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Harvest Energy from a Single Photovoltaic Cell

Authored on: Apr 21, 2011 by Nathan Bourgoine

Technical Paper

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To simplify the distribution of wireless communications for instrumentation, monitoring and control applications, power supply designers strive for device grid-independence. Batteries, the immediately obvious solution, offer the illusion of grid independence, but require replacement or recharging, which means eventual connection to the grid and expensive human intervention and maintenance. Enter energy harvesting, where energy is collected from the instrument's immediate environment, offering perpetual operation with no connection to the grid and minimal or no maintenance requirements.
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Dr DSP Posted Jun 27, 2011

There are some new low power MCUs that for simple jobs where the limiting factor is now the lifetime of the battery. Lefetime of the energy harvesting technique will become the limiting factor too. It will be important to have these specifications available.

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przemek0 Posted Dec 21, 2011

The systems that are limited by battery shelf life must be using very little energy---presumably because of a very low duty cycle. Energy harvesting allows for more energy consumption, i.e. more active devices. The best scenario is when you can use the signal you're measuring for powering the measurement, like in the vibration sensors on motors and mechanical power transmission systems.

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Vikas Chaitanya Posted Jan 26, 2012

Single Solar cell available is 156x156mm delivering 4W at 0.7V we need to design the IC/circuit to put this powerinto battery.

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