A tool designed to convert your body heat into energy for your smartphone

Will we ever be able to use our bodies as a battery for our electronic devices? Researchers looked at the question early in the prototype.

The TEG prototype

The TEG prototype

This is called the thermal conductivity of your body: To maintain a constant temperature of 37 degrees, your body must regulate a close balance between heat gain and loss. And because your body is not nearly as efficient, you lose about 75% of the energy it produces in the form of heat. A team of scientists has made it their mission to use this waste heat.

Converting body heat into electrical energy

The tool called the thermoelectric generator (TEG In English), it converts your body heat directly into electrical energy. Scientists at the University of Colorado in Boulder, USA, who created the device, tested TEG as a tiny ring. This tiny generator could theoretically be the size of a clock or even a ring, depending on how much power you want to generate.

Here’s how it works: First of all, you have to carry the tool with you. You only need to make sure it is in contact with your skin. A malleable and flexible circuit inside the device converts body heat into electricity. We are talking about a thermoelectric generator, because it restores its energy thanks to the temperature difference between your body and the surrounding temperature outside.

How does TEG work

How does TEG work

The kit is designed not to “break” when worn. So TEG is stretchy and resistant, just like your skin. It means you can wear it in all kinds of conditions without damaging it. The part that touches your skin turns heat into energy, and the other side (facing your skin) stores solar energy thanks to the micro-cells.

Temperature difference between the body and the outside

Temperature difference between the body and the outside

According to the team responsible for this project at the University of Colorado at Boulder,In the future, we want to be able to operate your mobile electronic devices without the need to charge their battery.Their goal is to make our devices as cheap and reliable as possible, with an impact as close to zero as possible on the environment.

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Is this enough to charge the smartphone? For now, this is not the case. TEG doesn’t produce a lot of power even if you’re wearing some kind of full suit made up of their toolbox. An adult, for example, might produce 0.361 watts. We are far from fast charging our smartphones which now exceed 60W, while the classic charging is around 10W. In this way documentThe thermal energy released by the human body at rest under current living conditions is in the range of 100 watts. So it will be necessary to restore all the heat released (or do more exercise to generate more heat).

It does not apply for many years

This project could lead to real products being marketed within 5 to 10 years, according to the team of scientists. What shapes can these tools contain? The look of a t-shirt or faux leather case behaves like real human skin … who knows?

Samantha Arnold

<p class="sign">"Web fanatic. Travel scholar. Certified music evangelist. Coffee expert. Unapologetic internet guru. Beer nerd."</p>

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