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Technical Talk - Andres Rosch

Birck Nanotechnology Center
October 23, 2017
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
BRK 1001


Printed Organic Thermoelectric Generators Cost-effective Energy-Harvesting Solution

Abstract:  Thermoelectric generators convert a temperature difference into electrical energy, however their use as a source for electricity is limited to niche applications due to their high costs compared to e.g. batteries or cable-bound solutions.  With recent improvements in performance of thermoelectric organic materials it is now possible to fully print TEGs in a roll-to-roll process allowing mass production thereby reducing the costs by an order of magnitude.

Here we present an design where thermocouples are printed in a 2D pattern on a thin substrate foil in a roll-to-roll process. With a patented and fully automated folding process this pattern is folded into the third dimension arranging the thermocouples vertically and thereby forming a sugar cube sized generator.  Thermal and electrical properties of the generator can be adapted very easily by altering the print layout. Such mechanically flexible generators can be made fit to nearly any form of heat source such as round heat pipes, heat exchangers. This allows applications ranging from powering wireless energy self-sufficient low-power sensor or actor systems for industrial use up to large scale heat waste recovery.


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