Effects of air tunnel geometry on thermal resistance and thermocouple efficiency in a thermal electric generator

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This paper considers a microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-based surface-micromachined poly-silicon germanium (poly-SiGe) thermopile, and examines the effects of the geometry of an air tunnel beneath the thermocouple on the effectiveness of its efficiency in energy harvesting. Intended to increase voltage output by enhancing thermal isolation between the two ends of a thermocouple, the air tunnel consists of the upper and lower parts. The upper tunnel results from the elevation of the semiconductor leg and the lower tunnel results from etching the silicon substrate. In our finite element analysis, we parametrized the depth and width of the lower tunnel and the elevation of the upper tunnel to examine the resulting voltage output. We found that, contrary to the intended benefits of thermal isolation effects, the voltage output decreased as the size of the lower tunnel increased. In contrast, voltage output increased as the size of the upper tunnel increased. Based on the above results, we propose that the lower tunnel should be omitted, and the elevation of the upper tunnel should be maximized for higher voltage output.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 IEEE 14th International Conference on Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks, BSN 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages211-214
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781509062447
DOIs
StatePublished - May 30 2017
Event14th IEEE International Conference on Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks, BSN 2017 - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: May 9 2017May 12 2017

Publication series

Name2017 IEEE 14th International Conference on Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks, BSN 2017

Other

Other14th IEEE International Conference on Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks, BSN 2017
CountryNetherlands
CityEindhoven
Period5/9/175/12/17

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Health Informatics
  • Instrumentation

Cite this

Lu, X., & Qasaimeh, M. A. (2017). Effects of air tunnel geometry on thermal resistance and thermocouple efficiency in a thermal electric generator. In 2017 IEEE 14th International Conference on Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks, BSN 2017 (pp. 211-214). [7936043] (2017 IEEE 14th International Conference on Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks, BSN 2017). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/BSN.2017.7936043