Good Introduction here, I suppose Anne R will now have to set up a series of articles in Design News for the subject(s) ... it deserves more research ... will spend a little time this week doing more ...
a bit different from TEG, there is something called "thermionic" which does not rely on thermal difference, i believe, although it needs higher temperature. i belive that Thomas Edison observed this thermionic effect. is it used anywhere, Paul?
Regarding slide 15, note that deltaT simply drives the heat flux, and is much easier to measure. The heat flux is used in the energy conversion, that's why Rteg (thermal) should match Rsink (thermal). If you maximize Rteg, you minimize heat flux.
@AlaskaMan and rruther - thanks for the 'great white north' application info -- perhaps in Alaska you can find heating applications that you can use to get the large temperature gradients needed for TEG
Paul, I'm unclear about the way piezo devices perform. Is the voltage produced a function of the strain only, and independent of the rate? Also, in slides 9 and 10, the power curves show lower frequencies generating higher power. That seems backwards.
Perhaps I did not understand, or missed something. On slide 23. If heat sourse is on bottom, and we want to keep the cool side cool, shouldn't "Acceptpable orientation" really be the idea? Why does the pink and purple side have to both face the heat source?
I've learned that some TEG series are better for power generation than 'regular' cooling TEG devices. Those meant for power generation are sealed to keep condensation out and have a max differential temperature. This may be worth bringing up so people don't take the first TEG they find and hope to have good results.
The Alaska Railroad from Fairbanks to Anchorage uses photocells & batteries to control rail crossings. They probably need a boost from a vehicle during the sub-arctic winter months. No commercial power for most of one hundred miles with spotless performance.
From a Cultural Anthropologists' viewpoint, what is your opinion on Energy Harvesting in particular, but perhaps more broadly, energy (and resource) utilization in general (OK, OK, the topic of a thesis I suppose) :)
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Yesterday the LTC3105 (day 2, slide 10) was introduced.
TI seems to have a comparable part, the BQ25504. The DigiKey website says:
Texas Instruments' bq25504 is the first of a new family of intelligent integrated energy harvesting nano-power management solutions that are well suited for meeting the special needs of ultra-low power applications. The product is specifically designed to efficiently acquire and manage the µW to mW of power generated from a variety of DC sources such as photovoltaic or thermal electric generators.
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From design feasibility, to development, to production, having the right information to make good decisions can ultimately keep a product from failing validation. The key is highly focused information that doesnt come from conventional, statistics-based tests but from accelerated stress testing.
Theres a good chance that a few of the things mentioned here won't fully come to fruition in 2015 but rather much later down the line. However, as Malcolm X once said, "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."
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