Journal article Open Access

Thermoelectric energy harvesting for oxygen determination in refrigerated intelligent packaging

Araque, Pablo Escobedo; Escobedo, P.; de Vargas-Sansalvador, I. M. Perez; Lopez-Ruiz, Nuria; Capitan-Vallvey, Luis Fermin; Palma, Alberto J.; Carvajal, M. A.; Martinez-Olmos, Antonio

In this paper, we present a passive tag for the determination of gaseous oxygen in intelligent packaging (IP). The power supply for this tag is obtained from thermoelectric energy harvesting taking advantage of the temperature difference between a cooled package and the human body. For this purpose, a compact Peltier module is attached to the surface of the package. This device is able to generate 1.2 mW when a temperature difference of 25 °C is applied between its surfaces. A dc-to-dc boost converter is included to generate an output voltage of 3.3 V and an output current of 225 μA from the harvested energy by the Peltier cell, which are used to supply the measurement circuitry. A luminescent membrane sensitive to oxygen is used as a gas detector in the package. The generated signal is compared to a reference value to evaluate if the oxygen concentration inside the package falls below or above a predetermined value. This is shown by turning on a green or a red LED, respectively. The proposed system presents a resolution of 0.02% of the predicted oxygen concentration in the range of interest (0%- 5%) and a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.007%, which makes the instrument appropriate to be used in IP and active packaging (AP) technology.
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