Power Electronics

Power Saving MCU Enables Energy Harvesting

AdaptivEnergy has developed a demonstration kit using its Joule-Thief technology to harvest energy and power Texas Instruments’ MSP430 microcontroller (MCU) and RF technology to collect data, control the operation of a system or send sensed data to central collection sites. The energy harvesting device is based on AdaptivEnergy's Ruggedized Laminated Piezo (RLP) technology, which enables compact energy harvesting modules to power applications such as wireless sensors.

These wireless sensors could be used to gather ambient intelligence to detect and report critical conditions in factories, automobiles, office buildings, homes and other environments – all without wiring or batteries. Complementing the RLP Smart Energy Beam and collection electronics is active intelligence and communications based on a chipset consisting of an MSP430F2274 microcontroller and TI’s CC2500 2.4-GHz RF transceiver, which allows the Joule-Thief design to gain as much processing and transmission as possible from the charge stored in a capacitor.

With low power consumption in active and standby modes, the MSP430 microcontroller also provides a fast wake-up time of less than a 1 µs. System-on-chip (SoC) integration of peripherals in the MSP430 microcontroller such as analog-to-digital converters, timers, comparators and a variety of memory configurations helped AdaptivEnergy save space and board costs while enabling them to build a maintenance-free wireless sensor suitable for a wide range of ambient intelligence applications.

AdaptivEnergy has already engaged with a number of leading system developers who are using the Joule-Thief design to create advanced sensing applications that will begin appearing in the next one to two years. In addition, AdaptivEnergy has entered into a strategic agreement with In-Q-Tel, a company that identifies innovative technology to support the mission of the U.S. intelligence community.

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