Tag Archives: thermoelectric

3A Thermoelectric Cooler (TEC) Driver

3A TEC Driver Module is a complete power stage solution to drive Thermoelectric Cooler (TEC). The required DC voltage input controls the output current. It consists of the Texas instruments DRV593 power driver IC, along with a few discrete passive components required for operation. It also includes jumpers for configuring the features of the device, LEDs for fault monitoring, and an output filter. The 4 Pin header connector  for the inputs, 4 pin header connector for  output, and 4 Pin header connector for power supply, provide ease of connection to any system, from an existing design to a bread-boarded prototype. Connect a dc control voltage to CN1 Pin 3 (IN+), ranging from ground to VCC. The Pin 7 of the IC is held to VCC/2 with a resistor voltage divider, as shown in the schematic. Therefore, a dc control voltage of VCC/2 provides 0-V output from PWM to H/C. Input DC voltage range is 1.2V to 3.8V when supply voltage is 5V and 1.2V to 2.1V when supply voltage is 3.3V.

Features

  • 3A Maximum Output Current
  • Low Supply Voltage 2.8V To 5.5V
  • Frequency 500 KHz (Refer to Note To change Frequency)
  • High Efficiency Generates Less Heat
  • Over Current and Thermal Protection
  • Fault LED for Over Current, Thermal & Under Voltage Conditions
  • When J3-Jumper is closed, the board is configured for 500-kHz operation.

3A Thermoelectric Cooler (TEC) Driver – [Link]

Body Heat Provides Wearables With Eternal Power

The first watch to make use of the body’s natural heat to uphold battery charge in wearables is now even being crowdfunded on Indiegogo. Who else but researchers from Texas A&M University (a hot place) came up with the solution.


In today’s wearables battery life is a bottleneck, as increasing amounts of technology gets packed into lightweight designs comfortable enough for everyday wear. That’s why Texas A&M professor Choongho Yu and his PhD student, Suk Lae Kim, designed a thermally-chargeable solid-state supercapacitor.

Despite having no apparent links with the researchers, a smartwatch which uses the same thermoelectric concept has arrived on Indiegogo seeking crowdfunding. The MATRIX PowerWatch claims to be the world’s first smartwatch that you never have to charge.

Thermoelectric technology converting heat to electric power is based on the Seebeck effect discovered in 1821. In the absence of an applied voltage gradient, an electric current can still be generated if there is a temperature gradient. A thermoelectric material must have a low thermal conductivity and high electrical conductivity to function efficiently.

PowerWatch runs off your body heat and when you take it off, your data is stored in memory and it goes to sleep. When you put it back on, the watch resumes where you left it. It’s got a power meter that tells you how much electricity your body heat is producing.

The standard Indiegogo pricing is $139, the crowdfunding page is here. On January 14, 2017 the product  was 937% funded.

Source: Elektor

New Thermoelectric Paint To Convert Heat Into Electricity

Scientists at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology have developed a thermoelectric coating that can be directly painted onto any surface to turn it into thermal generator. This new technique can be used to convert waste heat into electricity from objects of almost any shape.

The team created an inorganic thermoelectric paint that possesses liquid-like properties using Bi2Te3 (bismuth telluride) and Sb2Te3 (antimony telluride) particles. These newly developed materials are both shape-engineerable and geometrically compatible so they can be directly brush-painted on almost any surface.

To test the new materials results, the researchers painted alternate p-type and n-type layers of the thermoelectric semiconductor paint on a metal dome, which generates about 4 mW output power per square centimeter.

Compared with some flexible thermoelectric generators, such as KAIST’s wearable device and Northwestern University’s thermoelectric material, the generated power of UNIST materials is just 10% of others, but the most important advantage is that it can be applied on any surface with just a paintbrush.

“By developing integral thermoelectric modules through painting process, we have overcome limitations of flat thermoelectric modules and are able to collect heat energy more efficiently.” said Professor Son of UNIST. “Thermoelectric generation systems can be developed as whatever types user want and cost from manufacturing systems can also be greatly reduced by conserving materials and simplifying processes.”

The UNIST researchers aim to see their invention as a renewable energy source, which will be possible to convert heat and cold to electricity by simply painting the external surfaces of buildings, on roofs, and on the exterior of cars, and open the way to many other materials and devices easily transferred to many other voltage-generation applications.

Comparison of power generation between the conventional planar-structured TE generator and the painted TE generator on a curved heat source.

“Our thermoelectric material can be applied any heat source regardless of its shape, type and size.” said Professor Son. “It will place itself as a new type of new and renewable energy generating system.”

To know more about the results and other information of this research, read its paper in the journal Nature Communications.

Sources: New Atlas, UNIST