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Thomas Kail

Energy Harvesting for Wearables

Thomas Kail
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DaeJ
DaeJ
8/12/2014 5:24:34 PM
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Re: Re : Energy Harvesting for Wearables
As one of application for vibration and movement, if customer has pet animal, whenever pet animal is moving, sensor attached to animal would generate the energy and store it to energy source.  This energy could be used for residential purpose or gadget.

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eafpres1
eafpres1
8/11/2014 11:20:26 AM
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Re: Configurable boost converters?
@Thomas--thank you for the detailed answer.  Your points about the energy source for "sleep" mode and how to start up points to the complexity of all these harvestig applications.  Definitely some good food for thought.  It will be interesting to watch this evolution.

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Thomas Kail
Thomas Kail
8/11/2014 2:43:54 AM
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Re: Configurable boost converters?

@eafpres1: First of all, thanks for your comment. For sure, the goal of every IC manufacturer is the development of the all-in-one device that suits many purposes. I´m sure, that it would be possible to manage several applications with just one configurable part, but not without any drawbacks. I´d say, at first we need to  distinguish between the different sources of energy which are going to be harvested. Is it thermal energy, solar energy or energy of an electromagnetic field or maybe mechanical energy or something else? Then it is a very important point, at which voltage level the booster has to startup correctly? Is this anyway a battery driven application, which provides the needed minimum voltage to startup the booster or is this a complete autarkic system without any battery, where the booster has to manage itself just with the harvested energy and a startup with very low input voltage is mandatory? The development of the booster concepts depends on different criteria and it is for sure a big challenge. To cut a long story short, I personally see in the future  the potential for configurable boost converters that could address more than just one dedicated application. On the other hand, we have done this successfully for many years in  areas such as for Power Management Units, which suit  various applications while supporting an array of different  microcontrollers. 

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yalanand
yalanand
7/31/2014 2:45:21 PM
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Re : Energy Harvesting for Wearables
Meeting the power challenges seems the toughest job out there right now, for all the tech giants. The functionalities they provide are increasing, so is the processing speed which enables faster multitasking, only Power is the limiting agent for them. But the alternatives are catching grounds, as your article has pointed out in detail. With the ongoing research, a solution to all our battery life woes is not too far.

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yalanand
yalanand
7/31/2014 2:43:17 PM
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Re : Energy Harvesting for Wearables
Vibration or movement sensors that can harvest energy seems to be the optimum choice for wearables since we are literally always on the go. Piezoelectric vibration sensors for example, can be atached to soles of the footwear to harvest energy without any bother. Such convenient options, once brought in the market would usher in interest undoubtedly.

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yalanand
yalanand
7/31/2014 2:41:17 PM
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Energy Harvesting for Wearables
Interesting read. Reminded me of one of the reasearches that involve developing a wearable fabric that would be able to harvest solar energy. One such prototype, called the Powerweave, is already made as I can reckon. Such technologies would surely make wearable articles far easier to maintain. This seems a start to something greater in the times to come.

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SachinEE
SachinEE
7/31/2014 11:14:39 AM
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External boost converters?
For miniature devices with large power consumption, there is a rising trend to separate the actual device from its power harvesting system. The latter, which also includes the boost converter, may be designed separately as an independent device, or could be built into a larger device, such as a Smartphone (which you will probably always be carrying with you anyway), and be used to charge the miniature device or piece of wearable tech wirelessly. It may be a little more costly but it reduces the space limitations that come with building it into the actual device and therefore results in a much longer battery life.

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SachinEE
SachinEE
7/31/2014 11:13:57 AM
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Boost converter requirements
The boost converter is undoubtedly essential for any energy harvesting device. I could not agree more with the 3 requirements that make a great boost converter as you clearly pointed them out. However, I strongly believe that there is a fourth salient feature that most designers take for granted but which deserves some thought. A good boost conductor must also fit within a specific output limit. It is worth pointing out that it is not always that the converter that produces the highest power output given the same levels of input as other converters is necessarily the best and the output limit should be tied to the specific power needs of the device in question.

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vasanjk
vasanjk
7/23/2014 1:18:14 PM
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Re: Wireless transmission of power
Vishal

I was only thinking aloud when I said that. The trend is moving towards higher frequencies with less power and it is going to be so for ever.

Though wireless charging involves a similar technology, it is exactly not harvesting, as I see it.

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Vishal Prajapati
Vishal Prajapati
7/22/2014 7:49:47 AM
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Re: Wireless transmission of power
Radio frequency energy harvesting is very good option and freely available.

 

But imagin the antenna of the radio you mentioned. It was several feet long.

 

Since then the frequency has been increased from KHz to GHz and consequently the size of the antenna has also been decreased. But on the contrary the transmit power has also decresed. So, to accomodate the antenna and power conversion circuit in side a wearable device is a challenge.

 

I think that is the only reason why many big companies haven't put efforts in this area.

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