BlueTEG Pipe – Energy Harvesting

BlueTEG Pipe: Energy for the industry

BlueTEG Pipe – Energy Harvesting
BlueTEG Pipe uses the temperature difference between warm or cold objects and the environment for energy.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS has developed the sensor BlueTEG Pipe with thermoelectric power supply for industrial applications. BlueTEG Pipe uses the temperature difference between warm or cold objects and the environment for energy. Integrated in a compact housing, the sensor measures values such as the ambient temperature or acceleration rates and sends them to a tablet via Bluetooth.

What are the challenges?

In modern production facilities, more and more machines are networked together so that the individual processes can be monitored, coordinated and optimized. This monitoring requires a wide variety of sensors that record and communicate values. However, the harsh environmental conditions around the production often make battery replacement or a wired power supply impossible. Regular replacement of the batteries also generates maintenance costs, making the use of these sensors quickly uneconomical.

Our solution: BlueTEG Pipe

Low-energy sensor with thermoelectric power supply
© Fraunhofer IIS/Kurt Fuchs
Low-energy sensor with thermoelectric power supply

For a self-sufficient power supply of industrial sensors

Fraunhofer IIS offers an attractive solution compared to batteries and wired power supply with Energy Harvesting technologies. The BlueTEG Pipe is a regenerative, maintenance-free and easy-to-install power supply for any wireless sensor in production.


The technology: Energy Harvesting

Energy Harvesting uses energy from the environment, such as heat, light or motion, to power small electronic devices. Self-powered, maintenance-free and wireless systems with maximum uptime and unlimited standby time become reality. Thus, a power supply of devices in hard to reach places is possible. Possible application areas are sensor networks for monitoring machinery and equipment (condition monitoring), tracking systems and sensors for building automation.

UPS of the BlueTEG Pipes

  • The application is possible in all areas of industrial automation, building monitoring or close-to-body sensors.
  • Important environmental data such as temperature, air conditions, hazardous gases, etc. can be easily determined, especially in supply rooms, and transmitted via Bluetooth.
  • BlueTEG Pipe recovers its energy completely through commercially available thermal generators.
  • Even small temperature differences are sufficient for a smooth recording and transmission of the data.
  • The voltage converter developed at Fraunhofer IIS realizes high efficiency even at the smallest temperature differences. Thus, over 200 microwatts of electrical power can be obtained with a temperature difference of just 2 Kelvin.
  • Optimal thermal and electrical design of all system components enables highly efficient applications to be implemented in the smallest of spaces, making it significantly different from the state of the art.

Typical application fields of the BlueTEG Pipe

  • Condition monitoring
  • Building automation
  • Logistics and Transport
  • Wearables


Application example: Condition Monitoring

Condition monitoring is a process that is used in production and production plants and is permanently monitored and analyzed with the machine conditions. Fraunhofer IIS's Energy Harvesting Technologies can autonomously supply sensors for detecting wear or damage to machines. Especially in hard-to-reach places or with frequent acquisition of data, our BlueTEG offers enormous advantages over conventional power supplies with batteries. With permanent condition monitoring, you can extend the lifespan and life of your equipment and avoid costly production downtime. By using a self-sufficient energy source, you can achieve this without major installation and maintenance efforts.

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