Low Power Energy Harvesting Laboratory

Introduction

The Low Power Energy Harvesting Laboratory facilitates researches and proof-of-concepts in fields of energy harvesting and thermal management systems. The recognized, powerful and world class research environment in the lab supports design and multi-physics modelling of low-power sensor and actuator devices with integrated energy harvesting technologies, and enable self-powered and independent energy systems for predictive maintenance, standalone solutions and energy harvesting in harsh and inaccessible environments. The research in the lab has its main focus on generation of electrical energy conversion from thermal, vibration, light, kinetic sources of energy such as thermoelectric and piezoelectric, etc. Moreover, in collaboration with industrial and academic partners, experimental works involving full thermoelectric systems and individual thermoelectric modules, and specific hardware for heat transfer and power electronics e.g. thermal management of critical power electronic devices through super cooling technologies are included in the Low Power Energy Harvesting Laboratory.

Facilities

Following modern facilities in Low Power Energy Harvesting laboratory provide a unique opportunity to develop research for modules fabrication, measurement and characterization:

  • Facilities for fabrication of energy harvesting modules including STX-202A diamond wire saw
  • Bulk & thin film thermoelectric module test bench
  • Maximum power point tracking converter for electrical power generators
  • Intelligent electronic load for thermoelectric generators and solar cells
  • Electrical and thermal contact resistance measurement unit
  • Measurement of efficiency and specifications of energy harvesting modules

Special equipment

Selected equipment which supports the innovative research activities in the lab are:

  • Desktop Precision Diamond Wire Saw for cutting samples smaller than 50mm in thickness. The diamond saw provides smooth cutting surfaces for various kinds of materials, including fragile crystals by a 0.28mm diameter wire.
  • Contact Resistance Measurement (CRM) equipment for detailed examination of electrical and contact resistance between all components, including parts of segmented thermoelements and interconnectors. The measuring equipment consists of a two axis micro positioning stage and controller unit with resolution of 1 µm unidirectional and 10 µm bidirectional.
  • Dual Platens Grinder/ Polisher with two 20 cm magnetic plates and independent speed controller for preparing smooth surface for small samples fast and easy.
  • TEGeta equipment for measurement of the efficiency, power generation, I-V curve and heat flux through thermoelectric modules. Long term life of the module can be considered under practical thermal cycles of different applications. This equipment can support tests at high temperatures up to 850 ˚C.
  • Exhaust Gas Simulator for generation of real condition hot gas from automotive applications and for providing hot air for over wide range of flow rate and temperature to support different designs of heat exchangers.
  • Thermoelctric thin film tester for testing any kind of coated thermoelectric thin film samples and single thermoelectric elements up to 400 °C.
  • Cooling Unit for providing cooled flow for different type of heat sinks over wide range of temperature from -20 °C to 80 °C.

Features & services

The Low Power Energy Harvesting laboratory, furthermore, covers heat exchanger design for the energy harvester devices, emulation of real heat recovery applications, temperature controller systems and efficient DC-DC convertors for low power conversion.  The Lab provided fascinating working environment for students in B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. level. One major focus of establishment of this lab is to develop, test, validate and proof of concept of technologies integrated with the energy harvesters. It is an objective of research activities in Low Power Energy Harvesting laboratory to establishment of a research platform in energy harvesting activities in order to coordinate and strengthen research, education, innovation and research-based consultancy within this subject area, and to strengthen link between industry and AAU to ensure that energy engineering educations continuously fit the needs of the society. Therefore, interested companies and research institutes are more than welcome to bring their ideas to test in the Lab.

Location

Pontoppidanstraede 107, room 2.134

Contact information

Associate Professor Alireza Rezaniakolaei
Direct phone: +45 9940 9276
E-mail: alr@et.aau.dk