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Open AccessArticle

Spatial Equivalent Circuit Model for Simulation of On-Chip Thermoelectric Harvesters

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics, Ariel University of Samaria, Ariel 40700, Israel
2
Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Ariel University of Samaria, Ariel 40700, Israel
3
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 8410501, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060574
Received: 1 May 2020 / Revised: 2 June 2020 / Accepted: 4 June 2020 / Published: 6 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Miniaturized Generators)
Interest in autonomous low-power energy sources has risen with the development and widespread use of devices with very low energy consumption. Interest in thermoelectric harvesters has increased against this background. Thermoelectric harvesters, especially harvesters on-chip, have peculiar properties related to the thermal route, thermal transients, and spatial temperature distribution within the chip. A behavioral model of the harvester is required for engineers to successfully develop voltage converters with maximum power point tracking and energy storage units. There are accurate models based on the finite element method, but these models are usually not compatible with simulators of electrical circuits, and therefore are not convenient for designers. Existing equivalent circuit models fit this requirement, but usually do not consider many parameters. This article proposes an original method that allows simulating spatial thermoelectric processes by analogy with the finite difference method, using electrical circuits simulations software. The study proposes a complete methodology for building the model and examples of simulations of one-, two- and three-dimensional problems, as well as examples of simulation of macro problems in the presence of external thermal and electrical devices, such as heatsink and electrical load. View Full-Text
Keywords: on-chip generator; thermoelectric generator; equivalent circuit model; miniaturized generator; low power generator; thermoelectric harvester; circuit simulator; thermal electrical analogies on-chip generator; thermoelectric generator; equivalent circuit model; miniaturized generator; low power generator; thermoelectric harvester; circuit simulator; thermal electrical analogies
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lineykin, S.; Sitbon, M.; Kuperman, A. Spatial Equivalent Circuit Model for Simulation of On-Chip Thermoelectric Harvesters. Micromachines 2020, 11, 574.

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