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Compact platform for prototyping ambient micro-energy harvesting

New Products |
By Rich Pell

Energy harvesting PMIC maker Trameto has introduced a proof-of-concept platform for evaluating how to generate a reliable micro-power source from ambient light and heat. The compact platform – called Severn – can be used as a prototype, says the company, because its size and form factor could be adopted for production.

An engineering sample of the company’s TM2040 four-input, smart energy harvesting (EH) power management IC (PMIC) is at the heart of Severn. Up to four harvesters of the same or mixed type can be connected to any of its inputs without additional interface components. Each harvester typically generates microwatts to milliwatts of power.

“The Severn platform,” says Huw Davies, CEO of Trameto, “is an example of how to create a reliable power supply for an edge IoT device from ambient light and/or heat in a compact form-factor, and showcases the TM2040’s ability to simultaneously and effectively manage the energy from multiple harvesters.”

The platform includes a photovoltaic (PV) harvester on a hinged backing to allow optimal positioning and a thermoelectric generator (TEG) with an air heat sink, all housed in an acrylic case. Magnets facilitate the platform’s attachment to a warm, ferrous surface when working with the TEG.

Daughter boards are supplied to allow for additional harvester inputs, deliver output power to the application, and communications. A Windows GUI is also available, which can display harvested power and status information.

The Severn platform can be located where there is an artificial or natural light source for the PV panel and a warm surface relative to ambient air for stimulating the TEG. The TM2040’s inputs adapt autonomously to the harvester type connected, and any changing ambient conditions, maximizing energy capture. The PMIC then combines the energy from each input into a common store – in this case a super-capacitor. When the capacitor is fully charged, the TM2040 delivers a 1.8V DC, regulated supply at up to 15mA for powering wireless IoT sensors and modules.

The Severn platform is available now and a user guide can be downloaded from https://trameto.com/resources/.

Trameto


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