Our project is to implement a new system that will increase the autonomy of a laptop.
The idea of our project is the result of a double observation. Firstly, nowadays where the majority of people have a smartphone and connected objects are in full swing, it is not rare to find the need to recharge the battery of these objects which, for the most requested of them, struggle to exceed a day of autonomy. On the other hand, for people on the move with no access to the electrical energy of the sector but having a laptop with them, this computer is the only way to recharge their connected objects.
However, charging a device on a laptop is much slower than on the sector and consumes the energy stored in the computer's battery. Moreover, the electronic components of the latter dissipate energy in the form of heat. However, this energy is untapped.
Therefore, we decided to profit. To do this, we first realized a thermal mapping of the motherboard of a laptop running to determine what components dissipate more heat. Not surprisingly, it is the CPU, GPU and Northbridge. We have therefore installed on each of these components a Seebeck effect module putting in contact the hot side of each module with the component on which it is placed. One of the key issues to retrieve a suitable power was the optimization of the temperature difference between the cold and hot-side of each module. For the sake of optimizing the temperature difference, we thermally linked the cold side of each module to the fan of the computer through manufactured custom-made copper rods to maintain low temperatures. The voltage of the electrical signal generated by the modules is 1 V and its intensity is 0.5 A. This signal is adjusted by an electronic circuit which includes a DC to DC converter allowing us to retrieve 5 V and 0.5 A, hence 2.5 W. The output of this circuit is connected to a USB port in which we will plug an electronic device to recharge it.
The prototype that we have achieved is functional, light (180 g) and non bulky. It allows us to recharge a device on a USB port using free energy, that is usually not exploited and without seeking the computer's battery. Moreover, thanks to an available 2.5 W power, the replenishment is 5 times faster than on most USB ports which are limited to 500 mW.
Our system can be implemented in any computer. However, each model is specific for optimal effectiveness, it is necessary to anticipate the implementation of our system in the design of the hardware architecture of the model in question. This is the reason why, in case we get a patent, we envisage signing an exclusive license contract with a manufacturer of laptops to enable him to exploit our technology.