Energy harvesting is currently a hot research topic, mainly as a consequence of the increasing attractiveness of computing and sensing solutions based on small, low-power distributed embedded systems. Harvesting may enable systems to operate in a deploy-and-forget mode, particularly when power grid is absent and the use of rechargeable batteries is unattractive due to their limited lifetime and maintenance requirements. This paper focuses on wind flow as an energy source feasible to meet the energy needs of a small autonomous embedded system. In particular the contribution is on the electrical converter and system integration. We characterize the micro-wind turbine, we define a detailed model of its behaviour, and then we focused on a highly efficient circuit to convert wind energy into electrical energy. The optimized design features an overall volume smaller than 64 cm3
. The core of the harvester is a high efficiency buck-boost converter which performs an optimal power point tracking. Experimental results show that the wind generator boosts efficiency over a wide range of operating conditions.
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