Skip navigation
1 2 Previous Next

Energy Harvesting Solutions

20 posts

A team of former ETH students from Zurich, Switzerland, developed a water generator system, which can be installed between hose connectors to help reducing waisting one of the most important resources on this planet by tracking your shower habits. Hot water usage for showers is a major source of energy consumption in households.

amphiro a1 display.jpgEnergy on Demand


The Amphiro a1 comes to live on as soon as you turn on your shower and provides real-time information on a large, easy to read display. During operation, it shows (1) water temperature, (2) volume from 0.1 to 1999 liters, and (3) a climate animation. All information is presented per shower to ease the comparison of individual events. The device automatically activates itself in a fraction of a second after the tap is turned on and goes off automatically after three minutes of inactivit.


When the water flow stops, a1 shows (1) the energy efficiency class of the recent shower on a scale from A+ to G- and (2) the shower’s volume in liters alternating with the energy consumption in watt-hours or kilowatt-hours.

Keeping Track

At Amphiro’s free online portal, you can see your average shower consumption over time, observe trends, and compare yourself to similar households. It is not necessary to establish an Internet connection; the data is not read out automatically but is transferred manually by entering an efficiency code the device updates and displays after each shower. The online efficiency code contains aggregated information about your last 150 showers.

The Water Power Plant

Amphiro’s generator modules come at a size of less then 2.4 cm3 and provide 250 mW at their operation point. With their dynamic bypass, they allow for powering all electronics modules starting from of 3 l/min on, yet allowing for flow rates of above 22 l/min at a pressure drop below 0.1 MPa. They are extremely silent due to highly optimized turbine geometries. Burst pressure is above 5 MPa. A radial sealing allows for easy integration. No moving parts leave the housing of the generator, making the product fully leakage-proof.

water generator.jpg


They have a Kickstarter campaign running for the so-called b1, which is accompanied by an app giving insights into the user’s individual water and energy consumption in the shower. Supporting features like target setting and neighborhood comparisons are also available. Amphiro b1 is the perfect product for people who like to know more about their daily water and energy consumption.


About Amphiro

The company was founded in 2009 by doctoral candidates of ETH Zurich. From the first day, the team pursued the goal to increase comfort and energy efficiency of one of the most widely used products in the world: faucets. Their mission: By the year 2020, more than 10% of all faucets sold will be equipped with Amphiro technology.

The driving bass rhythm of rap music can be harnessed to power a new type of miniature medical sensor designed to be implanted in the body.

The heart of the sensor is a vibrating cantilever, a thin beam attached at one end like a miniature diving board. Music within a certain range of frequencies causes the cantilever to vibrate, generating electricity and storing a charge in a capacitor, said Babak Ziaie, a Purdue University professor of electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering.


"The music reaches the correct frequency only at certain times, for example, when there is a strong bass component," he said. "The acoustic energy from the music can pass through body tissue, causing the cantilever to vibrate. Nothing happens when you stop playing music," says Babak Ziaie. The implant works only when exposed to specific frequencies. And because of design constraints that dictate the length of the vibrating lever, those frequencies are most often found in rap music.

When the frequency falls outside of the proper range, the cantilever stops vibrating, automatically sending the electrical charge to the sensor, which takes a pressure reading and transmits data as radio signals. Because the frequency is continually changing according to the rhythm of a musical composition, the sensor can be induced to repeatedly alternate intervals of storing charge and transmitting data.

(A new type of miniature pressure sensor, shown above, designed to be implanted in the body is generating a charge to power the sensor from acoustiv waves.)


The device is an example of a microelectromechanical system, or MEMS, and was created in the Birck Nanotechnology Center. The cantilever beam is made from a ceramic material called lead zirconate titanate, or PZT, which is piezoelectric, meaning it generates electricity when compressed. The sensor is about 2 centimeters long. A receiver that picks up the data from the sensor could be placed several inches from the patient.

Researchers experimented with four types of music: rap, blues, jazz and rock. "Rap is the best because it contains a lot of low frequency sound, notably the bass," Ziaie said.

inductance transponder pressure sensor.bmp

Such a technology could be used in a system for treating incontinence in people with paralysis by checking bladder pressure and stimulating the spinal cord to close the sphincter that controls urine flow from the bladder. More immediately, it could be used to diagnose incontinence.

