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Proceedings Paper

Design, fabrication, and testing of energy-harvesting thermoelectric generator
Author(s): Velimir Jovanovic; Saeid Ghamaty
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Paper Abstract

An energy-harvesting thermoelectric generator (TEG) is being developed to provide power for wireless sensors used in health monitoring of Navy machinery. TEGs are solid-state devices that convert heat directly into electricity without any moving parts. In this application, the TEGs utilize the heat transfer between shipboard waste heat sources and the ambient air to generate electricity. In order to satisfy the required small design volume of less than one cubic inch, Hi-Z is using its innovative thin-film Quantum Well (QW) thermoelectric technology that will provide a factor of four increase in efficiency and a large reduction in the device volume over the currently used bulk Bi2Te3 based thermoelectics. QWs are nanostructured multi-layer films. These wireless sensors can be used to detect cracks, corrosion, impact damage, and temperature and vibration excursions as part of the Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) of the Navy ship machinery. The CBM of the ship machinery can be significantly improved by automating the process with the use of self-powered wireless sensors. These power-harvesting TEGs can be used to replace batteries as electrical power sources and to eliminate power cables and data lines. The first QW TEG module was fabricated and initial tests were successful. It is planned to conduct performance tests the entire prototype QW TEG device (consisting of the TEG module, housing, thermal insulation and the heat sink) in a simulated thermal environment of a Navy ship.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 April 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6173, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, 61730G (5 April 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.658843
Show Author Affiliations
Velimir Jovanovic, Hi-Z Technology, Inc. (United States)
Saeid Ghamaty, Hi-Z Technology, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6173:
Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems
Yuji Matsuzaki, Editor(s)

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