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Resistor Emulation Approach to Low-Power RF Energy Harvesting

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4 Author(s)
Paing, T. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO ; Shin, J. ; Zane, R. ; Popovic, Z.

This paper presents an approach and associated circuitry for harvesting near maximum output power from electromagnetic waves in the RF/microwave region of the spectrum with variable incident power densities in the range of tens of muW/cm2. It is shown that open loop resistor emulation at the input port of a power converter is a suitable solution for tracking the peak power point of a low-power rectifying antenna source over a wide range of incident RF power densities. A boost converter with a simple low-power control approach for resistor emulation is presented. A hardware design example with detailed efficiency analysis is given using commercially available discrete circuitry. Experimental results are presented for a system harvesting 420 muW to 8 muW from a 6 cm times 6 cm rectifying antenna with incident RF power ranging from 70 muW/cm2 to 30 muW/cm2, respectively. The results demonstrate that resistor emulation is a simple and practical approach to energy harvesting with variable low-power radiative RF sources.

Published in:

Power Electronics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 3 )