakthrough progress in the field of energy harvesting, and is gradually moving towards the goal of permanent power generation. The power generation module developed by this technology will enable the waste heat in the environment to be used more efficiently. Even a small temperature difference can still create a larger application value, which will be beneficial to wearable electronic products and next-generation IoT sensor devices.
Keyword Thermoelectric Electric power Charger Consumer electronics Films Temperature gradient Semiconductor Module Waste heat Energy harvesting
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