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Stage number optimization for switched capacitor power converters in micro-scale energy harvesting

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4 Author(s)
Chao Lu ; Sch. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN, USA ; Sang Phill Park ; Raghunathan, V. ; Roy, K.

Micro-scale energy harvesting has become an increasingly viable and promising option for powering ultra-low power systems. A power converter is a key component in micro-scale energy harvesting systems. Various design parameters of the power converter, most notably the number of stages in a multi-stage power converter, play a crucial role in determining the amount of electrical power that can be extracted from a micro-scale energy transducer such as a miniature solar cell. Existing stage number optimization techniques for switched capacitor power converters, when used for energy harvesting systems, result in a substantial degradation in the amount of harvested electrical power. To address this problem, this paper proposes a new stage number optimization technique for switched capacitor power converters that maximizes the net harvested power in micro-scale energy harvesting systems. The proposed technique is based on a new figure-of-merit that is well suited for energy-harvesting systems. We have validated the proposed technique through circuit simulations using IBM 65nm technology. Our simulation results demonstrate that the proposed stage number optimization technique results in an increase of 60%-290% in net harvested power, compared to existing stage number optimization techniques.

Published in:

Design, Automation & Test in Europe Conference & Exhibition (DATE), 2011

Date of Conference:

14-18 March 2011