18 May 2009 Thermoelectric thin film power generators: self-sustaining power supply for smart systems
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Abstract
Micropelt develops and markets the world's smallest thermoelectric power generation devices. Due to the silicon-wafer based MEMS-like production process elements with a total thickness of 1 mm and a footprint from less than 1 mm² to 25 mm2 can be realized. The fabrication process is based on standard semiconductor equipment and processes. Therefore ramp-up schemes and economies-of-scale close to those of common chip devices apply to Micropelt products. Micropelt thermogenerators produce much higher output voltages than conventional bulk devices which is due to the fact that their micro-structuring technology produces near 8000 p-n thermo-couples per square centimeter, while conventional thermogenerators typically have less than 10 such thermo-couples on the same area. Consequently Micropelt generators are well suited as the core of an integrated power supply for energy-autonomous miniaturized smart systems with average power consumptions of a few Milliwatts. Micropelt Engineering has proven readiness of their devices for use in a multitude of wireless sensor and micro systems, including smart actuators In this paper we will first introduce the Micropelt technology and further discuss energy harvesting opportunities for novel low power devices and wireless applications based on given waste heat reservoirs.
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Joachim Nurnus, Joachim Nurnus, } "Thermoelectric thin film power generators: self-sustaining power supply for smart systems", Proc. SPIE 7362, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS IV, 736205 (18 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.821606; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.821606
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