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Energy Harvesting Signage In addition to the Energy Harvesting TV Remote Control and Beating Heart here's another design that I think will be basis of many incredibly useful devices. The design consists of three main components;      1. Microcontroller      2. NFC Energy Harvester      3. Non volatile e-paper.   and no disposable batteries!! There are secondary components added according to the desired application.   ...
Hello!   It's been a bit silent in the Energy Harvesting Blog lately, I think everyone is trying to get their harvesting going... I'll let you know what I did last week   Trade fair: First, a few very dodgy pictures; I went to the Electronics and Automation Trade Fair in Utrecht, and of course Wurth was also there. To my delight they had a table with both RoadTest Challenges: wireless power and Energy Harvesting; very nice to see. The other picture shows 'Energy Harvesting Development ...
Great advancements wth printable solar cells  Everyone thinks that 3D printing is cool but Australia's CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) has just received a machine that is able to print solar cells. This technology combined with the Energy Harvesting Kit is a real winner!     With this you could make anything harvest energy!. The next step would be to print piezoelectric and thermoelectric materials. There'd be no need to order solar c ...
Getting Smaller  The cordless drill motor is very effective at generating power but its size is is too big to be put into a TV remote control unit. On my quest for a smaller generator I came across a hand cranked LED torch. The generator is a very good size. Its winding are made with very fine enamelled copper wire. The wire is as fine as the wire used for old AM radio bar antennas.   I have added some tap leads to it enabling me to measure its outputs and use it for other purpo ...
vsluiter

'Pedestrian power'

Posted by vsluiter Top Member May 21, 2013
Just today, I saw this tweet from EHJournal:   The link is here, it's a project that uses the force of the heel strike to generate energy. In fact, it looks a lot like this link I posted earlier.   Again, a lot of gearing is necessary for this to be useful; using a stepper motor might be smarter here as well....       ...
While the glue for the Peltier module is curing, I'll start writing some code for the EFM32. The target is of course to make the complete solution low power, so I'll start by looking how the demo loaded on the board was programmed.   Turn it off when not needed To realize low power: do as little as possible! The temperature demo reads the temperature sensor, convertst those values to Celsius or Fahrenheit numbers, and displayst them on the LCD screen, while reacting to input buttons. Not a ...
vsluiter

Harvesting eggs

Posted by vsluiter Top Member May 19, 2013
After the previous post I've been thinking about what to do as a harvesting project; I'd like to make something fun, but not completely useless, even think of what the technology might mean on a larger scale. I'd also like to make something that shows both the energy harvesting AND the low-power microcontroller features. Last week I got an email from element14 anouncing the deadline for the design challenge. That's when I felt I really had to make up my mind on what to make. Here we go....   ...
It was Würth the wait! I placed an order with Element14 for some Würth Elektronik 8.2uH inductors and some other parts. What are they for? They're to enable the EFM32 microcontroller to drive the 24 heart LEDs from a single voltage. I've arranged the 24 LEDs in a four chains of six LEDs like so. This was done as a compromise between part count, reliability and serviceability. This array arrangement has a Vf of about 12V (6 x 2.0V) and a current requirement of 80mA (4 x 20mA) ...
gelmi

Hot water harvesting

Posted by gelmi May 17, 2013
I have finally created a prototype of energy harvester for my project. Let's start from the beginning. I managed to get a solid copper brick with a hole drilled through. Unfortunately, the diameter of this hole was too large to tightly fit the battery pipe, inside which hot water runs. The difference between diameters was approximately 4 mm. An idea came to mind to use thermopad. It is the flexible and squeezable small piece of mat which conducts the heat pretty well. So, I used it to feel the v ...
Just Milling about for a Tinny! I've outline milled out a PCB for the LED Driver. Here is the result.   I then manually weeded out the unwanted copper with a scapel blade. After this I then decided to plate the copper and make it silvery.     It now looks like a bought one. I also have the capability to apply a solder mask but since this is a prototype it wasn't necessary. ...
Ok so haven't bloged in a while but expect to get a few more in shorter spans. But firstly the important news sampled the christmas ale tonight and it is coming along nicely. I've been plodding along with a few ideas and like the others coming to conclusions that I just can siphon off enough power for some of them I think I need to get a hold of a thermal camera so I can get some more ideas of things that give off wasted heat around the place.   So for the brew project I have come up wi ...
Today I did some successful trials with energy harvesting from a hot water  tap. This post is just a teaser, because it is almost midnight and I have to get up early. The photo below presents a bathroom battery with a TEG attached to and a multimeter (mV). The Peltier module is without load in the picture. When it is connected to LTC harvester chip and hot water runs from the tap, the voltage is about 55 mV. As Victor stated and I also agree, energy harvesting is very tricky. You have to u ...
I wish I could be more positive in my blog posts, and I think I will be towards the end of this design challenge. However, at this point I meet the REAL challenges of power harvesting; that it isn't as simple as I thought it would be. I recently wrote about my turnaround from harvesting from motion toward harvesting from temperature difference. The thing I had in mind for some time now was the 'Energy Harvesting Gadget' (EHG), which in my mind would be an egg shaped device that would harvest ene ...
vsluiter

Douchebag

Posted by vsluiter Top Member May 10, 2013
This setup lives on my desk now (click to enlarge): It shows the potmeter I'm using to find the optimal input resistance to get the maximum of power out of the Peltier module; I'm using the 3105 because it's capable of delivering far more power than the 3588 from the Peltier element.   This setup is something I created few days ago; I suddenly got the idea to make a shower radio based on energy harvesting; the hot side of the tap remains hot, the cold side remains cold while you're sho ...
Hello All,   As you might have noticed, I haven't posted for a while; the reasons are many, I'll elaborate a small bit; Holland got a new king and queen, which was a great happening. I've been spending some time in preparations for a concert. In my job, some great changes are taking place, or are prepared to take place. My brain capacity was mostly spent there, not on this project... The magnic light I wrote about in my last post was so overwhelmingly well thought-of (great concept, goo ...
Harvest Time   If you've been following my series you will know that I am looking for unusual places to harvest energy. How about using a smartphone?   I think this is a novel concept. The video above shows the STK3700 being powered by NFC energy harvesting.   The board at the top is an NFC Transceiver which is emulating a Smartphone. The board on right is an energy harvesting NFC Token which is connected to the STK3700. Roughly up to 100mW which is quite respectable.  ...
I have started my energy harvesting trials to power up the carbon monoxide detector from the difference between ambient and wall temperature. Firstly, I checked these differences in some long periods of time in couple of rooms at home. I tested both the internal and home outline walls. And I must tell you, I was surprised. Despite of what I have read in the building construction companies fliers, my walls were always a little bit warmer than the air around them. Here is one data plot from the me ...
Giant FrankenGecko! One of the two projects underway is the beating LED heart. After showing the LED heart prototype to my client they were most impressed and wanted more inprovements. His original idea was just to have the LEDs in a binary state either on or off. This meant that the heart could only flash and not look like it is beating. To make it look a little more realistic, I suggested that we could vary the brightness of the LEDs to get a better result.   For testing this concept ...
What's in a Name? Previously in Part 007 (I'm feeling so remote) I described a procedure to take the STK3700 blink example and use it for a new project. In it I mentioned that the its references to the work blink could be changed to a word of your choice. These procedures are for use with IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM.   A bit like Fermat's Last Theorem I could not fit this procedure in the margins so here it is as a separate post.   I hope you find that both of these procedures w ...
Some Interesting Pictures  Here are some pictures of the more interesting energy harvesting signals that I've captured. ...