SBIR Phase II: Flexible Thin-Film Thermoelectric Wearable Energy Harvester
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
Perpetua Power Source Technologies, Inc.
1749 SW Airport Ave, Corvallis, OR, 97333-1070
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project addresses the need for renewably powered and always available energy for powering personal medical and other location aware sensors. The project advances wearable thermoelectric generator (WTEG) technology. The system will yield new advances in terms of miniaturization, increases in WTEG power densities, application of advanced heat transfer materials, and integration with cutting edge locator system electronics. The research focuses on matching the thermal resistance of the thermoelectric generator with the thermal resistance of the skin to air interface, accomplished through the optimization of thermocouple geometries implemented in thin film semiconductors applied to a flexible polyimide substrate. The anticipated result of the research will be a fully functional wristband locator system that is lightweight, adjustable, waterproof, and renewably powered from the human body. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project includes applications for location tracking of Alzheimer?s patients, nursing home patients, and elderly home healthcare. As our population ages, achieving a balance between personal independence while providing for primary healthcare monitoring will be critical. Wearable thermoelectric generator technology can be used to power wireless sensors that monitor patient location and help facilities track ?at risk? residents. Additionally, wireless sensors can help healthcare providers improve treatment, increase efficiency, and cut costs. A wide range of other follow-on medical applications include glucose monitoring for diabetic treatment and care, diagnosing sleep disorders, and the physiological monitoring of first responders, law enforcement, and soldiers. Each of these applications has been limited by finite and limited battery life. Harvesting body heat and converting to usable electrical energy opens up a new era of autonomous wearable devices.
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