Electronic circuit for harvesting energy autonomously in a multi-sensor device

Dias, P.C.; Morais, F.J.O.; de Morais Franca, M.B.; Ferreira, E.C.; Cabot, A.; Siqueira Dias, J.A., Autonomous Multisensor System Powered by a Solar Thermoelectric Energy Harvester With Ultralow-Power Management Circuit, in Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on , vol.64, no.11, pp.2918-2925, Nov. 2015, DOI: 10.1109/TIM.2015.2444253.

An autonomous multisensor system powered by an energy harvester fabricated with a flat-panel solar thermoelectric generator with an ultralow-power management circuit is presented. The multisensor system was tested in an agricultural application, where every 15 min the values of the temperature, air humidity, and solar radiation have to be measured and stored in a mass memory device (a Secure Digital card), with their respective time stamp. The energy-harvesting switching dc-dc converter is based on a low-input-voltage commercial integrated circuit (LTC3108), which charges a 1.65-F supercapacitor up to 5.0 V. A novel ultralow-power management circuit was developed to replace the internal power management circuitry of the LTC3108, and using this circuit, the operation of the system when no energy can be harvested from the environment is extended from 136 h to more than 266 h. The solar thermoelectric generator used for the energy harvesting is composed of a bismuth telluride thermoelectric generator with a 110-mV/°C Seebeck coefficient sandwiched between a 40 cm \times 40 cm anodized aluminum flat panel and an aluminum heatsink. On a sunny winter day in the southern hemisphere (12 August 2014, at Campinas, SP—Brazil, Latitude: 22° 54’), the energy supplied by the harvesting system to the supercapacitor was 7 J.

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