Energy Harvesting Comes of Age by ProQuest


Energy harvesting is certainly getting closer, according to Silicon Laboratories, which develops low-power wireless transmitters, and IDTechEx, a consultant in the field. Energy harvesters are devices that capture or recapture energy-vibration, heat, solar, electrostatic -- that is otherwise lost. Most often, harvesters store the energy and reuse it later for power. Common technologies range from small piezoelectric devices that convert machinery vibration into enough electricity to power a small wireless sensor to regenerative braking systems that recharge batteries for use when starting a car. The combination of improved harvesters and low powered electronics have yielded new products. Last year, Germany's Micropelt introduced two sensors based on its thermoelectric technology.

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