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Efficient Design of Micro-Scale Energy Harvesting Systems

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3 Author(s)
Chao Lu ; Department of electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA ; Vijay Raghunathan ; Kaushik Roy

Micro-scale energy harvesting has emerged as an attractive and increasingly feasible option to alleviate the power supply challenge in a variety of low power applications, such as wireless sensor networks, implantable biomedical devices, etc. While the basic idea and system composition of micro-scale energy harvesting systems have been explored and applied in a number of prototypes in recent years, designing micro-scale efficient energy harvesting systems require an in-depth understanding of various design factors and tradeoffs. This paper provides an overview of the area of micro-scale energy harvesting and addresses various challenges and considerations involved from circuit, architecture and system perspectives. This paper explicitly highlights several subtle but essential design differences that distinguish energy harvesting systems from battery-powered embedded systems. Moreover, we envision the necessity and importance of developing a simulation tool that enables design space exploration and quick performance evaluation at the early design phase. The practical issues, challenges and considerations for implementation of this envisaged simulation tool is discussed in this paper.

Published in:

IEEE Journal on Emerging and Selected Topics in Circuits and Systems  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 3 )