Nextreme, IPS deliver thin-film micro thermal charger

nextremeipsthermalchargerDurham, N.C. — Nextreme Thermal Solutions, a provider of microscale thermal and power management products for the electronics industry, and Infinite Power Solutions, Inc. (IPS), a manufacturer of solid-state, rechargeable, thin-film micro-energy storage devices, have co-developed a thermal charger with the ability to continuously recharge the IPS THINERGY Micro-Energy Cell (MEC) using an eTEG thermoelectric power generator from Nextreme.

Nextreme explains that thin-film thermoelectric technology enables thermal charging where energy scavenging from thermal sources is combined with solid-state, rechargeable thin-film battery technology to provide an alternative energy source for a variety of autonomous, self-powered applications.

Applications for thermal charging from waste heat include scavenging heat from a solar panel as a supplemental source of electricity, using heat produced by an engine during combustion to charge a battery, or providing power for a remote sensor.

The prototype thermal charger uses an array of 16 HV14 modules in power generation mode to provide the 4.1 volts of electricity needed to charge the MEC to a fully charged state in approximately 20 minutes. At only 0.5 millimeters high and each smaller than a sunflower seed, four of these tiny HV14 power generators can replace a AA battery, said Nextreme.

A demonstration video can be viewed at

Nextreme’s eTEG HV14 has demonstrated output power levels of >16 mW at ΔT of 70°C and >45 mW at ΔT of 120°C. With modules measuring 1.8 x 1.5mm, the eTEG HV14 has corresponding output power densities of approximately 0.6 and 1.6 W/cm². Nextreme’s eTEG devices generate electricity via the Seebeck Effect, where an electrical current is produced from a temperature gradient across the device, said the company.

IPS, headquartered in Littleton, Colorado, claims the THINERGY MECs are the industry’s most powerful batteries for their size and outperform all other micro-batteries (rechargeable and primary), including lithium coin cells, printed batteries and all other thin-film batteries.

Unlike conventional batteries, these ultra-thin and rechargeable MECs can be solder attached directly to printed circuit boards (PCBs), or deeply embedded (buried) within the layers of a PCB. The MECs can also be embedded into integrated circuit (IC) packaging and multi-chip modules, as well as systems in package. The THINERGY MEC supplies stored energy for use by the application during periods when the heat source is not available or is intermittent.