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IoT energy harvesting demo platform

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By Rich Pell

Energy harvesting power management IC (PMIC) specialist Trameto has announced a demonstration platform that enables engineers to quickly evaluate how micro-energy harvesting can reduce or eliminate the use of batteries in IoT devices such as sensors and the wireless modules to which they may be connected. Based on the company’s OptiJoule technology, the platform uses an engineering sample of the TM2040, a four-input, smart EH PMIC.

Up to four harvesters of the same or mixed types can be connected to any of its inputs without additional interface components, providing the simplest, most effective, and most economical way to cut battery dependency in wireless IoT applications, says the company. The demonstration platform includes two photovoltaic harvesters, a piezoelectric harvester with a DC motor to generate vibration for it, two thermoelectric generators, and a heater and heatsinks to provide a stimulus for the thermoelectric generators.

Each harvester produces microjoules to millijoules of energy and easily connects to the main platform using plugin daughterboards. Each of the TM2040’s inputs will adapt autonomously to the type of harvester connected to it. The chip then optimizes each harvester’s output using patented circuits that also dynamically combine the maximum available energy from all the connected harvesters.

The optimized output delivers a controlled charge to an energy-storage component which is then automatically switched via the EH PMIC to power an IoT device with a 1.8V DC, regulated supply at up to 15mA.

“Energy harvesting can only be economically realized for IoT applications if every available source of energy can be exploited,” says Huw Davies, CEO of Trameto. “The TM2040 OptiJoule EH PMIC is the only power management device able to do this economically, replacing up to four traditional PMICs and eliminating the cost and complexity of the interface components that are often needed for some energy harvesters. This demonstration platform provides the easiest way for engineers to explore the opportunities to power their devices using a range of energy harvesting technologies.”

The demonstration platform comes complete with a Windows application to display harvested power and TM2040 status information from the platform via a simple graphical user interface. The TM2040 demonstration platform is available now. A single-input version of the autonomously adaptable PMIC is also available.

Trameto


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