Abstract

Work toward the development of a new MEMS power generation system, the P3 micro heat engine, is presented. The P3 micro heat engine is an external combustion engine, in which thermal power is converted to mechanical power through the use of a novel thermodynamic cycle that approaches the ideal vapor Carnot cycle. Mechanical power is converted into electrical power through the use of a thin-film piezoelectric membrane generator. A numerical model of the engine, SIMP3, is introduced. The model is used, first to illustrate the micro heat engine’s operation, and then to explore the optimization of the engine. The major parameters controlling the performance of the P3 micro engine are discussed.

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