Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting
This technology is available for licensing, commercialization, and/or development partnership.
For technical details, please contact Karen Shore (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Harvesting heat from the human body is a promising approach to realizing self-powered wearables that run continuously without the need to charge or replace the batteries. Thermoelectric generators (TEG) placed on the body can convert the small temperature difference between the body and the ambient to electricity. Flexible TEGs can also provide electricity in industrial settings and many other situations where excess thermal energy is available.
ASSIST’s flexible TEGs conform to, and maintain contact with, curved surfaces even during bending or stretching, overcoming an important limitation of rigid TEGs.
ASSIST has developed its flexible thermoelectric generator technology by encasing the semiconductor elements in a silicone elastomer. In these devices, low-resistivity, stretchable, self-healing liquid metal interconnects are used to connect the elements electrically in series. The flexible package incorporates novel elastomers with optimized thermal conductivities to maximize the power output of the TEG. ASSIST’s flexible thermoelectric generators provide the highest power levels reported to date for flexible TEGs. Exact harvested power levels depend on TEG size, temperatures, and air movement.
Manufacturing processes that are compatible with roll-to-roll and spray deposition processes have been developed. The flexible TEG construction and manufacturing methods are protected by patent US10431726B2.