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Energy Harvesting Subsystems for Wireless Sensors

Thu, 12/01/2011 - 2:48am

NX450Nextreme Thermal Solutions has developed two new energy harvesting subsystems for the plumbing and HVAC industries. The subsystems are the latest additions to Nextreme's Thermobility energy harvesting platform that uses thin-film thermoelectric technology to convert available thermal energy into electric power for a variety of autonomous self-powered applications.

Thermobility uses differences in temperature to enable power where there is an adequate heat source. The technology eliminates the need to use traditional wired power sources or replaceable batteries. When paired with wireless transmitters, the Thermobility solution can provide electric power for years of maintenance-free operation, expanding the possibilities for new wireless sensor applications in plumbing, HVAC, industrial control, transportation, automotive, and building management.

Nextreme is applying Thermobility energy harvesting in the development of plumbing subsystems. Water in plumbing fixtures provides a source of thermal energy for a variety of "green plumbing" applications. Thermal energy from water supply lines under a sink and during flush valve operations can be converted to electricity as a source of power for LED status indicators, hands-free faucets, soap dispenser solenoids, and wireless transmitters for data acquisition applications. Harvested power can help reduce the size of batteries or eliminate them entirely depending on the application.

The HVAC industry can employ Thermobility wireless power generators in applications for sensing of temperature, humidity, and airflow in HVAC systems. Wireless Thermobility sensor subsystems can harvest thermal energy from the hot or cold temperature differences found in air plenums, eliminating the need to provide wires to these devices.

Nextreme Thermal Solutions, www.nextreme.com

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