Posted on December 12, 2010 by Anthony Watts
From Fujitsu’s press web site: Fujitsu Develops Hybrid Energy Harvesting Device for Generating Electricity from Heat and Light
Paves the way toward widespread energy harvesting, generating self-sufficient power from the surrounding environment
Kawasaki, Japan, December 9, 2010 — Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced that it has developed a new hybrid energy harvesting device that generates electricity from either heat or light. With this single device, it is possible to derive energy from two separate sources, which previously could only be handled by combining individual devices. Furthermore, because the cost of the hybrid device is economical, this technology paves the way to the widespread use of highly efficient energy harvesting devices. The new technology has great potential in the area of energy harvesting, which converts energy from the surrounding environment to electricity. Since there is no need for electrical wiring or battery replacements, this development could enable the use of sensors in previously unserved applications and regions. It also has great potential for powering a variety of sensor networks and medical-sensing technologies.
Details of this technology will be presented at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting 2010 (IEDM 2010) being held from December 6-8 in San Francisco.
About Energy Harvesting
Energy harvesting is the process for collecting energy from the surrounding environment and converting it to electricity, and is gaining interest as a future next-generation energy source. Conventionally, electricity is supplied by either a power plant or a battery, requiring electrical wiring and replacement batteries. In recent years, the idea of using ambient energy in the forms of light, vibration, heat, radio waves, etc. has become increasingly attractive, and a number of methods to produce electricity from these different kinds of energy sources have been developed. Energy harvesting technology would eliminate the need for replacing batteries and power cords.