Intelligent Energy Harvesting - Strategies for Utilising Harvested Energy

The Smart Materials Sector of the Materials Knowledge Transfer Network and the Smart Materials and Systems Committee of the IOM3 held a one-day workshop on 5th May 2011that looked at the current challenges for materials in energy harvesting applications.


As mobile technology advances so the need for smaller and lighter devices increases challenging the current technology for battery power. The logical alternative is the harvesting and storage of energy from the device’s environment but the challenge remains the levels of
energy that can be harvested and how that energy can be stored. There is much hype about what current technology can do but one of the fundamental issues is the materials that are used and how they can play a key role in the development of functional energy harvesting systems. Amongst those materials will be smart materials and  technologies.

The aim of the workshop was to discuss the current challenges to the intelligent utilisation of energy harvesting technology on a wider basis and to identify potential projects that might meet those challenges. The current approach is to develop electronics typically to rectify the oscillatory charge produced by a piezoelectric harvester and to store the resultant rectified signal on a supercapacitor, battery or other storage material. Equally problematic energy utilisation issues are associated with other energy harvesting technologies including thermoelectrics.  In this one-day workshop we aim to move beyond this traditional approach and to explore some very new and innovative solutions and concepts concerning efficient and useful utilisation of the scavenged energy.


The presentations from the event are available below for members of the Materials KTN to download. Please note that you will need to be logged into the site to view the file. If you are not already a member of the group, please click on the "join this Group" link in the top image banner and enter your details.

Thermoelectrics for Energy Harvesting
Dr Jeremy Watling – James Watt Nanofabrication Laboratory, University of Glasgow

Power Electronics Interfaces for Energy Harvesting Systems
Dr Paul Mitcheson – Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London

Next Generation Electronics for Energy Harvesting - Holistic Approach
Dr Tom Kazmierski – Electronic Systems and Devices Group, University of Southampton

Concepts and limitations of current energy harvesting approaches
Dr Mark Stewart - National Physical Laboratory, UK

Harvesting broad-band random kinetic energy: novel strategies
Professor Luca Gammaitoni – NiPS Laboratory, University of Perugia


The report from the event is available for members of the Materials KTN to download. Click here to download the report in PDF format