Thermal energy harvesting IC extends battery lifetime in wireless applications

22-09-2020 | e-peas | Semiconductors

e-peas AEM20940 Thermal Energy Harvesting IC, available now from Mouser, is an integrated Ambient Energy Manager that extracts DC power from a thermoelectric generator, at the same time storing energy in a rechargeable element and supplying the system with two independent regulated voltages. The device is intended to extend battery lifetime and ultimately eradicate the primary energy storage element in a large variety of wireless applications, including industrial monitoring, home automation, and smart agriculture.

The device harvests the available input current up to 110mA. It incorporates an ultra-low-power boost converter to charge a storage element, such as a Li-ion battery, a thin film battery, a supercapacitor, or a conventional capacitor. The boost converter functions with input voltages in a range from 50mV to 5V. With its unique cold-start circuit, the IC can start operating with empty storage elements at an input voltage as low as 60mV and an input power as low as 150µW.

The IC combines all the active elements for powering a typical wireless sensor. Only five capacitors and two inductors are needed, offered in the small 0402 and 0603 sizes, respectively. With only seven external components, integration is maximum, footprint and BOM are minimum, optimising the time-to-market and the costs of wireless sensor node designs.

The device is provided in a QFN28 package, with a wide -40C to +125C operating temperature range.

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