alexa Electrostatic Energy-Harvesting and Battery-Charging CMOS System Prototype


Journal of Telecommunications System & Management

Author(s): Erick O Torres, Gabriel A RinconMora

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The self-powering, long-lasting, and functional features of embedded wireless microsensors appeal to an ever-expanding application space in monitoring, control, and diagnosis for military, commercial, industrial, space, and biomedical applications. Extended operational life, however, is difficult to achieve when power-intensive functions like telemetry draw whatever little energy is available from energy-storage microdevices like thin-film lithium-ion batteries and/or microscale fuel cells. Harvesting ambient energy overcomes this deficit by continually replenishing the energy reservoir and indefinitely extending system lifetime. In this paper, a prototyped circuit that precharges, detects, and synchronizes to a variable voltage-constrained capacitor verifies experimentally that harvesting energy electrostatically from vibrations is possible. Experimental results show that, on average (excluding gate-drive and control losses), the system harvests 9.7 nJ/cycle by investing 1.7 nJ/cycle, yielding a net energy gain of approximately 8 nJ/cycle at an average of 1.6 ýW (in typical applications) for every 200 pF variation. Projecting and including reasonable gate-drive and controller losses reduces the net energy gain to 6.9 nJ/cycle at 1.38 ýW.

This article was published in IEEE and referenced in Journal of Telecommunications System & Management

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