"A wireless implantable device could be inserted and left in place, allowing the patient to go home while the pressure is monitored," Ziaie said.


The new technology offers potential benefits over conventional implantable devices, which either use batteries or receive power through a property called inductance, which uses coils on the device and an external transmitter.

GreenPlug.bmpEnergy Harvester für unterwegs
Energy Harvesting leicht gemacht: Energy Micro, Linear Technology und Würth Elektronik ermöglichen schnellsten Einstieg in batterielose Produkte mit dem »Energy Harvesting Solution To Go«-Kit



Die Lösung „Energy Harvesting Solution To Go“ bietet folgende Vorteile:

  • Komplettlösung für Energiegewinnung, Energiemanagement und Energiespeicherung
  • Schnelle Übertragung der Lösung in Ihr Produktdesign
  • Einsatz höchst energieeffizienter Komponenten

Giant Gecko Starter Kit EFM32 von Energy Micro

Funktionen des EFM32GG-STK3700

  • Evaluierung der weltweit energieeffizientesten Mikrocontroller der EFM32-Familie von Gecko
  • Das Board beinhaltet: EFM32GG990F1024 mit ARM Cortex M3, 48MHz, 1024KB Flash, 128KB RAM, LCD Controller, USB, Low Energy Sense, Backup Power Domain usw.
  • Erledigung komplexer Aufgaben im Deep Sleep-Modus mit 1,1 µA und im aktiven Mode mit 200 μA
  • Software-Debugging über einen SEGGER J-Link Debugger
  • Energie-Debugging mit dem integrierten Advanced Energy Monitoring (AEM) mit Spannungsüberwachung


Führen Sie folgende Schritte aus, um mit der Evaluierung zu beginnen:

  • Download von Simplicity Studio
  • Installieren Sie Simplicity Studio – hier sind alle erforderlichen Tools, Treiber, Software-Beispiele und Dokumentationen enthalten, wie z. B. energyAware Commander - ein Tool zur Aktualisierung der Kit-Firmware und zur Programmierung der MCU auf STK oder Ihrem Prototyp und energyAware Profiler – ein Werkzeug zur Überwachung von Energie und Versorgungsspannung
  • Software-Beispiele finden Sie in Simplicity Studio unter „Examples“
  • Weiterführende Informationen über das Giant Gecko STK finden Sie in Simplicity Studio unter „Kit Documentation“ und „EFM32GG-STK3700 User Manual“
  • Weiterführende Informationen über die EFM32-Mikrocontroller-Familie
  • Installation von ARM Cortex M3-Entwicklungstools Ihrer Wahl
  • Liste der professionellen Tool Partner
  • Installationsanleitung (engl.) für kostenlose GNU-Tools und Eclipse




Multi-Source Energy Harvester von Linear Technology


  • 4 Energiewandler für unterschiedliche Energiequellen
  • Solarzelle und Thermogenerator bereits integriert
  • Zusätzliche Anschlüsse für externe Generatoren


  • Wählen Sie Ihre Energiewandlerquelle
  • Die Energiewandlerquelle wird an den passenden Jumper (JP1 bis JP4) angeschlossen
  • Optional kann der Jumper JP9 auf ON geschaltet werden, um eine höhere Pufferkapazität für alle Wandlerquellen bereitzustellen. Alternativ kann der Jumper JP10 auf ON gestellt werden, um eine höhere Pufferkapazität für den TEG-Spannungswandler zuzuschalten
  • Verbinden Sie anschließend Ihre Applikation mit dem Stromanschluss

Ausführliche Informationen

  • Benutzerhandbuch – Verwendung und Funktionen des Multi-Source Energy Harvesting Demoboards
  • Schaltpläne
  • Design Files – Vollständiger Satz Entwicklungsdaten einschließlich Gerber-Daten und Stückliste
  • Datenblätter – bitte laden Sie die Datenblätter über das Menü auf der rechten Seite der jeweiligen Produktseite herunter
  • Produktseiten – auf dem Demoboard dargestellte Geräte finden Sie in der nachfolgenden Liste

Allgemeine Informationen



LTC3105 - 400mA Aufwärtsregler, MPP-Steuerung, 250mV minimale Startspannung

LTC3459 + LTC2935 – Betriebsspannungsmonitore mit extrem niedrigen Ruhestrom

Peltierelement – TEG

LTC3108 - Aufwärtswandler mit ultraniedriger Eingangsspannung und Systemmanager

LTC3109 - Auto-Polaritäts-Version von LTC3108


LTC3588 - Stromversorgung mithilfe piezoelektrischer Energiegewinnung

Induktiver Generator

LTC3588 - Stromversorgung mithilfe induktiver Energiegewinnung



Es darf nur ein Stromquellen-Auswahlschalter gleichzeitig eingestellt werden und nur ein Jumper zur gleichen Zeit für die Pufferkondensatoren auf ON gesetzt sein.


