Design of wearable hybrid generator for harvesting heat energy from human body depending on physiological activity

Myoung Soo Kim, Min Ki Kim, Kyongtae Kim, Yong Jun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We developed a prototype of a wearable hybrid generator (WHG) that is used for harvesting the heat energy of the human body. This WHG is constructed by integrating a thermoelectric generator (TEG) in a circular mesh polyester knit fabric, circular-shaped pyroelectric generator (PEG), and quick sweat-pickup/dry-fabric. The fabric packaging enables the TEG part of the WHG to generate energy steadily while maintaining a temperature difference in extreme temperature environments. Moreover, when the body sweats, the evaporation heat of the sweat leads to thermal fluctuations in the WHG. This phenomenon further leads to an increase in the output power of the WHG. These characteristics of the WHG make it possible to produce electrical energy steadily without reduction in the conversion efficiency, as both TEG and PEG use the same energy source of the human skin and the ambient temperature. Under a temperature difference of ∼6.5 °C and temperature change rate of ∼0.62 °C s-1, the output power and output power density of the WHG, respectively, are ∼4.5 nW and ∼1.5 μW m-2. Our hybrid approach will provide a framework to enhance the output power of the wearable generators that harvest heat energy from human body in various environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number095046
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Volume26
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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