Skip to Main Content
This paper reports on efficient interfacing of typical vibration-driven electromagnetic transducers for micro energy harvesting. For this reason, an adaptive charge pump for dynamic maximum power point tracking is compared with a novel active full-wave rectifier design. For efficient ultra-low voltage rectification, the introduced active diode design uses a common-gate stage in conjunction with supply-independent biasing. While this active rectifier offers low voltage drops, low complexity and ultra-low power consumption, the adaptive charge pump allows dynamic maximum power point tracking with implicit voltage up-conversion. Hence, efficient energy harvesting with high-resistive transducers, e.g., electromagnetic generators, becomes possible even at buffer voltage levels far above actual transducer output voltages. Both interfaces are fully-integrated in a standard 0.35 μm twin-well CMOS process. The designs are optimized for sub-mW transducer power levels and wide supply voltage ranges. Thus, these presented transducer interfaces are particularly suitable for compact micro energy harvesting systems, such as wireless sensor nodes or medical implants. The active diode rectifier achieves efficiencies over 90% at a wide range of input voltage amplitudes of 0.48 V up to 3.3 V. The adaptive charge pump can harvest with a total efficiency of close to 50%, but very independent of the actual buffer voltage. This charge pump starts operating at a supply voltage of 0.8 V, and has an input voltage range of 0.5 V-2.5 V . Finally, results of harvesting from an actual electromagnetic generator prototype are presented.
Date of Publication: June 2012