Feasibility study on thermal energy harvesting for low powered electronics in high-voltage substations
Document typeConference lecture
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Rights accessOpen Access
Electronic devices combining sensors, wireless communications, and data processing capability allow easing predictive maintenance tasks in many applications. This paper applies this approach in power connectors for high-voltage electrical substations, which are transformed into smart connectors. Such connectors are often linked to tubular aluminum bus bars, whose temperature increases due to the Joule losses generated by the combined effect of the electrical resistance and the electric current. Since the human intervention must be minimized, an energy harvesting system is required to supply the electronics of the smart connectors. To this end, a thermoelectric module (TEM) is used to transform heat power into electrical power. Since the voltage provided by the TEM is very low, a suitable power converter is used to supply the electronics of the smart connector. This work analyzes the effect of the various parameters that affect the power generated by the TEM when placed on a substation bus bar. Experiments have been carried out by placing a TEM with different configurations on different types of bus bars for diverse operating conditions.
CitationKadechkar, A., Riba, J., Moreno-Eguilaz, J.M., Capelli, F. Feasibility study on thermal energy harvesting for low powered electronics in high-voltage substations. A: Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society. "IECON 2018: 44th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society: proceedings". Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2018, p. 4224-4229.