Energy Harvesting involves capturing a small amount of "wasted energy" from naturally-occurring energy sources, accumulating them, and storing it in something like an associated energy source such as rechargeable batteries, super capacitors, or ceramic capacitors. In the theme doc for this month's competition, Project14 | Energy Harvesting: Build Projects that Scavenge Energy from Wasted Energy Sources! , some energy harvesting techniques we were mentioned in both the doc and the discussion that followed. In order to excite your interest in doing projects around energy harvesting we decided to set up a poll on various types or energy harvesting techniques to see what you find the most interesting.
Energy harvesting, sometimes called energy scavenging, involves capturing small amounts of energy that would otherwise be lost. The idea for this competition is to build projects that involve capturing energy from ambient sources (such solar, wind, vibration, heat, motion, sound) and storing it in an associated storage such as rechargeable batteries, super capacitors, ceramic capacitors, and polymer capacitors. Because this is a very promising eco-friendly technology, that is yet to meet its potential, we've added an Energy Development Platform Kit as the Grand Prize for the project that inspires the world (the most) to reuse wasted energy! The kit includes four linear voltage converters that are optimized for different energy sources such as solar, electromagnetic, piezo electric, or thermal energy converters. There's also the usual $100 shopping cart for the 3 first winners. Energy harvesting can be used as an alternative or a supplement to batteries for low-power, lower voltage applications such as a wireless sensor node, where it may be used as a secondary energy source to recharge a battery. It is well suited for applications that require back-up battery, especially in remote or locations that are difficult to reach. The energy that is typically captured is small so its ideal for any low voltage, low-power project such as a wearable or portable device. The goal of energy harvesting developers is to create self-sustaining and/or improve the efficiency of non-sustainable systems.