# How can I raise 1 volt to 5 volts?

I have a TLC module that i can get to produce about 1 volt from my hand.  I would like a way to turn this into 5 or more volts.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

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steveastrouk4 years ago
FYI There are now specifically TECs designed as TEGs.

Efficiency is ~5%, so to get 5W out, you need 100W in. For 1/2 watt, you'd only need a 10W cell.
mpilchfamily4 years ago
While it is doable you won't get enough current out of the system to power anything. The problem with boosting voltages is you loose amperage in the process. Chances are your noting getting more than a few pico amps from your hand to start with.
pianoman99a (author)  mpilchfamily4 years ago
If I use something warmer, such as a candle, would there be a way to do this?
4 years ago
No. At least not producing the amount of power i suspect your looking for. You can't get something for nothing and a small heat source like your hand or a candle isn't going to produce enough usable energy to power much of anything.

Your shooting for 5V, i'm assuming for a USB device/cell phone right? To support such a devices the power source needs to offer at least 500mA. A 1V source before a voltage booster is applied would have to offer at least 3A. Any less and you'll wind up under the 500mA you need. You probably won't get that kind of power out of the unit.

Look at the Minty Boost. It takes a 3V source, in this case a pair of AA batteries, and boosts it to the 5V 500mA needed for USB devices. With a 3V source you need a little more than 1A which a pair of AA's can easily provide. It could be made to work off a single AA battery but it would draw more amperage from the battery and drastically reduce how long that battery will last.
pianoman99a (author)  mpilchfamily4 years ago
If this is the case, then how much power do you think I can draw from the tlc module, with any heat source?
4 years ago
When you say TLC Module i assume your are talking about a Thermal Electric Cooler?

These modules are designed to have a voltage applied to them and act as a cooler. Yes you can apply a heat source and get a voltage out of them but it's very inefficient. Much like a speaker. You apply a frequency to it and you get sound. But when you apply a sound to it you get a frequency out but it's very weak.

How much you can get out of it depends on how big it is. In order to get the kind of power you want you will need several modules and a good solid heat source. There are high tech bits of camping equipment that use thermoelectric coolers to charge a battery pack in them and allow you to charge your phone. They are typically built into a kettle so you'll charging while your boiling your water on the camp fire.
4 years ago
FYI There are now specifically TECs designed as TEGs.

Efficiency is ~5%, so to get 5W out, you need 100W in.
4 years ago
BTW if you are talking about a Thermoelectric cooler the proper abbreviation is TEC.
pianoman99a (author)  mpilchfamily4 years ago
Yes, I am, I made a mistake. Thank you for all of your help.
iceng4 years ago
This wonderful Thermoelectric generator by randofo is what you are looking for ! !

If you need more voltage, use a good Joule Thief like this one to do that.

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