Würth Elektronik Bauteile auf dem Energy Micro Board

  • WR-COM Mini USB Typ B liegend 5-polig 6510051612165100516121
  • Batteriehalter 79523141
  • WE-CBF SMD-Ferrite 7427926674279266 & 742792022742792022
  • WR-PHD SMD Stiftleiste 2.54mm 61002021121
  • WS-TSS 6x6 mm SMD 430182043816430182043816
  • WE-PD2 SMD-Speicherdrossel S1110017
  • WL-SMCW 150060YS75000, 150060BS75000 & 150060RS75000


Würth Elektronik Bauteile auf dem Linear Technology Board


  • Kabelhalter 523252000
  • WE-TPC SMD-Speicherdrossel
    Bauform 4828 - 744043220744043220
    Bauform 3816 - 744031100744031100
    Bauform 2811 - 744028220744028220
  • WR-PHD 2.00 mm Stiftleiste einreihig 62000211121 & 62000311121
  • WR-PHD Jumper 60800213421
  • WR-TBL Terminal Blocks 691411710002
  • WE-EHPI Energy Harvesting Doppeldrossel 7448854007074488540070



Häufig gestellte Fragen (FAQs)





The cost for energy is steadily increasing and at the same time the urge for "free" energy is getting more important. Energy harvesting is one solution to gain "free" energy from sources in your environment. The Wurth Elektronik Energy Harvesting to Go Design KitWurth Elektronik Energy Harvesting to Go Design Kit allows you to gain energy by temperature, vibration, light and magnetic energy. It already has build in transducers in form of a solar module and a peltier element. Other connectable sources could be a piezo or an inductive element. The build in power board from Linear Technology is boosting the gained energy to a "useable" voltage in order to power the Energy Micro Giant Geckothe Energy Micro Giant Gecko low-power microcontroller evaluation board. All you need is included in this kit...start harvesting your energy now!



Check out the Energy Harvesting Solution To Go on Energy Harvesting Solutions

A blast from the past from Jeri Ellsworth -

Energy Harvesting in the age of an "Internet of Things"




Segments of our cities are being infused with technology capable of scavenging energy from the environment, and then using that harnessed power to drive low power communication and sensor technologies. Traffic patterns, pollution monitoring, parking space availability, and utility usage will soon become accessible to citizens in real-time with the combination of embedded sensors and wireless communication being distributed throughout our neighborhoods.

These 'talking' cities are being driven by:

  1. Increased efficiency from energy harvesting technologies.
  2. Low powered and improved SoC (system-on-a-chip) development.
  3. Creation of power-savvy protocols and software (Think 6LoWPAN and micro OS's like Contiki and TinyOS).
  4. The ability to Internet enable devices which were previously considered too resource constrained.



Energy Harvesting

The ideal minimal "Internet of Things" device is small, able to reliably transmit information, and operates on its own with little maintenance throughout its lifetime. One of the main barrier’s to making these IoT devices a reality has been the difficulty of locating adequate power sources without encumbering the size of the device or requiring frequent battery replacements.


Energy harvesting from naturally occurring sources like solar, wind and vibrations are leading the way as an option to power these devices but at the same time our good friends down at the lab have been looking at alternatives to get things rolling. Their latest answer...You!

Below are 6 examples of how energy captured from you and your daily activities can help gather previously inaccessible information about your environment and jump start an era of truly networked cities.



1 - Walking the streets (Energy output: 1 square generates up to 2.1 watts)


Every time you step on one of these power tiles, renewable energy is generated from your footsteps. The harvesting process, called piezoelectricity, is generated from specifically applied materials such as crystals, polymers, and ceramics. Without the force of a human step, the atomic structure of the material is in equilibrium and produces no net electric charge. However, when the force of your weight is applied to these materials an electric gradient is created producing a voltage that can be harnessed and potentially used to power street lighting or an embedded sensor.




