Energy harvesting is the conversion of ambient energy to electricity in order to power small or mobile devices. It is part of the green revolution in reducing the need for batteries, whether by harnessing heat, light, movement or other things. The unique event "Energy Harvesting USA" will look at this with an unusually broad lens, from the needs of soldiers, building controls, logistics, the process industry and satellites to rotorcraft. Indeed Georgia Tech will reveal a breakthrough in self-powered, implantable nano devices, Biorasis looks at harvesting for glucose monitoring and Tagsense reveals self powered diagnostic patches. These are needed as we prepare for the greying of the population by creating affordable healthcare on the move and in the home. That includes adoption of bioelectrochemical systems, the subject of another presentation.
The event will see presentations of harvesting from the healthy such as power flooring. It covers how we can improve and refine response to forest fires by harvesting electricity from living trees to drive huge numbers of sensors, something also useful in optimising forestry.
Dramatic new inventions
So what are the exciting new harvesting technologies this year? Here the event reveals piezoelectrics in rubber ribbons and high temperature thermoelectrics and their target uses. The helpful trend toward electronics that works off a whisper of electronics and also better batteries are covered. Polymer electrets for vibration harvesting is the topic chosen by the legendary University of Tokyo. The next generation flexible photovoltaics will be covered: sometimes it will be transparent so it can be put almost anywhere and sometimes it will harvest much more than light. On the edge of the subject is micro nuclear power and RF harvesting and the latest on these will also be available.
The presentations by NASA, Lockheed Martin and the $20 billion Schneider Electric of France are illustrative of how the event involves giant corporations from across the world, many of them both users and developers of the technology. There will also be the leading universities and the most interesting start ups stepping up to the podium. Dr Peter Harrop, of analysts IDTechEx, that is organising the event, says, "It is remarkable how energy harvesting is now reaching into most forms of human endeavor and making valuable new things possible, while creating a whole new industry."
For more information on the events, or to become a media partner, please contact Cara Van Heest at c.vanheest@IDTechEx.com.
For more read : Energy Harvesting and Storage for Electronic Devices 2010-2020