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Sample records for solar energy harvest

  1. Plasmonic Enhancement Mechanisms in Solar Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cushing, Scott K.

    Semiconductor photovoltaics (solar-to-electrical) and photocatalysis (solar-to-chemical) requires sunlight to be converted into excited charge carriers with sufficient lifetimes and mobility to drive a current or photoreaction. Thin semiconductor films are necessary to reduce the charge recombination and mobility losses, but thin films also limit light absorption, reducing the solar energy conversion efficiency. Further, in photocatalysis, the band edges of semiconductor must straddle the redox potentials of a photochemical reaction, reducing light absorption to half the solar spectrum in water splitting. Plasmonics transforms metal nanoparticles into antennas with resonances tuneable across the solar spectrum. If energy can be transferred from the plasmon to the semiconductor, light absorption in the semiconductor can be increased in thin films and occur at energies smaller than the band gap. This thesis investigates why, despite this potential, plasmonic solar energy harvesting techniques rarely appear in top performing solar architectures. To accomplish this goal, the possible plasmonic enhancement mechanisms for solar energy conversion were identified, isolated, and optimized by combining systematic sample design with transient absorption spectroscopy, photoelectrochemical and photocatalytic testing, and theoretical development. Specifically, metal semiconductor nanostructures were designed to modulate the plasmon's scattering, hot carrier, and near field interactions as well as remove heating and self-catalysis effects. Transient absorption spectroscopy then revealed how the structure design affected energy and charge carrier transfer between metal and semiconductor. Correlating this data with wavelength-dependent photoconversion efficiencies and theoretical developments regarding metal-semiconductor interactions identified the origin of the plasmonic enhancement. Using this methodology, it has first been proven that three plasmonic enhancement routes are

  2. Plasmonic Enhancement Mechanisms in Solar Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cushing, Scott K.

    Semiconductor photovoltaics (solar-to-electrical) and photocatalysis (solar-to-chemical) requires sunlight to be converted into excited charge carriers with sufficient lifetimes and mobility to drive a current or photoreaction. Thin semiconductor films are necessary to reduce the charge recombination and mobility losses, but thin films also limit light absorption, reducing the solar energy conversion efficiency. Further, in photocatalysis, the band edges of semiconductor must straddle the redox potentials of a photochemical reaction, reducing light absorption to half the solar spectrum in water splitting. Plasmonics transforms metal nanoparticles into antennas with resonances tuneable across the solar spectrum. If energy can be transferred from the plasmon to the semiconductor, light absorption in the semiconductor can be increased in thin films and occur at energies smaller than the band gap. This thesis investigates why, despite this potential, plasmonic solar energy harvesting techniques rarely appear in top performing solar architectures. To accomplish this goal, the possible plasmonic enhancement mechanisms for solar energy conversion were identified, isolated, and optimized by combining systematic sample design with transient absorption spectroscopy, photoelectrochemical and photocatalytic testing, and theoretical development. Specifically, metal semiconductor nanostructures were designed to modulate the plasmon's scattering, hot carrier, and near field interactions as well as remove heating and self-catalysis effects. Transient absorption spectroscopy then revealed how the structure design affected energy and charge carrier transfer between metal and semiconductor. Correlating this data with wavelength-dependent photoconversion efficiencies and theoretical developments regarding metal-semiconductor interactions identified the origin of the plasmonic enhancement. Using this methodology, it has first been proven that three plasmonic enhancement routes are

  3. Metal oxide semiconductors for solar energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thimsen, Elijah James

    -heterojunctions were synthesized and the nanostructure was systematically varied to understand the fundamental role of various characteristic length scales in the nanostructured region of the device on performance. The conclusion of this work is that solar energy harvesting by metal oxide semiconductors is highly promising. All of the scientific concepts have been proven, and steady gains in efficiency are being achieved as researchers continue to tackle the problem.

  4. Solar Energy: Progress and Design Concerns of Nanostructured Solar Energy Harvesting Devices (Small 19/2016).

    PubMed

    Leung, Siu-Fung; Zhang, Qianpeng; Tavakoli, Mohammad Mahdi; He, Jin; Mo, Xiaoliang; Fan, Zhiyong

    2016-05-01

    Nanoengineered materials and structures can harvest light efficiently for photovoltaic applications. Device structure design optimization and material property improvement are equally important for high performance. On page 2536, X. Mo, Z. Fan, and co-workers summarize the design guidelines of solar energy harvesting devices to assist with a better understanding of device physics. PMID:27167321

  5. Progress and Design Concerns of Nanostructured Solar Energy Harvesting Devices.

    PubMed

    Leung, Siu-Fung; Zhang, Qianpeng; Tavakoli, Mohammad Mahdi; He, Jin; Mo, Xiaoliang; Fan, Zhiyong

    2016-05-01

    Integrating devices with nanostructures is considered a promising strategy to improve the performance of solar energy harvesting devices such as photovoltaic (PV) devices and photo-electrochemical (PEC) solar water splitting devices. Extensive efforts have been exerted to improve the power conversion efficiencies (PCE) of such devices by utilizing novel nanostructures to revolutionize device structural designs. The thicknesses of light absorber and material consumption can be substantially reduced because of light trapping with nanostructures. Meanwhile, the utilization of nanostructures can also result in more effective carrier collection by shortening the photogenerated carrier collection path length. Nevertheless, performance optimization of nanostructured solar energy harvesting devices requires a rational design of various aspects of the nanostructures, such as their shape, aspect ratio, periodicity, etc. Without this, the utilization of nanostructures can lead to compromised device performance as the incorporation of these structures can result in defects and additional carrier recombination. The design guidelines of solar energy harvesting devices are summarized, including thin film non-uniformity on nanostructures, surface recombination, parasitic absorption, and the importance of uniform distribution of photo-generated carriers. A systematic view of the design concerns will assist better understanding of device physics and benefit the fabrication of high performance devices in the future. PMID:26918386

  6. Flexible hybrid energy cell for simultaneously harvesting thermal, mechanical, and solar energies.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ya; Zhang, Hulin; Zhu, Guang; Lee, Sangmin; Lin, Zong-Hong; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2013-01-22

    We report the first flexible hybrid energy cell that is capable of simultaneously or individually harvesting thermal, mechanical, and solar energies to power some electronic devices. For having both the pyroelectric and piezoelectric properties, a polarized poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) film-based nanogenerator (NG) was used to harvest thermal and mechanical energies. Using aligned ZnO nanowire arrays grown on the flexible polyester (PET) substrate, a ZnO-poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) heterojunction solar cell was designed for harvesting solar energy. By integrating the NGs and the solar cells, a hybrid energy cell was fabricated to simultaneously harvest three different types of energies. With the use of a Li-ion battery as the energy storage, the harvested energy can drive four red light-emitting diodes (LEDs). PMID:23199138

  7. Copper and Zinc Oxide Composite Nanostructures for Solar Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Fei

    Solar energy is a clean and sustainable energy source to counter global environmental issues of rising atmospheric CO2 levels and depletion of natural resources. To extract useful work from solar energy, silicon-based photovoltaic devices are extensively used. The technological maturity and the high quality of silicon (Si) make it a material of choice. However limitations in Si exist, ranging from its indirect band gap to low light absorption coefficient and energy and capital intensive crystal growth schemes. Therefore, alternate materials that are earth-abundant, benign and simpler to process are needed for developing new platforms for solar energy harvesting applications. In this study, we explore oxides of copper (CuO and Cu2O) in a nanowire morphology as alternate energy harvesting materials. CuO has a bandgap of 1.2 eV whereas Cu2O has a bandgap of 2.1 eV making them ideally suited for absorbing solar radiation. First, we develop a method to synthesize vertical, single crystalline CuO and Cu2O nanowires of ~50 microm length and aspect ratios of ~200. CuO nanowire arrays are synthesized by thermal oxidation of Cu foils. Cu2O nanowire arrays are synthesized by thermal reduction of CuO nanowires. Next, surface engineering of these nanowires is achieved using atomic layer deposition (ALD) of ZnO. By depositing 1.4 nm of ZnO, a highly defective surface is produced on the CuO nanowires. These defects are capable of trapping charge as is evident through persistent photoconductivity measurements of ZnO coated CuO nanowires. The same nanowires serve as efficient photocatalysts reducing CO2 to CO with a yield of 1.98 mmol/g-cat/hr. Finally, to develop a robust platform for flexible solar cells, a protocol to transfer vertical CuO nanowires inside flexible polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is demonstrated. Embedded CuO nanowires-ZnO pn junctions show a VOC of 0.4 V and a JSC of 10.4 microA/cm2 under white light illumination of 5.7 mW/cm2. Thus, this research provides broad

  8. Photoactive supercapacitors for solar energy harvesting and storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takshi, Arash; Yaghoubi, Houman; Tevi, Tete; Bakhshi, Sara

    2015-02-01

    In most applications an energy storage device is required when solar cells are applied for energy harvesting. In this work, we have demonstrated that composite films of a conducting polymer and a dye can be used as photoactive electrodes in an electrochemical cell for concurrent solar energy conversion and charge storage. A device was made of poly ethylenedioxythiophene:polystyrene sulfonate and (PEDOT:PSS) and a porphyrin dye which showed a capacitance of ∼1.04 mF. The device was charged up to 430 mV (open circuit voltage) under a solar simulated illumination and was able to store the charge for more than 10 min in the dark. Further study on the concentration of the dye revealed the importance of the ratio between the dye and the conducting polymer to optimize the photovoltage and capacitance of the device. Also, the effect of the dye material was studied by using a Ruthenium (Ru) based dye. The device with the Ru dye showed a photovolatge of 198 mV and charge stability of more than 2 h.

  9. Integrated Solar-Energy-Harvesting and -Storage Device

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    whitacre, Jay; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Mojarradi, Mohammed; Johnson, Travis; Ryan, Margaret Amy; Bugga, Ratnakumar; West, William; Surampudi, Subbarao; Blosiu, Julian

    2004-01-01

    A modular, integrated, completely solid-state system designed to harvest and store solar energy is under development. Called the power tile, the hybrid device consists of a photovoltaic cell, a battery, a thermoelectric device, and a charge-control circuit that are heterogeneously integrated to maximize specific energy capacity and efficiency. Power tiles could be used in a variety of space and terrestrial environments and would be designed to function with maximum efficiency in the presence of anticipated temperatures, temperature gradients, and cycles of sunlight and shadow. Because they are modular in nature, one could use a single power tile or could construct an array of as many tiles as needed. If multiple tiles are used in an array, the distributed and redundant nature of the charge control and distribution hardware provides an extremely fault-tolerant system. The figure presents a schematic view of the device.

  10. Artificial light-harvesting arrays for solar energy conversion.

    PubMed

    Harriman, Anthony

    2015-07-28

    Solar fuel production, the process whereby an energy-rich substance is produced using electrons provided by water under exposure to sunlight, requires the cooperative accumulation of multiple numbers of photons. Identifying the optimum reagents is a difficult challenge, even without imposing the restriction that these same materials must function as both sensitiser and catalyst. The blockade caused by an inadequate supply of photons at the catalytic sites might be resolved by making use of an artificial light-harvesting array whose sole purpose is to funnel photons of appropriate frequency to the active catalyst, which can now be a dark reagent. Here we consider several types of artificial photon collectors built from fluorescent modules interconnected via electronic energy transfer. Emphasis is placed on the materials aspects and on establishing the basic operating principles. PMID:26086688

  11. Ferritin-based nanocrystals for solar energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colton, John; Erickson, Stephen; Olsen, Cameron; Embley, Jacob; Smith, Trevor; Watt, Richard

    2015-03-01

    Ferritin is a 12 nm diameter hollow protein with an 8 nm cavity that can be filled with a variety of nanocrystals (ferrihydrite being native). We report on several experiments with ferritin-based nanocrystals designed to utilize ferritin for solar energy harvesting. First, we have shown that the native band gap can be altered by controlling nanocrystal size, by replacing the native iron oxide core with other metal oxides, and by depositing halides and oxo-anions with the iron oxide core. This gives available band gaps of 1.6 to 2.3 eV. Theoretical efficiency calculations based on these band gaps show that the efficiency of a multi-junction solar cell based on layered structures of ferritin can be as high as 44.9 %, and up to 63.1 % if a ferritin-based material with band gap of 1.1 eV can be developed. For the latter case, the efficiencies remain quite high even in a current-matched configuration, namely 50.0 %. We have also demonstrated that photo-excitation of these materials can produce charge separation and give rise to usable electrons; we have used photo-excited electrons to reduce gold in solution and thereby produce gold nanoparticles on the surface of the ferritin. This technique can potentially be extended to platinum, whose nanoparticles catalyze water splitting. This research was partially supported by the Utah Office of Energy Development, Governor's Energy Leadership Scholars Program.

  12. EDITORIAL Solar harvest Solar harvest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demming, Anna

    2010-12-01

    The first observations of the photoelectric effect date back to the early 19th century from work by Alexandre Edmond Becquerel, Heinrich Hertz, Wilhelm Hallwachs and J J Thomson. The theory behind the phenomena was clarified in a seminal paper by Einstein in 1905 and became an archetypical feature of the wave-particle description of light. A different manifestation of quantised electron excitation, whereby electrons are not emitted but excited into the valence band of the material, is what we call the photoconductive effect. As well as providing an extension to theories in fundamental physics, the phenomenon has spawned a field with enormous ramifications in the energy industry through the development of solar cells. Among advances in photovoltaic technology has been the development of organic photovoltaic technology. These devices have many benefits over their inorganic counterparts, such as light-weight, flexible material properties, as well as versatile materials' synthesis and low-cost large-scale production—all highly advantageous for manufacturing. The first organic photovoltaic systems were reported over 50 years ago [1], but the potential of the field has escalated in recent years in terms of efficiency, largely through band offsetting. Since then, great progress has been made in studies for optimising the efficiency of organic solar cells, such as the work by researchers in Germany and the Netherlands, where investigations were made into the percentage composition and annealing effects on composites of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and the fullerene derivative [6,6]-phenyl-C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) [2]. Hybrid devices that aim to exploit the advantages of both inorganic and organic constituents have also proven promising. One example of this is the work reported by researchers in Tunisia and France on a systematic study for optimising the composition morphology of TiO2 nanoparticles in poly(N-vinylcarbazole) (PVK), which also led to insights

  13. How to harvest solar energy with the photosynthetic reaction center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balaeff, Alexander; Reyes, Justin

    Photosynthetic reaction center (PRC) is a protein complex that performs a key step in photosynthesis: the electron-hole separation driven by photon absorbtion. The PRC has a great promise for applications in solar energy harvesting and photosensing. Such applications, however, are hampered by the difficulty in extracting the photogenerated electric charge from the PRC. To that end, it was proposed to attach the PRC to a molecular wire through which the charge could be collected. In order to find the attachment point for the wire that would maximize the rate of charge outflow from the PRC, we performed a computational study of the PRC from the R. virdis bacterium. An ensemble of PRC structures generated by a molecular dynamics simulation was used to calculate the rate of charge transport from the site of initial charge separation to several trial sites on the protein surface. The Pathways model was used to calculate the charge transfer rate in each step of the network of heme co-factors through which the charge transport was presumed to proceed. A simple kinetic model was then used to determine the overall rate of the multistep charge transport. The calculations revealed several candidate sites for the molecular wire attachment, recommended for experimental verification.