2 - Parking your car


If parking itself wasn’t fun enough already, these state of the art sensors are taking it to a whole new level. Embedded in the pavement these devices are triggered by a disturbance in the magnetic field from your car pulling into a space. This interaction is registered and sent in simple messages from sensor to sensor until making its way to a gateway (a small box sitting on top of a streetlamp or in a traffic signal). The end result is the latest parking information on your smart phone saving you that 3rd trip around the block, and at the same time providing the local government with more efficient ways to manage and price its infrastructure.



3 - Stepping in your shoes (Estimated to be between 7- 67w possible but practically around 1w could be captured)


If cardiovascular health is not enough of a reason to walk to work, new harvesting technology is making the journey even more productive. InStepNano Power, headed by UW Madison professor Tom Krupenkin, has developed a system called ‘human gait energy scavenging’ to capitalize on the energy that is produced by a human step. Though most of us are not likely to run to our next meeting, the professor’s research has identified that, "While sprinting, a person can produce as much as a kilowatt of power."


The device is installed in the bottom of your shoe and is capable of capturing watts of electrical power that can then be saved and reused instead of being lost forever in your sneaker. The harvester functions via the interaction of thousands of liquid microdroplets on a ‘nanostructured substrate’. Once this energy is stored, the system can also act as an intermediate transceiver between a mobile device and a wireless network.

4 - Wearing your clothes (Possible energy output: uW)


Dr Steve Beeby and his team at the University’s School of Electronics and Computer Science have been developing an energy harvesting film that can be screened directly onto any piece of clothing or textile. This innovative film will use a combination of printing processes and active-printed inks to create garments that are able to capture energy as you move.


This technology could potentially be applied to more diverse materials beyond clothing as well. We are constantly in contact with textile surfaces throughout the day (your car seat, couch, and all of those office hall carpets). Our accessibility to such a high volume of surface coverage combined with this technology is a energy system worthy of some investment.




5 - Shaking that thing (Energy output: 5-12 W)


Biomechanical harvesting focuses on capturing the energy offered by the bending of your body parts (your knee has the most power potential). Your muscles work against the motion of the leg at the point during your stride when your leg begins falling back towards the ground. Energy normally dissipates during the braking process of your movement, but with bio-mechanical technology, the braking process can instead drive a generator (similar to how braking generates power while decelerating a hybrid car). With a device on each leg, a user walking at a comfortable speed can generate an average of 12 watts of electricity using the latest devices.



6 - From the sky (Current possible energy output: 5uW)


Taking this harvesting potential to a whole new level, another possible method being developed is technology that can pull energy out of the air from radio frequency transmissions. Using a “wide band” receiver capable of soaking in signals sent between government regulated frequencies such as radio and TV towers, the Wi-Fi in your house, and the phone in your pocket, new devices can create usable energy from these frequencies after being converted into DC voltage. Researches haven’t yet been able to glean enough power out of this process to make it really worthwhile, (currently up to 5 milliwatts), but its exciting to think that an Internet of Things could potentially power another piece of itself.


Honorable Mention Harvesting Methods
Still in the works, there is potential to also generate energy for your devices by working out at the gym, capturing the motion in your arm to power a device on your wrist, exploiting differences in temperature between your body and the air around you, or even from energy taken from the shifting motion of a bag on your back.




worth having a look at


One Cent Energy Harvesting

Posted by sleuz Jan 31, 2013

most powerful millimeter-scale energy harvester


Most powerful millimeter-scale energy harvester


Electrical engineers at the University of Michigan have built a device that can harness energy from vibrations and convert it to electricity with five to 10 times greater efficiency and power than other devices in its class. And it's smaller than a penny.


This new vibration energy harvester is specifically designed to turn the cyclic motions of factory machines into energy to power wireless sensor networks. These sensor networks monitor machines' performance and let operators know about any malfunctions.


The sensors that do this today get their power from a plug or a battery. They're considered "wireless" because they can transmit information without wires. Being tethered to a power source drastically increases their installation and maintenance costs, Long-lasting power is the greatest hurdle to large-scale use of pervasive information-gathering sensor networks, the researchers say.


The researchers have built a complete system that integrates a high-quality energy-harvesting piezoelectric material with the circuitry that makes the power accessible. (Piezoelectric materials allow a charge to build up in them in response to mechanical strain, which in this case would be induced by the machines' vibrations.)


