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Spie Press Book

Energy Harvesting for Low-Power Autonomous Devices and Systems
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Book Description

This book is an introductory text describing methods of harvesting electrical energy from mechanical potential and kinetic energy. The book focuses on the methods of transferring mechanical energy to energy conversion transducers of various types, including piezoelectric, electromagnetic, electrostatic, and magnetostrictive transducers. Methods that have been developed for collecting, conditioning, and delivering the generated electrical energy to a load, as well as their potential use as self-powered sensors, are described. The book should be of interest to those who want to know the potentials as well as shortcomings of energy harvesting technology. The book is particularly useful for energy harvesting system designers as it provides a systematic approach to the selection of the proper transduction mechanisms and methods of interfacing with a host system and electrical energy collection and conditioning options. An extensive bibliography is provided to direct the reader to appropriate references for detailed material not included in the book.

Book Details

Date Published: 21 February 2017
Pages: 178
ISBN: 9781510604902
Volume: TT108

Table of Contents
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Table of Contents


1 Energy Harvesting
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Thermal-to-Electrical-based Energy Harvesting
1.3 Solar-to-Electrical-based Energy Harvesting
1.4 Radio-Frequency-to-Electrical-based Energy Harvesting
1.5 Sources of Energy from Human Activity
1.6 Mechanical-to-Electrical-based Energy Harvesting

2 Mechanical-to-Electrical Energy Conversion Transducers
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Piezoelectric Transducers
      2.2.1 Polycrystalline piezoelectric ceramics
      2.2.2 Piezoelectric polymers and polymer-ceramic composites
      2.2.3 Single-crystal piezoelectric ceramics
      2.2.4 Lead-free piezoelectric materials
      2.2.5 Piezoelectric materials for high-temperature applications
      2.2.6 Other piezoelectric material types and structures
2.3 Electromagnetic Induction Transducers
2.4 Electrostatic Transducers
       2.4.1 Electret-based electrostatic transducers
2.5 Magnetostrictive-Material-based Transducers
2.6 General Comparison of Different Transducers
2.7 Transducer Shelf Life and Operational Life

3 Mechanical-to-Electrical Energy Transducer Interfacing Mechanisms
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Interfacing Mechanisms for Piezoelectric-based Transducers
      3.2.1 Interfacing mechanisms for potential energy sources and continuous rotations
      3.2.2 Interfacing mechanisms for continuous oscillatory translational and rotational motions
      3.2.3 Interfacing mechanisms for periodic oscillatory translational and rotational motions of the host system
      3.2.4 Interfacing mechanisms for oscillatory translational and rotational motions with highly varying frequencies and random motions
      3.2.5 Interfacing mechanisms for energy harvesting from shortduration force and accelerating/decelerating pulses
3.3 Design of DOEs using Algorithms
      3.2.1 Design procedure of DOEs using IFTA
3.3 Interfacing Mechanisms for Electromagnetic-based Transducers
      3.3.1 Interfacing mechanisms for rotary input motions
      3.3.2 Interfacing mechanisms for continuous oscillatory translational and rotational motions
      3.3.3 Interfacing mechanisms for energy harvesting from shortduration force and acceleration pulses
3.4 Interfacing Mechanisms for Electrostatic- and Magnetostrictive-based Transducers

4 Collection and Conditioning Circuits
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Collection and Conditioning Circuits for Piezoelectric Transducers
      4.2.1 Direct rectification and conditioning methods
      4.2.2 Circuits to maximize harvested energy
      4.2.3 Collection circuits
      4.2.4 Conditioning circuits
      4.2.5 CC circuits for pulsed piezoelectric loading
4.3 Collection and Conditioning Circuits for Electromagnetic Energy Harvesters
      4.3.1 Synchronous magnetic flux extraction
      4.3.2 Active full-wave rectifier
4.4 Collection and Conditioning Circuits for Electrostatic Energy Harvesters
      4.4.1 Electret-based eEHs
      4.4.2 Active conditioning circuits
      4.4.3 Electret-free eEHs
4.5 Conditioning Circuits for Vibration-based Magnetostrictive Energy Harvesters

5 Case Studies
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Commercial Vibration Energy Harvesters
       5.2.1 IC products for energy-harvesting devices
5.3 Tire Pressure Monitoring System
5.4 Self-Powered Wireless Sensors
5.5 Piezoelectric Energy-Harvesting Power Sources for Gun-Fired Munitions and Similar Applications
5.6 Self-Powered Shock-Loading-Event Detection with Safety Logic Circuit and Applications
      5.6.1 Self-powered shock-loading-event-detection and initiation device
      5.6.2 Shock-loading-event-detection switching applications


Energy harvesting is an energy-to-energy conversion technology involving processes that generate electrical energy from other sources of energy such as mechanical, thermal, chemical, solar, and radio frequency. Use of mechanical and solar energy represents the most developed technologies and offers solutions over a broad range of energy levels. Solar cells are used to power wrist watches, calculators, and road signs, whereas mechanical-energyharvesting solutions based on piezoelectric transducers are being used to harvest energy from sources such as vibration or shock loading. Radiofrequency-based harvesters, for example, are finding use in converting ambient electromagnetic energy to power sensor nodes. Conversion of thermal gradients to electrical energy is another promising technology.

This book is restricted to the generation of small amounts of electrical energy on a local scale and for conversion of mechanical potential and kinetic energy to electrical energy. Persons interested in learning more about the fundamental concepts of energy harvesting will find the treatment of relevant topics readable with little prerequisite requirement of engineering topics. This book will be of particular interest to application engineers from diverse disciplines and industries. It provides a fundamental view of the scope of the energy-harvesting technology as well as the trade-offs and limitations for practical systems.

The book will be of interest to those who want to know the potentials as well as shortcomings of energy-harvesting technologies. It is particularly useful for energy-harvesting system design because it provides a systematic approach to: selection of the proper transduction mechanisms, methods of interfacing with a host system, and electrical energy collection and conditioning options.

The book is divided into five chapters. Chapter 1 briefly describes the various energy-conversion processes currently being used in the generation of electrical energy from sources such as solar, radio frequency, thermoelectric, and energy from human activity.

Chapter 2 describes the three primary types of transducers typically used for converting mechanical energy to electrical energy, that is, piezoelectric, electromagnetic, and electrostatic. Magnetostrictive-based transducers are also briefly introduced.

Chapter 3 presents an in-depth analysis of the interfacing mechanisms used for coupling the host system to the energy harvester for effective transfer of mechanical kinetic and/or potential energy to the transducer.

Chapter 4 addresses collection and conditioning circuits needed to extract the generated electrical energy for delivery to a load. The theme of chapters 2, 3, and 4 shows the connection between the three components of an energyharvesting system, namely, the host interfacing mechanism, the transducer, and the collection and conditioning circuit.

In addition to the design of efficient energy harvesters, this book also discusses how certain types of energy harvesters can be configured to provide self-powered sensing capabilities. Additional circuitry not requiring any external power may also provide further enhancement by including logic functionality. Case studies with particular emphasis on shock-loading-based energy harvesting and sensory applications are presented in Chapter 5.

An extensive list of references is provided to direct the reader to appropriate literature for more in-depth material not covered in the book.

We thank James Harrington, SPIE Tutorial Text Series Editor, for encouraging us to write the book and Tim Lamkins, SPIE Press Manager, for his editorial suggestions and support. We very much appreciate the effort, patience, and guidance provided by Nicole Harris, our editor at SPIE.

Jahangir Rastegar and Harbans S. Dhadwal
New York December 2016

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