  14. Adaptive control of the packet transmission period with solar energy harvesting prediction in wireless sensor networks.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Kideok; Yang, Jihoon; Yoo, Younghwan

    2015-01-01

    A number of research works has studied packet scheduling policies in energy scavenging wireless sensor networks, based on the predicted amount of harvested energy. Most of them aim to achieve energy neutrality, which means that an embedded system can operate perpetually while meeting application requirements. Unlike other renewable energy sources, solar energy has the feature of distinct periodicity in the amount of harvested energy over a day. Using this feature, this paper proposes a packet transmission control policy that can enhance the network performance while keeping sensor nodes alive. Furthermore, this paper suggests a novel solar energy prediction method that exploits the relation between cloudiness and solar radiation. The experimental results and analyses show that the proposed packet transmission policy outperforms others in terms of the deadline miss rate and data throughput. Furthermore, the proposed solar energy prediction method can predict more accurately than others by 6.92%. PMID:25919372

  15. Adaptive Control of the Packet Transmission Period with Solar Energy Harvesting Prediction in Wireless Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Kideok; Yang, Jihoon; Yoo, Younghwan

    2015-01-01

    A number of research works has studied packet scheduling policies in energy scavenging wireless sensor networks, based on the predicted amount of harvested energy. Most of them aim to achieve energy neutrality, which means that an embedded system can operate perpetually while meeting application requirements. Unlike other renewable energy sources, solar energy has the feature of distinct periodicity in the amount of harvested energy over a day. Using this feature, this paper proposes a packet transmission control policy that can enhance the network performance while keeping sensor nodes alive. Furthermore, this paper suggests a novel solar energy prediction method that exploits the relation between cloudiness and solar radiation. The experimental results and analyses show that the proposed packet transmission policy outperforms others in terms of the deadline miss rate and data throughput. Furthermore, the proposed solar energy prediction method can predict more accurately than others by 6.92%. PMID:25919372

  16. Nanotechnologies for efficient solar and wind energy harvesting and storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eldada, Louay A.

    2010-08-01

    We describe nanotechnologies used to improve the efficient harvest of energy from the Sun and the wind, and the efficient storage of energy in secondary batteries and ultracapacitors, for use in a variety of applications including smart grids, electric vehicles, and portable electronics. We demonstrate high-quality nanostructured copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin films for photovoltaic (PV) applications. The self-assembly of nanoscale p-n junction networks creates n-type networks that act as preferential electron pathways, and p-type networks that act as preferential hole pathways, allowing positive and negative charges to travel to the contacts in physically separated paths, reducing charge recombination. We also describe PV nanotechnologies used to enhance light trapping, photon absorption, charge generation, charge transport, and current collection. Furthermore, we describe nanotechnologies used to improve the efficiency of power-generating wind turbines. These technologies include nanoparticle-containing lubricants that reduce the friction generated from the rotation of the turbines, nanocoatings for de-icing and self-cleaning technologies, and advanced nanocomposites that provide lighter and stronger wind blades. Finally, we describe nanotechnologies used in advanced secondary batteries and ultracapacitors. Nanostructured powder-based and carbon-nanotube-based cathodes and anodes with ultra-high surface areas boost the energy and power densities in secondary batteries, including lithium-ion and sodium-sulfur batteries. Nanostructured carbon materials are also controlled on a molecular level to offer large surface areas for the electrodes of ultracapacitors, allowing to store and supply large bursts of energy needed in some applications.

  17. Photothermally Activated Pyroelectric Polymer Films for Harvesting of Solar Heat with a Hybrid Energy Cell Structure.

    PubMed

    Park, Teahoon; Na, Jongbeom; Kim, Byeonggwan; Kim, Younghoon; Shin, Haijin; Kim, Eunkyoung

    2015-12-22

    Photothermal effects in poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)s (PEDOTs) were explored for pyroelectric conversion. A poled ferroelectric film was coated on both sides with PEDOT via solution casting polymerization of EDOT, to give highly conductive and effective photothermal thin films of PEDOT. The PEDOT films not only provided heat source upon light exposure but worked as electrodes for the output energy from the pyroelectric layer in an energy harvester hybridized with a thermoelectric layer. Compared to a bare thermoelectric system under NIR irradiation, the photothermal-pyro-thermoelectric device showed more than 6 times higher thermoelectric output with the additional pyroelectric output. The photothermally driven pyroelectric harvesting film provided a very fast electric output with a high voltage output (Vout) of 15 V. The pyroelectric effect was significant due to the transparent and high photothermal PEDOT film, which could also work as an electrode. A hybrid energy harvester was assembled to enhance photoconversion efficiency (PCE) of a solar cell with a thermoelectric device operated by the photothermally generated heat. The PCE was increased more than 20% under sunlight irradiation (AM 1.5G) utilizing the transmitted light through the photovoltaic cell as a heat source that was converted into pyroelectric and thermoelectric output simultaneously from the high photothermal PEDOT electrodes. Overall, this work provides a dynamic and static hybrid energy cell to harvest solar energy in full spectral range and thermal energy, to allow solar powered switching of an electrochromic display. PMID:26308669

  18. Transfer matrix modeling of a tensioned piezo-solar hybrid energy harvesting ribbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, Punnag; Bryant, Matthew

    2015-04-01

    This paper proposes a multifunctional compliant structure that can harvest electrical power from both incident sunlight and ambient mechanical energy including wind flow or vibration. The energy harvesting device consists of a slender, ribbon-like, flexible thin film solar cell that is laminated with piezoelectric patches. The harvester is mounted in longitudinal tension and subjected to a transverse wind flow to excite flow-induced aeroelastic vibrations. This paper formulates an analytic model of the bending dynamics of the device. We present a Transfer Matrix formulation that also accounts for the changes in natural frequencies and mode shapes of the system when subjected to axial loads in a beam. It also observed that mode shape obtained using TMM formulation shows numerical stability even for very high tensile loads providing results consistent with the geometric boundary conditions applied at the ends of a beam. This article also discusses about structurally modeling a piezo - solar energy harvester using TMM methodology, where a thin clampedclamped solar film is bonded with piezo patches having a much higher bending stiffness. Additionally, the effect of axial tension on the mode shape of the thin host structure of the piezo-solar ribbon is presented and it is shown how this tension can be used advantageously to affect the strain distribution of the entire structure and introduce higher strains at the piezo patches.

  19. Efficient Solar-Thermal Energy Harvest Driven by Interfacial Plasmonic Heating-Assisted Evaporation.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chao; Yang, Chao; Liu, Yanming; Tao, Peng; Song, Chengyi; Shang, Wen; Wu, Jianbo; Deng, Tao

    2016-09-01

    The plasmonic heating effect of noble nanoparticles has recently received tremendous attention for various important applications. Herein, we report the utilization of interfacial plasmonic heating-assisted evaporation for efficient and facile solar-thermal energy harvest. An airlaid paper-supported gold nanoparticle thin film was placed at the thermal energy conversion region within a sealed chamber to convert solar energy into thermal energy. The generated thermal energy instantly vaporizes the water underneath into hot vapors that quickly diffuse to the thermal energy release region of the chamber to condense into liquids and release the collected thermal energy. The condensed water automatically flows back to the thermal energy conversion region under the capillary force from the hydrophilic copper mesh. Such an approach simultaneously realizes efficient solar-to-thermal energy conversion and rapid transportation of converted thermal energy to target application terminals. Compared to conventional external photothermal conversion design, the solar-thermal harvesting device driven by the internal plasmonic heating effect has reduced the overall thermal resistance by more than 50% and has demonstrated more than 25% improvement of solar water heating efficiency. PMID:27537862

  20. Spectrally-selective all-inorganic scattering luminophores for solar energy-harvesting clear glass windows.

    PubMed

    Alghamedi, Ramzy; Vasiliev, Mikhail; Nur-E-Alam, Mohammad; Alameh, Kamal

    2014-01-01

    All-inorganic visibly-transparent energy-harvesting clear laminated glass windows are the most practical solution to boosting building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) energy outputs significantly while reducing cooling- and heating-related energy consumption in buildings. By incorporating luminophore materials into lamination interlayers and using spectrally-selective thin-film coatings in conjunction with CuInSe2 solar cells, most of the visible solar radiation can be transmitted through the glass window with minimum attenuation while ultraviolet (UV) radiation is down-converted and routed together with a significant part of infrared radiation to the edges for collection by solar cells. Experimental results demonstrate a 10 cm × 10 cm vertically-placed energy-harvesting clear glass panel of transparency exceeding 60%, invisible solar energy attenuation greater than 90% and electrical power output near 30 Wp/m(2) mainly generated by infrared (IR) and UV radiations. These results open the way for the realization of large-area visibly-transparent energy-harvesting clear glass windows for BIPV systems. PMID:25321890

  1. Simple and Efficient System for Combined Solar Energy Harvesting and Reversible Hydrogen Storage.

    PubMed

    Li, Lu; Mu, Xiaoyue; Liu, Wenbo; Mi, Zetian; Li, Chao-Jun

    2015-06-24

    Solar energy harvesting and hydrogen economy are the two most important green energy endeavors for the future. However, a critical hurdle to the latter is how to safely and densely store and transfer hydrogen. Herein, we developed a reversible hydrogen storage system based on low-cost liquid organic cyclic hydrocarbons at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. A facile switch of hydrogen addition (>97% conversion) and release (>99% conversion) with superior capacity of 7.1 H2 wt % can be quickly achieved over a rationally optimized platinum catalyst with high electron density, simply regulated by dark/light conditions. Furthermore, the photodriven dehydrogenation of cyclic alkanes gave an excellent apparent quantum efficiency of 6.0% under visible light illumination (420-600 nm) without any other energy input, which provides an alternative route to artificial photosynthesis for directly harvesting and storing solar energy in the form of chemical fuel. PMID:26059734

  2. Organic photovoltaic devices with concurrent solar energy harvesting and charge storage capability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takshi, Arash; Tevi, Tete; Rahimi, Fatemeh

    2015-09-01

    Due to large variation of the solar energy availability in a day, energy storage is required in many applications when solar cells are used. However, application of external energy storage devices, such as batteries and supercapacitors, increases the cost of solar energy systems and requires additional charging circuitry. This combination is bulky and relatively expensive, which is not ideal for many applications. In this work, a novel idea is presented for making electrochemical devices with dual properties of solar energy harvesting and internal charge storage. The device is essentially a supercapacitor with a photoactive electrode. Energy harvesting occurs through light absorption at one of the electrodes made of a composite of a conducting polymer (i.e. PEDOT:PSS) and a Porphyrin dye. The energy storage takes place in the both photoactive and counter electrode (CE). We have studied the effect of the CE material on the device characteristics. Using Y-Carbon (a commercial available electrode), an open circuit voltage of 0.49 V was achieved in light across the cell with ~1 mF capacitance. The other two choices for CE were activated carbon and carbon nanotube based electrodes. The cyclic voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy demonstrated that the Y Carbon electrode was a better match.

  3. Design, fabrication, and characterization of multifunctional wings to harvest solar energy in flapping wing air vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez-Rosado, Ariel; Gehlhar, Rachel D.; Nolen, Savannah; Gupta, Satyandra K.; Bruck, Hugh A.

    2015-06-01

    Currently, flapping wing unmanned aerial vehicles (a.k.a., ornithopters or robotic birds) sustain very short duration flight due to limited on-board energy storage capacity. Therefore, energy harvesting elements, such as flexible solar cells, need to be used as materials in critical components, such as wing structures, to increase operational performance. In this paper, we describe a layered fabrication method that was developed for realizing multifunctional composite wings for a unique robotic bird we developed, known as Robo Raven, by creating compliant wing structure from flexible solar cells. The deformed wing shape and aerodynamic lift/thrust loads were characterized throughout the flapping cycle to understand wing mechanics. A multifunctional performance analysis was developed to understand how integration of solar cells into the wings influences flight performance under two different operating conditions: (1) directly powering wings to increase operation time, and (2) recharging batteries to eliminate need for external charging sources. The experimental data is then used in the analysis to identify a performance index for assessing benefits of multifunctional compliant wing structures. The resulting platform, Robo Raven III, was the first demonstration of a robotic bird that flew using energy harvested from solar cells. We developed three different versions of the wing design to validate the multifunctional performance analysis. It was also determined that residual thrust correlated to shear deformation of the wing induced by torsional twist, while biaxial strain related to change in aerodynamic shape correlated to lift. It was also found that shear deformation of the solar cells induced changes in power output directly correlating to thrust generation associated with torsional deformation. Thus, it was determined that multifunctional solar cell wings may be capable of three functions: (1) lightweight and flexible structure to generate aerodynamic forces, (2

  4. Harvesting singlet fission for solar energy conversion via triplet energy transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tritsch, John R.; Chan, Wai-Lun; Wu, Xiaoxi; Monahan, Nicholas R.; Zhu, X.-Y.

    2013-10-01

    The efficiency of a conventional solar cell may be enhanced if one incorporates a molecular material capable of singlet fission, that is, the production of two triplet excitons from the absorption of a single photon. To implement this, we need to successfully harvest the two triplets from the singlet fission material. Here we show in the tetracene (Tc)/copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) model system that triplets produced from singlet fission in the former can transfer to the later on the timescale of 45±5 ps. However, the efficiency of triplet energy transfer is limited by a loss channel due to faster formation (400±100 fs) and recombination (2.6±0.5 ps) of charge transfer excitons at the interface. These findings suggest a design principle for efficient energy harvesting from singlet fission: one must reduce interfacial area between the two organic chromophores to minimize charge transfer/recombination while optimizing light absorption, singlet fission and triplet rather than singlet transfer.

  5. Spectrum splitting using multi-layer dielectric meta-surfaces for efficient solar energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Yuhan; Liu, He; Wu, Wei

    2014-06-01

    We designed a high-efficiency dispersive mirror based on multi-layer dielectric meta-surfaces. By replacing the secondary mirror of a dome solar concentrator with this dispersive mirror, the solar concentrator can be converted into a spectrum-splitting photovoltaic system with higher energy harvesting efficiency and potentially lower cost. The meta-surfaces are consisted of high-index contrast gratings (HCG). The structures and parameters of the dispersive mirror (i.e. stacked HCG) are optimized based on finite-difference time-domain and rigorous coupled-wave analysis method. Our numerical study shows that the dispersive mirror can direct light with different wavelengths into different angles in the entire solar spectrum, maintaining very low energy loss. Our approach will not only improve the energy harvesting efficiency, but also lower the cost by using single junction cells instead of multi-layer tandem solar cells. Moreover, this approach has the minimal disruption to the existing solar concentrator infrastructures.

