Energy Generation Using Thermoelectric Power Generator (TEPG) from the Living Body
Issue: 2016 - Volume 11 [Issue 3]
A. R. M. Siddique *
School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada
S. H. Majid
Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
In this paper, a general idea about wearable thermoelectric generator from the body heat has been discussed. First, a thermoelectric generator, which is usually used for industrial purposes (Tellurex-G2-40-0329 series), was used for lab experiment to observe the output results at the low-temperature difference (i.e., ΔT=6-18 K). At this temperature range, the power output was approximately 0.0192-0.35 µW which was very low for practical use. Different configurations of TEG (single, double, single TEG with fin, etc.) were used to find out the best one, which could generate maximum power. It is found that a single thermoelectric generator with a fin can harvest a maximum power output of around 2.5 µW. A list of low temperature-based, thermoelectric n-type and p-type materials was presented. n-type 75% Bi2Te3, 25% Bi2Se3 and p-type 25% Bi2Te3 0.75% Sb2Te3 (1.75%Se) were used for numerical and finite element analysis for wearable thermoelectric generator. A maximum of 6.5 µW power can be harvested from body heat when body temperature is 37°C and the ambient temperature is considered as 25°C (ΔT =12 K) for this thermoelectric element. Maple, FlexPDE, and SolidWorks were used for numerical analysis and finite element analysis (FEA).
Keywords: Thermoelectric generator, wearable TEG, seebeck effect, figure of merit, thermal resistance