A newly updated report, "Energy Harvesting and Storage for Electronic Devices 2011-2021," from IDTechEx identifies the technical progress, applications, performance criteria and opportunities available in this quickly expanding market.
Energy harvesting, otherwise known as power harvesting or energy scavenging, uses ambient energy to power small electronic or electrical devices. That includes photovoltaics, thermovoltaics, piezoelectrics and electrodynamics, among other options, which are now being used in a wide variety of applications.
The technology has reached a tipping point, because the necessary lower power electronics and more efficient energy gathering and storage are now sufficiently affordable, reliable and longer lived for a huge number of applications to be practicable. From wind-up laptops for Africa, wireless light switches working from the power of your finger and wireless sensors in oil fields monitoring equipment power by vibration - these are all in use now with many more applications emerging.
This unique report looks at the global situation. It covers the progress of more than 350 organizations in 22 countries and gives detailed case studies. Market forecasts are provided for everything from self-sufficient wristwatches to mobile phones that will never need a charger and light switches and controls that have no wiring and no batteries when fitted in buildings to wireless sensors power from the environment they are placed in.
However, there are further mountains to climb in order to achieve self powered wireless sensors monitoring forest fires, pollution spillages and even inside the human body and in the concrete of buildings. These applications will become commonplace one day. Even devices with maintenance-free life of hundreds of years can now be envisaged. Meanwhile, bionic man containing maintenance free, self-powered devices for his lifetime is an objective for the next few years.