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Vol. 126, Issue 3, March 2011, pp.1-10




Human Heat Generator for Energy Scavenging with Wearable Thermopiles


Vladimir Leonov

Imec, Kapeldreef 75, 3001 Leuven, Belgium,

Tel.: +32-16-288-367, Fax: +32-16-288-500

E-mail: leonov@imec.be



Received: 28 February 2011   /Accepted: 17 March 2011   /Published: 29 March 2011


Abstract: Human beings and other warmblooded animals and birds constantly generate heat. A heat flow of one-to-several watt can be observed through a thermoelectric generator (TEG) worn by a person. The TEG would convert natural heat flow rejected from the body into electrical power of the order of milliwatts. Such a TEG can outperform a battery of the same weight in several months of use. Therefore, it could be a successful competitor to a battery as a power supply for low-power wearable sensors. Such a green power source could be attractive for the market because it requires no technical service for the entire service life of device, and can be safely disposed at the end of its life. To correctly perform the design optimization of wearable TEG, the knowledge of human body properties is important. This paper discusses thermal properties of human beings relevant to designing of wearable TEG.


Keywords: The human being, Thermal resistance of human body, Thermoelectric generator, Energy scavenging, Wearable device


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