POWER GENERATION

Laird’s thin film thermoelectric materials deliver the world’s smallest thermoelectric generator (eTEG) with the highest output power density. Optimized to provide power for high heat fluxes (>20 W/cm²), Laird's eTEG enables convenient conversion of heat to electrical power in a very thin, lightweight form factor. Five to 20 times thinner than conventional bulk thermoelectrics, Laird’s thin-film thermoelectric materials convert waste heat into electrical power using a thin, nanoscale material which positions it to address market opportunities that standard bulk thermoelectric devices and other energy scavenging or energy reclamation systems cannot address.

Useful for waste heat conversion applications, the thin-film eTEG can deliver electrical power generation in energy-limited locations. The eTEG is produced using a scalable, cost-effective manufacturing process, and can be used for applications in markets such as: automotive, government and aerospace, industrial medical and wireless sensor networks.

This device is not much bigger than a piece of confetti. In low-grade thermal environments, the eTEG generates micro-watts of power – enough thermal energy conversion to power remote sensors and other distributed devices.

 

eTEG PG09 POWER GENERATOR

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The eTEG PG09 thermoelectric power generator can convert waste heat from thermal sources into usable electricity as an energy source. The eTEG PG09 has demonstrated output power levels of 16mW at ΔT of 70°C and 45mW at ΔT of 120°C. With modules measuring just 1.8mm x 1.5mm, the eTEG PG09 has corresponding output power densities of ~ 0.6 and 1.6W/cm².

Manufactured using semiconductor fabrication techniques, the eTEG is scalable, cost-effective, and can be utilized in a broad range of markets and applications including automotive, government and aerospace, thermal batteries, medical implants and wireless sensor networks.

At the core of the module is Laird's breakthrough Thermal Copper Pillar Bump, a structure made from thin-film thermoelectric material embedded into flip chip interconnects (in particular, copper pillar solder bumps) used in electronic and optoelectronic packaging. The device generates electricity via the Seebeck Effect, where electricity is produced from a temperature differential applied across the device. The temperature difference (ΔT) between the hot (Th) and the cold (Tc) sources leads to change in the difference of the Fermi energies (ΔEF) yielding a potential difference, which drives a current.

Advantages of the eTEG PG09 thermoelectric power generator for clean energy production include:

  • They are solid-state – there are no moving parts;
  • They contain no consumable materials;
  • They have demonstrated very long operating lifetimes.
  • The eTEG PG09 is RoHS compliant and is available for order now. Pricing is available upon request.
 

 

eTEC-HV14-450x320.jpg 

eTEG_PG09_Power_Generator 

Relative size of the eTEG PG09 Power Generator

 

 

eTEG PG24 POWER GENERATOR

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The eTEG PG24 thermoelectric power generator can convert waste heat from thermal sources into usable electricity as an energy source. The eTEG™ PG24 has demonstrated output power levels of 1.0mW and an open circuit voltage of 170mV at a ΔT of 10K, and 24mW and 850mV respectively at a ΔT of 50K. The module measures just 2.1mm x 2.9mm, and is extremely thin: only 0.6mm high.

Manufactured using semiconductor fabrication techniques, the eTEG is scalable, cost-effective, and can be utilized in a broad range of markets and applications including automotive, government and aerospace, thermal batteries, medical implants and wireless sensor networks.

At the core of the module is Laird's breakthrough Thermal Copper Pillar Bump, a structure made from thin-film thermoelectric material embedded into copper pillar solder bumps used in electronic and optoelectronic packaging. The device generates electricity via the Seebeck Effect, where electricity is produced from a temperature differential applied across the device. The temperature difference (ΔT) between the hot (Th) and the cold (Tc) sources leads to change in the difference of the Fermi energies (ΔEF) yielding a potential difference, which drives a current.

Advantages of the eTEG PG24 thermoelectric power generator for clean energy production include:

  • They are solid-state – there are no moving parts;
  • They contain no consumable materials;
  • They have demonstrated very long operating lifetimes.

The eTEG PG24 is RoHS compliant and is available with 8-10 week delivery lead time. Pricing is available upon request.

 

eTEC-PG24-450x320.jpg 

eTEG PG24 Power Generator 

 

 

eTEG PG37 POWER GENERATOR

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The eTEG HV56 thermoelectric power generator can convert waste heat from thermal sources into usable electricity as an energy source. The eTEG™ PG37 has demonstrated output power levels of 1.5mW at a ΔT of 10K and >36.5mW at a ΔT of 50°C. The module measures just 3.1mm x 3.3mm, and is extremely thin: only 0.6mm high.

