Operation and Testing of a Micro Heat Engine
S. Whalen, R. Richards, D. Bahr, and C. Richards
Washington State University, US
Keywords: MEMS power, micro heat engine, piezoelectric power
The development and testing of a micro heat engine is presented. For the first time the production of electrical power by a dynamic micro heat engine is demonstrated. The prototype micro heat engine is an external combustion engine, in which thermal power is converted to mechanical power through the use of a novel thermodynamic cycle. Mechanical power is converted into electrical power through the use of a thin-film piezoelectric membrane generator. This design is well suited to photolithography-based batch fabrication methods, and is unlike any conventionally manufactured macro-scale engine.
NSTI Nanotech 2003 Conference Technical Program Abstract