Converting Body Heat Into Electricity
By Afza Fathima | June 25, 2014 11:59 AM EST
Scientists have been fascinated by the concept of converting body heat into electricity. In theory, 100-120 watts of energy is generated by a male resting, which is enough to provide power to many electronics like Nintendo Wii, a cellphone and a laptop, that uses 14 watts, 1 watt and 45 watts of power, respectively. Excess heat is provided by eighty percent of body power.
Cellphones use 1 watt of energy.
Currently, only a few milliwatts of body heat is converted to electricity that can be used for small devices like heart rate monitors and watches. Seiko's Thermic, which debuted in 1998 to mixed reviews, runs on 1 microwatt of body heat converted to electricity.
Nanotechnology's recent developments promise to bring in more body-powered devices. A thermoelectric device, a thin material that creates the Seebeck effect(exploiting the temperature difference between the two sides of the material to generate electricity), is the basic technology used to capture body heat and convert it into electricity. A USB-powered drink chiller is a thermoelectric generator working in the reverse.
As long as the ambient air's temperature is lower than that of the body, a device kept on the skill will produce power. 30 microwatts of power can be captured by a patch of material that is in terms of area one square centimeter. Keeping these devices next to each other will multiply the amount of power being generated.
Researchers, at MIT, are working to improve the effectiveness of the circuitry which traps small amounts of power produced by standard thermoelectric generators. Scientist and director of Microsystem Technology Laboratories, Anantha Chandrakasan, and Yogesh Ramadass, his colleague have created efficient circuitry in an EKG sensor with a built-in processor and wireless radio. The U.S. Department of Energy and the University of California-Berkeley are researching on developing more efficient thermoelectric generators.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
- Forever Lost: Indescribable Anguish for Malaysia Airlines MH17 Families, Remains of Some Victims May Never Be Found (PHOTOS)
- Global Aviation Accidents: UN to Form Safety Task Force, Gov'ts Should Share Intelligence Info to Avert Future Incidents on Flying Over Warzones (PHOTOS)
- PageSix: Beyonce & Jay Z Union is Not About Love, All About Business & the Brand
Join the Conversation
- NASA Astronomers Unearths Mysterious Signal That 'Could Not Be Explained By Known Physics' [Watch Video]
- Richard Norris' Successful Face Transplant Lands Him in GQ Cover [WATCH VIDEOS]
- Industrial Air Pollution May Help Search for Alien Life - Scientists
- Luxury Cruise: A 'Once In A Lifetime' Trip To Experience Environment Devastation in the Arctic
- Breaking Discovery: Industrial Pollution Reached South Pole by 19th Century
- Samsung Galaxy S5 Alpha Leaks Online: Release Date, Five Features to Wait for New Smart Phone
- Photos of Motorola Moto X+1 Prototype and Specs Leak Online, Release Date, Four Fresh Features Revealed
- Sony Xperia Z3: Release Date, Five Features to Expect from New Android Smart Phone
- Top Surprising Features Of iOS 8
- Top 4 Reasons Why iPhone 6 Will Hit Big Soon After its Sept 2014 Release Date
- Freshly Leaked Apple iPad Air 2 Cases Confirm Touch ID Sensor; Release Date, Limited Specs and Price Listed
- 5 Food Scandals That Shocked The World