Hybrid energy harvestor

Background: MEMS based energy scavenging device capable of harvesting energy 3 different ways from light thermal and vibration. Technology description: • A piezoelectric material (e.g. PZT)-carbon nanotube film based cantilever • The cantilever bends repeatedly upon exposure to light and thermal radiation • The cantilever can be made at both macroscale and microscale depending on specific applications and can be arrayed to increase output • Capable of scavenging or generating power from multiple types of energy such as solar thermal and vibration sources • Kotipalli et al (2010) Light and thermal energy cell based on carbon nanotube films Applied Physics Letters 97 124102-1. Applications: 1) Power charging for batteries 2) Self-power sources for consumer electronics from some toys cell phones IPhones desktop computers to laptop computers 3) Self-power sources for whole host of devices such as wireless sensory network biomedical devices low-power VLSI low-power micro or nanosensors or systems


1) Hybrid energy harvesting not limited to one source of energy. Can continue to operate in absence of light if thermal or vibration energy (wind) is available 2) Scalable power output. Power output from several micro-Watts to tens of milli-Watts is feasible with arrayed micro-devices 3) Piezoelectric. No voltage bias is needed and the generator works with no external power 4) Light weight. The generator weighs only several grams 5) Low cost and ecological. One single microscale device is in the range of a few cents but the cost can be reduced further through economies of scale 6) Named to Ecofriend.org’s Top 10 Renewable Energy Technology Breakthroughs in 2010 (http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/10-breakthroughs-in-renewable-energy-tec…)

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