Thermoelectric Power Generation user guide

Thermoelectric Power Generation user guide

Here ElecFreaks would introduce a very funny new part to all of you in the open hardware community, which is named as Thermoelectric Power Generation Tablet. Have you heard of it? why do we consider it funny? If you are concerned about Kickstarter, you should know that related to this issue, two projects have been successfully funded in this platform and for one of them, we reported it on our previous blog.  

Their works are both based on the temperature difference, making the flame with the function of power generation, so as to realize mobilephone charge or illumination. If you are still unclear about this principle, head over to kickstarter. Are you also willing to DIY a similar or better product? Based on our newly pulished product - 5V USB Boost DCDC, let's see the magic Thermoelectric  Power Generation User guide.

Thermoelectric power generation introduction

Thermoelectric technology can be used to generate a small amount of electrical power, typically in the µW or mW range, if a temperature difference is maintained between two terminals of a thermoelectric module. As the thermoelectric generator manufacturing has the characteristics of no noise, long life and stable performance, backgrounded by the increasing sense of modern social protection of the environment, energy conservation, more people are considering how to effectively convert the sun heat , the ocean heat, the industrial waste heat, the garbage burning heat, and various heat generated by heat sources on the planet, into electricity, therefore, thermoelectric technology will definitely be more widely used in the future, and the scope of application: outdoor emergency phone charging and so on.

Hardware preparation     

1、 Alcohol lamp

2、 Micro USB Cable

3、 Jumper Wire

4、 Thermoelectric Power Generation Tablets 

5、 Lighter

6、 Boost module

7、 Freaduino UNO

8、 Octopus Current Sensor

9、 1602 module


Part 1 Motor Rotation Demo

1. Stick the thermoelectric power generation tablet below the heatsink with motor, and then connect the leads of the motor and the power generation tablet.

Note: As alcohol lamp is higher than the heatsink, a plastic round ring need to be placed underneath the heatsink with motor, so that the heatsink could be high enough to be burned by the alcohol lamp.

2. Light the alcohol lamp and place it under the heatsink sticked with the thermoelectric power generation tablet, and over time you can see the motor slowly rotates. The greater the temperature difference is, the faster the speed of the motor would be, and for the specific effect, you could watch the video presentation.

Part 2 Phone Charge Demonstration

1 Solder the parallel leads of the heatsink sticked with two thermoelectric power generation tablets (make by yourself), on the boost module, red wire to the IN+ pad, black wire to the IN- lead.

2. Weld the boost module and the Octopus Current Sensor as follows.

Note: Boost module positive output must be connected to the end of the current sensor with "+" silk screen

3、Access the Octopus Current Sensor and the LCD1602 into Freaduino UNO

  4. The Overall Operation Demonstration as below

5. Partial Description as below ( part of the current sensor and the charge output interface)

6. Phone charging effect

7. The showed temperature difference between the both sides of the thermoelectric power generation tablet.

Q & A

1 Q: When lighted candles below the thermoelectric tablet, the boost module indicator LED does not shine, and what to do?

A: Check whether the connection between the thermoelectric tablet and the voltage boost module is correct.

2. Q: Why the voltage boost module indicator flicker from time to time?

A: This is determined by the temperature difference, and the greater temperature difference between the thermoelectric tablet and the heatsink, the greater voltage it would produce.