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6 April 2009 Energy harvesting: small scale energy production from ambient sources
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Energy harvesting - the collection of otherwise unexploited energy in the local environment - is attracting increasing attention for the powering of electronic devices. While the power levels that can be reached are typically modest (microwatts to milliwatts), the key motivation is to avoid the need for battery replacement or recharging in portable or inaccessible devices. Wireless sensor networks are a particularly important application: the availability of essentially maintenance free sensor nodes, as enabled by energy harvesting, will greatly increase the feasibility of large scale networks, in the paradigm often known as pervasive sensing. Such pervasive sensing networks, used to monitor buildings, structures, outdoor environments or the human body, offer significant benefits for large scale energy efficiency, health and safety, and many other areas. Sources of energy for harvesting include light, temperature differences, and ambient motion, and a wide range of miniature energy harvesters based on these sources have been proposed or demonstrated. This paper reviews the principles and practice in miniature energy harvesters, and discusses trends, suitable applications, and possible future developments.
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Eric M. Yeatman "Energy harvesting: small scale energy production from ambient sources", Proc. SPIE 7288, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2009, 728802 (6 April 2009);

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