The active part of the harvester that enables the energy conversion occupies just 27 cubic millimeters. The packaged system, which includes the power management circuitry, is in the size of a penny. The system has a large bandwidth of 14 Hertz and operates at a vibration frequency of 155 Hertz, similar to the vibration you'd feel if you put your hand on top of a running microwave oven.


A novel silicon micromachining technique allows the engineers to fabricate the harvesters in bulk with a high-quality piezoelectric material, unlike other competing devices. The market for power sources for wireless sensor networks in industrial settings is expected to reach $450 million by 2015.


These new devices could have applications in medicine and the auto industry too. They could possibly be used to power medical implants in people or heat sensors on vehicle motors.



More about Energy Harvesting Solutions here...


Zigbee logo

ZigBee Wireless Adopts Energy Harvesting

ZigBee low-energy radios can work without batteries



The low-power wireless energy “Internet of Things” standard ZigBee, used in smart metering systems, is now available in a battery-free version which harvests energy.

The new specification will allow ZigBee, which is specified within the UK government’s ambitious smart meter programme, to operate without batteries by harvesting energy such as ambient radio waves.

zigbee xbee radio


Scavenging Free Green Power From Radio Waves

A free, green way to harvest energy from radio waves all around us has been developed by a research team from Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

On a waveband basis, the available power is low, but there is a lot of it with mobile phones, TV transmissions, satellite communications systems and Wi-Fi, to mention but a few, the air is full of radio waves. By scavenging this ambient energy, its AC pulses can be converted into DC power for storage in super capacitors or batteries.

A Revolution In Small Low-Energy Gadgets

For several years, the Georgia tech team has been working on very low-cost transducers that can tap into these transmissions and could result in a free, constant flow of electricity to power-up improved devices such as RFID tags, environmental monitors and medical sensors.

“There is a large amount of electromagnetic energy all around us, but nobody has been able to tap into it,” said Manos Tentzeris, a professor and research leader in the Georgia Tech School. “We are using an ultra-wideband antenna that lets us exploit a variety of signals in different frequency ranges, giving us greatly increased power-gathering capability.”


The antennas will be low-cost to produce and the research units are printed using ordinary ink-jet machines using a nanoparticle “ink”. The substrate is either paper or a flexible polymer. The ink is described as “a unique in-house recipe” containing silver nanoparticles and/or other nanoparticles in an emulsion. This not only allows RF components and circuits to be printed but also opens up the possibilities of novel sensing devices based on carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials.

Many different frequency ranges are used by communication devices. The team’s scavenging devices can capitalise on frequencies from FM radio to radar, a range spanning 100MHz to 15GHz) or higher. The antennas can be tuned for use in specific environments, such as an airport where radar and fixed comms channels are major sources of free energy.

Scavenging Frequency Range Rapidly Increasing

Experiments using the transmission bands from a TV station half a kilometre away from the test site have yielded hundreds of microwatts of power. This was sufficient to run a temperature sensor but multi-band systems are expected to generate a milliwatt or more. The group is planning another demonstration where a microprocessor-based microcontroller would be activated simply by holding it in the air.

Super-capacitors may be used to power devices requiring above 50 milliwatts in a cycled operation. When power builds up to a preset level in the capacitor, it will be used to power the device and then will recharge.


The scavenging device could piggy-back solar energy panels so that, when the system stops generating power at sundown, the wireless energy could be used overnight to increase the battery charge or to prevent power leakage. The devices would also be useful in remote areas where an outage of a traditional power source could be flagged by sending a distress signal from an antenna-powered unit.

The possibilities are even more interesting in the world of RFID tags. Having a handy power supply attached would allow more features to be included in the tag. However, combining RFID tagging with sensors could offer even better returns.




More about Energy Harvesting Solutions here...


spreading the energy

Posted by sleuz Jan 9, 2013 smartphones

US scientists developed a piezoelectrical generator made of viruses. Electricity is generated by pressing the virus. Embedded into your shoe sole, this could create current for mobile devices while walking.


Charged proteins

The generator creates current on the base of the piezoelectrical effect: Mechanical energy such as pressure is transformed into electrical energy. Scientists discovered that the M13-Virus is piezoelectric, caused by 2.700 charged proteins covering the virus.


