A Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting System Assisted by A Piezoelectric Transducer Achieving 10-mV Cold-Startup and 82.7% Peak Efficiency

More Info


This article presents a 10mV-startup-voltage thermoelectric energy harvesting system, assisted by a piezoelectric generator (PEG) as a cold starter. It exploits the fact that when a thermoelectric energy harvesting system is implemented in a place where kinetic energy is also present, the PEG starter can provide a clock signal to start the system. Thanks to the high output impedance of the PEG, the generated clock voltage can easily go over several hundreds of mV, which can be used to drive the boost converter to harvest thermoelectric energy even at an extremely low thermoelectric generator (TEG) voltage. The proposed system was fabricated in a 180-nm BCD process. The measurement results show that the TEG system can start up from the cold state with a TEG voltage as low as 10 mV while maintaining a 63.9% efficiency. The peak power conversion efficiency reaches 83.7% when the TEG voltage is 55 mV.