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Sensors 2019, 19(8), 1803;

Combined Organic Photovoltaic Cells and Ultra Low Power CMOS Circuit for Indoor Light Energy Harvesting

CTS-UNINOVA, Instituto de Desenvolvimento de Novas Tecnologias, 2829-517 Caparica, Portugal
Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FCT), University Nova de Lisboa (UNL), Lisbon, Portugal
Instituto de Telecomunicações, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
ADEETC, Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa (IPL-ISEL), CEDET, 1959-007 Lisbon, Portugal
Academia Militar (AM), Instituto Universitário Militar (IUM), DCEE, Campus da Amadora, 2720-113 Amadora, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvester Sensing)
PDF [1979 KB, uploaded 15 April 2019]


This paper describes an energy harvesting system composed of an organic photovoltaic cell (OPV) connected to a DC–DC converter, designed in a 130 nm Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (CMOS) technology, with a quasi- maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm to maximize the system efficiency, for indoor applications. OPVs are an emerging technology with potential for low cost indoor light energy harvesting. The OPV current-voltage curves (I-V) under an irradiance of solar simulator Oriel Sol 3A, at room temperature, are obtained and an accurate electrical model is derived. The energy harvesting system is subjected to four different indoor light sources: 35 W halogen, 3.5 W LED, 5 W LED, and 7 W LED, positioned at three different heights (0.45 m, 0.26 m, and 0.11 m), to evaluate the potential of the system for indoor applications. The measurements showed maximum efficiencies of 60% for 35 W halogen and 45% for 7 W LED at the highest distance (0.45 m) and between 60% (5 W LED) and 70% (35 W halogen), at the shorter distance (0.11 m). Under irradiation, the integrated CMOS circuit presented a maximum efficiency of 75.76%, which is, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, the best reported power management unit (PMU) energy system using organic photovoltaic cells.
Keywords: indoor light harvesting; organic photovoltaic cells; Integrated circuit; CMOS technology indoor light harvesting; organic photovoltaic cells; Integrated circuit; CMOS technology
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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Batista, D.; Oliveira, L.B.; Paulino, N.; Carvalho, C.; Oliveira, J.P.; Farinhas, J.; Charas, A.; dos Santos, P.M. Combined Organic Photovoltaic Cells and Ultra Low Power CMOS Circuit for Indoor Light Energy Harvesting. Sensors 2019, 19, 1803.

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