ENERGY HARVESTING: PMIC, INDOOR SOLAR CELLS
Why Energy Harvesting?
Energy harvesting is picking up the pace as battery is a very big problem to the world.
So many electronic devices such as TV remotes, wall clocks, multimeters, etc. use batteries and after they are discharged are thrown away. Only a very less percentage gets to recycling plants, most get to the landfills.
Every year billions of dead batteries go to landfills. Such a bad impact they have on the environment as they have harmful chemicals in them.
If you are using a battery in your product, it has a limited life like a few years. There are two major issues with battery power products where energy harvesting could help.
Replacing the battery after it is dead is a cost. And the even bigger cost to executing the task of replacing the batteries in thousands of products installed in the field, many could be located remotely as well.
So, the battery cost and time, and effort required to replace the battery.
There are many applications where the battery is a commercial challenge like some products are very price-sensitive or cannot afford to have bigger batteries to provide longer backup time.
What is the Solution?
There are several companies that are building products that can replace the battery/will make several products battery-free or can significantly reduce the use of battery or extend the battery backup time. This solves both business and environmental problems we face today.
Ambient Energy harvesting is not new to us.
We have been using hand-driven dynamo chargers for torches, we are using solar panels for electricity. But now energy harvesting is getting into our daily use products. Very soon we will start seeing battery-less products in our surroundings.
⚡Today, truly battery-less🔋devices are possible! With #energyharvesting ⚡TV remotes, wall clocks, sensor nodes, Electronic Shelf Labels, etc. are some of the potential devices.
Some research work is shown here:
Some other real-world examples are:
Do you know other products which are using energy harvesting in their product to make it battery-free, please do let me know in the comments below?
How to add Energy Harvesting to your product?
If you need to add energy harvesting to your product there are three main things that need to be added other than your existing electronics:
- Energy Harvester: this will extract the ambient energy and convert it into electrical form. Energy harvesters could be PV cells(light) for indoor, outdoor use, harvester for vibration, wind turbine, RF antenna, etc.
- Energy Harvesting Power Management IC (PMIC): helps extract the electrical energy from the harvester in the most efficient manner.
- Energy Storage Element, which could be store the harvested energy and be used by the electronics when required.
In this article, I will be listing various companies who are working in the energy harvesting domain and creating products (Harvesters(Solar cells, Fuel Cells, etc.), PMICs, etc.) which is making energy harvesting possible.
You can access here the List of indoor solar panel manufacturers and energy harvester PMIC manufacturers: https://pallavaggarwal.in/2021/12/29/energy-harvesting/
In the future, I will add some other manufacturers who are manufacturing energy harvesters, manufacturers of batteries that are specifically designed for energy harvesting applications.
If you are aware of any other manufacturer please do let me know I will add it to the list so that it will be helpful for engineers working on energy harvesting.
The article was originally published on pallavaggarwal.in