ASTC: Energy Scavenging Power Supply




Ali Manesh



Primary Industry: 

Renewable & Non-Traditional Energy

Executive Summary: 

With the goal of either replacing batteries or prolonging battery life in small electronic systems, AST’s Energy Scavenging Power Supply (ESPS) was developed to harvest energy from the environment, charge a dual storage system and deliver power to a load. ESPS harvests energy from solar, thermal, and mechanical energies in the environment to charge a battery and capacitive storage system. The ESPS has recently been upgraded to allow for the use of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in place of super capacitors as a long-term storage solution. AST has applied for a US patent on the technology. The current energy storage of the ESPS is 4.5 Watt-hours in a packaged size of 8 cu. in., while the power transfer efficiency from input to storage to output is at 38%. All of these figures can be improved to suit a customer’s specific requirements through a few months of design and development work as well as a manufacturing capability for the circuits and energy harvesting transducers, particularly those in hard to reach places. Future work will focus on increasing energy storage and power transfer efficiency and decreasing package size to bring the ESPS from a prototype to production-ready status.