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Open AccessArticle

Optimization Design and Simulation of a Multi-Source Energy Harvester Based on Solar and Radioisotope Energy Sources

Collaborative Innovation Center for Micro/Nano Fabrication, Device and System, State Key Laboratory of Precision Measurement Technology and Instruments, Department of Precision Instruments, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Hiroshi Toshiyoshi and Chang-Hyeon Ji
Micromachines 2016, 7(12), 228;
Received: 2 November 2016 / Revised: 4 December 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 14 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS Energy Harvesters)
A novel multi-source energy harvester based on solar and radioisotope energy sources is designed and simulated in this work. We established the calculation formulas for the short-circuit current and open-circuit voltage, and then studied and analyzed the optimization thickness of the semiconductor, doping concentration, and junction depth with simulation of the transport process of β particles in a semiconductor material using the Monte Carlo simulation program MCNP (version 5, Radiation Safety Information Computational Center, Oak Ridge, TN, USA). In order to improve the efficiency of converting solar light energy into electric power, we adopted PC1D (version 5.9, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia) to optimize the parameters, and selected the best parameters for converting both the radioisotope energy and solar energy into electricity. The results concluded that the best parameters for the multi-source energy harvester are as follows: Na is 1 × 1019 cm−3, Nd is 3.8 × 1016 cm−3, a PN junction depth of 0.5 μm (using the 147Pm radioisotope source), and so on. Under these parameters, the proposed harvester can achieve a conversion efficiency of 5.05% for the 147Pm radioisotope source (with the activity of 9.25 × 108 Bq) and 20.8% for solar light radiation (AM1.5). Such a design and parameters are valuable for some unique micro-power fields, such as applications in space, isolated terrestrial applications, and smart dust in battlefields. View Full-Text
Keywords: multi-source; energy harvester; solar; radioisotope battery multi-source; energy harvester; solar; radioisotope battery
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, H.; Zhang, G.; You, Z. Optimization Design and Simulation of a Multi-Source Energy Harvester Based on Solar and Radioisotope Energy Sources. Micromachines 2016, 7, 228.

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