SEAM-TEG

THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR MODULES FOR SMART ENERGY-AUTONOMOUS MICRONODES


Relevant for Research Area

B - Core Technologies


Summary

The global project goal of SEAM-TEG is the fabrication of an implantable and fully autonomous energy source based on thermoelectric energy harvesting. The system can be implanted into the skull and makes use of the temperature gradient between brain surface and scalp. The concept theoretically provides a perpetual energy source, thereby greatly improving patient comfort and implant reliability. As we have gained considerable experience in housing and system integration we expect a successful system integration of all used components as well as the hermetic housing of our demonstrator. Future perspectives for the project include the collaboration with the SEAM-WiT project and the novel combine project on implementation of this power source into their power management systems, as well as a novel approach for the fabrication of μTEGs, promising much better conversion efficiency compared to the electrochemically produced ones.


Research Status

Within SEAM-TEG ultra-low-voltage step-up converters have been realized to convert low input voltages of body-worn and implanted thermogenerators into usable system voltages for the power supply of neuro implants. Using a novel combination of self-resonant and self-controlled voltage conversion, these electronic devices are capable to self-start from input voltages as low as 10 mV and convert such low voltages up with power efficiences above 30% in a first generation. A second generation of devices, under research at the moment, starts at 5 mV input only and demonstrates power conversion efficiencies up to 70%.

Pelz U, Jaklin J, Rostek R, Thoma F, Kroener M, Woias P (2016) Novel Fabrication Process for Micro Thermoelectric Generators (µTEGs). Journal of Electronic Materials, volume: 45, issue: 3, pp. 1502-7.

Pelz U, Jaklin J, Rostek R, Kroener M, Woias P (2015) Novel Fabrication Process for Micro Thermoelectric Generators (µTEGs). Journal of Physics: Conference Series, volume: 660.

Woias P, Islam M, Heller S, Roth R (2013) A low-voltage boost converter using a forward converter with integrated Meissner oscillator. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, volume: 476.