The M13-Virus is 880 nanometers long and its diameter is 6.6 nanometers wide. The virus´ structure is arranged like a film. When the film is being pressed it generates electricity.


20 layers

To increase the energy efficiency, 4 negative-charged rests of amino acids are added to the proteins. This increases the electric charge between the different proteins. Also there were experiments with numerous layers of the viruses which results showed that 20 layers have the best piezoelectric effect.

Scientists built a battery consisting of one layer each 1cm² in size and 2 gold-plated electrodes. When pressed it generates electricity with 6 nanoamperes and a voltage of 400millivolts which is a quarter of 1 AAA-batttery and is sufficient to display a number on a  screen.


First organic piezogenerator

It is the first time a generator uses piezoelectric attributs of an organic material. The M13-Virus counts to the bacteriaphags and is not dangerous for humans.




More about Energy Harvesting Solutions here...

Piezo, Solar and Peltier

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed an energy harvesting generator using piezo, solar and peltier energy. Their system supplies sensors with the energy from all 3 sources.


3 Sources - the generator transforms vibration, sunlight and heat into electrical energy. The advantage is to power one single sensor with more than one source. But there is a big difference within the efficiencies of each source: peltier systems reach between 0.02 to 0.15 Volts, solar modules make 0.2 to 0.7 Volts and a piezo-electric generator can deliver up to 5 Volts.


Energy-saving control system - the control panel combines all 3 sources instead of just using one at a time. Most important is to layout the  circuit in a way it consumes a minimum of the energy itself.

Note: a sensor can be powered in 2 different ways; the generator can supply the energy as soon as it is needed or the system utilizes a small energy backup, which stores unneeded energy for later usage.


Sensor type - especially biomedical sensors monitoring your heart activity or your blood sugar are potential applications here. Also sensors measuring pressure on bridges or on tubes are of interest in this case.




More about Energy Harvesting Solutions here...

Transparent generator generates electricity through friction

A simple generator consisting of 2 synthetic layers - polyester and polydimethylsiloxane - transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy. When both materials are rubbed against each other, the polyester releases electrons which can be absorbed by the polydimethylsiloxane. After this is done both surfaces get separated again. As the process repeats alternating current is produced.


To increase the efficiency of the generator, the surface of the polydimethylsiloxane layer consists of pyramids, cuboids and stripes (see pictures below).

As both materials are also transparent, they can be applied onto several surfaces. This enables the generator to be implemented into touch screens and supply it with energy right as you use it.

3 different surfaces on the polydimethylsiloxane layer

Schema des Generators (Bild: Zhonglin Wang/Georgia Tech)

generator scheme

pyramid pattern of the polydimethylsiloxane layer

Water trop and feather

The generator is quite sensitive: a water trop or even a feather can already generate electricity. Therefore it could be used as a pressure-sensitive sensor which is supplying itself with electricity as you touch or press it.

Generating electric tension through friction is nothing new. The actual achievement is a separation method generating a drop of the electric tension.


Energy backup

This generator can transform any mechanical energy from the environment into electrical energy. The generator seems to be robust enough to run 100.000 work cycles. The next step will be setting up an energy reservoir to collect generated current to be used later.




More about Energy Harvesting Solutions here...

Electricity from a tea light

T-Pod is a small power plant for on the road. Powered by a small candle, the device can generate electricity for lamps or can charge cell phone batteries. Tea lights are normally used to keep things warmed up. This generator turns a candle into an energy source.


Thermoelectric Effect

The device is called Thermoelectric Power On Demand 1 (T-Pod 1), it transforms thermoelectric heat into electric current. A candle heats the material which generates electricity. The output is around 0,25Watts which is led into a electronic device by an USB-port. A lamp with 25 light diodes (LED) can be attached to supply bright and steady light for reading. On top of that the T-Pod is a mobile battery which can be used to charge cell phones or MP3 players. Another mobile device can be attached to the T-Pod as well if needed.

Current in a tent

The T-Pod 1 is as small as a tin can and weighs around 340Gramms. It is suitable for light and energy purposes for camping holidays as well as for power breakdowns or other emergencies where quick and easy electricity is needed.

Tellurex could picture its product as an energy source for Third World countries. As electricity sockets are rare, tea lights are available all over the world. Together with Organization Rotary International they want to get their T-Pod 1 and T-Pod 5 to regions, where inexpensive energy is needed. The bigger T-Pod 5 is powered by a camping stove and supplies up to 5 Watts.

