Doc Bernds FutureLab

Que Sera! Smart World: What Mars Can Teach Us.

With Nasa's Mars mission, Mars is on everyone's lips again. In the Xyna Conference 2018, I dealt with the question of what we could learn from Mars for a world changed by climate change. After all, Mars has undergone drastic climate change. In doing so, I asked myself how humans might live on Mars and what we can learn from this for the concept of a Smart World that adapts to climate change where its consequences are unfortunately unavoidable. At that time, astronaut Prof. Dr. Ulrich Walter gave an overview of the state of research and approaches for a human life in space in his contribution at our Xyna Conference 2018.

A special focus in my presentation was on an interstellar power supply based on Quantum Grid technology. Especially the power generation by thermoelectric generators based on the Seeberg effect played an important role. In particular, such thermoelectric generators could be important in future smart world technologies for powering IoT and cyber-physical systems.

How far research and development in the field of these thermoelectric generators has progressed is shown in the article "Energy Center in 3D" in Physics Journal p. 20.

Thermoelectric generators (TEG) convert heat into an electric field by means of the Seeberg effect. In a circuit consisting of two different conductors A and B with material-dependent Seeberg coefficients S(T) and S(T), a voltage U is generated with $${U} = \int_{T_1}^{T_2}{(S_B(T)-S_A(T))dT}$$

In this case, T1  is the temperature at the 1st junction of conductors A and B, and T2 is the temperature at the 2nd junction of conductors A and B.

As reported by the Physik Journal, the KIT Karlsruhe spin-offs "otego" and the "InnovationLab" Heidelberg achieved amazing progress. Using thermoelectric ink based on PEDOT nanowires, 3D structures were printed. A tiny cube was thus created as a folded TEG with an edge length approximately equal to the diameter of a 1 eurocent coin.

This TEG cube could generate a power density of about 50 μWatt/cm2 at a temperature difference of 30K. This power was sufficient to drive a frahling sensor that measures temperature, air pressure, and humidity and transmits them to a smartphone via Bluetooth. The temperature difference can be easily determined by the difference between the sunny side and the shady side of the TEG.

I consider this development very interesting for the Quantum Grid. In Rural Areas, for example, there will be Quantum Grid links that are little used. That is, these rarely transmit power, but need to communicate with the Quantum Grid to enable, if needed, the transmission of power packets through them. Using such TEGs built into the Quantum Grid router at the end of that Quantum Link, this power supply could be provided. As a result, this end router can participate in Quantum Grid communication. As a reminder to transmit energy packets and thus provide electrical power, the Quantum Grid Routers involved in the transmission must exchange data packets with each other for communication. For this purpose, in simple terms, the communication modules of the routers must be able to be permanently supplied with power. This is usually done as part of the transmission of energy packets. However, if this is only rarely the case, extra supply packets would have to be transmitted to these little-used end routers.

With the thermoelectric generators, however, these supply packages are no longer necessary.