Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 69.98K | Year: 2006
There is a great need to decrease the dependence upon traditional batteries in modern miniature devices. Not only do batteries increase the size of ever shrinking components, they also do not provide the operational lifetime that is being demanded of newer components. Alternative power sources need to be able to scavenge ambient power from the environment to be able to provide power for newer expected lifetimes. Luna Innovations and RTI propose to develop a high efficiency energy harvester which scavenges energy from ambient thermal gradients. RTI’s expertise in thermoelectric conversion and Luna’s state of the art wireless sensors will provide a robust solution capable of operating unattended for several years. BENEFITS: This research will have many different commercial applications. Consumer electronics are becoming more pervasive in modern life, and the ability to power them without continuously changing or recharging batteries will further their usefulness. There are also many industrial applications where wireless sensors, like the ones manufactured by Luna Innovations, could significantly reduce costs, and providing a long term power solution without having to continually replace the power supply would further reduce maintenance costs.