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How it works

Ambient Infrared Thermal Powercell:

     The Ambient Infrared Thermal Powercell collects thermal energy from the air at room temperature using both free and forced convection and uses it to produce electrical current. There are 3 types of Thermal Powercells:

  1. Ambient Infrared Thermoelectric Powercell

  2. Ambient Infrared Pyroelectric Powercell

  3. Ambient Infrared Thermophotovoltaic Powercell

1.  Ambient Infrared Thermoelectric Powercell:

           

     The Ambient Infrared Thermoelectric Powercell collects thermal energy from the air at room temperature using both free and forced convection, and then absorbs it using thermoelectric elements. The powercell is made of a single thermoelectric heat pump, which, when electricity is run through it, becomes cold on one side and hot on the other. Since most thermoelectric heat pumps are about 100% efficient, the energy used to move heat from one side of the plate to other is equal to the amount of energy that is moved. Since the energy used to move the heat from one side to the other is “dissipated” in the form of heat inside the device, it ultimately ends up as heat placed on the hot side of the device along with the heat that has been moved from the cold side. This results in the hot side of the device becoming twice as hot, and having twice the wattage of heat placed on it as the cold side. The thermoelectric powercell then converts the heat from the hot side of the plate to electricity at approximately 100% efficiency using a single thermoelectric generator plate who’s junctions have been split in half and placed on both the hot side and the cold side of the heat pump plate. Since the energy used to move the heat from one side of the heat pump plate to the other is recycled as heat on the hot side of the plate, after being absorbed by the thermoelectric generator plates that are on each side of the heat pump, it is sent back through the heat pump, leaving the original heat taken from the room to be used as a power supply.

Thermoelectric Heat Pump:

Thermal Powercell Thermoelectric Plate.png

Thermoelectric Heat Pump with 2 sided Thermoelectric Generator Plates:

Thermal Powercell Thermoelectric Plate with TEG Plates.png

2. Ambient Infrared Pyroelectric Powercell:

     The Ambient Infrared Pyroelectric Thermal Powercell is similar to the Thermoelectric Powercell. It also uses a thermoelectric heat pump plate that produces twice the energy that it takes in on the hot side of the plate that it takes in from the cold side of the plate by adding the energy needed to move the heat from the cold side to the hot side to heat that that it moves. However, instead of using a thermoelectric generator plate to absorb the energy on the hot side of the plate, it uses a pyroelectric material. Pyroelectric generator materials need to be fed energy in pulses in order to produce electrical current, so the energy fed to the thermoelectric heat pump reverses polarity every few seconds to allow the pyroelectric material to heat and cool.

Thermoelectric Heat Pump with Pyroelectric Generator:

Thermal Powercell Thermoelectric Plate with Pyroelectric Generator Plate.png

3. Ambient Infrared Thermophotovoltaic Powercell:

             The Ambient Infrared Thermophotovoltaic Powercell is similar to the thermoelectric and pyroelectric versions, except that the thermophotovoltaic powercell absorbs energy from the air by conducting the heat into individual thin film semiconductor P-N junctions made of Bismuth Telluride or other narrow band gap semiconductors which radiate infrared light into the P-N junction where it is converted to DC current. Hundreds or millions of the thin film layers are placed on top of eachother to form the thermophotovoltaic powercell plate.

Thermophotovoltaic Powercell Layer:

Thermal Powercell Thermophotovoltaic Plate Layer.png

You can download a PDF file of this information here:

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