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14 Jul 2015

1-ultralowpowe

by Larry Hardesty @ phys.org

The latest buzz in the information technology industry regards “the Internet of things”—the idea that vehicles, appliances, civil-engineering structures, manufacturing equipment, and even livestock would have their own embedded sensors that report information directly to networked servers, aiding with maintenance and the coordination of tasks.

Realizing that vision, however, will require extremely low-power sensors that can run for months without battery changes—or, even better, that can extract energy from the environment to recharge.

Last week, at the Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits, MIT researchers presented a new power converter chip that can harvest more than 80 percent of the energy trickling into it, even at the extremely low power levels characteristic of tiny solar cells. Previous experimental ultralow-power converters had efficiencies of only 40 or 50 percent.

Ultralow-power circuit improves efficiency of energy harvesting to more than 80 percent – [Link]

 

4 Mar 2015

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by Stephen Evanczuk @ digikey.com:

Indoor lighting offers a convenient energy source for many applications but lacks the high-power levels of solar energy. In fact, indoor lighting energy-harvesting systems face a number of challenges that differ subtlety from those encountered in solar-energy harvesting. Nevertheless, engineers can quickly implement energy-harvesting designs using a variety of components and specialized devices from manufacturers including Cymbet, IXYS, Linear Technology, Panasonic, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments, among others.

Specialized ICs, PV Cells Enable Energy Harvesting from Indoor Lighting – [Link]

23 Dec 2014

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by Stephen Evanczuk @ digikey.com:

For rapidly growing markets such as wearables or the Internet of Things (IoT), energy harvesting can significantly enhance battery life—or even enable battery-free designs. At the same time, however, engineers designing wearables and IoT devices face significant constraints in total design size and footprint. To meet growing demands for miniaturized systems, designers can turn to an array of highly integrated energy-harvesting ICs and wireless MCUs from silicon vendors including Atmel, CSR, Freescale Semiconductor, Linear Technology, Maxim Integrated, NXP Semiconductor, Silicon Laboratories, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments, among others.

Energy harvesting offers tremendous benefits for applications able to take advantage of ambient-energy sources. Designers have employed energy-harvesting techniques to power applications ranging from motor and engine monitors to railway trackside electronics. Typically, these applications are based on wireless-sensor designs built to transmit sampled data about the environment or events of interest to a controller, aggregator, or other host (Figure 1).

Specialized ICs Squeeze Large Capabilities into Tiny Energy-Harvesting Solutions – [Link]

17 Nov 2014

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by Stephen Evanczuk  @ digikey.com:

Pulse-energy-harvesting applications convert bursts of energy to sufficient power for operating simple circuits such as wireless switches, wireless data loggers, remote controls, and the like. To build these designs, engineers can draw on a wide variety of available ultra-low-power ICs and energy transducers from manufacturers including EnOcean, Linear Technology, Linx Technologies, Maxim Integrated, Measurement Specialties, Microchip Technology, Mide Technology, ROHM Semiconductor, Schurter, Silicon Labs, and Texas Instruments, among others.

Powering Circuits through Pulse-Energy Harvesting – [Link]


12 Nov 2014

mechanical-vibration-generate-electricity-1

by Richard Moss @ gizmag.com:

Electrical energy is normally generated through heat, motion, nuclear transformation, or chemical reactions, but now scientists at VTT Technical Research Center of Finland have devised a new method that involves mechanical vibrations. They figured out how to “harvest” the vibrational energy that occurs naturally when two surfaces with different work functions are connected via electrodes, and this energy could potentially be used to power wearables and other low-power electronics.

New technique for generating electricity from mechanical vibrations – [Link]

27 Sep 2014

Dave plays around with an energy harvesting kit to see how much power he can get out of a Peltier device used as a Seeback effect module to generate power from temperature differentials.
Bonus white board tutorial of how Peltier devices work as heat pumps.

EEVblog #664 – Peltier TEG Energy Harvesting Experiments – [Link]

10 Jun 2014

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By Stephen Evanczuk:

Sensor data acquisition underlies many deeply embedded applications and plays a central role in the evolving Internet of Things (IoT). With the trend toward reliance on energy harvesting for power, sensor-based designs require increasingly effective solutions for processing sensor signals efficiently and accurately. Among available alternatives, specialized sensor-signal conditioning ICs such as those from Analog Devices, Maxim Integrated, and Texas Instruments offer a drop-in solution for sensor-signal acquisition.

Sensors typically produce small signals that require amplification to boost the dynamic range of the signals, as well as compensation to correct for offset, temperature, and non-linearity response of the sensors themselves (Figure 1). To meet these challenges, designers can turn to a variety of digital and analog methods.

Signal Conditioners Offer Drop-in Sensor Solutions for Energy-Harvesting Designs – [Link]

4 May 2014

1-thermoelectr

(Phys.org) —

A group of Korean researchers have turned their focus on supplying a reliable, efficient power source for wearables. Professor Byung Jin Cho of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and his team, recognizing that supplying power that is stable and reliable is critical to the successful commercialization of wearables, have come up with a wearable power band that made technology news this week. The team noted that a flexible thermoelectric (TE) power generator would be the way to go to realize a wearable self-powered mobile device. They developed a wearable band-shaped item that produces electricity from the heat of the human body, The device size is 10 cm x 10 cm. Wearable electronics must be light, flexible, and equipped with a power source, which could be a portable, long-lasting battery or no battery at all but a generator, according to a KAIST release on Thursday, providing details about their work.

Power arm band for wearables harvests body heat – [Link]

20 Jun 2013

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Bill Schweber writes:

The power-management IC (PMIC) supports and manages the transducer and energy-collection channel, the energy-storage element (battery, conventional capacitor or supercapacitor), and the processor/wireless link. This critical block of any energy-harvesting design implements several major functions: Captures and extracts the random, miniscule energy from the source transducer, Transforms that extracted power into energy for the storage element, usually via a DC/DC converter, Manages the outflow of power from the storage element, while ensuring that power is not drawn when the stored energy is below a threshold value and would be wasted, Perhaps most challenging, it has to manage its own start-up sequence in the transition from when there is insufficient available stored energy for the PMIC itself.

Choosing a Power Management IC for Energy-Harvesting Applications – [Link]

18 Jun 2013

article-2013may-tune-in-charge-up-fig2

by Publitek European Editors:

In today’s wireless, connected world, ambient Radio Frequency (RF) energy is everywhere. Technically, this free-flowing energy can be captured, converted and stored for use in other applications. In fact, it is already in use in a number of ultra-low-power, battery-free applications, such as RFID tags, contactless smart cards, and wireless sensor networks. As a result of technological advances, harvested RF energy is just beginning to realize its wider potential, including charging batteries in smartphones and other portable devices. These enabling technologies include RF transceivers, power conversion circuits, and ultra-low-power microcontrollers, all of which are becoming ever more efficient.

Tune In, Charge Up: RF Energy Harvesting Shows its Potential – [Link]



 
 
 

 

 

 

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