Students Propose Using Body Heat to Power Gaming Systems

by Michael Reece, Erin Motes, Kelsey Lewis, and Nick Meadows

Do you ever get tired of replacing batteries in your game controller?  Well, we do, so we came up with the idea to eliminate those batteries! Harnessing heat energy from the body and transferring it into a thermoelectric generator that powers a video game controller is our proposed innovation. The process requires a normal Xbox 360 controller and thermoelectric generators. The generator would be placed on the insides of handles of the controller and these handles are covered by metal plates. The process would work when someone is playing a game and their body naturally produces heat. The body heat would elevate the metal plates’ temperature and channel that heat to the generators themselves. Each handle will have one generator in it because additional generators would require way to much heat, and the available space inside the controller is limited. In order to reduce the space used, the generators will lie beneath the metal plates which will conduct the heat directly from the palms of the hand into the generators.  The generators would take in the body heat and transform it into electricity that will recharge the battery and make the controller run. The heat would be taken in on the hot side and depart on the cold side.

There has to be enough heat intake because during the process the heat will be used in other areas so the efficiency will be low; therefore, our conductor plates will have to be strong. To make sure that the control stays at normal temperature, the controller’s triggers would have spacing that would allow the generators to push the built-up air through an exhaust thus expelling the excess heat from the controller. This process is a continuous cycle which will precede recharging batteries over time.

The design by itself is going to cause the industry for these generators to sky rocket because all that is needed is one breakthrough for heat energy, and it will be the next air turbine which is now found in virtually anything. The controller is an inexpensive invention because these generators have already been produced at small levels; all that is needed is to implement them into a controller. The equations that go into this are the efficiency level which is limited by the Carnot Cycle, hot side minus cold side. With this all being said, the invention really is quiet simple; it possesses traits that exist today: Xbox controllers and thermoelectric generators.


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