... oder am Lagerfeuer ... (Foto: Telurex)




More about Energy Harvesting Solutions here...

Biomechanical energy harvesting from human motion offers a promising clean alternative to electrical power supplied by batteries for mobile electronic devices.


Energy harvesting is the use of ambient energy to provide electricity for small and mobile equipment, whether electrical or electronic. Four main ambient energy sources are present in our environment: mechanical energy (vibrations, deformations), thermal energy (temperature gradients or variations), radiant energy (sun, infrared, RF) and chemical energy (chemistry, biochemistry).


In a recent report, titled "Energy Harvesting in Action -2012", market researcher IDTechEX noted that $700 million was spent on the energy harvesting component itself in 2011, rising to just under $5 billion in 2022.


The proliferation of mobile electronic devices has resulted in the development of new power sources. One alternative is human power, which has the advantages of being always available, requiring no chemical fuel or logistical measures.


Indeed, the human body is very flexible in generating applicable power from sources of heat dissipation, joint rotation, enforcement of body weight, vertical displacement of mass centers, as well as elastic deformation of tissues and other attachments. This opens up opportunities for harvesting energy to power mobile or implantable medical devices which could be used for a long time or be recharged permanently.


What follows are ten different human motion energy harvesting devices and technologies, in different stages of prototyping and application.

The chip is small enough to fit in the cavity of the middle ear



A team of researchers from MIT, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology has harvested the energy of a guinea pig’s inner ear to power a small sensing device. The electrical potential of the cochlea operates like a biological battery and is essential for turning sound pressure waves into the electrical signals sent to the brain. Researchers have developed a chip that can harness this electrical energy without interfering with normal hearing.


Eventually, the devices could monitor biological activity in the ears of people with hearing or balance impairments, or responses to therapies. Eventually, they might even deliver therapies themselves.


Shown in the photos above: (a) Knee-joint piezoelectric harvester. It is worn on the external side of the knee and fixed by braces. Inside, a hub carries a number of bimorphs, which are plucked by the ring-mounted plectra as the joint rotates during walking. (b) Geometrical details of the harvester showing side view (above) and top view of the mounted bimorph.


A team of UK researchers from Cranfield University, the University of Liverpool and the University of Salford proposes a piezoelectric energy harvester to be worn on the knee-joint that relies on the plucking technique to achieve frequency up-conversion. The energy harvester, which is designed to fit onto the outside of the knee, is circular and consists of an outer ring and central hub. The outer ring rotates as the knee joint goes through a walking motion. The outer ring is fitted with 72 plectra which "pluck" four energy-generating arms attached to the inner hub.


By strapping the energy harvester to the knee joint, a user could power body-monitoring devices such as heart rate monitors, pedometers and accelerometers by simply walking and not have the worry of running out of power and replacing batteries.


Jacket with the electrical generator
There is shown in Figure 1.a - set of flat spiral shaped coils, b - location of the inductive elements, c – location of the magnet, d – permanent magnet


Researchers from Riga Technical University, in Latvia, have developed a mechanical energy harvester for generating electricity during human walking. Our device has a planar structure. Electrodynamic converter consists of flat, spiral-shaped coils and a rectangular or an arc-shaped magnet, and all elements can be deployed on a variety of clothing items. During the natural human motions, the generator elements move in relation to one another and induce the pulses of voltage inside the flat inductor.


The prototype was tested with the wearer walking at different speeds of 3, 4, 5 and 6 km/hr which, according to the researchers, corresponds to the slow, normal and quick walking of a middle-aged man.


Shown in the images above: (a) current pacemaker and (b) future leadless pacemaker powered by energy harvesting


French researchers at CEA-Leti and the Sorin Group are developing a low-power cardiac pacemaker (5µW instead of 25 µW in current pacemakers), powered by mechanical energy from a patient’s own heart beats.


The objective is to eliminate the need for batteries, which must be surgically replaced every six to ten years in conventional pacemakers, and to develop a cardiac stimulator eight times smaller than conventional designs from 8 cm3 to 1 cm3. Such miniaturization would allow for the attachment of the pacemaker directly to the epicardium. Fully functional prototypes should be manufactured by the end of the year. The industrialization is expected within five to ten years, after validation tests and agreements from health administrations.

