New Industry Products

Low-Cost Thermoelectric Substitute for Batteries

January 11, 2017 by Jeff Shepard

TEGnology, a Danish company, has claimed a game changer in heat recovery. The method is thermoelectric energy harvesting and the secret is in the material. Newly developed, it opens the door to high volume applications not possible before. As a result, TEGnology has launched the FLIPTEM 36 as a replacement for batteries. The FLIPTEM 36 produces 1200µW (60mV and 20mA) at its maximum power point with a 40 degrees C temperature differential (60 degrees C hot side and 20 degrees C cool side).

The unique feature is mass-production allowing an extremely competitive price. TEGnology claims a two-year payback period with replacing small batteries with the FLIPTEM36. Substituting the battery for an energy harvester can be attractive. The device never needs changing. This alone is a huge advantage for sensors in difficult to access locations. For example, a wireless temperature sensor.

Thermoelectric materials convert waste heat into electricity. The phenomenon has been studied for decades and now TEGnology holds the key to commercial exploitation. Previous attempts have suffered from either poor efficiency, high cost, and / or, most importantly, raw material scarcity.

"Our search for efficient, available and sustainable thermoelectric materials lead us to combining common raw materials in a new way. Because the materials are readily available it means we do not suffer supply limitations that effect the current alternatives used today. Our process produces materials with exceptional thermal and electrical properties perfect for energy harvesting," Quote, Dr Hao Yin, Materials expert at TEGnology.

"This new device is only made possible because TEGnology uses materials that are commercially available in significant quantities. Alternatives using tellurium, a very, very rare material have technical advantages, but will never be able to compete as the material is simply not available in sufficient amounts." stated Paul Egginton, TEGnology’s CEO.

TEGnology's introduction of new, scalable thermoelectric devices is endorsed by many leading experts. This is the first step in creating an affordable, widespread technology to upcycle waste heat to useful electricity. TEGnology has the resource, knowledge and experience to take these materials from laboratory to market.

"These materials play a central role in our present and future products" - Flemming Bjoern Hansen, TEGnology founder.

Egginton concluded, "TEGnology's goal is to deliver value to our customers by identifying the best thermoelectric materials for harvesting of waste heat. We do this by optimizing efficiency and simultaneously reducing costs."