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Sensors 2018, 18(1), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18010259

Medlay: A Reconfigurable Micro-Power Management to Investigate Self-Powered Systems

Laboratory for Electrical Instrumentation, Department of Microsystems Engineering—IMTEK, University of Freiburg, Georges-Köhler-Allee 106, 79110 Freiburg, Germany
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Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 17 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
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Abstract

In self-powered microsystems, a power management is essential to extract, transfer and regulate power from energy harvesting sources to loads such as sensors. The challenge is to consider all of the different structures and components available and build the optimal power management on a microscale. The purpose of this paper is to streamline the design process by creating a novel reconfigurable testbed called Medlay. First, we propose a uniform interface for management functions e.g., power conversion, energy storing and power routing. This interface results in a clear layout because power and status pins are strictly separated, and inputs and outputs have fixed positions. Medlay is the ready-to-use and open-hardware platform based on the interface. It consists of a base board and small modules incorporating e.g., dc-dc converters, power switches and supercapacitors. Measurements confirm that Medlay represents a system on one circuit board, as parasitic effects of the interconnections are negligible. The versatility regarding different setups on the testbed is determined to over 250,000 combinations by layout graph grammar. Lastly, we underline the applicability by recreating three state-of-the-art systems with the testbed. In conclusion, Medlay facilitates building and testing power management in a very compact, clear and extensible fashion. View Full-Text
Keywords: Energy harvesting; Power management; Smart sensors; System analysis and design Energy harvesting; Power management; Smart sensors; System analysis and design
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Kokert, J.; Beckedahl, T.; Reindl, L.M. Medlay: A Reconfigurable Micro-Power Management to Investigate Self-Powered Systems. Sensors 2018, 18, 259.

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