  6. New Insight into the Angle Insensitivity of Ultrathin Planar Optical Absorbers for Broadband Solar Energy Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Liu, Dong; Yu, Haitong; Duan, Yuanyuan; Li, Qiang; Xuan, Yimin

    2016-01-01

    Two challenging problems still remain for optical absorbers consisting of an ultrathin planar semiconductor film on top of an opaque metallic substrate. One is the angle-insensitive mechanism and the other is the system design needed for broadband solar energy harvesting. Here, first we theoretically demonstrates that the high refractive index, instead of the ultrathin feature as reported in previous studies, is the physical origin of the angle insensitivity for ultrathin planar optical absorbers. They exhibit omnidirectional resonance for TE polarization due to the high complex refractive index difference between the semiconductor and the air, while for TM polarization the angle insensitivity persists up to an incident angle related to the semiconductor refractive index. These findings were validated by fabricating and characterizing an 18 nm Ge/Ag absorber sample (representative of small band gap semiconductors for photovoltaic applications) and a 22 nm hematite/Ag sample (representative of large band gap semiconductors for photoelectrochemical applications). Then, we took advantage of angle insensitivity and designed a spectrum splitting configuration for broadband solar energy harvesting. The cascaded solar cell and unassisted solar water splitting systems have photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical cells that are also spectrum splitters, so an external spectrum splitting element is not needed. PMID:27582317

  7. New Insight into the Angle Insensitivity of Ultrathin Planar Optical Absorbers for Broadband Solar Energy Harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Dong; Yu, Haitong; Duan, Yuanyuan; Li, Qiang; Xuan, Yimin

    2016-01-01

    Two challenging problems still remain for optical absorbers consisting of an ultrathin planar semiconductor film on top of an opaque metallic substrate. One is the angle-insensitive mechanism and the other is the system design needed for broadband solar energy harvesting. Here, first we theoretically demonstrates that the high refractive index, instead of the ultrathin feature as reported in previous studies, is the physical origin of the angle insensitivity for ultrathin planar optical absorbers. They exhibit omnidirectional resonance for TE polarization due to the high complex refractive index difference between the semiconductor and the air, while for TM polarization the angle insensitivity persists up to an incident angle related to the semiconductor refractive index. These findings were validated by fabricating and characterizing an 18 nm Ge/Ag absorber sample (representative of small band gap semiconductors for photovoltaic applications) and a 22 nm hematite/Ag sample (representative of large band gap semiconductors for photoelectrochemical applications). Then, we took advantage of angle insensitivity and designed a spectrum splitting configuration for broadband solar energy harvesting. The cascaded solar cell and unassisted solar water splitting systems have photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical cells that are also spectrum splitters, so an external spectrum splitting element is not needed. PMID:27582317

  8. Dye alignment in luminescent solar concentrators: II. Horizontal alignment for energy harvesting in linear polarizers

    SciTech Connect

    Mulder, Carlijn L.; Reusswig, Phil D.; Beyler, A. P.; Kim, Heekyung; Rotschild, Carmel; Baldo, Marc

    2010-04-26

    We describe Linearly Polarized Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LP-LSCs) to replace conventional, purely absorptive, linear polarizers in energy harvesting applications. As a proof of concept, we align 3-(2-Benzothiazolyl)-N,N-diethylumbelliferylamine (Coumarin 6) and 4-dicyanomethyl-6-dimethylaminostiryl-4H-pyran (DCM) dye molecules linearly in the plane of the substrate using a polymerizable liquid crystal host. We show that up to 38% of the photons polarized on the long axis of the dye molecules can be coupled to the edge of the device for an LP-LSC based on Coumarin 6 with an order parameter of 0.52.

  9. Energy-Efficient Control with Harvesting Predictions for Solar-Powered Wireless Sensor Networks.

    PubMed

    Zou, Tengyue; Lin, Shouying; Feng, Qijie; Chen, Yanlian

    2016-01-01

    Wireless sensor networks equipped with rechargeable batteries are useful for outdoor environmental monitoring. However, the severe energy constraints of the sensor nodes present major challenges for long-term applications. To achieve sustainability, solar cells can be used to acquire energy from the environment. Unfortunately, the energy supplied by the harvesting system is generally intermittent and considerably influenced by the weather. To improve the energy efficiency and extend the lifetime of the networks, we propose algorithms for harvested energy prediction using environmental shadow detection. Thus, the sensor nodes can adjust their scheduling plans accordingly to best suit their energy production and residual battery levels. Furthermore, we introduce clustering and routing selection methods to optimize the data transmission, and a Bayesian network is used for warning notifications of bottlenecks along the path. The entire system is implemented on a real-time Texas Instruments CC2530 embedded platform, and the experimental results indicate that these mechanisms sustain the networks' activities in an uninterrupted and efficient manner. PMID:26742042

  10. Energy-Efficient Control with Harvesting Predictions for Solar-Powered Wireless Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Tengyue; Lin, Shouying; Feng, Qijie; Chen, Yanlian

    2016-01-01

    Wireless sensor networks equipped with rechargeable batteries are useful for outdoor environmental monitoring. However, the severe energy constraints of the sensor nodes present major challenges for long-term applications. To achieve sustainability, solar cells can be used to acquire energy from the environment. Unfortunately, the energy supplied by the harvesting system is generally intermittent and considerably influenced by the weather. To improve the energy efficiency and extend the lifetime of the networks, we propose algorithms for harvested energy prediction using environmental shadow detection. Thus, the sensor nodes can adjust their scheduling plans accordingly to best suit their energy production and residual battery levels. Furthermore, we introduce clustering and routing selection methods to optimize the data transmission, and a Bayesian network is used for warning notifications of bottlenecks along the path. The entire system is implemented on a real-time Texas Instruments CC2530 embedded platform, and the experimental results indicate that these mechanisms sustain the networks’ activities in an uninterrupted and efficient manner. PMID:26742042

  11. Improving the range of UHF RFID transponders using solar energy harvesting under low light conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ascher, A.; Lehner, M.; Eberhardt, M.; Biebl, E.

    2015-11-01

    The sensitivity of passive UHF RFID transponders (Radio Frequency Identification) is the key issue, which determines the maximum read range of an UHF RFID system. During this work the ability of improving the sensitivity using solar energy harvesting, especially for low light conditions, is shown. To use the additional energy harvested from the examined silicon and organic solar cells, the passive RFID system is changed into a semi-active one. This needs no changes on the reader hardware itself, only the used RFIC (Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit) of the transponder has to possess an additional input pin for an external supply voltage. The silicon and organic cells are evaluated and compared to each other regarding their low light performance. The different cells are examined in a shielded box, which is protected from the environmental lighting. Additionally, a demonstrator is shown, which makes the measurement of the extended read range with respect to the lighting conditions possible. If the cells are completely darkened, the sensitivity gain is ascertained using high capacity super caps. Due to the measurements an enhancement in range up to 70 % could be guaranteed even under low light conditions.

  12. Novel solar energy harvesting options based on solution-processable inorganic/organic hybrid materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stingelin, Natalie

    2015-03-01

    The growing demand for energy and increasing concerns for the effect of the excessive abuse of fossil fuels on the environment force the scientific world to search for alternative, clean and safe energy sources. Finding ways to harvest solar energy is thereby one of the most appealing options. Here, we present a novel approach that exploits the versatile properties of recently developed, photoactive organic/inorganic hybrid fluids based on titanium oxide hydrates and polyalcohols for the production of versatile solar fuels. We will show that such systems can absorb light in the UV-near visible wave-length range. The sunlight's energy is then converted into chemical energy in the form of reduced titanium species, which can be re-oxidised by oxygen when required. Therefore, the absorbed energy is stored as long as oxygen is excluded by the hybrid system. We, furthermore, demonstrate that once discharged, the fluid can be activated again by exposing it to sunlight and recycled - a property that is important technologically. The same hybrids can also be exploited to produce structures that permit efficient management of light. We will illustrate the potential of this class of materials based on some of our recent approaches to fabricate light-scattering and light in-coupling structures, and discuss future opportunities they open up.

  13. Plasmonic near-touching titanium oxide nanoparticles to realize solar energy harvesting and effective local heating.

    PubMed

    Yan, Jiahao; Liu, Pu; Ma, Churong; Lin, Zhaoyong; Yang, Guowei

    2016-04-28

    Through the excitation of plasmon resonance, the energy of plasmonic nanoparticles either reradiates through light scattering or decays into energetic electrons (absorption). The plasmon-induced absorption can greatly enhance the efficiency of solar energy harvesting, local heating, photodetection and photocatalysis. Here, we demonstrate that heavily self-doped titanium oxide nanoparticles (TiO1.67 analogue arising from oxygen vacancies in rutile TiO2) with the plasmon resonance dominated by an interband transition shows strong absorption to build a broadband perfect absorber in the wavelength range from 300 to 2000 nm covering the solar irradiation spectrum completely. The absorptivity of the fabricated array is greater than 90% in the whole spectral range. And the broadband and strong absorption is due to the plasmon hybridization and hot spot generation from near-touching TiO1.67 nanoparticles with different sizes. What is more, the local heating of a TiO1.67 nanoparticle layer is fast and effective. The temperature increases quickly from 30 °C to 80 °C within 200 seconds. This local heating can realize rapid solar-enabled evaporation which can find applications in large-scale distillation and seawater desalination. These findings actually open a pathway for applications of these newly developed plasmonic materials in the energy and environment fields. PMID:27067248

  14. Computational Analysis of Energy Pooling to Harvest Low-Energy Solar Energy in Organic Photovoltaic Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lacount, Michael; Shaheen, Sean; Rumbles, Garry; van de Lagemaat, Jao; Hu, Nan; Ostrowski, Dave; Lusk, Mark

    2014-03-01

    Current photovoltaic energy conversions do not typically utilize low energy sunlight absorption, leaving large sections of the solar spectrum untapped. It is possible, though, to absorb such radiation, generating low-energy excitons, and then pool them to create higher energy excitons, which can result in an increase in efficiency. Calculation of the rates at which such upconversion processes occur requires an accounting of all possible molecular quantum electrodynamics (QED) pathways. There are two paths associated with the upconversion. The cooperative mechanism involves a three-body interaction in which low energy excitons are transferred sequentially onto an acceptor molecule. The accretive pathway, requires that an exciton transfer its energy to a second exciton that subsequently transfers its energy to the acceptor molecule. We have computationally modeled both types of molecular QED obtaining rates using a combination of DFT and many-body Green function theory. The simulation platform is exercised by considering upconversion events associated with material composed of a high energy absorbing core of hexabenzocoronene (HBC) and low energy absorbing arms of oligothiophene. In addition, we make estimates for all competing processes in order to judge the relative efficiencies of these two processes.

  15. Organometallic photovoltaics: a new and versatile approach for harvesting solar energy using conjugated polymetallaynes.

    PubMed

    Wong, Wai-Yeung; Ho, Cheuk-Lam

    2010-09-21

    Energy remains one of the world's great challenges. Growing concerns about limited fossil fuel resources and the accumulation of CO(2) in the atmosphere from burning those fuels have stimulated tremendous academic and industrial interest. Researchers are focusing both on developing inexpensive renewable energy resources and on improving the technologies for energy conversion. Solar energy has the capacity to meet increasing global energy needs. Harvesting energy directly from sunlight using photovoltaic technology significantly reduces atmospheric emissions, avoiding the detrimental effects of these gases on the environment. Currently inorganic semiconductors dominate the solar cell production market, but these materials require high technology production and expensive materials, making electricity produced in this manner too costly to compete with conventional sources of electricity. Researchers have successfully fabricated efficient organic-based polymer solar cells (PSCs) as a lower cost alternative. Recently, metalated conjugated polymers have shown exceptional promise as donor materials in bulk-heterojunction solar cells and are emerging as viable alternatives to the all-organic congeners currently in use. Among these metalated conjugated polymers, soluble platinum(II)-containing poly(arylene ethynylene)s of variable bandgaps (∼1.4-3.0 eV) represent attractive candidates for a cost-effective, lightweight solar-energy conversion platform. This Account highlights and discusses the recent advances of this research frontier in organometallic photovoltaics. The emerging use of low-bandgap soluble platinum-acetylide polymers in PSCs offers a new and versatile strategy to capture sunlight for efficient solar power generation. Properties of these polyplatinynes--including their chemical structures, absorption coefficients, bandgaps, charge mobilities, accessibility of triplet excitons, molecular weights, and blend film morphologies--critically influence the device

  16. Plasmonic near-touching titanium oxide nanoparticles to realize solar energy harvesting and effective local heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Jiahao; Liu, Pu; Ma, Churong; Lin, Zhaoyong; Yang, Guowei

    2016-04-01

    Through the excitation of plasmon resonance, the energy of plasmonic nanoparticles either reradiates through light scattering or decays into energetic electrons (absorption). The plasmon-induced absorption can greatly enhance the efficiency of solar energy harvesting, local heating, photodetection and photocatalysis. Here, we demonstrate that heavily self-doped titanium oxide nanoparticles (TiO1.67 analogue arising from oxygen vacancies in rutile TiO2) with the plasmon resonance dominated by an interband transition shows strong absorption to build a broadband perfect absorber in the wavelength range from 300 to 2000 nm covering the solar irradiation spectrum completely. The absorptivity of the fabricated array is greater than 90% in the whole spectral range. And the broadband and strong absorption is due to the plasmon hybridization and hot spot generation from near-touching TiO1.67 nanoparticles with different sizes. What is more, the local heating of a TiO1.67 nanoparticle layer is fast and effective. The temperature increases quickly from 30 °C to 80 °C within 200 seconds. This local heating can realize rapid solar-enabled evaporation which can find applications in large-scale distillation and seawater desalination. These findings actually open a pathway for applications of these newly developed plasmonic materials in the energy and environment fields.Through the excitation of plasmon resonance, the energy of plasmonic nanoparticles either reradiates through light scattering or decays into energetic electrons (absorption). The plasmon-induced absorption can greatly enhance the efficiency of solar energy harvesting, local heating, photodetection and photocatalysis. Here, we demonstrate that heavily self-doped titanium oxide nanoparticles (TiO1.67 analogue arising from oxygen vacancies in rutile TiO2) with the plasmon resonance dominated by an interband transition shows strong absorption to build a broadband perfect absorber in the wavelength range from 300 to

  17. Photofabrication of fullerene-shelled quantum dots supramolecular nanoparticles for solar energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Shibu, Edakkattuparambil Sidharth; Sonoda, Akinari; Tao, Zhuoqiz; Feng, Qi; Furube, Akihiro; Masuo, Sadahiro; Wang, Li; Tamai, Naoto; Ishikawa, Mitsuru; Biju, Vasudevanpillai

    2012-02-28

    nanoparticles among the most promising antenna systems for the construction of cost-effective and stable next generation solar energy harvesting systems. PMID:22260241

  18. Broadband pendulum energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Changwei; Wu, You; Zuo, Lei

    2016-09-01

    A novel electromagnetic pendulum energy harvester with mechanical motion rectifier (MMR) is proposed and investigated in this paper. MMR is a mechanism which rectifies the bidirectional swing motion of the pendulum into unidirectional rotation of the generator by using two one-way clutches in the gear system. In this paper, two prototypes of pendulum energy harvester with MMR and without MMR are designed and fabricated. The dynamic model of the proposed MMR pendulum energy harvester is established by considering the engagement and disengagement of the one way clutches. The simulation results show that the proposed MMR pendulum energy harvester has a larger output power at high frequencies comparing with non-MMR pendulum energy harvester which benefits from the disengagement of one-way clutch during pendulum vibration. Moreover, the proposed MMR pendulum energy harvester is broadband compare with non-MMR pendulum energy harvester, especially when the equivalent inertia is large. An experiment is also conducted to compare the energy harvesting performance of these two prototypes. A flywheel is attached at the end of the generator to make the disengagement more significant. The experiment results also verify that MMR pendulum energy harvester is broadband and has a larger output power at high frequency over the non-MMR pendulum energy harvester.

