Electret-Based MEMS Device For Harvesting Energy From Nearby Energized Conductors

There is great potential for small low-cost wireless sensors to pervade society such as sensors for electricity grids environmental pollution and emergency situations. However to realize this ubiquity these sensors must have low-cost long-life power sources. Harvesting ambient energy has the potential to meet the needs of these wireless sensors.To address this opportunity researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a new type of energy harvester. This Berkeley harvester obtains its energy from nearby energized conductors. In comparison to other energy harvesters this battery-less device has the ability to function for many years. This harvester could provide power to sensors and other devices when operating near underground power cables and overhead power lines as well as near AC-powered circuits in residences offices vehicles and other machinery. - In addition to providing power this device could measure and wirelessly transmit information about the status of its nearby AC power line.

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