Start date: December 1, 2018 End date: November 30, 2019
The objective of the project was to develop flexible thermoelectric devices capable of feeding automated sensors.
NAITEC has been the project leader in charge of the development of the manufacturing process and the prototyping of the devices.
In addition to NAITEC, other partners have also participated in this project. The UPNA Thermal and Fluid Engineering (TFE) group has focused on device simulation and prototype characterization, and the UPNA Chemical and Polymerization Reactors (CPR) group conducted the Analysis Life Cycle of the new product.
Thermoelectric plants take advantage of heat sources to generate electricity. In this project, it has been possible to provide them with a flexibility that allows them to use heat sources that were previously inaccessible.
Automated sensors allow us to forget about batteries. This is especially interesting in environmental or industrial sensors. In addition, there is a great application in the world of wearables with all these sensors we want to implement.
Thermoelectric devices can be used to generate electric current from a heat source, as we have already specified. Thus, the heat from a pipe can be used to supply an automated sensor that sends the information remotely. This solution simplifies sensorization, as the use of cells and batteries is avoided, with no need for maintenance.
Furthermore, one of the innovations of TERMOFLEX is in the manufacturing process, as we have used functional printing technologies for its manufacture. This product uses conductive and adhesive inks that are applied by screen-printing. In addition, 3D printing technologies have been used to incorporate flexible heatsinks into thermoelectric devices.
TERMOFLEX is an innovative product because it has the peculiarity of being flexible. Therefore, heat sources that are currently unfeasible can be used. They could even be integrated into clothing or accessories, and thus give textiles new functionality.
This project is a request for tender for Technology Centres and research organizations funded by the Government of Navarre.