  19. Solar energy harvesting in the epicuticle of the oriental hornet (Vespa orientalis).

    PubMed

    Plotkin, Marian; Hod, Idan; Zaban, Arie; Boden, Stuart A; Bagnall, Darren M; Galushko, Dmitry; Bergman, David J

    2010-12-01

    The Oriental hornet worker correlates its digging activity with solar insolation. Solar radiation passes through the epicuticle, which exhibits a grating-like structure, and continues to pass through layers of the exo-endocuticle until it is absorbed by the pigment melanin in the brown-colored cuticle or xanthopterin in the yellow-colored cuticle. The correlation between digging activity and the ability of the cuticle to absorb part of the solar radiation implies that the Oriental hornet may harvest parts of the solar radiation. In this study, we explore this intriguing possibility by analyzing the biophysical properties of the cuticle. We use rigorous coupled wave analysis simulations to show that the cuticle surfaces are structured to reduced reflectance and act as diffraction gratings to trap light and increase the amount absorbed in the cuticle. A dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) was constructed in order to show the ability of xanthopterin to serve as a light-harvesting molecule. PMID:21052618

  20. Individual speckle diffraction based 1D and 2D Random Grating Fabrication for detector and solar energy harvesting applications.

    PubMed

    Bingi, Jayachandra; Murukeshan, Vadakke Matham

    2016-01-01

    Laser speckles and speckle patterns, which are formed by the random interference of scattered waves from optically rough surfaces, have found tremendous applications in a wide range of metrological and biomedical fields. Here, we demonstrate a novel edge diffraction phenomenon of individual speckle for the fabrication of 1D and 2D micron and sub-micron size random gratings. These random gratings exhibit broadband response with interesting diffusive diffraction patterns. As an immediate application for solar energy harvesting, significant reduction in transmission and enhanced absorption in thin "Si-random grating-Si" sandwich structure is demonstrated. This work has multifaceted significance where we exploited the individual speckle diffraction properties for the first time. Besides the solar harvesting applications, random gratings are suitable structures for fabrication of theoretically proposed random quantum well IR detectors and hence expected that this work will augur well for such studies in the near future. PMID:26842242

  1. Individual speckle diffraction based 1D and 2D Random Grating Fabrication for detector and solar energy harvesting applications

    PubMed Central

    Bingi, Jayachandra; Murukeshan, Vadakke Matham

    2016-01-01

    Laser speckles and speckle patterns, which are formed by the random interference of scattered waves from optically rough surfaces, have found tremendous applications in a wide range of metrological and biomedical fields. Here, we demonstrate a novel edge diffraction phenomenon of individual speckle for the fabrication of 1D and 2D micron and sub-micron size random gratings. These random gratings exhibit broadband response with interesting diffusive diffraction patterns. As an immediate application for solar energy harvesting, significant reduction in transmission and enhanced absorption in thin “Si-random grating-Si” sandwich structure is demonstrated. This work has multifaceted significance where we exploited the individual speckle diffraction properties for the first time. Besides the solar harvesting applications, random gratings are suitable structures for fabrication of theoretically proposed random quantum well IR detectors and hence expected that this work will augur well for such studies in the near future. PMID:26842242

  2. Individual speckle diffraction based 1D and 2D Random Grating Fabrication for detector and solar energy harvesting applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bingi, Jayachandra; Murukeshan, Vadakke Matham

    2016-02-01

    Laser speckles and speckle patterns, which are formed by the random interference of scattered waves from optically rough surfaces, have found tremendous applications in a wide range of metrological and biomedical fields. Here, we demonstrate a novel edge diffraction phenomenon of individual speckle for the fabrication of 1D and 2D micron and sub-micron size random gratings. These random gratings exhibit broadband response with interesting diffusive diffraction patterns. As an immediate application for solar energy harvesting, significant reduction in transmission and enhanced absorption in thin “Si-random grating-Si” sandwich structure is demonstrated. This work has multifaceted significance where we exploited the individual speckle diffraction properties for the first time. Besides the solar harvesting applications, random gratings are suitable structures for fabrication of theoretically proposed random quantum well IR detectors and hence expected that this work will augur well for such studies in the near future.

  3. Harvesting Solar Energy by Means of Charge-Separating Nanocrystals and Their Solids

    PubMed Central

    Diederich, Geoffrey; O'Connor, Timothy; Moroz, Pavel; Kinder, Erich; Kohn, Elena; Perera, Dimuthu; Lorek, Ryan; Lambright, Scott; Imboden, Martene; Zamkov, Mikhail

    2012-01-01

    Conjoining different semiconductor materials in a single nano-composite provides synthetic means for the development of novel optoelectronic materials offering a superior control over the spatial distribution of charge carriers across material interfaces. As this study demonstrates, a combination of donor-acceptor nanocrystal (NC) domains in a single nanoparticle can lead to the realization of efficient photocatalytic1-5 materials, while a layered assembly of donor- and acceptor-like nanocrystals films gives rise to photovoltaic materials. Initially the paper focuses on the synthesis of composite inorganic nanocrystals, comprising linearly stacked ZnSe, CdS, and Pt domains, which jointly promote photoinduced charge separation. These structures are used in aqueous solutions for the photocatalysis of water under solar radiation, resulting in the production of H2 gas. To enhance the photoinduced separation of charges, a nanorod morphology with a linear gradient originating from an intrinsic electric field is used5. The inter-domain energetics are then optimized to drive photogenerated electrons toward the Pt catalytic site while expelling the holes to the surface of ZnSe domains for sacrificial regeneration (via methanol). Here we show that the only efficient way to produce hydrogen is to use electron-donating ligands to passivate the surface states by tuning the energy level alignment at the semiconductor-ligand interface. Stable and efficient reduction of water is allowed by these ligands due to the fact that they fill vacancies in the valence band of the semiconductor domain, preventing energetic holes from degrading it. Specifically, we show that the energy of the hole is transferred to the ligand moiety, leaving the semiconductor domain functional. This enables us to return the entire nanocrystal-ligand system to a functional state, when the ligands are degraded, by simply adding fresh ligands to the system4. To promote a photovoltaic charge separation, we use a

  4. Carbon Nanotube Thin Films for Active Noise Cancellation, Solar Energy Harvesting, and Energy Storage in Building Windows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Shan

    This research explores the application of carbon nanotube (CNT) films for active noise cancellation, solar energy harvesting and energy storage in building windows. The CNT-based components developed herein can be integrated into a solar-powered active noise control system for a building window. First, the use of a transparent acoustic transducer as both an invisible speaker for auxiliary audio playback and for active noise cancellation is accomplished in this work. Several challenges related to active noise cancellation in the window are addressed. These include secondary path estimation and directional cancellation of noise so as to preserve auxiliary audio and internal sounds while preventing transmission of external noise into the building. Solar energy can be harvested at a low rate of power over long durations while acoustic sound cancellation requires short durations of high power. A supercapacitor based energy storage system is therefore considered for the window. Using CNTs as electrode materials, two generations of flexible, thin, and fully solid-state supercapacitors are developed that can be integrated into the window frame. Both generations consist of carbon nanotube films coated on supporting substrates as electrodes and a solid-state polymer gel layer for the electrolyte. The first generation is a single-cell parallel-plate supercapacitor with a working voltage of 3 Volts. Its energy density is competitive with commercially available supercapacitors (which use liquid electrolyte). For many applications that will require higher working voltage, the second-generation multi-cell supercapacitor is developed. A six-cell device with a working voltage as high as 12 Volts is demonstrated here. Unlike the first generation's 3D structure, the second generation has a novel planar (2D) architecture, which makes it easy to integrate multiple cells into a thin and flexible supercapacitor. The multi-cell planar supercapacitor has energy density exceeding that of

  5. Hybrid energy harvesting using active thermal backplane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Hyun-Wook; Lee, Dong-Gun

    2016-04-01

    In this study, we demonstrate the concept of a new hybrid energy harvesting system by combing solar cells with magneto-thermoelectric generator (MTG, i.e., thermal energy harvesting). The silicon solar cell can easily reach high temperature under normal operating conditions. Thus the heated solar cell becomes rapidly less efficient as the temperature of solar cell rises. To increase the efficiency of the solar cell, air or water-based cooling system is used. To surpass conventional cooling devices requiring additional power as well as large working space for air/water collectors, we develop a new technology of pairing an active thermal backplane (ATB) to solar cell. The ATB design is based on MTG technology utilizing the physics of the 2nd order phase transition of active ferromagnetic materials. The MTG is cost-effective conversion of thermal energy to electrical energy and is fundamentally different from Seebeck TEG devices. The ATB (MTG) is in addition to being an energy conversion system, a very good conveyor of heat through both conduction and convection. Therefore, the ATB can provide dual-mode for the proposed hybrid energy harvesting. One is active convective and conductive cooling for heated solar cell. Another is active thermal energy harvesting from heat of solar cell. These novel hybrid energy harvesting device have potentially simultaneous energy conversion capability of solar and thermal energy into electricity. The results presented can be used for better understanding of hybrid energy harvesting system that can be integrated into commercial applications.

  6. A numerical investigation on exergy analyses of a pyroelectric tryglycine sulfate (TGS)-based solar energy harvesting system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Manish; Vaish, Rahul; Singh Chauhan, Vishal

    2016-02-01

    This study is based on a numerical demonstration of energy and exergy analyses of a solar energy harvesting system based on the pyroelectric effect. The performance of a tryglycine sulfate (TGS) single crystal was investigated mathematically in the present study. The power output was optimized for different load resistances and load capacitances. The maximum power output was obtained as 0.95 μW across a load resistance of 40 MΩ and a 4.7 μF load capacitor. Further exergy analysis was performed for a pyroelectric energy harvesting system. Maximum values for electrical and thermal exergies obtained are 0.12 μW and 12 mW, respectively. Furthermore the maximum obtained electrical and thermal exergy efficiencies are 0.000 037% and 3.6%, respectively. The average thermal exergy efficiency is 2.15% for a cycle frequency of 0.014 Hz.

  7. Adaptive vibration energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behrens, Sam; Ward, John; Davidson, Josh

    2007-04-01

    By scavenging energy from their local environment, portable electronic devices such as mobile phones, radios and wireless sensors can achieve greater run-times with potentially lower weight. Vibration energy harvesting is one such approach where energy from parasitic vibrations can be converted into electrical energy, through the use of piezoelectric and electromagnetic transducers. Parasitic vibrations come from a range of sources such as wind, seismic forces and traffic. Existing approaches to vibration energy harvesting typically utilise a rectifier circuit, which is tuned to the resonant frequency of the harvesting structure and the dominant frequency of vibration. We have developed a novel approach to vibration energy harvesting, including adaption to non-periodic vibrations so as to extract the maximum amount of vibration energy available. Experimental results of an experimental apparatus using off-the-shelf transducer (i.e. speaker coil) show mechanical vibration to electrical energy conversion efficiencies of 27 - 34%. However, simulations of a more electro-mechanical efficient and lightly damped transducer show conversion efficiencies in excess of 80%.

  8. Design of broadband multilayer dichroic coating for a high-efficiency solar energy harvesting system.

    PubMed

    Jiachen, Wang; Lee, Sang Bae; Lee, Kwanil

    2015-05-20

    We report on the design and performance of a broadband dichroic coating for a solar energy conversion system. As a spectral beam splitter, the coating facilitates a hybrid system that combines a photovoltaic cell with a thermal collector. When positioned at a 45° angle with respect to incident light, the coating provides high reflectance in the 40-1100 nm and high transmission in the 1200-2000 nm ranges for a photovoltaic cell and a thermal collector, respectively. Numerical simulations show that our design leads to a sharp transition between the reflection and transmission bands, low ripples in both bands, and slight polarization dependence. PMID:26192518

  9. Near-Infrared Plasmonic-Enhanced Solar Energy Harvest for Highly Efficient Photocatalytic Reactions.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jiabin; Li, Yongjia; Liu, Lei; Chen, Lin; Xu, Jun; Ma, Jingwen; Fang, Gang; Zhu, Enbo; Wu, Hao; Zhao, Lixia; Wang, Leyu; Huang, Yu

    2015-10-14

    We report a highly efficient photocatalyst comprised of Cu7S4@Pd heteronanostructures with plasmonic absorption in the near-infrared (NIR)-range. Our results indicated that the strong NIR plasmonic absorption of Cu7S4@Pd facilitated hot carrier transfer from Cu7S4 to Pd, which subsequently promoted the catalytic reactions on Pd metallic surface. We confirmed such enhancement mechanism could effectively boost the sunlight utilization in a wide range of photocatalytic reactions, including the Suzuki coupling reaction, hydrogenation of nitrobenzene, and oxidation of benzyl alcohol. Even under irradiation at 1500 nm with low power density (0.45 W/cm(2)), these heteronanostructures demonstrated excellent catalytic activities. Under solar illumination with power density as low as 40 mW/cm(2), nearly 80-100% of conversion was achieved within 2 h for all three types of organic reactions. Furthermore, recycling experiments showed the Cu7S4@Pd were stable and could retain their structures and high activity after five cycles. The reported synthetic protocol can be easily extended to other Cu7S4@M (M = Pt, Ag, Au) catalysts, offering a new solution to design and fabricate highly effective photocatalysts with broad material choices for efficient conversion of solar energy to chemical energy in an environmentally friendly manner. PMID:26373787

  10. Design, Synthesis and Study of Dendrimers as Nanoscaffolds for Solar Energy Harvest

    SciTech Connect

    Sankaran Thayumanavan

    2008-01-25

    Designing molecules in which the vectorial motions of charges can be controlled has been of significant research interest in the recent past. Covalent linear arrays of chromophores or other molecular assemblies such as liquid crystals, zeolites, polymers, peptides, and amphiphiles have all been used as components for this purpose. Significant amount of this effort also involved the use of dendrimers as the molecular architecture. The structural feature in which multiple functionalities are present in the periphery that decreases gradually as one moves towards the core renders dendrimers obvious candidates for light harvesting antenna. Most of the efforts reported in the literature are directed towards energy funneling from a chromophore in the periphery to another chromophore at the core of the dendrimer. There are relatively few reports that utilize the dendritic architecture for photoinduced charge separation, an important step in designing materials for photovoltaics. These reports focus mostly on conjugated molecular backbones. Since non-conjugated dendrimer backbones provide the possibility of independently tuning the electronic characteristics of the chromophore and the charge transfer unit and therefore carry out a systematic structure-property relationship study, we have designed and synthesized dendrimers

  11. Design, Synthesis and Study of Dendrimers as Nanoscaffolds for Solar Energy Harvest

    SciTech Connect

    Sankaran Thayumanavan

    2008-01-25

    Designing molecules in which the vectorial motions of charges can be controlled has been of significant research interest in the recent past. Covalent linear arrays of chromophores or other molecular assemblies such as liquid crystals, zeolites, polymers, peptides, and amphiphiles have all been used as components for this purpose. Significant amount of this effort also involved the use of dendrimers as the molecular architecture. The structural feature in which multiple functionalities are present in the periphery that decreases gradually as one moves towards the core renders dendrimers obvious candidates for light harvesting antenna. Most of the efforts reported in the literature are directed towards energy funneling from a chromophore in the periphery to another chromophore at the core of the dendrimer. There are relatively few reports that utilize the dendritic architecture for photoinduced charge separation, an important step in designing materials for photovoltaics. These reports focus mostly on conjugated molecular backbones. Since non-conjugated dendrimer backbones provide the possibility of independently tuning the electronic characteristics of the chromophore and the charge transfer unit and therefore carry out a systematic structure-property relationship study, we have designed and synthesized dendrimers.

