Energy Harvesting and Imaging Sensor

OTT case 09-029 | Patent Pending

Fixed-energy sources, such as batteries and fuel cells, are impractical for remote wireless applications and devices for long lifetimes of 5 years or more. Charging or re-charging such power sources is not always available in these types of applications. Thus, self-power generation or ambient power-harvesting and re-charging electric power sources have to be embedded in remote wireless systems along with low-power subsystems such as communication links, base-band analog or digital signal processors, etc.

Available ambient energy in the environment can be harvested for powering remote wireless systems. Methods of harvesting include solar, piezoelectric, vibration, electrostatic and thermoelectric.

Researchers at the University of Idaho have designed an energy harvesting device using complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) active pixel sensor (APS) technology. Called an energy harvesting and imaging (EHI) APS, this device is capable of both imaging and solar energy harvesting. Supporting electronics for power management was also developed and proper of the EHI APS has been confirmed.