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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Power Generating Coverings and Casings

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Power Generating Coverings and Casings
Advances in structured heterogeneity together with nanomaterials tailoring has made it possible to create thermoelectrics using high temperature, polymer composites. While such thermoelectrics do not have the capability to approach the efficiency of top performing ceramic modules such as BiTe, they do provide two unique aspects of use in energy scavenging: the ability to cover large areas easily, and the ability to integrate kinetic energy scavenging together with heat scavenging. Recently the group at Wake Forest University has demonstrated a novel design for internal p/n junction formation in such composites, that allows for a significant increase in thermoelectric voltage and power factor while retaining the form factor of a fabric. This improvement in nanocomposite thermoelectric performance, coupled with effective kinetic energy scavenging makes the piezo-thermo-electric "PowerFelt™" applicable to a wide range of power collection scenarios. This Phase I program will demonstrate that the PowerFelt™ construct can rival small ceramic modules in overall power generation in a fully flexible, lightweight platform. Further, we will show that it is compatible with advanced manufacturing techniques such as printing, with cost profiles of ~$0.5/W. More »

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