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Sensors 2014, 14(5), 8740-8755; doi:10.3390/s140508740
Article

A Hybrid Indoor Ambient Light and Vibration Energy Harvester for Wireless Sensor Nodes

1,2,3,* , 4
, 1,2,3
 and 2
1 College of Optoelectronic Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China 2 Key Laboratory for Optoelectronic Technology & Systems, Ministry of Education of China, Chongqing 400044, China 3 National Key Laboratory of Fundamental Science of Micro/Nano-Device and System Technology, Chongqing 400044, China 4 Department of Electro-Mechanic Engineering, Chongqing College of Electronic Engineering, Chongqing 401331, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 March 2014 / Revised: 30 April 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 19 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

To take advantage of applications where both light and vibration energy are available, a hybrid indoor ambient light and vibration energy harvesting scheme is proposed in this paper. This scheme uses only one power conditioning circuit to condition the combined output power harvested from both energy sources so as to reduce the power dissipation. In order to more accurately predict the instantaneous power harvested from the solar panel, an improved five-parameter model for small-scale solar panel applying in low light illumination is presented. The output voltage is increased by using the MEMS piezoelectric cantilever arrays architecture. It overcomes the disadvantage of traditional MEMS vibration energy harvester with low voltage output. The implementation of the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) for indoor ambient light is implemented using analog discrete components, which improves the whole harvester efficiency significantly compared to the digital signal processor. The output power of the vibration energy harvester is improved by using the impedance matching technique. An efficient mechanism of energy accumulation and bleed-off is also discussed. Experiment results obtained from an amorphous-silicon (a-Si) solar panel of 4.8 × 2.0 cm2 and a fabricated piezoelectric MEMS generator of 11 × 12.4 mm2 show that the hybrid energy harvester achieves a maximum efficiency around 76.7%.
Keywords: hybrid energy harvester; indoor ambient light; vibration energy; power conditioning circuit; wireless sensor node hybrid energy harvester; indoor ambient light; vibration energy; power conditioning circuit; wireless sensor node
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yu, H.; Yue, Q.; Zhou, J.; Wang, W. A Hybrid Indoor Ambient Light and Vibration Energy Harvester for Wireless Sensor Nodes. Sensors 2014, 14, 8740-8755.

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