Energy harvesting is otherwise known as power harvesting or energy scavenging. It is the use of ambient energy to power small electronic or electrical devices. That includes photovoltaics, thermovoltaics, piezoelectrics and electrodynamics, among other options, which are now being used in a wide variety of applications. The technology has reached a tipping point, because the necessary lower power electronics and more efficient energy gathering and storage are now sufficiently affordable, reliable and longer lived for a huge number of applications to be practicable. From wind-up laptops for Africa, wireless light switches working from the power of your finger and wireless sensors in oil fields monitoring equipment power by vibration – these are all in use now with many more applications emerging.
Energy harvesting has reached a tipping point. This is because the necessary lower power electronics and more efficient energy gathering and storage are now sufficiently affordable, reliable and longer lived for a huge number of applications to be practicable. From wind-up laptops for Africa to the wireless light switch working from the power of your finger, these things are either available or imminently available. And photovoltaics, long used in aerospace, has come down-market, even to road furniture but it has much further to go even to disposable solar film and even solar paint. The first solar powered watches and phones have appeared. Some new photovoltaic technologies are printed reel to reel at low cost, the resulting film working off heat as well as light. For example, Sony is commercialising flexible solar cells for indoor use.
However, there are further challenges to overcome in order to achieve self-powered wireless sensor networks monitoring devices in hostile environments, inaccessible parts of the globe and even inside the human body. Some of the challenges include lowering manufacturing costs and optimising performance of energy harvesters, while always keeping in mind innovation in competing technologies such as primary batteries. Taking these observations into account, IDTechEx find that the total market for energy harvesting devices, in applications ranging from consumer electronics to industrial monitoring and wireless sensor networks will reach over $5 billion by 2022.
How do these things work? Which technologies have the most potential now and in the future? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Which countries have the most active programs and why? What are the leading universities, developers, manufacturers and other players up to? What alliances exist? What are the timelines for success? All these questions and more are answered in this report.
Table of Contents
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
1.1. Market forecast 2012-2022, 2032
2.1. What is energy harvesting?
2.2. What it is not
2.3. Energy harvesting compared with alternatives
2.4. Power requirements of different devices
2.5. Harvesting options to meet these requirements
2.6. Battery advances fail to keep up – implications
2.7. Some key enablers for the future – printed electronics, smart substrates, MEMS
2.7.1. Printed and thin film
2.7.2. Smart substrates
3. APPLICATIONS AND POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS
3.1. Aerospace and military
3.2.1. Standards – EnOcean Alliance vs ZigBee
3.2.2. Real Time Locating Systems
3.2.3. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN)
3.2.4. Aircraft, engines, automotive and machinery
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Report on Energy Harvesting and Storage for Electronic Devices 2012-2022
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