Thermoelectric energy harvester technology developers have had their hands full: they have identified multiple applications from industrial, to automotive, to portable/wearable devices, and are looking to find the perfect balance between power output, operational temperature, cost at volume production, some of the most important considerations when looking to develop a thermoelectric energy harvester. With the market set to reach over a billion dollars by 2026 - as described in detail in the IDTechEx report "Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting 2016-2026 Technologies, Devices & Applications for Thermoelectric Generators" www.IDTechEx.com/thermo - here are some of the approaches that are currently aiming at finally being integrated into products, which will be discussed at the upcoming IDTechEx Show! in Berlin, Germany on 10-11 May: www.EnergyHarvestingEurope.com
RGS Development and TEGnology
RGS Development is a silicon technology company in the main, specialized in low cost and scalable solutions for high tech materials, with thermoelectric generation being one of the target markets. The Thermagy™ is looking to tap into applications for thermoelectric conversion at an industrial scale: High power harvesting at its finest, with a typical panel generating 1.5kW-2.5kW/m2 when exposed to a heat source of 700-1200°C.
TEGnology's founder, Flemming Bjørn Hansen, has succeeded in developing not one but two new solutions exploiting waste heat energy recovery efficiently, in collaboration with the Center for Energy Materials at Aarhus University: one is aimed at WSN battery elimination applications while a second, higher temperature solution is designed for industrial / automotive uses.
Both these companies will be presenting in the thermoelectric session on 11 May in Berlin.
Printed thermoelectrics - Otego
While material scientists in thermoelectrics traditionally focus on improving the figure of merit (ZT), for the production of a working TE-Module many more factors come into play. This is especially true for organic thermoelectrics, where traditional module assembly methods cannot be applied. However, organic materials allow for extremely cost-effective production methods like printing. In order to make use of these new production techniques, the thermoelectric materials need to fulfill particular requirements, which research has not taken into account yet. We will show an innovative interplay of material design and production technology on the basis of roll-to-roll printed organic TEGs manufactured by Otego (Figure 1).
From an application point of view, more, or at least equally important parameters in comparison to ZT are 1) processability from solution, 2) air stability, 3) cost and 4) scalability. To prove this point, Otego is developing a roll-to-roll printed, sugar-cubed shaped thermoelectric generator.
Figure 1: The interplay of a printable organic semiconductor and a scalable production method allows for the production of cost-effective TEGs.
To hear from innovators like Otego, RGS and TEGnology ApS, get insight from the Tyndall Institute from a material modelling perspective and to understand why IDTechEx is forecasting a speedier adoption trend starting to take shape, attend this year's Europe installment of the Energy Harvesting event at the IDTechEx Show!, being held in Berlin, Germany on the 10 - 11 May 2017. For more information and details on confirmed exhibitors, speakers, and collocated events, visit www.IDTechExShow.com