Why use thermoelectric energy harvesting technology?

3rd May 2017
Source: Adaptive
Posted By : Lanna Cooper
Why use thermoelectric energy harvesting technology?

 

Adaptive energy harvesting products are now available from Adaptive. Customers can select and purchase high quality thermoelectric energy harvesting devices directly from the UK where the expert team at European Thermodynamics have created a support forum and are on hand to provide product support where needed.

Tibor Toro, Lead Electronics Engineer, said: “The Adaptive range has been developed with design and development engineers in mind. The initial products in the range are an excellent addition to energy harvesting research and development, evaluating standalone or even small grid connected strategies. We are looking forward providing value added support to our customers.”

Why use Thermoelectric energy harvesting technology?
Thermoelectric energy harvesting devices are particularly useful for waste heat harvesting for low power applications. They generate electricity from a temperature difference with no moving parts using the Seebeck effect.

Most energy losses are lost in heat and most heat sources are static. Thermoelectric technology works best where the power output required is up to 70W. This is suitable for sensors and other low power electronics in most types of industrial applications.

European Thermodynamics are leading scientific research into improvements in thermoelectric materials and their power generation and cooling (Peltier) properties.

Benefits of the Adaptive energy harvesting range
Low maintenance: Solid state thermoelectric construction means high reliability with virtually no maintenance required.

High efficiency: High specification products mean that energy is harvested from natural or waste heat sources and converted for use with virtually no loss of energy.

High temperatures: Thermoelectric modules work with max. temp of up to 250°C, the modules can generate up to 4W of power each.

Compact and lightweight: When used with micro-module PCBs the thermoelectric devices are suitable for embedded system applications.

Scaleable applications: Modular design means that the thermoelectrics can be configured to harvest larger amounts of energy when required.

The Adaptive energy harvesting range consists of:

  • Thermoelectric Modules (TEG): These can be used with temperature differences of up to 250°C and generate an output of up to 4.02W each.
  • Energy Harvesting PCBs: These incorporate MPPT technology and high efficiency boost converter to convert heat energy from solar or thermoelectric sources.
  • Micro-M PCBs: Are small form factor energy harvesting PCBs for use in embedded applications.
  • Energy Harvesting Kit: This is a way for engineers and developers to test how thermoelectrics can achieve desired power output from a temperature difference. The kit includes a small form factor solar panel as well as thermoelectric generator module and energy harvesting PCB.

Typical applications
In our increasingly connected world, there is a demand for low power energy generation from natural or waste energy sources.

Thermoelectric components can be used in a wide range of applications, from temperature measurement in hazardous environments to energy recycling in automotive markets.

Automotive
Typical applications for energy harvesting with thermoelectrics include collecting waste heat from automotive exhaust systems to convert into electricity and power wireless communication sensors in the engine management system.

Test and analysis
Battery-free wireless sensor platforms are commissioned for monitoring plant and process parameters in harsh/hazardous environments, for example in industrial and medical environments. The sensor node is powered by harvested thermoelectric power from waste heat and the core sensor module is connected to low power sensor components to take measurements.


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