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Thermal harvesting wireless sensor system.

Battery less, cordless and wireless sensor system through thermal harvesting. Fields of application of this product; industrial plant safety, monitoring and control for battery-less non-power wireless sensor, iot devices, wearable devices, smart farm, building and home automation, etc.

Recently, the devices developed for the IoT technologies are able to operate at a power of milliwatts (mW) or micro-watts (uW). Therefore, the energy harvesting techniques have been attracting the attention. Energy harvesting means to obtain electrical energy through some natural source such as solar, heat, vibration, wind, electromagnetic waves and so forth. Two different systems have been reaching great attention: a) thermoelectric elements in order to obtain the electric energy from the heat and b) the piezoelectric elements to obtain electric energy from the mechanical vibration. The thermoelectric elements generate electricity through the recovery of wasted heat, not only the waste of factories or geothermal water, furthermore it can utilize the body heat. Especially, monitoring the body heat in an intelligent way is currently researched in order to use it as a power source for mobile devices such as smart phones or smart-watches and take advantage of it. In this way, thermoelectric technology is not only the recovery of wasting heat thrown away. This philosophy can be applied for power generation even when the thermal source is low, because its basis is the temperature difference between two parts. Thus, the thermal energy have a large potential to be used as a next-generation energy source for the IoT sensors and a variety of mobile devices. However, its practical application is highly limited due to the low conversion efficiency and the expensiveness. Taking advantage of the MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) and developing a high-density thermoelectric element, Humott will develop Tiny, which is a thermoelectric power plant for commercial voltages from low thermal energy sources (Humott’s TinyTEG). The Spanish company Argotec is the partner for the project. Argotec will develop a smart power management and different wireless sensors in which the thermoelectric harvesting will be integrated. The thermoelectric harvesting and the proposed smart power management will optimize the wireless sensors technology, which can be applied in a variety of IoT fields with cordless and battery-less devices or when ultra-low power supply is possible. The application of the products will be: - Control and monitoring of industrial plant safety with wireless battery-less sensors. - Wireless battery-less sensors such as IoT devices and wearable devices. - Wireless battery-less sensors in automobiles, aircraft, ships, etc. - Home automation, Building automation and Energy monitoring systems. In the industrial field, and from the discarded wasted energy or from the efficient conversion of heat energy, the electric energy generated can be used as: a) driving power source, b) storage energy, c) device power to wirelessly transmit sensors data, d) battery saving and e) mode to achieve maintenance-free operation. For example, if a plant industry installs the sensor in a hot water tank in order to create electricity from the temperature difference between the temperature of the pipe surface (343K) and air temperature (303K), the temperature sensor can be powered batterylessly and it can transferred the data through the air. Therefore, electrical wiring or batteries are not needed which can reduce installation and maintenance costs. Besides, this kind of devices and power management can be applied across a variety of fields and applications such as home automation, building automation, healthcare, biotechnology, automotive, aviation or the marine sector.
Acronym: 
THWSS
Project ID: 
11 149
Start date: 
01-12-2016
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
1 140 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Solar/Thermal energy
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.