Generating power from implants


#1

What if we had implants that generated power from body heat? The ability to create power from heat in solid state already exists. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_generator has anyone looked into this yet? Of corse it would need to be close to the skin in order to dissipate heat on one side and in order to generate usable power it would probably have to charge up a small capacitor and be used in bursts but having the capability of an “internal” power sorce would completely change biohacking. Has anyone seen anything on this being researched or experimented with?


#2

We have looked into this. There are a few issues. The temperature differential is typically not significant enough to drive much power from a TEG device… we’re talking microwatts at best. The other issue is that the body is really good at dealing with heat loss, and will shut down blood vessels around the TEG device to slow heat dissipation through it.

I one implanted a solar panel under the skin to see if subdermal photo-voltaic could be used, and the results were promising… but it won’t be a reality until we have efficient cells that can utilize infrared photons where each photon impact results in electron release. We currently have panels that require multiple photon strikes to release a single electron, and that’s not efficient enough.


#3

What kind of solar panel? Was this living tissue?


#4

It was a cheap panel from a $2 calculator. We coated it and put it under the skin of my left arm. We used a fixed light source in a dark room to test the panel’s performance above my skin and under my skin. The delta was huge but the output while under my skin in the worst possible conditions was still promising.


#5

There was also the 2012 MIT glucose fuel cell experiment for powering implants.


#6

yeah I saw that too! the power density was … well it was not practical. hopefully they are making progress miniaturizing it.