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Energy harvesting conference shows you may be able to get something for (almost) nothing

11/17/2010 02:06 AM EST
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krisi
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re: Energy harvesting conference shows you may be able to get something for (almost) nothing
krisi   12/10/2010 4:09:12 PM
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thank you Bill, interesting gadget...my problem with wind powered devices is what do you do if there is no wind? use your own lungs??? ;-) Kris

krisi
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re: Energy harvesting conference shows you may be able to get something for (almost) nothing
krisi   12/10/2010 4:07:15 PM
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To @Splinter60089: thank you for your comment...I understand efficiency is secondary in energy harvesting but you still have to make sure you harvest enough energy for the gadget in question to work...so efficiency determines what cane powered up and what not...as an example, I had a sun powered calculator several years ago that would only occasionally work continuously...Kris

Splinter60089
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re: Energy harvesting conference shows you may be able to get something for (almost) nothing
Splinter60089   12/10/2010 2:04:12 PM
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Kris, As mentioned on the very top of the article energy harvesting (or scavenging) is usage of small amounts of wasted power for supplying objects that require negligible amounts of energy for performing. Therefore, it is not reasonable to talk about efficiency or cost. In many cases efficiency of 5% would suffice. Usage of wind or tide-wave generators etc. is not energy harvesting. It is usage of free energy sources.

Thrivikrama
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re: Energy harvesting conference shows you may be able to get something for (almost) nothing
Thrivikrama   11/25/2010 9:17:15 AM
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Thanks for the information

docdivakar
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re: Energy harvesting conference shows you may be able to get something for (almost) nothing
docdivakar   11/19/2010 8:41:38 PM
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@iniewski: You bring up a good point: at microscale, wind loses out to other means like PV, temperature delta and vibration. One can intuitively guess that the PV, motion/vibration and thermal will be the ones to tap into for self-powering nodes. TI has a good white paper: http://www.ti.com/corp/docs/landing/cc430/graphics/slyy018_20081031.pdf It would seem that light and thermal handily beat vibration/motion in energy harvesting. One can get to as much as 10mW/cm^2 these two, per the table in the above doc. @new2coding: the 2X to 3X cost delta between wind and solar includes storage for wind. How ever, the real cost gets murky when you look at the transmission costs. It is very dependent on the location of the energy generating assets and the ease of access to the consumer. One can have PV modules on their roof but to have equivalent energy source from wind may not be feasible in an urban environment. Nice discussions, all! Dr. MP Divakar

krisi
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re: Energy harvesting conference shows you may be able to get something for (almost) nothing
krisi   11/19/2010 6:15:36 PM
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To @DrQuine: why is light man made in your comment? we are mostly using sunlight for harvesting energy....man made light would produce very little energy if captured (100x less), it would never be econamically vialable...back water wheels: there were many in the 19-th centure! but few if any survived, it would be amazing is they come from the ushes! Kris

DrQuine
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re: Energy harvesting conference shows you may be able to get something for (almost) nothing
DrQuine   11/19/2010 3:05:42 PM
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There is a long history of harvesting energy from the local environment using water wheels and windmills. The advent of devices that require very little power now makes it possible to harvest energy from small local phenomena that didn't used to be considered obvious sources of power. At the same time, if these available energy sources are manmade (electrical fields, light), we should be considering how to reduce the wasted energy they are dispersing.

krisi
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re: Energy harvesting conference shows you may be able to get something for (almost) nothing
krisi   11/18/2010 6:39:12 PM
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Hi @new2coding, I think payback time doesn't matter here much...we are off-grid, trying to harvest energy "free of charge"...the key metric in my mind is how much energy you can extract in a given amount of time...Kris

krisi
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re: Energy harvesting conference shows you may be able to get something for (almost) nothing
krisi   11/18/2010 6:14:46 PM
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thank you @docdivakar...no, I was not aware that wind is cheaper than photovoltaics...is that still true at the micro level? I am having hard time imaging small size wind turbine while small size photodiode works just fine...Kris

docdivakar
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re: Energy harvesting conference shows you may be able to get something for (almost) nothing
docdivakar   11/18/2010 6:02:04 PM
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@Bill Schweber: thanks for a nice summary, I hope there is a followup more in-depth article on the promising (lower cost) technology as well. For the explosive (billions) sensor growth that HP, Ericson and others are predicting by 2020, this is a must have piece of the solution. I took a quick look at the Etesian website (www.etesian-tech.com), their products seem to be priced for B2B market. It would be nice to find products for the consumer market that exploit this but I realize that is currently the hot innovation topic! @iniewski: I am sure you already know this, the cost/$ for wind energy is lower than solar by 2x to 3x. A lot needs to happen in increasing efficiency of solar (particularly the thin film) and cost; only then we will see an explosion of product innovations using energy harvesting for the consumer market. PrintedElectronics conference is coming up soon in the Silicon Valley, I plan to attend and perhaps post a followup comment in EE Times. Dr. MP Divakar

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