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Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1927; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18061927

Thermal Energy Harvesting on the Bodily Surfaces of Arms and Legs through a Wearable Thermo-Electric Generator

1
Department of Cybernetics and Biomedical Engineering, VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava, 17. listopadu 15, 70833 Ostrava-Poruba, Czech Republic
2
Department of Engineering, University of Roma Tre, Via Vito Volterra, 62, 00146 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Smart Devices)
Full-Text   |   PDF [8182 KB, uploaded 13 June 2018]   |  

Abstract

This work analyzes the results of measurements on thermal energy harvesting through a wearable Thermo-electric Generator (TEG) placed on the arms and legs. Four large skin areas were chosen as locations for the placement of the TEGs. In order to place the generator on the body, a special manufactured band guaranteed the proper contact between the skin and TEG. Preliminary measurements were performed to find out the value of the resistor load which maximizes the power output. Then, an experimental investigation was conducted for the measurement of harvested energy while users were performing daily activities, such as sitting, walking, jogging, and riding a bike. The generated power values were in the range from 5 to 50 μW. Moreover, a preliminary hypothesis based on the obtained results indicates the possibility to use TEGs on leg for the recognition of locomotion activities. It is due to the rather high and different biomechanical work, produced by the gastrocnemius muscle, while the user is walking rather than jogging or riding a bike. This result reflects a difference between temperatures associated with the performance of different activities. View Full-Text
Keywords: body temperature; energy harvesting; human daily activities; thermoelectricity; wearable device body temperature; energy harvesting; human daily activities; thermoelectricity; wearable device
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Proto, A.; Bibbo, D.; Cerny, M.; Vala, D.; Kasik, V.; Peter, L.; Conforto, S.; Schmid, M.; Penhaker, M. Thermal Energy Harvesting on the Bodily Surfaces of Arms and Legs through a Wearable Thermo-Electric Generator. Sensors 2018, 18, 1927.

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