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Harvesting waste energy
Isarakorn, Don Department of Instrumentation and Control Engineering, King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang Bangkok, Thailand.
Briand, Danick Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Laboratory, Institute of Microengineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
de Rooij, Nico Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Laboratory, Institute of Microengineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
- Solar energy
- Thermoelectric energy
- RF energy
- Motion-driven energy
- Related Primary Literature
Batteries now represent the dominant energy source for electronic devices. However, in addition to environmental concerns, the use of batteries can be troublesome because of their limited energy-storage capacity and finite lifespan, thus necessitating periodic replacement or recharging. For this reason, alternative power sources have been sought to replace batteries, which would allow the devices to function over extended periods of time. A promising approach to this challenge is known as energy harvesting: collecting waste energy from the environment and converting it to usable electricity. The field of energy harvesting has become of growing interest in the past few years as a potential approach for a wide variety of self-powered devices. The waste energy sources available for harvesting are primarily of four forms: light, thermal gradients, motion or vibration, and radio-frequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation (Fig. 1). All have received attention as alternative power supplies offering different degrees of usefulness depending on the application. Most fields using this energy harvesting technology rely on sensors located in remote, dangerous, or sensitive areas that require maintenance-free power at low voltages.
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