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Miniature thermoelectric power generator delivers up to 1.5 mW from a 10K temperature gradient

November 11, 2010 | Julien Happich | 222901772
Miniature thermoelectric power generator delivers up to 1.5 mW from a 10K temperature gradient Nextreme Thermal Solutions announced the eTEG HV56 thermoelectric power generator, the next entry in the high-voltage (HV) series of clean energy generators based on thin-film thermoelectrics, that operates at temperature differentials as low as 10 degrees K. When combined with batteries and energy cells, the HV56 offers a steady-state energy solution for a variety of self-powered applications in the wireless sensor, automotive, aerospace, industrial and medical device markets.

The HV56 is capable of producing 1.5mW of output power and an open circuit voltage of 0.25V at a 10K gradient in a footprint of only 11mm2.  At a 50K temperature gradient, the HV56 produces 36.5mW of power and an open circuit voltage of 1.25V. The module is extremely thin: only 0.6mm high, and can be configured electrically in series to produce higher voltage and power outputs.

The use of thermoelectric power generators (TEGs), in which a temperature difference creates an electrical potential, can convert waste heat from thermal sources into electricity for an alternative source of energy. In reality, most heat sources come and go and the actual temperature difference depends on several factors such as the time of day, wind speed and heat output, among other variables.

Trickle charging energy storage devices using an HV56 power generator offers an ideal solution to provide steady-state energy from variable heat sources.
The eTEG HV56 is RoHS-compliant and manufactured using eutectic gold-tin (AuSn) solder, which enables assembly temperatures as high as 320°C.  The module is available with an 8 to 10 week delivery lead time.

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