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Micro power generator to convert heat from fuel combustion into electricity

Technology:

There is a rapidly growing trend in the miniaturization of mechanical and electro-mechanical engineering devices. All kinds of microdevices such as micro-pumps micro-motors micro-robots micro-rovers and micro-airplanes are being developed. However the miniaturization of these devices is limited by the weight of the available power systems (batteries) that occupy significant fractions of both mass and volume of the entire devices. Typical portable mechanical devices also suffer from short operating cycles between charges or replacement. The need to reduce system weight and increase operational lifetimes is behind the emergence of a new class of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) devices micro power generators that are characterized by high power and energy density but small in size and weight and are cost effective. The invention is a microthermophotovoltaic (micro-TPV) system a novel micro power device. The system fully utilizes the high surface-to-volume ratio of a microcombustor and is able to deliver and electrical power output of 0.5-10 W in a package of the order of centimeters. The system comprises mainly a combustor-emitter a filter a photovoltaic (PV) cell array and cooling fins. The combustor-emitter functions convert chemical energy into radiative heat energy. The filter is able to recycle a large part of the unusable energy that cannot be converted into electricity by the PV cell array. The PV cell array is used to convert radiative heat energy into electricity. The system has no moving parts. Its fabrication and assembly are relatively easy. As a result it can be readily used as a power source of micro mechanical devices and portable devices in which convenience and low cost reliability and ease of maintenance are the key factors of consideration. Applications: ·Thermophotovoltaic ·Microgenerator ·Micro-pumps Patents: ·Patent Application: US Patent Application pending Opportunity: ·Exclusive/ non-exclusive licensing ·Partnership in commercial development

Benefits:

1) The filter is able to recycle a large part of the unusable energy that cannot be converted into electricity by the PV cell array. 2) Fabrication and assembly of the system are relatively easy.

Date of release:
Patent registration information:

US Patent Application pending Opportunity: ·Exclusive/ non-exclusive licensing ·Partnership in commercial development