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1. (US5419780) Method and apparatus for recovering power from semiconductor circuit using thermoelectric device
Nota: Texto obtenido mediante procedimiento automático de reconocimiento óptico de caracteres.
Solo tiene valor jurídico la versión en formato PDF
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus that removes heat from a semiconductor device, comprising:
a thermoelectric generator that converts heat energy to electrical energy, said thermoelectric generator positioned on said semiconductor device to receive heat generated by said semiconductor device, said thermoelectric generator producing an output voltage in response to said heat; and
an airflow generating device electrically connected to receive said output voltage from said thermoelectric generator and responsive to said output voltage to cause air to flow, said airflow generating device positioned proximate to said semiconductor device so that air caused to flow by said airflow generating device removes heat from said semiconductor device to thereby reduce the temperature of said semiconductor device.
2. The apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said airflow generating device is a fan.
3. The apparatus as defined in claim 1, further including a heatsink that increases the rate at which heat is conducted away from said semiconductor device, said thermoelectric generator positioned between said heatsink and said semiconductor device, said airflow generating device positioned to cause air to flow over said heatsink.
4. The apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said thermoelectric generator comprises a Peltier cooler operating in the Seebeck mode wherein the power generated by the thermoelectric generator is responsive to the temperature difference across the thermoelectric generator.
5. A method for cooling a semiconductor device comprising the steps of:
positioning a thermoelectric generator proximate to the semiconductor device;
generating electrical power by said thermoelectric generator in response to heat generated by said semiconductor device;
connecting said electrical power generated by said thermoelectric generator to an airflow generating device; and
generating an airflow to remove heat from said semiconductor device in response to said electrical power generated by said thermoelectric generator.
6. The method as defined in claim 5, wherein said airflow generating device comprises a fan.
7. The method as defined in claim 5, wherein said thermoelectric generator comprises a Peltier cooler operating in the Seebeck mode to generate electrical power from a temperature differential across the thermoelectric generator.
8. The method as defined in claim 5, further including the step of positioning the thermoelectric generator between said semiconductor device and a heatsink.
9. A method for utilizing the heat energy generated by a semiconductor circuit in an electronic system, comprising the steps of:
positioning a thermoelectric generator proximate to the semiconductor circuit so that the heat generated by the semiconductor circuit is transferred to said thermoelectric generator;
generating electrical energy by said thermoelectric generator responsive to said heat transferred from said semiconductor circuit;
transferring said electrical energy to an electrically operated device; and
operating said electrically operated device in response to said electrical energy.
10. The method as defined in claim 9, wherein said electrically operated device comprises a cooling device that reduces the temperature of said semiconductor circuit.
11. The method as defined in claim 10, wherein said cooling device comprises a airflow generating device.
12. The method as defined in claim 11, wherein said airflow generating device comprises a fan.
13. The method as defined in claim 9, wherein said thermoelectric generator comprises a Peltier module operating in the Seebeck mode.
14. The method as defined in claim 9, further comprising the step of positioning a heatsink proximate to said thermoelectric generator so that heat transferred from said semiconductor circuit to said thermoelectric generator is further transferred through said thermoelectric generator to said heatsink, said heatsink thereby increasing the flow of heat to said thermoelectric generator from said semiconductor circuit.
15. The method as defined in claim 14, wherein said electrically operated device comprises a fan positioned proximate to said heatsink, and wherein said step of further comprising a electrically powered airflow generating device, said airflow generating device operating in response to said electrical energy transferred from said thermoelectric generator to cause air to flow proximate to said heatsink, said air dissipating heat transferred to said heatsink.