Electronic devices of all kinds are experiencing exponential growth and there is one thing they all have in common: they need power. Some of today’s most talked about technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing devices, are no exception. These often come in the form of a network of small electronic devices that can include processors, sensors, power management circuitry, and wireless communication circuitry. Furthermore, these devices are often used in locations that may be inconvenient or impracticable to service regularly.
As a result, wireless circuitry is generally included to relay information back to a base station, which may process the data locally or upload it to the cloud for further analysis. Utilizing low-power consuming devices and high-capacity batteries is critical in keeping the system powered and running reliably. Although this may suffice for many systems, there are still applications in which an additional power source is needed to occasionally charge the batteries. This is where energy harvesting comes into play. Energy harvesting is a method of providing power to a system through unconventional means. Typically, batteries are recharged via connected wires or manually replaced. Using energy harvesting, a system can collect energy from the surrounding environment, for example, from light sources or vibrations, to provide charge to a battery. While the energy provided to the system may cost nothing, the real motivations for implementing energy harvesting are convenience and the ability to eliminate wires that would be needed to run the system. Energy harvesting also allows for a truly remote system. Wireless sensors and devices could be placed in sensitive ecological locations and require virtually no regular maintenance. In addition, they can be placed in locations that are inconvenient to reach, such as atop buildings or remote areas.
This eBook will walk you through the following:
• Basic concepts and types of energy harvesting currently being used
• Example circuits used in energy harvesting systems
• Example applications
• Emerging trends in energy harvesting systems