The first demonstration of a self-powered cardiac pacemaker

As the number of pacemakers implanted each year reaches into the millions worldwide, improving the lifespan of pacemaker batteries has been of great concern for developers and manufacturers. Currently, pacemaker batteries last seven years on average, requiring frequent replacements, which may pose patients to a potential risk involved in medical procedures.
A research team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), headed by Professor Keon Jae Lee of [...]

How to Tap the Sun’s Energy Through Heat as Well as Light

A new approach to harvesting solar energy, developed by MIT researchers, could improve efficiency by using sunlight to heat a high-temperature material whose infrared radiation would then be collected by a conventional photovoltaic cell. This technique could also make it easier to store the energy for later use, the researchers say.
A nanophotonic solar thermophotovoltaic device composed of an array of multi‑walled carbon nanotubes as the absorber, a one‑dimensional silicon/silicon dioxide [...]

On-road energy harvesting

Road transport is a major consumer of energy. However, new concepts aim to turn the sector into a producer, too, by harnessing energy from moving cars.

Funded by the EU, the research initiative POWERAMP developed roadway-energy harvesting prototypes based on dynamic speed bumps that are able to transfer kinetic energy from vehicles passing over them. The collaborative project developed the system from its initial design through to manufacturing, and on to [...]

Microsemi Corporation announced the availability of a new ultra low power (ULP) radio frequency (RF) transceiver for short-range wireless applications. The ZL70250 sets the bar in terms of low power consumption with only 2 milliamps (mA) of current required to transmit and receive data, enabling extremely long battery life and miniaturization. These two features are particularly important for applications using energy harvesting and battery-powered wireless sensor networks.
The new ULP radio [...]

Researchers have discovered yet another way to harvest small amounts of electricity from motion in the world around us – this time by capturing the electrical charge produced when two different kinds of plastic materials rub against one another. Based on flexible polymer materials, this “triboelectric” generator could provide alternating current (AC) from activities such as walking.
The triboelectric generator could supplement power produced by nanogenerators that use the piezoelectric effect [...]

New record set for harvesting indoor light

G24 Innovations, a company working on indoor light harvesting has reportedly set a new world record for  “the recycling of ambient indoor light to electricity”. The result is an average conversion efficiency of 26% and it is achieved by using dye-sensitized solar cells. Previously record was held by the company itself with achievement of 15% efficiency already recognized by  Texas Instruments’ Solar Lab as the most efficient indoor light energy [...]

Engineers Create Piezoelectric Graphene

Piezoelectrics have found application in countless devices from watches, radios and ultrasound to the push-button starters on propane grills, but these uses all require relatively large, three-dimensional quantities of piezoelectric materials.In what became known as the ‘Scotch tape technique," researchers first extracted graphene with a piece of adhesive in 2004. Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb, hexagonal pattern. It looks like chicken wire.

Graphene is [...]

Measuring shake, rattle, and hum

Energy can be harvested from unwanted vibrations found in most industrial processes and our environment.Currently, the energy is mainly harvested from the resonant area of the frequency spectrum.

This project aims to use new materials (called ‘bistable composites’) to harvest energy from a much wider range of frequencies, therefore capturing more energy that can be used to power low energy electronics such as wireless sensor networks.
This three year project (’Optimisation of [...]

To spur embedded design creativity and innovation in the area of green energy, Renesas Electronics America Inc. today launched the RL78 Green Energy Challenge, a design contest featuring the RL78 microcontrollers (MCUs) and a robust software support environment provided by Renesas Electronics America and its Alliance Partner community. The Renesas RL78 Green Energy Challenge provides an open, creative environment in which embedded engineers can showcase their skill in developing green [...]

SoftGen, an incubator company within the University of Auckland, New Zealand, will present at CleanEquity Monaco 2012; the conference is on March 29th & 30th at the Sporting d’Hiver, Monaco.
SoftGen was included, by expert selection, to present to industry-specific, senior financial and strategic investors, policy makers, legislators, end users and media.
SoftGen will make charging of portable electronics a thing of the past. SoftGen’s artificial muscles scavenge the latent energy in [...]