Flexible thin-film micro combustion-thermoelectric coupled (tf-MTC) device which composed of annular thin-film thermoelectric generator (ATTEG) and catalytic combustor based on Pt nanoparticles shows the potential to provide power for the portable electronic devices. The tf-MTC with in suit heat source directly attached on the ATTEG shows a great reduction of heat loss without the mechanical contact between TEG and heat source. The device shows higer power output for the higher quality temperature input of the catalytic combustion when compared with the flexible thermoelectric device without in situ heat source, and is suitable for various application scenarios for the flexibility and small size. Methanol and ethanol were chosen as the fuel of catalytic combustion for the study of the output performance of the coupled device to find out the appropriate application scenarios. This paper mainly explored the difference of output performances of the coupled device with methanol and ethanol. With the consideration of the characteristics of methanol and ethanol during catalytic combustion based on Pt nanoparticles. Multicycle test with on and off state of the reactant mixture was applied to methanol, and single cycle test with long time use was applied to both methanol and ethanol. The results of multicycle test showed similar repetitive typical temperature and output performance of the tf-MTC device. An obvious increase of output performance was obtained during single cycle test of the tf-MTC device with ethanol when compared with methanol. The output voltage and the maximum output power reached 0.201 V and 2.38 μW, respectively. The results indicates both methanol and ethanol are suitable for the tf-MTC device as power generator, and different output performances paly a guiding role of the choice of the fuel for different application scenarios.
Keywords the coupled device; catalytic combustion; methanol; ethanol