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Off Grid Energy Independence
Posted on December 1, 2010 by  & 

Energy Harvesting USA 2010, Cambridge, MA, day 2 highlights

Leggett Platt

LeRoy Johnson from Leggett & Platt presented on their wireless power solution based on the principle of inductive charging. The company's wireless chargers can be integrated into a large variety of products, making wireless charging of small devices possible. Two different types of chargers would be necessary for different power levels (a 5W charger for devices like mobile phones, and a 120W charger for laptops): A consortium comprising 60 members has already released a standard for the low level charger and is preparing one for the medium level one. An interoperability symbol has also been created, which will allow users to identify compatible devices as well as charging points.
Wireless power interoperability symbol Source: Leggett & Platt
Although wireless charging mats are also available, L & P are more focused into the discrete integration of wireless charging functionality: the company's Helios wireless chargers can be integrated inside office desks, conference tables, airport lounge counters, even residential seating, tool benches and vehicles.
Helios wireless chargers Source: Leggett & Platt


Possibly the leading organization that has pioneered adoption of energy harvesting technologies, EnOcean also presented on the second day of the conference. With applications covering building and industrial automation, the medical as well as the automotive and aviation sectors, EnOcean boasts an unrivaled variety of products and a worldwide customer base.
Although electrodynamic (mechanical) energy harvesting is probably the best known harvesting technology used in EnOcean's applications, there's a multitude of products working on the photoelectric and thermoelectric effects as well, allowing for multi-source harvesting and versatility of harvesting, customizable to meet specific requirements.
Some interesting examples include:
  • The installation of window sensors in Mueritz Hospital in Waren, Germany (window open = airconditioning off, heating off) which lead to a 22% saving of HVAC energy consumption.
  • The use of 4,200 wireless & batteryless light switches, occupancy sensors and daylight sensors at the Torre Espacio in Madrid. The installation lead to 40% lighting energy costs, reduction of retrofitting costs by as much as 80% (over 30km of cabling didn't need to be used).
Window sensors. Source: EnOcean
Photovoltaic and electrodynamic energy harvestingin and on electric vehicles will be covered bt IDTechEx, ETH Zurich, Eindhoven University of Technology, Nissan and Fiat at the forthcoming Future of Electric Vehicles event.


Dr Ioannis Tomazos, CEO of Biorasis focused his presentation on Implantable Continuous Glucose Monitoring sensors (ICGMs) and how it could lead to better treatments for diabetes. Hybrid continuous glucose sensors are currently available but they are part implanted subcutaneously, part located externally. Apart from the discomfort that configuration causes, the lifetime of the devices is limited to about a week and they do not apply to type II diabetes, almost 90% of all diabetics.
The Biorasis ICGM sensor is an electrochemical type of sensor, currently under development, with a lifetime of 3 months with a size that makes subcutaneous implantation possible.
Biorasis ICGM sensor Source: Biorasis
For further information on other presentations during the 2-day conference, please visit the conference website, where all presentations for which we have permission from speakers are available for download.

Authored By:

Principal Analyst

Posted on: December 1, 2010

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