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Thermal changes harnessed for perpetual power.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

With no parts to wear out, the Perpetua Power Puck, from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Wash., and Perpetua Power Source Technologies, Inc., Corvallis, Ore., is an environmentally-friendly power source able to provide sustained power to small electronic devices. The Power Puck's technology is based on patent-pending thermoelectric generator (TEG) designs that allow the conversion of ambient thermal energy into electric power for a variety of low-power uses. The core technology uses an assembly of ultrathin thermocouples in a unique configuration that exploits small (> 2[degrees]C) temperature differences occurring naturally in the environment of the application (e.g. ground to air, water to air). The individual thermocouples are deposited in a linked chain onto a thin, flexible plastic substrate using sputtered thin-film deposition thermocouples to be assembled into products of all shapes and sizes. These devices generate useful energy from temperature differences as low as I[degrees]C to 2[degrees]C while larger temperature differences produce correspondingly larger outputs. The devices can be designed to work regardless of which thermal side is warmer or cooler.

* Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, www.pnl.gov

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Title Annotation:Energy; Department of Energy. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Perpetua Power Source Technologies, Inc.
Publication:R & D
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2009
Words:186
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