An Efficient Polarity Detection Technique for Thermoelectric Harvester in L-based Converters

Mohammad Alhawari, Baker Mohammad, Hani Saleh, Mohammed Ismail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This paper presents a new method for detecting and reversing the polarity of a low-voltage thermoelectric generator (TEG) in inductor-based converters. The proposed technique makes use of the inductor response to a voltage change due to the flip in the TEG polarity. The inductor voltage provides two distinguishable states which correspond to the normal and the reversed TEG polarity. A switch matrix circuit is then used to correct the polarity by physically reversing the TEG connection. The detection circuit along with the switch matrix provide a positive input voltage from the TEG to the inductor-based converter. The proposed technique is an efficient polarity detection with all-digital implementation, fully integrated, small area and power overhead. The prototype chip is fabricated in 65-nm CMOS and occupies an area of 0.09 mm2. Measurement results confirm a maximum efficiency of 70% at 50 mV TEG voltage and 40 μA output current. The proposed technique is part of an autonomous thermal energy harvesting system that detects and corrects the TEG polarity.

Original languageBritish English
Article number7792628
Pages (from-to)705-716
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • Auto-polarity
  • DC-DC converter
  • energy harvesting
  • switch matrix circuit
  • thermoelectric generator


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