CEA-LETI works on the energy autonomy of the smart meters by implementing thermal and water flow energy harvesters and their power management circuits and participates to the system integration of these energy harvesters.
The figure below depicts the two types of harvesters proposed by the InDeal project. For thermal energy harvesters, thermal gradients exist between the air temperature of the stations/substations and the temperature on the surfaces of the pipes. Concerning water flows, the idea is to convert the mechanical energy of the water flow flowing into the pipe into electricity – thanks to a propeller and a coil-magnet converter.
Figure 1: Two types of energy harvesters proposed in the InDeal project
Developed energy harvester systems will be compatible with partners installation (CEMITEC laboratory test bench and/or, real-case studies substation) with DN40 pipes size for testing in real environment (Fig. 2).
Figure 2: Energy harvester integration to CEMITEC test bench
Water flow energy harvester will be designed with Solidworks. It is based on a horizontal axis turbine with distributed magnets with alternate polarities at the rotor periphery and with coils outside the pipe (Fig.3).
Figure 3: Waterflow energy harvester
The thermal harvester is composed of TEGs (thermoelectric generator) with their respective heatsinks (Fig.4). Planar facets will be machined around a tub in Aluminium at the outside, with DN40 size.
Figure 4: The heatsink and TEG used for the Thermal energy harvester