This work describes the need for energy harvesting in horizontal wells and demonstrates a novel concept of thermal energy harvesting. The concept utilizes temperature differences in compressible fluids generated by vortex tubes using thermoelectric generators (TEGs). The method is ideal for fluid environments where thermal gradient is either lacking or is negligible such as horizontal portion of the multilateral oil and gas wells. Laboratory-based experimental validation of the concept is presented in this paper showing the potential of a significant amount of energy harvesting in difficult to access locations and environments including downhole in multilaterals where limited usable energy sources are available besides the flow to power autonomous circuits and systems for monitoring and control applications.

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