Tiny Energy-Harvesting Piezoelectric Chargers
Wireless microsensors and other miniaturized electronics cannot only monitor and better-manage power consumption in emerging small- and large-scale applications (for space, military, medical, agricultural, and consumer markets) but also add energy-saving and performance-enhancing intelligence to old, expensive, and difficult-to-replace infrastructures and tiny contraptions in difficult-to-reach places (like the human body). The energy these smart devices store, however, is often insufficient to power the functions they incorporate (such as telemetry, interface, processing, and others) for extended periods. Still more, replacing or recharging the batteries of hundreds of networked nodes is costly, and invasive in the case of the human body. Harvesting ambient kinetic energy in motion to continually replenish a battery is therefore an appealing alternative, even if relevant technologies are still the subject of ardent research today. This talk discusses the state of the art in miniaturized piezoelectric chargers that draw kinetic energy from motion to charge a battery.