Energy harvesting to power rechargeable devices and sensors

Energy harvesting to power rechargeable devices and sensors

Indoor solar power generation for battery-powered sensors. Credits: Shore and Hamadani

Energy harvesting from an indoor environment has proven to be effective in charging batteries.

As more devices require recharging their batteries, researchers are looking at ambient lighting as a potential source of small amounts of power for indoor devices.

Andrew Shore and Behrang Hamadani of the National Institute of Standards and Technology present their findings on the functioning of indoor solar cells at the AIP Publishing Holizens — Energy Storage and Conversion Virtual Conference, August 4-6, 2021. increase. When generating electricity under the LED. Their presentation “Indoor PV for Battery-powered Sensors” will be available for a three-day conference.

Researchers use a single light source, a white LED with a color coordinate temperature of 3,000 K and an illuminance of 1,000 lux, to resemble the normal brightness of indoor lighting. We tested three different modules: gallium indium phosphite (GaInP) semiconductor, gallium. Arsenic (GaAs) semiconductors and silicon (Si) semiconductors. The light source peaked in intensity with shorter wavelengths of light.

“In these light settings, the GaInP mini-module operated with the highest power conversion efficiency, then the GaAs mini-module, and the Si mini-module had the lowest performance,” Shore said. “GaInP and GaAs modules have excellent spectral matching with this visible spectrum LED light source.”

Due to the large amount of indoor ambient light, usually from a variety of light sources, ceiling lights in office environments are sufficient to charge the mini-modules tested and can all be run as a power source for indoor batteries and sensors. According to Shore, GaInP requires minimal light and maintains high efficiency, but not all indoor light sources are LEDs.

“Different light sources have different spectra,” he said. “For example, incandescent light sources have most of their irradiance in the near-infrared region. Fluorescent lamps have some spikes in intensity at different points in the visible spectrum. LED lights generally have 450 nanometers. There is one short and prominent peak near the meter and another more gradual peak near 600 nm. Each of these sources affects the power conversion efficiency of solar power technology. “

According to Shore, the next step is to test the mini-module under real-world conditions, such as people turning the lights on and off on a regular basis. They want to operate multiple sensors powered by the module during that test. Energy harvesting to power rechargeable devices and sensors

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