Engineers created wearable solar thermoelectric generator

Thermoelectric generators

new advanced energy harvesting system

A new advanced energy harvesting system, generate electricity by simply attached to clothes, windows, and outer walls of a building.

The new device based on a temperature difference between the hot and cold sides. The temperature difference can increase as high as 20.9 °C, which is much higher than the typical temperature differences of 1.5 to 4.1 °C of wearable thermoelectric generators driven by body heat.

The wearable solar thermoelectric generator proposes a promising way to further improve the efficiency by raising the temperature difference.

Thermoelectric generators

Energy harvesting is a diverse field encompassing many technologies, which captures small amounts of energy that would be lost as heat, light, sound, vibration, or movement. Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) refer to a device that converts waste heat energy, and body heat into additional electrical power.

It is a great increase in the study of wearable thermoelectric (TE) generators using the temperature difference between the body heat and surrounding environment.

Researchers solved the low temperature difference faced by conventional wearable TEGs introducing a local solar absorber on a PI substrate. The solar absorber is a five-period Ti/MgF2 superlattice, in which the structure and thickness of each layer designed for optimal absorption of sunlight. It increases the temperature difference as high as 20.9 °C, which is the highest value of all wearable TEGs.

Through this study, we have secured a temperature difference with the ten-fold increase from the conventional wearable solar thermoelectric generators, say Yeon Soo Jung in the Graduate School of Materials Science and Engineering at UNIST. Since, the output of a TE generator proportional to the square root of the temperature difference. One can significantly increase the output with the help of this technology.

noble wearable solar thermoelectric generator

In this study, researchers designed a noble wearable solar thermoelectric generator by integrating flexible BiTe-based TE legs and sub-micron thick solar absorbers on a polymide (PI) substrate.

The TE legs prepared by dispenser printing with an ink consisting of mechanically alloyed BiTe based powders and an Sb2Te3-based sintering additive dispersed in glycerol. They report that a W-STEG comprising 10 pairs of p-n legs has an open-circuit voltage of 55.15 mV and an output power of 4.44 μW when exposed to sunlight.

The new wearable STEG useful in various applications, such as in self-powered wearable electronic devices.

More information: [Nano Energy]