  12. Silicon Nanowires for Solar Thermal Energy Harvesting: an Experimental Evaluation on the Trade-off Effects of the Spectral Optical Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekone, Abdoul Karim; Chen, Yu-Bin; Lu, Ming-Chang; Chen, Wen-Kai; Liu, Chia-An; Lee, Ming-Tsang

    2016-01-01

    Silicon nanowire possesses great potential as the material for renewable energy harvesting and conversion. The significantly reduced spectral reflectivity of silicon nanowire to visible light makes it even more attractive in solar energy applications. However, the benefit of its use for solar thermal energy harvesting remains to be investigated and has so far not been clearly reported. The purpose of this study is to provide practical information and insight into the performance of silicon nanowires in solar thermal energy conversion systems. Spectral hemispherical reflectivity and transmissivity of the black silicon nanowire array on silicon wafer substrate were measured. It was observed that the reflectivity is lower in the visible range but higher in the infrared range compared to the plain silicon wafer. A drying experiment and a theoretical calculation were carried out to directly evaluate the effects of the trade-off between scattering properties at different wavelengths. It is clearly seen that silicon nanowires can improve the solar thermal energy harnessing. The results showed that a 17.8 % increase in the harvest and utilization of solar thermal energy could be achieved using a silicon nanowire array on silicon substrate as compared to that obtained with a plain silicon wafer.

  13. Silicon Nanowires for Solar Thermal Energy Harvesting: an Experimental Evaluation on the Trade-off Effects of the Spectral Optical Properties.

    PubMed

    Sekone, Abdoul Karim; Chen, Yu-Bin; Lu, Ming-Chang; Chen, Wen-Kai; Liu, Chia-An; Lee, Ming-Tsang

    2016-12-01

    Silicon nanowire possesses great potential as the material for renewable energy harvesting and conversion. The significantly reduced spectral reflectivity of silicon nanowire to visible light makes it even more attractive in solar energy applications. However, the benefit of its use for solar thermal energy harvesting remains to be investigated and has so far not been clearly reported. The purpose of this study is to provide practical information and insight into the performance of silicon nanowires in solar thermal energy conversion systems. Spectral hemispherical reflectivity and transmissivity of the black silicon nanowire array on silicon wafer substrate were measured. It was observed that the reflectivity is lower in the visible range but higher in the infrared range compared to the plain silicon wafer. A drying experiment and a theoretical calculation were carried out to directly evaluate the effects of the trade-off between scattering properties at different wavelengths. It is clearly seen that silicon nanowires can improve the solar thermal energy harnessing. The results showed that a 17.8 % increase in the harvest and utilization of solar thermal energy could be achieved using a silicon nanowire array on silicon substrate as compared to that obtained with a plain silicon wafer. PMID:26729219

  14. Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Caliò, Renato; Rongala, Udaya Bhaskar; Camboni, Domenico; Milazzo, Mario; Stefanini, Cesare; de Petris, Gianluca; Oddo, Calogero Maria

    2014-01-01

    This paper reviews the state of the art in piezoelectric energy harvesting. It presents the basics of piezoelectricity and discusses materials choice. The work places emphasis on material operating modes and device configurations, from resonant to non-resonant devices and also to rotational solutions. The reviewed literature is compared based on power density and bandwidth. Lastly, the question of power conversion is addressed by reviewing various circuit solutions. PMID:24618725

  15. InGaP/GaAs heterojunction photosensor powered by an on-chip GaAs solar cell for energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Than, Phuc Hong; Uchida, Kazuo; Makino, Takahiro; Ohshima, Takeshi; Nozaki, Shinji

    2016-04-01

    In this study, an InGaP/GaAs heterojunction phototransistor (HPT) and a GaAs solar cell were monolithically integrated into an HPT epitaxial wafer, and the battery-free operation of the HPT was demonstrated for energy harvesting. Although the thickness and doping condition of the layers were optimized for the HPT performance, but not for the solar cell performance, the obtained short-circuit current was high enough to operate the InGaP/GaAs HPT in a two-terminal (2T) configuration. A collector photocurrent of 0.63 mA was obtained when the energy-harvesting InGaP/GaAs 2T-HPT was exposed to white light with a power density of 35 mW/cm2, and it linearly increased with the power density. For a potential application of the energy-harvesting InGaP/GaAs HPT as a photosensor in space, the device was irradiated with electrons of 1 MeV energy and 1015 cm-2 fluence. No significant degradation of the fabricated energy-harvesting 2T-HPT after the high-energy electron irradiation guarantees its battery-free operation in space.

  16. Transparent solar cells in large scale for energy harvesting in buildings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sygkridou, Dimitra; Rapsomanikis, Andreas; Stathatos, Elias

    2014-10-01

    Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) for almost two decades ago were proposed as low cost alternatives to the conventional amorphous silicon solar cells, owing to the simplicity of their fabrication procedures, practically under ambient conditions with mild chemical processes. At the present work, we will show some recent developments to the fabrication of dye-sensitized solar cells in large scale based on TiO2 while issues that limited their performance will also be presented. Outdoor data measurements are included to verify our conclusions.

  17. Can Integrated Micro-Optical Concentrator Technology Revolutionize Flat-Plate Photovoltaic Solar Energy Harvesting?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haney, Michael W.

    2015-12-01

    The economies-of-scale and enhanced performance of integrated micro-technologies have repeatedly delivered disruptive market impact. Examples range from microelectronics to displays to lighting. However, integrated micro-scale technologies have yet to be applied in a transformational way to solar photovoltaic panels. The recently announced Micro-scale Optimized Solar-cell Arrays with Integrated Concentration (MOSAIC) program aims to create a new paradigm in solar photovoltaic panel technology based on the incorporation of micro-concentrating photo-voltaic (μ-CPV) cells. As depicted in Figure 1, MOSAIC will integrate arrays of micro-optical concentrating elements and micro-scale PV elements to achieve the same aggregated collection area and high conversion efficiency of a conventional (i.e., macro-scale) CPV approach, but with the low profile and mass, and hopefully cost, of a conventional non-concentrated PV panel. The reduced size and weight, and enhanced wiring complexity, of the MOSAIC approach provide the opportunity to access the high-performance/low-cost region between the conventional CPV and flat-plate (1-sun) PV domains shown in Figure 2. Accessing this portion of the graph in Figure 2 will expand the geographic and market reach of flat-plate PV. This talk reviews the motivation and goals for the MOSAIC program. The diversity of the technical approaches to micro-concentration, embedded solar tracking, and hybrid direct/diffuse solar resource collection found in the MOSAIC portfolio of projects will also be highlighted.

  18. Visible light-harvesting photoanodes for solar energy conversion: A comparison of anchoring groups to titanium dioxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martini, Lauren A.

    Environmental concerns related to climate change and geopolitical issues related to energy security have led to a widespread pursuit of alternative, non-fossil fuel energy sources capable of meeting our increasing global energy demands. Solar energy, which strikes the earth's surface at a rate vastly exceeding our current worldwide power demand, presents itself as a promising source of clean, abundant and renewable energy. The capture and conversion of solar energy into electricity as well as storable, transportable chemical fuels has therefore become major area of chemical research. Inspired by photosynthesis in nature, in which plants and algae convert sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into oxygen and stored chemical fuel in the form of sugars, recent work has focused on visible light-driven water-splitting technologies for the production of solar fuels. Honda and Fujishima reported the first example of photoelectrochemical water oxidation in 1972. In their system, an inexpensive titanium dioxide semiconductor irradiated with ultraviolet light produced oxygen at the photoanode surface and hydrogen at the surface of a platinum counter electrode. In attempt to harness visible light instead, titanium dioxide and other inexpensive wide band gap photoanodes have been functionalized with visible light-absorbing molecular dyes. These dye-sensitized photoanodes have been used successfully to convert solar energy into electrical current, as in dye-sensitized solar cells, and to drive chemical processes like water oxidation, as in photocatalytic cells. In both systems, a long-lived charge separation is established upon illumination of the photoanode surface when a photoexcited molecular chromophore transfers an electron to the semiconductor conduction band. Following this electron injection process, a nearby redox-active species is oxidized and refills the hole left behind on the molecular chromophore. While the steps of this scheme are relatively straightforward, the

  19. A hydrostatic pressure-cycle energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafer, Michael W.; Hahn, Gregory; Morgan, Eric

    2015-04-01

    There have been a number of new applications for energy harvesting with the ever-decreasing power consumption of microelectronic devices. In this paper we explore a new area of marine animal energy harvesting for use in powering tags known as bio-loggers. These devices record data about the animal or its surroundings, but have always had limited deployment times due to battery depletion. Reduced solar irradiance below the water's surface provides the impetus to explore other energy harvesting concepts beyond solar power for use on marine animals. We review existing tag technologies in relation to this application, specifically relating to energy consumption. Additionally, we propose a new idea for energy harvesting, using hydrostatic pressure changes as a source for energy production. We present initial testing results of a bench-top model and show that the daily energy harvesting potential from this technology can meet or exceed that consumed by current marine bio-logging tags. The application of this concept in the arena of bio-logging technology could substantially increase bio-logger deployment lifetimes, allowing for longitudinal studies over the course of multiple breeding and/or migration cycles.

  20. Electrochemically driven mechanical energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sangtae; Choi, Soon Ju; Zhao, Kejie; Yang, Hui; Gobbi, Giorgia; Zhang, Sulin; Li, Ju

    2016-01-01

    Efficient mechanical energy harvesters enable various wearable devices and auxiliary energy supply. Here we report a novel class of mechanical energy harvesters via stress-voltage coupling in electrochemically alloyed electrodes. The device consists of two identical Li-alloyed Si as electrodes, separated by electrolyte-soaked polymer membranes. Bending-induced asymmetric stresses generate chemical potential difference, driving lithium ion flux from the compressed to the tensed electrode to generate electrical current. Removing the bending reverses ion flux and electrical current. Our thermodynamic analysis reveals that the ideal energy-harvesting efficiency of this device is dictated by the Poisson's ratio of the electrodes. For the thin-film-based energy harvester used in this study, the device has achieved a generating capacity of 15%. The device demonstrates a practical use of stress-composition-voltage coupling in electrochemically active alloys to harvest low-grade mechanical energies from various low-frequency motions, such as everyday human activities.

  1. Electrochemically driven mechanical energy harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sangtae; Choi, Soon Ju; Zhao, Kejie; Yang, Hui; Gobbi, Giorgia; Zhang, Sulin; Li, Ju

    2016-01-01

    Efficient mechanical energy harvesters enable various wearable devices and auxiliary energy supply. Here we report a novel class of mechanical energy harvesters via stress–voltage coupling in electrochemically alloyed electrodes. The device consists of two identical Li-alloyed Si as electrodes, separated by electrolyte-soaked polymer membranes. Bending-induced asymmetric stresses generate chemical potential difference, driving lithium ion flux from the compressed to the tensed electrode to generate electrical current. Removing the bending reverses ion flux and electrical current. Our thermodynamic analysis reveals that the ideal energy-harvesting efficiency of this device is dictated by the Poisson's ratio of the electrodes. For the thin-film-based energy harvester used in this study, the device has achieved a generating capacity of 15%. The device demonstrates a practical use of stress-composition–voltage coupling in electrochemically active alloys to harvest low-grade mechanical energies from various low-frequency motions, such as everyday human activities. PMID:26733282

  2. Wurtzite CZTS nanocrystals and phase evolution to kesterite thin film for solar energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Ghorpade, Uma V; Suryawanshi, Mahesh P; Shin, Seung Wook; Hong, Chang Woo; Kim, Inyoung; Moon, Jong H; Yun, Jae Ho; Kim, Jin Hyeok; Kolekar, Sanjay S

    2015-08-14

    A quaternary indium- and gallium-free kesterite (KS)-based compound, copper zinc tin sulfide (Cu2ZnSnS4, CZTS), has received significant attention for its potential applications in low cost and sustainable solar cells. It is well known that the reaction time, reactivity of the precursors, and types of capping ligands used during the synthesis of colloidal nanocrystals (NCs) strongly influence the crystallographic phase of the NCs. In this research, a non-toxic and green synthetic strategy for both the synthesis of CZTS NCs and the fabrication of a highly efficient CZTS absorber layers using an ink formulation without a toxic solvent, which meets the comprehensive framework for green chemistry that covers major aspects of the environmental strain, is demonstrated. In particular, pure metastable wurtzite (WZ) CZTS NCs are synthesized using the environmentally harmless, polyol mediated hot-injection (HI) technique at a low reaction temperature. The influence of the reaction time on the properties of the CZTS NCs is investigated in detail. Based on detailed reaction time dependent phase evolution, a possible growth and formation mechanism is proposed. Furthermore, a scalable, low cost, binder free ink formulation process without ligand exchange is developed using ethanol as the dispersal solvent. The as-prepared WZ-derived CZTS NC thin films are observed to undergo a phase transformation to KS during annealing in a sulfur vapor atmosphere via rapid thermal annealing above 500 °C, and surprisingly, this process results in fully sintered, compact and uniform CZTS thin films with large sized grains. The best solar cell device fabricated using a CZTS absorber that was sulfurized at an optimized temperature exhibits a power conversion efficiency of 2.44%, which is the highest efficiency obtained using the polyol-based HI route. PMID:26153341

  3. Potential Ambient Energy-Harvesting Sources and Techniques

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yildiz, Faruk

    2009-01-01

    Ambient energy harvesting is also known as energy scavenging or power harvesting, and it is the process where energy is obtained from the environment. A variety of techniques are available for energy scavenging, including solar and wind powers, ocean waves, piezoelectricity, thermoelectricity, and physical motions. For example, some systems…

  4. Momentum harvesting techniques for solar system travel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willoughby, Alan J.

    1990-01-01

    Astronomers are lately estimating there are 400,000 Earth visiting asteroids larger than 100 meters in diameter. These asteroids are accessible sources of building materials, propellants, oxygen, water, and minerals which also constitute a huge momentum reserve, potentially usable for travel throughout the solar system. To use this momentum, these stealthy objects must be tracked and the extraction of the momentum wanted must be learned. Momentum harvesting by momentum transfer from asteroid to spacecraft, and by using the momentum of the extraterrestrial material to help deliver itself to the destination are discussed. A net and tether concept is the suggested means of asteroid capture, the basic momentum exchange process. The energy damping characteristics of the tether will determine the velocity mismatch that can be tolerated, and hence the amount of momentum that can be harvested per capture. As it plays out of its reel, drag on the tether steadily accelerates the spacecraft. A variety of concepts for riding and using the asteroid after capture are discussed. The hitchhiker uses momentum transfer only. The beachcomber, the caveman, the swinger, the prospector, and the rock wrecker also take advantage of raw asteroidal materials. The chemist and the hijacker go further, they process the asteroid into propellant. Or, an 'asteroid railway system' could evolve with each hijacked asteroid becoming a scheduled train. Travelers could board the space railway system assured that water, oxygen, and propellants await them.

