· Millions of Micro Thermogenerators and Coolers to
energy Efficiency of Buildings and Production Equipment

· Thermoelectrics Tapping into Free Waste Heat:
Progress is Green

· 15 million Euro invested

HALLE/Saale FREIBURG, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The world’s first automated high volume production site for
thermoelectric chip devices has been officially opened by Micropelt at
their new location in Halle/Saale, near Leipzig. 400 m² (4,300 sqft) of
production space include a customized clean room and the facilities to
produce thermoelectric thin films on 6” silicon wafers, which are
processed further into tiny micro coolers, sensors and thermogenerators.
Unsurpassed power densities of Micropelt’s structured thin films can
pump many watts of heat or generate Milliwatts of electrical power on 10
mm² (0.016 in²). Around 15 million Euros are being invested to turn the
company’s technical world leadership into a corresponding market success.

“Going to volume production is a big and important milestone for
us”

“Going to volume production is a big and important milestone for
us”, said Micropelt’s CEO, Fritz Volkert. “By the same token we lay the
groundwork for a major change in the use of energy and resources in
private households, public institutions as well as corporations around
the world.” Volkert refers to the new market of thermogenerator-driven
wireless sensors and micro actuators. The company is certain that
processes and production equipment will soon be fully monitored by
low-cost self-organizing wireless sensor networks (WSN). According to
this concept both operations and maintenance can switch to always
current measured data, providing for continuously improving process
efficiencies and on one hand and maximized asset utilization along with
optimized maintenance scheduling and execution, at both minimal cost and
risk.

Thermogenerators: Progress is Green

“Today’s wireless sensors save lots of money by avoiding elaborate
planning, logistics and labor of cabling. However, life-cycle costs are
often dominated by battery maintenance. This drawback has so far been
limiting the scope and acceptance of such systems”, explained Burkhard
Habbe, VP of Business Development at Micropelt. Wladimir Punt, VP Sales
and Marketing positions Micropelt’s remedy for the battery maintenance
issue: “Our thermogenerators and thermoharvesters often supply more
energy than is drawn from battery packs used by WSNs. However, the
harvester does not cause any further life cycle costs and beyond that
taps into free, otherwise lost thermal energies. This shows how green
innovation can be!” Micropelt has so far been producing on a pilot
production line located at their Freiburg head offices. The new location
in Halle/Saale is run by a team of seasoned experts of all required
disciplines. After qualification the team heads for starting volume
production of five to ten million parts, dependent on the mix of device
sizes ordered.

Venture Capital Provides Foundation for Solid Enterprise
Development

“Turning a new technology into a product and successfully
introducing it to the market is a risky venture, despite all expertise
and applied diligence”, says Hubertus Leonhardt, Micropelt’s Chairman of
the Board and Managing Partner of SHS GmbH, a Tübingen, Germany, based
venture capital firm which took the role of Micropelt’s lead investor in
2006. “One more time”, Leonhardt continues, “it becomes obvious that
venture capital is an important contributor when it comes to exploring
unknown economic territories and markets. Out of the multiple potentials
we identified before making our decisions, we managed to mature the most
promising ones thanks to our close cooperation with Micropelt. This is
what we take price in.” Further investors joining SHS include MBG, KfW,
L-Bank and IBG Fonds managed by Goodvent, as well as local and regional
financing partners. With its new site Micropelt taps into a rich
infrastructure of basic and applied research organizations, and a
growing production industry. A very particular match occurs with Halle’s
traditional expertise clusters in thermoelectric once hidden behind the
iron curtain.

“Thin film thermoelectrics is just at the beginning of a bright
future”, concludes Fritz Volkert. “Our production technology is easily
applicable to novel materials for higher efficiencies and higher
operating temperatures as they become available. We feel well prepared
to satisfy our customers today and tomorrow.”

Micropelt
GmbH, Freiburg, Germany, develops, produces and markets the world’s
smallest and most effective thermoelectric elements for clean-tech micro
energy harvesting, thermal sensing, cycling and cooling. Micropelt’s
thermoelectric chips are based on a patented scalable thin film
micro-structuring
platform technology
, which minimizes component size
while maximizing power density for energy harvesting, cooling or thermal
cycling applications. Process-inherent economies-of-scale break previous
cost and price barriers of conventional thermoelectrics. Batteries
become obsolete as cost-free electricity from waste heat powers wireless
sensor networks for their entire life. Chip-thermogenerators also boast
unprecedented sensitivity, resolution and dynamics in sensing heat flux
and temperature change. For more information contact Micropelt or visit
the website
http://www.micropelt.com
.