As consumer electronics go wireless and battery operated, the demand for energy efficient operation is higher than ever. Energy harvesting takes low power solutions one step further because it enables electronic devices to be powered without using any batteries. Energy harvesting is the process of turning alternative sources, such as sun, heat, and vibration into electrical energy. Since this energy is generated by sustainable resources, using the energy is also free of charge. For manufacturers this means that they can save both money and reduce the usage of batteries.
To transform natural sources into energy, it is necessary to have an energy harvester which functions as a converter. As shortly introduced in the previous newsletter, Energy Harvesting To-go kit is a result of cooperation between Energy Micro, Linear Technology and Wuerth Elektronik. The kit enables the user to easily connect four different sources such as solar cell, peltier element, piezo element, and inductive generator. While the harvest generates energy, the EFM32 starter kit monitors current consumption and manages energy usage in real time. The video below describes how you can generate energy from the harvesting kit.
To support those who would like to know more about energy harvesting, Energy Micro, Linear Technology and Wuerth Elektronik also created a community, called “Energy Harvesting Solutions” on element 14. On the community you can learn the basics of energy harvesting, discuss current issues, and download relevant documents/videos.