  5. Innovative Power-Augmentation-Guide-Vane Design of Wind-Solar Hybrid Renewable Energy Harvester for Urban High Rise Application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, Chong Wen; Zainon, M. Z.; Chew, Poh Sin; Kui, Soo Chun; Keong, Wee Seng; Chen, Pan Kok

    2010-06-01

    To generate greater quantities of energy from wind, the most efficient solution would be by increasing the wind speed. Also, due to the decreasing number of economic wind energy sites, there are plans to place wind turbines closer to populated areas. To site wind turbines out from rural areas, the current problems of wind turbines need to be resolved, especially visual impact, poor starting behaviour in low wind speeds, noise and danger caused by blade failure. In this paper, a patented wind-solar hybrid renewable energy harvester is introduced. It is a compact system that integrates and optimizes several green elements and can be built on the top (or between upper levels) of high rise buildings or structures. This system can be used in remote and urban areas, particularly at locations where the wind speed is lower and more turbulent. It overcomes the inferior aspect on the low wind speed by guiding and increasing the speed of the high altitude free-stream wind through fixed or yaw-able power-augmentation-guide-vane (PAGV) before entering the wind turbine (straight-bladed vertical axis wind turbine, VAWT in this project) at center portion. PAGV is a new and innovative design where its appearance or outer design can be blended into the building architecture without negative visual impact. From the studies, it is shown that the wind speed increment in the PAGV can be produced according to the Bernoulli's principle. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation is used to optimize the geometry of the PAGV and the simulation results demonstrated the technical possibility of this innovative concept. The PAGV replaces the free air-stream from wind by multiple channels of speed-increased and directional-controlled air-stream. With the PAGV, this lift-type VAWT can be self-started and its size can be reduced for a given power output. The design is also safer since the VAWT is enclosed by the PAGV. By integrating the PAGV with the VAWT (the diameter and height of PAGV are 2

  6. Bio-hybrid integrated system for wide-spectrum solar energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Kathleen; Erdman, Matthew; Quintana, Hope; Shelnutt, John; Nogan, John; Swartzentruber, B.; Martinez, Julio; Lavrova, Olga; Busani, Tito

    2014-03-01

    An integrated hybrid photovoltaic-thermoelectric system has been developed using multiple layers of organic photosensitizers on inorganic semiconductors in order to efficiently convert UV-visible and IR energy into electricity. The hot anode of n-type ZnO nanowires was fabricated using a thermal process on pre-seeded layer and results to be crystalline with a transmittance up to 92 % and a bandgap of 3.32 eV. The visible-UV light-active organic layer was deposited between the anode and cathode at room temperature using a layer-by-layer deposition onto ITO and ZnO and Bi2Te3 nanowires from aqueous solution. The organic layer, a cooperative binary ionic (CBI) solid is composed of oppositely charged porphyrin metal (Zn(II) and Sn(IV)(OH-)2) derivatives that are separately water soluble, but when combined form a virtually insoluble solid. The electron donor/acceptor properties (energy levels, band gaps) of the solid can be controlled by the choice of metals and the nature of the peripheral substituent groups of the porphyrin ring. The highly thermoelectric structure, which acts as a cold cathode, is composed of p-type Bi2Te3 nanowires with a thermoelectric efficiency (ZT) between ~0.7 to 1, values that are twice that expected for bulk Bi2Te3. Efficiency of the integrated device, was found to be 35 at 0.2 suns illumination and thermoelectric properties are enhanced by the charge transfer between the CBI and the Bi2Te3 is presented in terms of photo- and thermogenerated current and advantages of the low cost fabrication process is discussed.

  7. Multi-source energy harvester for wildlife tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, You; Zuo, Lei; Zhou, Wanlu; Liang, Changwei; McCabe, Michael

    2014-03-01

    Sufficient power supply to run GPS machinery and transmit data on a long-term basis remains to be the key challenge for wildlife tracking technology. Traditional way of replacing battery periodically is not only time and money consuming but also dangerous to live-trapping wild animals. In this paper, an innovative wildlife tracking device with multi-source energy harvester with advantage of high efficiency and reliability is investigated and developed. This multi-source energy harvester entails a solar energy harvester and an innovative rotational electromagnetic energy harvester is mounted on the "wildlife tracking collar" which will remarkably extend the duration of wild life tracking. A feedforward and feedback control of DC-DC converter circuit is adopted to passively realize the Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) logic for the solar energy harvester. The rotational electromagnetic energy harvester can mechanically rectify the irregular bidirectional motion into unidirectional motion has been modeled and demonstrated.

  8. Solar Energy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eaton, William W.

    Presented is the utilization of solar radiation as an energy resource principally for the production of electricity. Included are discussions of solar thermal conversion, photovoltic conversion, wind energy, and energy from ocean temperature differences. Future solar energy plans, the role of solar energy in plant and fossil fuel production, and…

  9. Momentum harvesting techniques for solar system travel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willoughby, Alan J.

    1991-01-01

    Astronomers are lately estimating there are 400,000 earth visiting asteroids larger than 100 meters in diameter. These asteroids are uniquely accessible sources of building materials, propellants, oxygen, water, and minerals. They also constitute a huge momentum reserve, potentially usable for travel throughout the solar system. To use this momentum, these stealthy objects must be tracked and the ability to extract the desired momentum obtained. Momentum harvesting by momentum transfer from asteroid to spacecraft, and by using the momentum of the extraterrestrial material to help deliver itself to its destination is discussed. The purpose is neither to quantify nor justify the momentum exchange processes, but to stimulate collective imaginations with some intriguing possibilities which emerge when momentum as well as material is considered. A net and tether concept is the suggested means of asteroid capture, the basic momentum exchange process. The energy damping characteristics of the tether determines the velocity mismatch that can be tolerated, and hence the amount of momentum that can be harvested per capture. As the tether plays out of its reel, drag on the tether steadily accelerates the spacecraft and dilutes, in time, the would-be collision. A variety of concepts for riding and using asteroids after capture are introduced. The hitchhiker uses momentum transfer only. The beachcomber, the caveman, the swinger, the prospector, and the rock wrecker also take advantage of raw asteroid materials. The chemist and the hijacker go further, they process the asteroid into propellants. Or, an asteroid railway system could be constructed with each hijacked asteroid becoming a scheduled train. Travelers could board this space railway system assured that water, oxygen propellants, and shielding await them. Austere space travel could give way to comforts, with a speed and economy impossible without nature's gift of earth visiting asteroids.

  10. Solar energy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rapp, D.

    1981-01-01

    The book opens with a review of the patterns of energy use and resources in the United States, and an exploration of the potential of solar energy to supply some of this energy in the future. This is followed by background material on solar geometry, solar intensities, flat plate collectors, and economics. Detailed attention is then given to a variety of solar units and systems, including domestic hot water systems, space heating systems, solar-assisted heat pumps, intermediate temperature collectors, space heating/cooling systems, concentrating collectors for high temperatures, storage systems, and solar total energy systems. Finally, rights to solar access are discussed.

  11. A Hip Implant Energy Harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pancharoen, K.; Zhu, D.; Beeby, S. P.

    2014-11-01

    This paper presents a kinetic energy harvester designed to be embedded in a hip implant which aims to operate at a low frequency associated with body motion of patients. The prototype is designed based on the constrained volume available in a hip prosthesis and the challenge is to harvest energy from low frequency movements (< 1 Hz) which is an average frequency during free walking of a patient. The concept of magnetic-force-driven energy harvesting is applied to this prototype considering the hip movements during routine activities of patients. The magnetic field within the harvester was simulated using COMSOL. The simulated resonant frequency was around 30 Hz and the voltage induced in a coil was predicted to be 47.8 mV. A prototype of the energy harvester was fabricated and tested. A maximum open circuit voltage of 39.43 mV was obtained and the resonant frequency of 28 Hz was observed. Moreover, the power output of 0.96 μW was achieved with an optimum resistive load of 250Ω.

  12. Piezoelectric Water Drop Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al Ahmad, Mahmoud

    2014-02-01

    Piezoelectric materials convert mechanical deformation directly into electrical charges, which can be harvested and used to drive micropower electronic devices. The low power consumption of such systems on the scale of microwatts leads to the possibility of using harvested vibrational energy due to its almost universal nature. Vibrational energy harvested using piezoelectric cantilevers provides sufficient output for small-scale power applications. This work reports on vibrational energy harvesting from free-falling droplets at the tip of lead zirconate titanate piezoelectric-based cantilevers. The harvester incorporates a multimorph clamped-free cantilever made of lead zirconate titanate piezoelectric thick films. During the impact, the droplet's kinetic energy is transferred to the form of mechanical stress, forcing the piezoelectric structure to vibrate and thereby producing charges. Experimental results show an instantaneous drop-power of 2.15 mW cm-3 g-1. The scenario of a medium intensity of falling water drops, i.e., 200 drops per second, yielded a power of 0.48 W cm-3 g-1 per second.

  13. Piezoelectric MEMS for energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanno, Isaku

    2015-12-01

    Recently, piezoelectric MEMS have been intensively investigated to create new functional microdevices, and some of them have already been commercialized such as MEMS gyrosensors or miropumps of inkjet printer head. Piezoelectric energy harvesting is considered to be one of the promising future applications of piezoelectric MEMS. In this report, we introduce the deposition of the piezoelectric PZT thin films as well as lead-free KNN thin films. We fabricated piezoelectric energy harvesters of PZT and KNN thin films deposited on stainless steel cantilevers and compared their power generation performance.

  14. Noise powered nonlinear energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gammaitoni, Luca; Neri, Igor; Vocca, Helios

    2011-04-01

    The powering of small-scale electronic mobile devices has been in recent years the subject of a great number of research efforts aimed primarily at finding an alternative solution to standard batteries. The harvesting of kinetic energy present in the form of random vibrations (from non-equilibrium thermal noise up to machine vibrations) is an interesting option due to the almost universal presence of some kind of motion. Present working solutions for vibration energy harvesting are based on oscillating mechanical elements that convert kinetic energy via capacitive, inductive or piezoelectric methods. These oscillators are usually designed to be resonantly tuned to the ambient dominant frequency. However, in most cases the ambient random vibrations have their energy distributed over a wide spectrum of frequencies, especially at low frequency, and frequency tuning is not always possible due to geometrical/dynamical constraints. We present a new approach to the powering of small autonomous sensors based on vibration energy harvesting by the exploitation of nonlinear stochastic dynamics. Such a method is shown to outperform standard linear approaches based on the use of resonant oscillators and to overcome some of the most severe limitations of present strategies, like narrow bandwidth, need for continuous frequency tuning and low power efficiency. We demonstrate the superior performances of this method by applying it to piezoelectric energy harvesting from ambient vibration.

  15. A multiaxial piezoelectric energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mousselmal, H. D.; Cottinet, P. J.; Quiquerez, L.; Remaki, B.; Petit, L.

    2013-04-01

    An important limitation in the classical energy harvesters based on cantilever beam structure is its monodirectional sensibility. The external excitation must generate an orthogonal acceleration from the beam plane to induced flexural deformation. If the direction of the excitation deviates from this privileged direction, the harvester output power is drastically reduced. This point is obviously very restrictive in the case of an arbitrary excitation direction induced for example by human body movements or vehicles vibrations. In order to overcome this issue of the conventional resonant cantilever configuration with seismic mass, a multidirectional harvester is introduced here by the authors. The multidirectional ability relies on the exploitation of 3 degenerate structural vibration modes where each of them is induced by the corresponding component of the acceleration vector. This specific structure has been already used for 3 axis accelerometers but the approach is here totally revisited because the final functional goal is different. This paper presents the principle and the design considerations of such multidirectional piezoelectric energy harvester. A finite element model has been used for the harvester optimisation. It has been shown that the seismic mass is a relevant parameter for the modes tuning because the resonant frequency of the 1st exploited flexural mode directly depends on the mass whereas the resonance frequency of the 2nd flexural mode depends on its moment of inertia. A simplified centimetric prototype limited to a two orthogonal direction sensibility has permitted to valid the theoretical approach.

  16. Fluid flow nozzle energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherrit, Stewart; Lee, Hyeong Jae; Walkemeyer, Phillip; Winn, Tyler; Tosi, Luis Phillipe; Colonius, Tim

    2015-04-01

    Power generation schemes that could be used downhole in an oil well to produce about 1 Watt average power with long-life (decades) are actively being developed. A variety of proposed energy harvesting schemes could be used to extract energy from this environment but each of these has their own limitations that limit their practical use. Since vibrating piezoelectric structures are solid state and can be driven below their fatigue limit, harvesters based on these structures are capable of operating for very long lifetimes (decades); thereby, possibly overcoming a principle limitation of existing technology based on rotating turbo-machinery. An initial survey [1] identified that spline nozzle configurations can be used to excite a vibrating piezoelectric structure in such a way as to convert the abundant flow energy into useful amounts of electrical power. This paper presents current flow energy harvesting designs and experimental results of specific spline nozzle/ bimorph design configurations which have generated suitable power per nozzle at or above well production analogous flow rates. Theoretical models for non-dimensional analysis and constitutive electromechanical model are also presented in this paper to optimize the flow harvesting system.

  17. Energy harvesting devices for harvesting energy from terahertz electromagnetic radiation

    DOEpatents

    Novack, Steven D.; Kotter, Dale K.; Pinhero, Patrick J.

    2012-10-09

    Methods, devices and systems for harvesting energy from electromagnetic radiation are provided including harvesting energy from electromagnetic radiation. In one embodiment, a device includes a substrate and one or more resonance elements disposed in or on the substrate. The resonance elements are configured to have a resonant frequency, for example, in at least one of the infrared, near-infrared and visible light spectra. A layer of conductive material may be disposed over a portion of the substrate to form a ground plane. An optical resonance gap or stand-off layer may be formed between the resonance elements and the ground plane. The optical resonance gap extends a distance between the resonance elements and the layer of conductive material approximately one-quarter wavelength of a wavelength of the at least one resonance element's resonant frequency. At least one energy transfer element may be associated with the at least one resonance element.

  18. Nanotechnologies for efficient solar and wind energy harvesting and storage in smart-grid and transportation applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eldada, Louay

    2011-01-01

    A wide array of nanotechnologies can be used to improve the efficiency of energy harvest from the Sun and the wind, and the efficiency of energy storage in secondary batteries, for use in smart grid and transportation applications. High-quality nanostructured copper indium gallium selenide thin films help produce high-efficiency photovoltaic modules. Various nanotechnologies are utilized to improve the efficiency of power-generating wind turbines, including nanoparticle-containing lubricants that reduce the friction generated from the rotation of the turbines, nanocoatings for de-icing and self-cleaning technologies, and advanced nanocomposites that provide lighter and stronger wind blades. A number of nanotechnologies can be beneficial in advanced high-capacity secondary batteries for smart grid and transportation applications. These technologies include nanostructured carbon-nanotube-based and silicon-nanowire-based electrodes with ultrahigh surface areas, as well as nanoengineered β-alumina ceramic electrolytes with well-controlled grains, grain boundaries, and crystal orientation, which are used to boost the energy and power densities in secondary batteries such as lithium-ion, sodium-sulfur, flow, and dry cell batteries.

