Energy Efficiency

ALD Introduces Energy Harvesting Modules For Bluetooth Wireless Sensor Networks

Advanced Linear Devices Inc. announced what it claims are the industry’s first energy harvesting modules designed to provide alternative power sources to Bluetooth and other wireless circuits operating in the 3 – 5V range for intermittent duty cycle operations.

The ALD EH301 EPAD® Energy Harvesting Modules™ are designed specifically to capture, accumulate and store power from a variety of energy harvesting sources and supply it to wireless sensor networks operating in compliance with the Bluetooth specification. The module’s are designed to make energy harvesting a reliable and long-lasting source of power and to help unshackle many applications from the constraints of battery or ac power sources.

The EH301 EPAD modules accept energy from an assortment of widely available waste energy sources that operate from vibration, light, chemical reaction, fluid and air flow, environmental heat and others. The modules then store this energy to power conventional 3.5 to 5V electrical circuits and systems such as wireless sensor networks.

ALD EPAD Energy Harvesting Modules are said to be completely self-powered, always in the active mode and always ready to harvest energy from sources that generate intermittent energy impulses with varying source impedances. The modules begin operating from 0.0V and operate at zero power to ensure that even the most miniscule energy charges can be captured, stored and used for the application. The zero-power operation of the circuit ensures that very little of the energy is squandered on the module’s own operation. The modules are also designed to store and manage the energy for extended periods of time with minimal leakage or loss so that power is supplied to the application when it is most needed.

Circuits built with conventional, off-the-shelf components are often incapable of providing the efficiency needed to make energy harvesting a practical solution. Building circuits with conventional components usually requires significantly more electrical energy to operate both the circuit and the application. The power generated by piezoelectric or thermoelectric materials, for example, often occurs at infrequent or random intervals and is usually not sufficient to directly and dependably power both the circuitry and the application.

ALD Energy Harvesting Modules utilize the company’s patented EPAD technology to deliver zero power operation. This allows the power generated by energy harvesting sources to go almost entirely to the application. These characteristics make EPAD devices well-suited for the circuits needed to serve as the link between energy harvesting sources and ultra-low power applications.

EPAD stands for Electrically Programmable Analog Device. This technology enables precision depletion and enhancement mode MOSFETs to be built with threshold voltages ranging from -3.60V to +3.30V with very low leakage currents, including Zero-Threshold MOSFETS and Zero-Power MOSFETs. The EH301 has a useful output of 8.3mJ module and an output on-time rating of [email protected] The EH301A has a useful energy output of 55mJ and an output on-time rating of [email protected]

The EH301 EPAD Harvesting Modules are available now starting at $36.54 in quantities of 1,000 with higher volume prices (100K) in the $20 range.

Advanced Linear Devices Inc.
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