Hot Bolt Powers Sensors

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Description: A German company, Micropelt GmbH, has developed a prototype bolt that screws into a hot machine and harvests the waste heat as electricity. Based on thermoelectric thin films, the TE-Power-Bolt generates 0.2 to 15 milliwatts of power and uses an integrated dc-dc converter to set voltage between 1.2 and 5 volts. By connecting tiny autonomous sensors wirelessly, manufacturers create distributed networks to track material flow and monitor machinery. Micropelt's solution is to replace batteries with TE-Power-Bolts. The bolts are self-sustaining power supplies that never need replacement. The TE-Power-Bolt was designed to show how an energy harvester based on the company's thin film thermoelectric technology might look.
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