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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Pioneer Research Center Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea, funded by the Ministry of Science; ICT & Future Planning (2011-0001672).
© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.
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