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 Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.
Electric motor power measurement and analysis: Understand the basics to drive greater efficiency; Selecting the right control chart; Linear position sensors gain acceptance
Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.