  19. Principles of thermoacoustic energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avent, A. W.; Bowen, C. R.

    2015-11-01

    Thermoacoustics exploit a temperature gradient to produce powerful acoustic pressure waves. The technology has a key role to play in energy harvesting systems. A time-line in the development of thermoacoustics is presented from its earliest recorded example in glass blowing through to the development of the Sondhauss and Rijke tubes to Stirling engines and pulse-tube cryo-cooling. The review sets the current literature in context, identifies key publications and promising areas of research. The fundamental principles of thermoacoustic phenomena are explained; design challenges and factors influencing efficiency are explored. Thermoacoustic processes involve complex multi-physical coupling and transient, highly non-linear relationships which are computationally expensive to model; appropriate numerical modelling techniques and options for analyses are presented. Potential methods of harvesting the energy in the acoustic waves are also examined.

  20. Motorcycle waste heat energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlichting, Alexander D.; Anton, Steven R.; Inman, Daniel J.

    2008-03-01

    Environmental concerns coupled with the depletion of fuel sources has led to research on ethanol, fuel cells, and even generating electricity from vibrations. Much of the research in these areas is stalling due to expensive or environmentally contaminating processes, however recent breakthroughs in materials and production has created a surge in research on waste heat energy harvesting devices. The thermoelectric generators (TEGs) used in waste heat energy harvesting are governed by the Thermoelectric, or Seebeck, effect, generating electricity from a temperature gradient. Some research to date has featured platforms such as heavy duty diesel trucks, model airplanes, and automobiles, attempting to either eliminate heavy batteries or the alternator. A motorcycle is another platform that possesses some very promising characteristics for waste heat energy harvesting, mainly because the exhaust pipes are exposed to significant amounts of air flow. A 1995 Kawasaki Ninja 250R was used for these trials. The module used in these experiments, the Melcor HT3-12-30, produced an average of 0.4694 W from an average temperature gradient of 48.73 °C. The mathematical model created from the Thermoelectric effect equation and the mean Seebeck coefficient displayed by the module produced an average error from the experimental data of 1.75%. Although the module proved insufficient to practically eliminate the alternator on a standard motorcycle, the temperature data gathered as well as the examination of a simple, yet accurate, model represent significant steps in the process of creating a TEG capable of doing so.

  1. Review of the application of energy harvesting in buildings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matiko, J. W.; Grabham, N. J.; Beeby, S. P.; Tudor, M. J.

    2014-01-01

    This review presents the state of the art of the application of energy harvesting in commercial and residential buildings. Electromagnetic (optical and radio frequency), kinetic, thermal and airflow-based energy sources are identified as potential energy sources within buildings and the available energy is measured in a range of buildings. Suitable energy harvesters are discussed and the available and the potential harvested energy calculated. Calculations based on these measurements, and the technical specifications of state-of-the-art harvesters, show that typical harvested powers are: (1) indoor solar cell (active area of 9 cm2, volume of 2.88 cm3): ˜300 µW from a light intensity of 1000 lx; (2) thermoelectric harvester (volume of 1.4 cm3): 6 mW from a thermal gradient of 25 °C (3) periodic kinetic energy harvester (volume of 0.15 cm3): 2 µW from a vibration acceleration of 0.25 m s-2 at 45 Hz (4) electromagnetic wave harvester (13 cm antenna length and conversion efficiency of 0.7): 1 µW with an RF source power of -25 dBm; and (5) airflow harvester (wind turbine blade of 6 cm diameter and generator efficiency of 0.41): 140 mW from an airflow of 8 m s-1. These results highlight the high potential of energy harvesting technology in buildings and the relative attractions of various harvester technologies. The harvested power could either be used to replace batteries or to prolong the life of rechargeable batteries for low-power (˜1 mW) electronic devices.

  2. Solar thermal harvesting for enhanced photocatalytic reactions.

    PubMed

    Hashemi, Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini; Choi, Jae-Woo; Psaltis, Demetri

    2014-03-21

    The Shockley-Queisser limit predicts a maximum efficiency of 30% for single junction photovoltaic (PV) cells. The rest of the solar energy is lost as heat and due to phenomena such as reflection and transmission through the PV and charge carrier recombination. In the case of photocatalysis, this maximum value is smaller since the charge carriers should be transferred to acceptor molecules rather than conductive electrodes. With this perspective, we realize that at least 70% of the solar energy is available to be converted into heat. This is specifically useful for photocatalysis, since heat can provide more kinetic energy to the reactants and increase the number of energetic collisions leading to the breakage of chemical bonds. Even in natural photosynthesis, at the most 6% of the solar spectrum is used to produce sugar and the rest of the absorbed photons are converted into heat in a process called transpiration. The role of this heating component is often overlooked; in this paper, we demonstrate a coupled system of solar thermal and photocatalytic decontamination of water by titania, the most widely used photocatalyst for various photo reactions. The enhancement of this photothermal process over solely photocatalytic water decontamination is demonstrated to be 82% at 1× sun. Our findings suggest that the combination of solar thermal energy capture with photocatalysis is a suitable strategy to utilize more of the solar spectrum and improve the overall performance. PMID:24480846

  3. Harvesting singlet fission for solar energy conversion: one- versus two-electron transfer from the quantum mechanical superposition.

    PubMed

    Chan, Wai-Lun; Tritsch, John R; Zhu, X-Y

    2012-11-01

    Singlet fission, the creation of two triplet excitons from one singlet exciton, is being explored to increase the efficiency of solar cells and photo detectors based on organic semiconductors, such as pentacene and tetracene. A key question is how to extract multiple electron-hole pairs from multiple excitons. Recent experiments in our laboratory on the pentacene/C(60) system (Chan, W.-L.; et al. Science 2011, 334, 1543-1547) provided preliminary evidence for the extraction of two electrons from the multiexciton (ME) state resulting from singlet fission. The efficiency of multielectron transfer is expected to depend critically on other dynamic processes available to the singlet (S(1)) and the ME, but little is known about these competing channels. Here we apply time-resolved photoemission spectroscopy to the tetracene/C(60) interface to probe one- and two-electron transfer from S(1) and ME states, respectively. Unlike ultrafast (~100 fs) singlet fission in pentacene where two-electron transfer from the multiexciton state resulting from singlet fission dominates, the relatively slow (~7 ps) singlet fission in tetracene allows both one- and two-electron transfer from the S(1) and the ME states that are in a quantum mechanical superposition. We show evidence for the formation of two distinct charge transfer states due to electron transfer from photoexcited tetracene to the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) and the LUMO+1 levels in C(60), respectively. Kinetic analysis shows that ~60% of the S(1) ⇔ ME quantum superposition transfers one electron through the S(1) state to C(60) while ~40% undergoes two-electron transfer through the ME state. We discuss design principles at donor/acceptor interfaces for optimal multiple carrier extraction from singlet fission for solar energy conversion. PMID:23066740

  4. Ionic and electronic behaviors of earth-abundant semiconductor materials and their applications toward solar energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, Matthew T.

    Semiconductor devices offer promise for efficient conversion of sunlight into other useful forms of energy, in either photovoltaic or photoelectrochemical cell configurations to produce electrical power or chemical energy, respectively. This dissertation examines ionic and electronic phenomena in some candidate semiconductors and seeks to understand their implications toward solar energy conversion applications. First, copper sulfide (Cu2S) was examined as a candidate photovoltaic material. It was discovered that its unique property of cation diffusion allows the room-temperature synthesis of vertically-aligned nanowire arrays, a morphology which facilitates study of the diffusion processes. This diffusivity was found to induce hysteresis in the electronic behavior, leading to the phenomena of resistive switching and negative differential resistance. The Cu2S were then demonstrated as morphological templates for solid-state conversion into different types of heterostructures, including segmented and rod-in-tube morphologies. Near-complete conversion to ZnS, enabled by the out-diffusion of Cu back into the substrate, was also achieved. While the ion diffusion property likely hinders the reliability of Cu 2S in photovoltaic applications, it was shown to enable useful electronic and ionic behaviors. Secondly, iron oxide (Fe2O3, hematite) was examined as a photoanode for photoelectrochemical water splitting. Its energetic limitations toward the water electrolysis reactions were addressed using two approaches aimed at achieving greater photovoltages and thereby improved water splitting efficiencies. In the first, a built-in n-p junction produced an internal field to drive charge separation and generate photovoltage. In the second, Fe 2O3 was deposited onto a smaller band gap material, silicon, to form a device capable of producing enhanced total photovoltage by a dual-absorber Z-scheme mechanism. Both approaches resulted in a cathodic shift of the photocurrent onset

  5. Fundamental Limits to Nonlinear Energy Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haji Hosseinloo, Ashkan; Turitsyn, Konstantin

    2015-12-01

    Linear and nonlinear vibration energy harvesting has been the focus of considerable research in recent years. However, fundamental limits on the harvestable energy of a harvester subjected to an arbitrary excitation force and different constraints is not yet fully understood. Understanding these limits is not only essential for an assessment of the technology potential, but it also provides a broader perspective on the current harvesting mechanisms and guidance in their improvement. Here, we derive the fundamental limits on the output power of an ideal energy harvester for arbitrary excitation waveforms and build on the current analysis framework for the simple computation of this limit for more sophisticated setups. We show that the optimal harvester maximizes the harvested energy through a mechanical analog of a buy-low-sell-high strategy. We also propose a nonresonant passive latch-assisted harvester to realize this strategy for an effective harvesting. It is shown that the proposed harvester harvests energy more effectively than its linear and bistable counterparts over a wider range of excitation frequencies and amplitudes. The buy-low-sell-high strategy also reveals why the conventional bistable harvester works well at low-frequency excitation.

  6. Power management for energy harvesting wireless sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arms, S. W.; Townsend, C. P.; Churchill, D. L.; Galbreath, J. H.; Mundell, S. W.

    2005-05-01

    The objective of this work was to demonstrate smart wireless sensing nodes capable of operation at extremely low power levels. These systems were designed to be compatible with energy harvesting systems using piezoelectric materials and/or solar cells. The wireless sensing nodes included a microprocessor, on-board memory, sensing means (1000 ohm foil strain gauge), sensor signal conditioning, 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4 radio transceiver, and rechargeable battery. Extremely low power consumption sleep currents combined with periodic, timed wake-up was used to minimize the average power consumption. Furthermore, we deployed pulsed sensor excitation and microprocessor power control of the signal conditioning elements to minimize the sensors" average contribution to power draw. By sleeping in between samples, we were able to demonstrate extremely low average power consumption. At 10 Hz, current consumption was 300 microamps at 3 VDC (900 microwatts); at 5 Hz: 400 microwatts, at 1 Hz: 90 microwatts. When the RF stage was not used, but data were logged to memory, consumption was further reduced. Piezoelectric strain energy harvesting systems delivered ~2000 microwatts under low level vibration conditions. Output power levels were also measured from two miniature solar cells; which provided a wide range of output power (~100 to 1400 microwatts), depending on the light type & distance from the source. In summary, system power consumption may be reduced by: 1) removing the load from the energy harvesting & storage elements while charging, 2) by using sleep modes in between samples, 3) pulsing excitation to the sensing and signal conditioning elements in between samples, and 4) by recording and/or averaging, rather than frequently transmitting, sensor data.

  7. Scaling effects for piezoelectric energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, D.; Beeby, S. P.

    2015-05-01

    This paper presents a fundamental investigation into scaling effects for the mechanical properties and electrical output power of piezoelectric vibration energy harvesters. The mechanical properties investigated in this paper include resonant frequency of the harvester and its frequency tunability, which is essential for the harvester to operate efficiently under broadband excitations. Electrical output power studied includes cases when the harvester is excited under both constant vibration acceleration and constant vibration amplitude. The energy harvester analysed in this paper is based on a cantilever structure, which is typical of most vibration energy harvesters. Both detailed mathematical derivation and simulation are presented. Furthermore, various piezoelectric materials used in MEMS and non-MEMS harvesters are also considered in the scaling analysis.

  8. Design, Fabrication and Characterization of MIM Diodes and Frequency Selective Thermal Emitters for Solar Energy Harvesting and Detection Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Saumya

    Energy harvesting using rectennas for infrared radiation continues to be a challenge due to the lack of fast switching diodes capable of rectification at THz frequencies. Metal insulator metal diodes which may be used at 30 THz must show adequate nonlinearity for small signal rectification such as 30 mV. In a rectenna assembly, the voltage signal received as an output from a single nanoantenna can be as small as ~30microV. Thus, only a hybrid array of nanoantennas can be sufficient to provide a signal in the ~30mV range for the diode to be able to rectify around 30THz. A metal-insulator-metal diode with highly nonlinear I-V characteristics is required in order for such small signal rectification to be possible. Such diode fabrication was found to be faced with two major fabrication challenges. The first one being the lack of a precisely controlled deposition process to allow a pinhole free insulator deposition less than 3nm in thickness. Another major challenge is the deposition of a top metal contact on the underlying insulating thin film. As a part of this research study, most of the MIM diodes were fabricated using Langmuir Blodgett monolayers deposited on a thin Ni film that was sputter coated on a silicon wafer. UV induced polymerization of the Langmuir Blodgett thin film was used to allow intermolecular crosslinking. A metal top contact was sputtered onto the underlying Langmuir Blodgett film assembly. In addition to material characterization of all the individual films using IR, UV-VIS spectroscopy, electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy, the I-V characteristics, resistance, current density, rectification ratio and responsivity with respect to the bias voltage were also measured for the electrical characterization of these MIM diodes. Further improvement in the diode rectification ratio and responsivity was obtained with Langmuir Blodgett films grown by the use of horizontally oriented organic molecules, due to a smaller tunneling distance that

  9. Solar Energy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Building Design and Construction, 1977

    1977-01-01

    Describes 21 completed projects now using solar energy for heating, cooling, or electricity. Included are elementary schools in Atlanta and San Diego, a technical school in Detroit, and Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. (MLF)

  10. A Nonlinear Energy Sink with Energy Harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kremer, Daniel

    The transfer of energy between systems is a natural process, manifesting in many different ways. In engineering transferable energy can be considered wanted or unwanted. Specifically in mechanical systems, energy transfer can occur as unwanted vibrations, passing from a source to a receiver. In electrical systems, energy transfer can be desirable, where energy from a source may be used elsewhere. This work proposes a method to combine the two, converting unwanted mechanical energy into useable electrical energy. A nonlinear energy sink (NES) is a vibration absorber that passively localizes vibrational energy, removing mechanical energy from a primary system. Consisting of a mass-spring-damper such that the stiffness is essentially nonlinear, a NES can localize vibrational energy from a source and dissipate it through damping. Replacing the NES mass with a series of magnets surrounded by coils fixed to the primary mass, the dissipated energy can be directly converted to electrical energy. A NES with energy harvesting properties is constructed and introduced. The system parameters are identified, with the NES having an essentially cubic nonlinear stiffness. A transduction factor is quantified linking the electrical and mechanical systems. An analytic analysis is carried out studying the transient and harmonically excited response of the system. It is found that the energy harvesting does not reduce the vibrational absorption capabilities of the NES. The performance of the system in both transient and harmonically excited responses is found to be heavily influenced by input energies. The system is tested, with good match to analytic results.

