New Chip Could Eliminate Batteries, Getting Power From Heat, Vibration & Light

New Chip Could Eliminate Batteries, Getting Power From Heat, Vibration & Light

MIT researchers have developed technology that could be used in biomedical devices, environmental sensors and gauges in remote locations.

Emma Hutchings
  • 11 july 2012

MIT researchers have developed a chip that doesn’t require battery power but instead runs on a combination of light, heat, and vibration. Energy is harvested to provide low impact power for monitoring systems like biomedical devices, environmental sensors in remote locations and gauges in hard-to-reach places. MIT professor Anantha Chandrakasan and doctoral student Saurav Bandyopadhyay developed the chip, which can harness power from natural light, heat and vibrations in the environment, optimizing power delivery.

New Chip Could Eliminate The Need For Batteries, Gets Power From Heat, Vibration, And Light

The new design achieves efficient use of multiple energy sources in a single device, extracting power from all the sources by switching rapidly between them, with the control circuits optimize the amount of energy extracted from each source. Using multiple sources has many benefits including the ability to maximize peak energy, and being able to harvest energy when only one source is available as they are often intermittent and unpredictable.

New chip captures power from multiple sources

Photo by Justin Knight and Graphic by Christine Daniloff

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