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Micro Energy - Crossroad between thermal engineering and MEMS technology

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2015.THMT-15.50
pages 73-84

Yuji Suzuki
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Tokyo Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan


In the present paper, after brief introduction of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technologies in thermal engineering, overview of micro energy is presented as a crossroad between thermal engineering and MEMS technology. Since 1990's, significant efforts have been paid for micro energy, i.e., micro/nano technology for energy conversion, which is often called Power MEMS. The value of micro energy is to provide alternative power sources for mobile/portable electronics and wireless sensors having much higher effective energy density than secondary batteries, through which the devices can be operated in a prolonged time period without human intervention. Those power sources include micro engine, micro fuel cell, and energy harvesters. Studies for developing such devices including the authors' own attempts related to combustion are introduced, and future prospects of such attempts are discussed.

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