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9 Mar 2012

Don Scansen writes:

Untapped energy surrounds us. Transducers to convert various energy sources into electricity that can be put to useful work are relatively straightforward to understand and implement. However, harvestable energy sources are intermittent, or at least very inconsistent, in terms of output. Many can provide only a few microwatts. Putting these very low energy sources to use requires efficient charge control electronics designed for low power.

In terms of performance, one of the most attractive energy harvesting power management ICs (PMIC) on the market is the MAX17710G+T from Maxim, which was designed from the ground up for energy harvesting and extracting the greatest amount of energy possible from the transducer element. As a result, it offers class-leading performance for this application. The PMIC allows very simple, low-cost solutions for battery charging and protection. The MAX17710G+T will provide good battery charging performance for a wide range of ambient sources and conditions. Useful power is extracted from levels as low as 1 µW and 0.8 V. Coupled to a very small form factor MEC (micro energy cell), it is a powerful combination for a broad range of energy harvesting applications.

A Hands-on Look at the Maxim MAX17710 Energy Harvesting PMIC – [Link]

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