Applications include thermoelectric energy harvesters and fuel cells.
The electrical circuit in portable thermoelectric harvesters must operate efficiently at low voltages and should also be able to cold-start without the help of a battery.
This invention proposes a novel energy extraction circuit to harvest power from thermoelectric energy harvesters. It implements a mechanical assisted startup circuit that uses small vibrations to turn on the thermoelectric harvester with low voltages (<50mV) without the aid of a battery. The control strategy can automatically track changes in temperature differences for maximum power extraction and a storage circuitry buffers the intermittent energy output by the thermoelectric harvester. It uses a high efficiency DC-DC converter to provide a regulated user-defined voltage output.
- Startup with low voltages using vibrations
- Eliminates battery
- Performs MPPT