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Energy Harvesting - EH-T

Making use of temperature differences between objects, EH-T is a small, portable energy-harvesting system that produces renewable energy via a thermoelectric generator and thermoelectric energy management chips. It is a practical product for use in the city or in the wilderness.

Accessing a source of electricity outdoors is difficult – whether you are in the city or the wilderness. Particularly in the latter environment, a source of electricity can be extremely important during an emergency. At present, generating power from solar energy is dependent on the weather and the time of day. 

EH-T is a thermoelectric generator that has been designed especially for the outdoor environment, where a power supply is most difficult to find. It incorporates the concept of energy harvesting. It uses unique thermoelectric energy management chip technology and has efficient maximum power point tracking. Through this technology, the electricity can be supplied in real time or stored in the battery through the chip as long as the temperature difference of the thermoelectric generator is above 2 degrees. It can convert the heat energy produced by the human body, machines and tools, or the environment into electrical energy. 

The powerful built-in magnet can attach EH-T to a furnace or barbecue, for example. Even the temperature difference caused by the palm’s touch on the cooling fins can charge the internal battery. The electrical energy it produces can be used to power a flashlight or a laser positioning guide in an emergency. A variety of application modules are attached at the front and rear. 

EH-T can also be adhered to high-temperature surfaces such as a car body in intense sunlight, or metal objects on the street, such as a transformer box, street lamp post or fire hydrant. The significant temperature difference can charge the internal battery and the power can be output thorough the USB interface. Imagine the convenience of charging your phone just by attaching this device to the body of a car parked at the roadside. 

The design of EH-T is simple. The solid cast-metal cover and the cushioning soft rubber elements protect the internal parts and prevent damage if the unit is dropped. The multi-layered fins (aluminium extrusions) dissipate heat and identify the product.

Design

Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan

Faculty Advisors: Chien Ta-Wei, Huang Li-Ren
Designers: Chu Fang-Chih, Chu Yuan-Hua, Huang Chao-Jen, Yao Hong-Da

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