The AIRE-mask includes small wind turbines for energy harvesting

João Paulo Lammoglia, an industrial designer based in London, has created AIRE, a concept mask that converts wind energy -provided by the wearer's breath- into electricity for the recharging of small electronic devices. Inside the unit, there are small wind turbines that make the conversion and the energy is transferred through a cable to one's small electronic device.


AIRE can be used in any situation, indoors or outdoors. It can be used while sleeping, walking, running, or reading a book. It was the winner of a Red Dot design concept award, the competition for design concepts and prototypes.

Graduate student Corey Hewitt works with a sample of thermoelectric fabric in the Nanotechnology lab.

Simply by touching a small piece of Power Felt, a thermoelectric device developed by researchers in the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University, North Carolina, graduate student Corey Hewitt said he has converted his body heat into an electrical current.


Comprised of tiny carbon nanotubes locked up in flexible plastic fibers and made to feel like fabric, Power Felt uses temperature differences – room temperature versus body temperature, for instance – to create a charge.

Stop-button inside a Eco-Routemaster hybrid bus


During this year’s Olympics in London, Eco-Routemaster hybrid buses transported thousands of sports fans throughout the capital. These buses allowed passengers to activate stop signals with their bodies as a source of energy using energy harvesting wireless technology from EnOcean. The act of pressing the bell push generated enough electrical power for a wireless module to activate the stop display and audible stop signal.

Researchers from the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan have designed a device that harvests energy from the reverberation of heartbeats through the chest and converts it to electricity to run a pacemaker or an implanted defibrillator. These mini-medical machines send electrical signals to the heart to keep it beating in a healthy rhythm. No prototype has been built yet, but researchers claimed that they "made detailed blueprints and run simulations" that prove the feasibility of the idea. The design includes a hundredth-of-an-inch thin slice of a piezoelectric ceramic material that would move with heartbeat vibrations and convert the energy into electrical energy

In May, the Black Eye Pea's and Will-i-am performed on a Pavegen energy generating stage, during a fund raising event for Apl's 'We Can Be Anything' campaign, born of a partnership between the Foundation and the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation.


Everytime someone walks over a tile by UK startup Pavegen Systems, renewable energy is harvested from the footstep. The technology converts the kinetic energy to electricity which can be stored and used for a variety of applications.

Energy harvesting Green Wheel by Nadim Inaty


Beirut-based Nadim Inaty has designed the Green Wheel, an energy recycling wheel that transforms kinetic energy produced by the human body into electricity. Comprised of a single unit complete with a bench and patches of real grass, the green wheel features three different levels for runners of varying strengths and produces roughly enough energy in 30 minutes to charge 12 mobile phones.


Energy Harvesting - Peltier

Posted by sleuz Dec 14, 2012

Thermal Energy Harvesting: MSX Technology and Micropelt GmbH


Most domestic appliances carry an energy label indicating their efficiency in using electrical energy. Hobs for electric or gas based cooking do not receive such labels because their efficiency was found not to vary much across the market. New technologies for energy-saving cooking are expected to be part of a new EU directive, introducing an energy label for all hobs, because they are considered a major energy savings potential.


MSX Technology´s multisensory cooking technology has proven an energy reduction for cooking of 50% or more, confirmed by the Swiss Federal Laboratories (EMPA) and VDE, the German Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies.


Energy efficient cooking is based on controlling the cooking process:  A wireless sensor is embedded in the lid of a cooking vessel, transmitting temperature and acoustic data to the hob, which controls the cooking process for best result at minimal energy consumption, according to the respective type of food. The user just pushes a button to start the fully automated cooking process.


A major inhibitor to this technology so far was the energy supply for the sensor. Battery compartments are bulky and hardly remain dish-washer proof over many years and battery replacements. Micropelt's thermal energy harvesting technology allows for a fully embedded and sealed cooking sensor for the life time of the gear. A single 6 mm² Micropelt thermogenerator powers a fully self-sustaining MSX cooking sensor just from the normal process heat.

Winners of the IDTechEx Energy Harvesting and WSN Awards

MSX smart cooking sensor powered by Micropelt thermogenerator


"This innovative approach results in energy efficient cooking by using a fully embedded (i.e., dishwasher safe), self-powered and wireless sensor to automate the cooking process. A cool combination of an advance in a "domestic" technology with energy conservation. A great application with several benefits."