Efficiency and output of thin-film thermoelectric power generators doubles

Powering remote sensors is largest market application for this developing micro power technology.

06/25/2009


Nextreme Thermal Solutions, a supplier of microscale thermal and power management products for the electronics industry, says it has doubled the efficiency and power output of its thin-film thermoelectric power generator. By modifying the thermoelectric epitaxial materials, Nextreme claims it has been able to increase the power conversion efficiency and power output by a factor of two compared with standard thin-film thermoelectric generators operating under the same heat input conditions.
Nextreme's thin-film embedded thermoelectric generator (eTEG) produces

Power efficiency difference between thermoelectric power generators

Chart shows difference in power efficiency between Nextreme's 16um thick epi (which is typical for Nextreme) to a thicker epi of 35um . Both are considered thin films. Source: Nextreme Thermal Solutions.

electricity via the Seebeck effect, where electricity is produced from a temperature differential applied across the device. At 9W of heat input power, the devices produced in this program generated 247mW of output power, equivalent to 2.6% power conversion efficiency.
The concept of generating clean power from waste heat is attracting increased attention worldwide. Current applications that stand out in this arena, both in terms of feasibility and market size, are micro power (e.g., powering remote sensors or other portable applications) and automobile waste heat energy conversion. Remote power is the immediately feasible of the two with current technology; and the market for this technology is sizable. According to Nextreme, sensors represent a total available market of 8 billion units by 2012; while only a portion of this market will benefit from remote power, a reasonable estimate puts the ultimate potential at more than 100 million units per year for this application.

Nextreme eTEC UPF40 Thermoelectric Cooling Evaluation Kit.
Nextreme eTEC UPF40 Thermoelectric Cooling Evaluation Kit is an easy-to-use, self-contained platform for conducting demonstrations of thin-film thermoelectric cooling technology.

This advance is the result of a development program at Nextreme, made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Green Business Fund, to enhance the efficiency of its devices used to convert waste heat into electricity.
See more information on how Nextreme converts waste heat into usable energy .
Read other Control Engineering articles related to power generation from waste heat:

– Edited by David Greenfield , editorial director

Control Engineering Sustainable Engineering News Desk

Register here .





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
System integration: Best practices and technologies to help; Virtualization virtues; Cyber security advice; Motor system efficiency, savings; Product exclusives; Road to Hannover
Collaborative robotics: How to improve safety, return on investment; Industrial Internet of Things, Industrie 4.0: World views; High-performance HMI, Information Integration: OPC and OMG
9 tips: How to integrate a servo system; Process control mathematical models; Serial network grounding; Engineers' Choice Awards; Learn from cyber security mistakes
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.
This article collection contains several articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
click me