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Wireless power generator turns heat into electricity

Wireless power generator turns heat into electricity

Nextreme Thermal Solutions introduces the Thermobility Wireless Power Generator WPG-1S evaluation kit with on-board energy storage, incorporating the INFINERGY D-MPM101 micro power module from Infinite Power Solutions. The WPG-1S uses solid-state thin-film thermoelectric technology, which turns heat into electricity for a range of self-powered wireless applications.

Thermobility uses temperature differences to enable power anywhere that has an adequate heat source and eliminates the need for wired power sources or replaceable batteries. When coupled with wireless transmitters, the Thermobility concept can provide electric power for years of maintenance-free operation. This increases the possibilities for new wireless sensor and security applications in industrial control, transportation, automotive, and building management.

As the second in a series of wireless power generators from Nextreme, the WPG-1S uses the INFINERGY D-MPM101, a development micro power module from Infinite Power Solutions (IPS) that offers efficient battery management, near loss-less energy storage, and output regulation. The D-MPM101 integrates IPS' ultra-thin and rechargeable THINERGY solid-state micro-energy cells (MECs) to supply up to 2.0 mAh of stored energy for use by an application during periods when the heat source is not available or is intermittent. Reliable power output of up to 200 mW at 25° C is possible at a regulated 3.3 V.

The WPG-1S is roughly the size of a golf ball and consists of a pin-fin heat sink, a custom circuit board, Nextreme's eTEG HV56 thermoelectric power generator module and a metal attachment plate that is applied to the desired heat source.

The WPG-1S also incorporates a Linear Technologies LTC 3108 ultralow voltage step-up converter and power management chip to provide up to 1 mW of electrical power, and operates at temperature differentials as low as 15-20 degrees K relative to ambient. Larger temperature differences can generate significantly more power.

The WPG-1S evaluation kit is designed for ease of use with any flat-surface heat source and can be customized for pipes and other non-flat surfaces. For simple bench-top testing, the WPG-1S can be placed directly on a laboratory grade hotplate with temperature control. For evaluation with other surfaces, the attachment plate can be mated with either thermal grease for normal horizontal application or a double-stick thermal pad for vertical mounting.

For more information, contact Nextreme Thermal Solutions, 3908 Patriot Dr., Suite 140, Durham, NC 27703-8031. Phone: (919) 597-7300.

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