Journal article

Design of an integrated thermoelectric generator power converter for ultra-low power and low voltage body energy harvesters aimed at ExG active electrodes

This paper describes a detailed design procedure for an efficient thermal body energy harvesting integrated power converter. The procedure is based on the examination of power loss and power transfer in a converter for a self-powered medical device. The efficiency limit for the system is derived and the converter is optimized for the worst case scenario. All optimum system parameters are calculated respecting the transducer constraints and the application form factor. Circuit blocks including pulse generators are implemented based on the system specifications and optimized converter working frequency. At this working condition, it has been demonstrated that the wide area capacitor of the voltage doubler, which provides high voltage switch gating, can be eliminated at the expense of wider switches. With this method, measurements show that 54% efficiency is achieved for just a 20mV transducer output voltage and 30% of the chip area is saved. The entire electronic board can fit in one EEG or ECG electrode, and the electronic system can convert the electrode to an active electrode.


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