Micropelt has launched a compact thermo-generator package (TGP), which makes thermal energy harvesting ready for mass production. The device allows for automatic assembly of autonomous DC power supplies for ultra-low power wireless sensors and actuators. Battery maintenance, so far preventing wireless monitoring sensor networks from really taking off, can be eliminated by TGP-enabled autonomous DC power modules whenever a temperature difference of 5°C or more is available.
Output power ranges from 100 microwatts to over 10 milliwatts, sufficient to offset most batteries. Micropelt's standardized TGP package comes in two flavours, TGP-651 and TGP-751, both types being fully interchangeable. Output power and cost can thus be matched to target applications and markets without any changes to the PCB design.
At lower gradients, between 10 and 40°C, both devices produce very similar power levels, so the TGP-651 with a 6mm2 TEG is more cost-effective. Though, for very low gradient operation or high power demand a TGP-751, with a footprint of 12mm2 is preferable. The TGP's circular aluminum heat source interface feeds through a 10mm hole of the hosting PCB.
The rectangular cold face carries the electrical contacts for reflow soldering and connects to the heat sink on its outer side. The device's vertical dimensions ensure sufficient clearance for electronic components mounted next to it, underneath the heat sink.
Visit Micropelt at http://www.micropelt.com.
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.