Manufactured using semiconductor fabrication techniques, the eTEG is scalable, cost-effective, and can be utilized in a broad range of markets and applications including automotive, government and aerospace, thermal batteries, medical implants and wireless sensor networks.

At the core of the module is Laird's breakthrough Thermal Copper Pillar Bump, a structure made from thin-film thermoelectric material embedded into copper pillar solder bumps used in electronic and optoelectronic packaging. The device generates electricity via the Seebeck Effect, where electricity is produced from a temperature differential applied across the device. The temperature difference (ΔT) between the hot (Th) and the cold (Tc) sources leads to change in the difference of the Fermi energies (ΔEF) yielding a potential difference, which drives a current.

Advantages of the eTEG PG37 thermoelectric power generator for clean energy production include:

  • They are solid-state – there are no moving parts;
  • They contain no consumable materials;
  • They have demonstrated very long operating lifetimes.

The eTEG PG37 is RoHS compliant and is available with 8-10 week delivery lead time. Pricing is available upon request.

 

eTEC-HV56-450x320.jpg 

eTEG PG37 Power Generator 

 

 

 

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THERMOBILITY™ WPG-1 WIRELESS POWER GENERATOR EVALUATION KIT

Download Datasheet | application note  

Thermobility™ is a new power generation technology that uses heat as a source of electricity for low-power wireless applications. Thermobility uses innovative solid-state thin-film thermoelectric technology to convert heat into electricity for a variety of self-contained, autonomous systems.

As the first in a series of wireless power generators, the Thermobility WPG-1 provides a constant voltage output of 3.3, 4.1 or 5.0 Vdc to electrical loads of 15kΩ or higher. The WPG-1 is about the size of a golf ball and consists of a pin-fin heat sink, a custom circuit board, Laird's eTEG™ HV56 thermoelectric power generator module and a metal attachment plate that is applied to the desired heat source. The device incorporates a Linear Technologies LTC®3108 Ultralow Voltage Step-Up Converter and Power Manager chip to provide up to 1 milliwatt of electrical power, and operates at temperature differentials as low as 15-20K relative to ambient. Larger temperature differences can generate significantly more power.

The WPG-1 is designed for ease of use with any flat surface heat source. For simple bench-top testing, the WPG-1 can be placed directly on a laboratory grade hotplate with temperature control. For evaluation with other surfaces, the attachment plate can be mated with either thermal grease for normal horizontal application or double-stick thermal pad for vertical mounting.

The integrated circuit board includes DIP switches for setting the output voltage. Electrical connections can be made using the on-board 2-pin or 6-pin connectors. The 6-pin connector is a Texas Instruments connector that mates to the eZ430 wireless target board, making the WPG-1 an ideal wireless power source for the eZ430 development platform.

Components 

 

 WPG-1 Wireless Power Generator 

Thermobility WPG-1 Wireless Power Generator.   

 

THERMOBILITY™ WIRELESS POWER GENERATION

Thermobility™ is a new power generation technology that uses heat as a source of electricity for low-power wireless applications. Thermobility uses innovative solid-state thin-film thermoelectric technology to convert heat into electricity for a variety of self-contained, autonomous systems.

Thermobility™ uses differences in temperature to enable “wireless power” anywhere there is an adequate heat source and eliminates the need to use traditional wired power sources or replaceable batteries. When paired with wireless transmitters, the Thermobility solution can provide electric power for decades of maintenance-free operation, thus expanding the possibilities for new wireless sensor applications in industrial control, transportation, automotive and building management.

Advances in distributed sensors and sensor networks have led to an increased interest in the use of renewable power sources to replace or augment existing power systems. The use of heat is an attractive source of energy for many low-power sensor applications.

As the first in a series of wireless power generators, the Thermobility WPG-1 provides a constant voltage output of 3.3, 4.1 or 5.0 Vdc to electrical loads of 15kO or higher.

In the future, Laird plans to extend the Thermobility platform with additional features, including integrated energy storage for applications with variable heat sources. The design is flexible and can be customized for a variety of wireless power applications.

Nextreme_Thermobility_WPG-1 


PLUMBING

Laird is actively applying Thermobility energy harvesting in the development of plumbing subsystems. Water in plumbing fixtures provides an excellent source of thermal energy for a variety of "green plumbing" applications.

Thermal energy from water supply lines under a sink and during flush valve operations can be converted to electricity as a source of power for LED status indicators, hands-free faucets, soap dispenser solenoids, and wireless transmitters for data acquisition applications. Harvested power can help reduce the size of batteries or eliminate them entirely depending on the application.

