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Module harvests energy to power wireless sensors

Posted: 14 Aug 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:energy harvesting module? power electronics? wireless sensor?

AdaptivEnergy LLC has introduced its Joule-Thief energy harvesting module based on the company's proprietary Ruggedized Laminated Piezo (RLP) technology, and proprietary energy collection and storage circuitry. The fully self-contained vibration energy harvester module is capable of harvesting usable energy at vibration amplitudes that are below the threshold of human perception to power electronics devices such as wireless sensors.

The modules are designed to harvest energy from typical AC-powered devices and are available in standard frequencies of 60- and 120Hz with custom frequencies available on request. The company touts that the module is the highest output vibration energy harvesting device per unit weight and volume of any commercially available energy harvester.

The module is designed to provide users with a standard 3.6Vdc output. Several energy storage options are available including capacitors and several battery technologies. The various energy storage options allow the storage capacity to be matched to the user's application. The standard modules store from 1.4- to 430mJ depending on the storage device used.

A Wireless Sensor Demonstration Kit is also available that mates the Joule-Thief module to a sensor board, which includes a Texas Instruments MSP430 MCU and CC2500 wireless transceiver. The sensor board includes a temperature, pressure and light sensor as well as a switch and potentiometer to allow experimentation with vibration powered wireless sensing, switching and proportional control. All of the sensors, the MCU and the transceiver are completely powered by the Joule-Thief module. The sensor data is then transmitted to any PC.

Demonstration kits are available for $699.

- Gina Roos

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