In addition, these subsystems can store energy and provide on-demand power while reducing the total cost of ownership by eliminating the prohibitive cost of battery replacement.

The plumbing subsystems are the latest additions to Laird's Thermobility™ energy harvesting platform that uses thin-film thermoelectric technology to convert available thermal energy into electric power for a variety of autonomous self-powered applications. Thermobility uses differences in temperature to enable power anywhere there is an adequate heat source and eliminates the need to use traditional wired power sources or replaceable batteries. When paired with wireless transmitters, the Thermobility solution can provide electric power for years of maintenance-free operation, thus expanding the possibilities for new wireless sensor applications in plumbing, industrial control, transportation, automotive and building management.

Click to download plumbing technical specifications sheet >>

Laird engineering services can help customers develop higher-performing systems more rapidly and ultimately at a lower cost. Learn more about our services >>

 Nextreme_Energy_%20Harvesting_Plumbing_Subsystem_Drain_Clamp_254.jpg 

GAS SENSOR

Gas sensors are devices that detect the presence of various gases within an area, usually as part of a system to warn about gasses which might be harmful to humans or animals. Gas sensors can be used to detect combustible, toxic, and exygen and CO2 gases.  This device may be used in firefighting

For gas sensor applications with a constant heat cource, the power output of the TEG needs to match or exceed the power input requirements of the sensor. I the head source is variable, the TEG can be used to trickle charge a battery that powers the gas sensor directly.

 gas sensor 

LED POWER

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are based on the semiconductor diode. When the diode is forward biased (switched on), electrons are able to recombine with holes and energy is released in the form of light. This effect is called electroluminescence and the color of the light is determined by the energy gap of the semiconductor. The LED is usually small in area (less than 1 mm2). Applications of LEDs are diverse. They are used as low-energy and also for replacements for traditional light sources in well-established applications such as indicators and automotive lighting.

For LED applications with a constant heat source, the power output of the TEG needs to match or exceed the power input requirements of the sensor. If the heat source is variable, the TEG can be used to trickle charge a battery that powers the LED directly.

  led-power.jpg 

TRICKLE CHARGING

Trickle charging or float charging, means charging a battery at a similar rate as to its self-discharging, thus maintaining a full capacity battery. Most rechargeable batteries, particularly nickel-cadmium batteries or nickel metal hydride batteries have a moderate rate of self-discharge, meaning they gradually lose their charge even if they are not used in a device. Care must be taken, however, that if a battery regulator is not employed, the charge rate is not greater than the level of self-discharge, or overcharging and possible damage or leakage may occur.

Thermoelectric generators may be used as a power source for charging batteries depending of the load requirements of the application and stability of the heat source.

 

battery-trickle-charg.jpg 


ENERGY HARVESTING

The efficiency of power generation is increasingly important across all market segments. As energy costs continue to skyrocket, system efficiency is becoming an increasingly important attribute. Extracting waste heat from a system and converting some percentage of that heat into usable energy is one way in which system efficiency can be improved.

Energy harvesting, or energy scavenging, is the process whereby a portion of energy is removed, captured and stored from an existing source of unused but available energy. The use of thermoelectrics, in which a temperature difference creates an electric potential, can convert waste heat from thermal sources into usable electricity. For example, the heat from an exhaust stack at a manufacturing facility can provide power for devices such as wireless sensors used for chemical analysis of the smoke stack effluent. Heat produced during combustion in an automobile engine can be harvested to charge the battery. Harvesting thermal energy can improve the overall efficiency of existing combustion-based devices such as gasoline-powered automobiles or in the future, hydrogen burning fuel cells.

The applications that stand out, 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.

 

energy-harvesting-engine2.jpg 

 


WIRELESS SENSORS

Wireless sensors nodes are devices that measure a response to a change in a physical condition like temperature and pressure. The applications for wireless sensors are many and varied and include habitat monitoring, object tracking, nuclear reactor control, fire detection, and traffic monitoring. In a typical application, a wireless sensor network is scattered in a region where it is meant to collect data through its sensor nodes.

Wireless sensors are typically equipped with a radio transceiver, a small microcontroller, and an energy source, usually a battery. For wireless sensor applications with a constant heat source, the power output of the TEG needs to match or exceed the power input requirements of the sensor. If the heat source is variable, the TEG can be used to trickle charge a battery that powers the sensor directly.

 

wireless-sensor.jpg 

 


Contact us for evaluation, analysis, prototype, test, verification or production assistance, or call us at +1 919-597-7300.

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