  11. Porous ferroelectrics for energy harvesting applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roscow, J.; Zhang, Y.; Taylor, J.; Bowen, C. R.

    2015-11-01

    This paper provides an overview of energy harvesting using ferroelectric materials, with a particular focus on the energy harvesting capabilities of porous ferroelectric ceramics for both piezo- and pyroelectric harvesting. The benefits of introducing porosity into ferro- electrics such as lead zirconate titanate (PZT) has been known for over 30 years, but the potential advantages for energy harvesting from both ambient vibrations and temperature fluctuations have not been studied in depth. The article briefly discusses piezoelectric and pyro- electric energy harvesting, before evaluating the potential benefits of porous materials for increasing energy harvesting figures of merits and electromechanical/electrothermal coupling factors. Established processing routes are evaluated in terms of the final porous structure and the resulting effects on the electrical, thermal and mechanical properties.

  12. Vibration energy harvester optimization using artificial intelligence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hadas, Z.; Ondrusek, C.; Kurfurst, J.; Singule, V.

    2011-06-01

    This paper deals with an optimization study of a vibration energy harvester. This harvester can be used as autonomous source of electrical energy for remote or wireless applications, which are placed in environment excited by ambient mechanical vibrations. The ambient energy of vibrations is usually on very low level but the harvester can be used as alternative source of energy for electronic devices with an expected low level of power consumption of several mW. The optimized design of the vibration energy harvester was based on previous development and the sensitivity of harvester design was improved for effective harvesting from mechanical vibrations in aeronautic applications. The vibration energy harvester is a mechatronic system which generates electrical energy from ambient vibrations due to precision tuning up generator parameters. The optimization study for maximization of harvested power or minimization of volume and weight are the main goals of our development. The optimization study of such complex device is complicated therefore artificial intelligence methods can be used for tuning up optimal harvester parameters.

  13. Synchronized charge extraction for aeroelastic energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Liya; Tang, Lihua; Wu, Hao; Yang, Yaowen

    2014-03-01

    Aeroelastic instabilities have been frequently exploited for energy harvesting purpose to power standalone electronic systems, such as wireless sensors. Meanwhile, various energy harvesting interface circuits, such as synchronized charge extraction (SCE) and synchronized switching harvesting on inductor (SSHI), have been widely pursued in the literature for efficiency enhancement of energy harvesting from existing base vibrations. These interfaces, however, have not been applied for aeroelastic energy harvesting. This paper investigates the feasibility of the SCE interface in galloping-based piezoelectric energy harvesting, with a focus on its benefit for performance improvement and influence on the galloping dynamics in different electromechanical coupling regimes. A galloping-based piezoelectric energy harvester (GPEH) is prototyped with an aluminum cantilever bonded with a piezoelectric sheet. Wind tunnel test is conducted with a simple electrical interface composed of a resistive load. Circuit simulation is performed with equivalent circuit representation of the GPEH system and confirmed by experimental results. Consequently, a self-powered SCE interface is implemented with the capability of self peak-detecting and switching. Circuit simulation for various electromechanical coupling cases shows that the harvested power with SCE interface for GPEH is independent of the electrical load, similar to that for a vibration-based piezoelectric energy harvester (VPEH). The SCE interface outperforms the standard interface if the electromechanical coupling is weak, and requires much less piezoelectric material to achieve the maximum power output. Moreover, influence of electromechanical coupling on the dynamics of GPEH with SCE is found sensitive to the wind speed.

  14. Design Methodology of Micro Vibration Energy Harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, Shuji

    Recently, micro vibration energy harvesters are attracting much attention for wireless sensor applications. To answer the power requirement of practical applications, the design methodology is important. This paper first reviews the fundamental theory of vibration energy harvesting, and then discusses how to design a micro vibration energy harvester at a concept level. For the micro vibration energy harvesters, independent design parameters at the top level are only the mass and stroke of a seismic mass and quality factor, while the frequency and acceleration of vibration input are given parameters determined by the application. The key design point is simply to make the mass and stroke of the seismic mass as large as possible within the available device size. Some case studies based on the theory are also presented. This paper provides a guideline for the development of the micro vibration energy harvesters.

  15. Ambient energy harvesting using ferroelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guyomar, Daniel; Sebald, Gaël; Pruvost, Sébastien; Lallart, Mickaël

    2008-03-01

    Recent progresses in electronics allow powering complex systems using either batteries or environmental energy harvesting. However using batteries raises the problems of limited lifespan and recycling process, leading to the research of other energy sources for mobile electronics. Recent work on Synchronized Switch Harvesting (SSH) shows a significant improvement of energy harvesting from vibrations compared to standard techniques. Nevertheless, harvesting energy from vibrations necessitates that the electromechanical structure has to be driven by mechanical solicitations, which generally have a limited amount of energy. Therefore, for the design of efficient and truly applicable self-powered devices, combining several sources for energy harvesting would be greatly beneficial. Thermal energy is rarely considered due to the difficulty of getting efficient devices. However, the potential of such a source is one of the most important. This paper deals with energy harvesting using either piezoelectric or pyroelectric effect. Theoretical and experimental validations of thermal energy harvesting are presented and discussed. Standard thermodynamic cycles may be adapted in order to improve conversion effectiveness. Experimental converted energy as high as 160 mJ.cm -3.cycle -1 has been measured with a 35°C temperature variation, corresponding to 2.15% of Carnot efficiency.

  16. Mechanism for strong binding of CdSe quantum dots to multiwall carbon nanotubes for solar energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azoz, Seyla; Jiang, Jie; Keskar, Gayatri; McEnally, Charles; Alkas, Alp; Ren, Fang; Marinkovic, Nebojsa; Haller, Gary L.; Ismail-Beigi, Sohrab; Pfefferle, Lisa D.

    2013-07-01

    As hybrid nanomaterials have myriad of applications in modern technology, different functionalization strategies are being intensely sought for preparing nanocomposites with tunable properties and structures. Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube (MWNT)/CdSe Quantum Dot (QD) heterostructures serve as an important example for an active component of solar cells. The attachment mechanism of CdSe QDs and MWNTs is known to affect the charge transfer between them and consequently to alter the efficiency of solar cell devices. In this study, we present a novel method that enables the exchange of some of the organic capping agents on the QDs with carboxyl functionalized MWNTs upon ultrasonication. This produces a ligand-free covalent attachment of the QDs to the MWNTs. EXAFS characterization reveals direct bond formation between the CdSe QDs and the MWNTs. The amount of oleic acid exchanged is quantified by temperature-programmed decomposition; the results indicate that roughly half of the oleic acid is removed from the QDs upon functionalized MWNT addition. Additionally, we characterize the optical and structural properties of the QD-MWNT heterostructures and investigate how these properties are affected by the attachment. The steady state photoluminescence response of QDs is completely quenched. The lifetime of the PL of the QDs measured with time resolved photoluminescence shows a significant decrease after they are covalently bonded to functionalized MWNTs, suggesting a fast charge transfer between QDs and MWNTs. Our theoretical calculations are consistent with and support these experimental findings and provide microscopic models for the QD binding mechanisms.As hybrid nanomaterials have myriad of applications in modern technology, different functionalization strategies are being intensely sought for preparing nanocomposites with tunable properties and structures. Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube (MWNT)/CdSe Quantum Dot (QD) heterostructures serve as an important example for an

  17. Adaptive learning algorithms for vibration energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, John K.; Behrens, Sam

    2008-06-01

    By scavenging energy from their local environment, portable electronic devices such as MEMS devices, mobile phones, radios and wireless sensors can achieve greater run times with potentially lower weight. Vibration energy harvesting is one such approach where energy from parasitic vibrations can be converted into electrical energy through the use of piezoelectric and electromagnetic transducers. Parasitic vibrations come from a range of sources such as human movement, wind, seismic forces and traffic. Existing approaches to vibration energy harvesting typically utilize a rectifier circuit, which is tuned to the resonant frequency of the harvesting structure and the dominant frequency of vibration. We have developed a novel approach to vibration energy harvesting, including adaptation to non-periodic vibrations so as to extract the maximum amount of vibration energy available. Experimental results of an experimental apparatus using an off-the-shelf transducer (i.e. speaker coil) show mechanical vibration to electrical energy conversion efficiencies of 27-34%.

  18. Development of MEMS based pyroelectric thermal energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, Scott R.; Lavrik, Nickolay V.; Bannuru, Thirumalesh; Mostafa, Salwa; Rajic, Slo; Datskos, Panos G.

    2011-06-01

    The efficient conversion of waste thermal energy into electrical energy is of considerable interest due to the huge sources of low-grade thermal energy available in technologically advanced societies. Our group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is developing a new type of high efficiency thermal waste heat energy converter that can be used to actively cool electronic devices, concentrated photovoltaic solar cells, computers and large waste heat producing systems, while generating electricity that can be used to power remote monitoring sensor systems, or recycled to provide electrical power. The energy harvester is a temperature cycled pyroelectric thermal-to-electrical energy harvester that can be used to generate electrical energy from thermal waste streams with temperature gradients of only a few degrees. The approach uses a resonantly driven pyroelectric capacitive bimorph cantilever structure that potentially has energy conversion efficiencies several times those of any previously demonstrated pyroelectric or thermoelectric thermal energy harvesters. The goals of this effort are to demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating high conversion efficiency MEMS based pyroelectric energy converters that can be fabricated into scalable arrays using well known microscale fabrication techniques and materials. These fabrication efforts are supported by detailed modeling studies of the pyroelectric energy converter structures to demonstrate the energy conversion efficiencies and electrical energy generation capabilities of these energy converters. This paper reports on the modeling, fabrication and testing of test structures and single element devices that demonstrate the potential of this technology for the development of high efficiency thermal-to-electrical energy harvesters.

  19. Nonlinear piezomagnetoelastic harvester array for broadband energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Upadrashta, Deepesh; Yang, Yaowen

    2016-08-01

    This article proposes an array of nonlinear piezomagnetoelastic energy harvesters (NPEHs) for scavenging electrical energy from broadband vibrations with low amplitudes (<2 m/s2). The array consists of monostable NPEHs combined to generate useful power output (˜100 μW) over wide bandwidth. The nonlinearity in each of the NPEHs is induced by the magnetic interaction between an embedded magnet in the tip mass of cantilever and a fixed magnet clamped to the rigid platform. The dynamic responses of two NPEHs, one with attractive configuration and the other with repulsive configuration, are combined to achieve a bandwidth of 3.3 Hz at a power level of 100 μW. A parametric study is carried out to obtain the gap distances between the magnets to achieve wide bandwidth. Experiments are performed to validate the proposed idea, the theoretical predictions, and to demonstrate the advantage of array of NPEHs over the array of linear piezoelectric energy harvesters (LPEHs). The experiments have clearly shown the advantage of NPEH array over its linear counterpart under both harmonic and random excitations. Approximately, 100% increase in the operation bandwidth is achieved by the NPEH array at harmonic excitation level of 2 m/s2. The NPEH array exhibits up to 80% improvement in the accumulated energy under random excitation when compared with the LPEH array. Furthermore, the performance of NPEH array with series and parallel connections between the individual harvesters using standard AC/DC interface circuits is also investigated and compared with its linear counterpart.

  20. Evaluating vehicular-induced bridge vibrations for energy harvesting applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichenbach, Matthew; Fasl, Jeremiah; Samaras, Vasilis A.; Wood, Sharon; Helwig, Todd; Lindenberg, Richard

    2012-04-01

    Highway bridges are vital links in the transportation network in the United States. Identifying possible safety problems in the approximately 600,000 bridges across the country is generally accomplished through labor-intensive, visual inspections. Ongoing research sponsored by NIST seeks to improve inspection practices by providing real-time, continuous monitoring technology for steel bridges. A wireless sensor network with a service life of ten years that is powered by an integrated energy harvester is targeted. In order to achieve the target ten-year life for the monitoring system, novel approaches to energy harvesting for use in recharging batteries are investigated. Three main sources of energy are evaluated: (a) vibrational energy, (b) solar energy, and (c) wind energy. Assessing the energy produced from vehicular-induced vibrations and converted through electromagnetic induction is the focus of this paper. The goal of the study is to process acceleration data and analyze the vibrational response of steel bridges to moving truck loads. Through spectral analysis and harvester modeling, the feasibility of vibration-based energy harvesting for longterm monitoring can be assessed. The effects of bridge conditions, ambient temperature, truck traffic patterns, and harvester position on the power content of the vibrations are investigated. With sensor nodes continually recharged, the proposed real-time monitoring system will operate off the power grid, thus reducing life cycle costs and enhancing inspection practices for state DOTs. This paper will present the results of estimating the vibration energy of a steel bridge in Texas.

  1. Hybrid piezoelectric energy harvesting transducer system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Xu, Tian-Bing (Inventor); Jiang, Xiaoning (Inventor); Su, Ji (Inventor); Rehrig, Paul W. (Inventor); Hackenberger, Wesley S. (Inventor)

    2008-01-01

    A hybrid piezoelectric energy harvesting transducer system includes: (a) first and second symmetric, pre-curved piezoelectric elements mounted separately on a frame so that their concave major surfaces are positioned opposite to each other; and (b) a linear piezoelectric element mounted separately on the frame and positioned between the pre-curved piezoelectric elements. The pre-curved piezoelectric elements and the linear piezoelectric element are spaced from one another and communicate with energy harvesting circuitry having contact points on the frame. The hybrid piezoelectric energy harvesting transducer system has a higher electromechanical energy conversion efficiency than any known piezoelectric transducer.

  2. Colloidal transfer printing method for periodically textured thin films in flexible media with greatly enhanced solar energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xi; Sheng, Jiang; Wu, Sudong; Chen, Dong; Zhou, Jun; Zhou, Suqiong; He, Jian; Gao, Pingqi; Ye, Jichun

    2015-10-01

    The successful fabrication of high-performance flexible thin film solar cells (TFSCs) directly on diverse substrates is intrinsically limited by the processing temperature and substrate property. In this work, a colloidal transfer-printing (CTP) method is developed to fabricate large-area flexible thin-film absorbers with an antireflection coating and periodic configurations. Compared with a planar film, such structures exhibit much lower reflectance due to the antireflection introduced by the textured polydimethylsiloxane and the enhanced scattering introduced by the periodic back-scattering reflector. Optical simulation using the finite-element method indicates the structural periodicity for maximum light absorption is of 300 nm for an ultrathin amorphous silicon (a-Si) film with a thickness of 160 nm. The patterned a-Si film yields an overall absorption of 64.8%, which is much larger than the planar counterpart of 38.5%. This new approach to thin-film transfer can be readily extended to other material systems and device structures, opening up an effective alternative to traditional fabrication of the low-cost and high-performance optoelectronic devices.

  3. Energy harvesting via ferrofluidic induction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monroe, J. G.; Vasquez, Erick S.; Aspin, Zachary S.; Fairley, John D.; Walters, Keisha B.; Berg, Matthew J.; Thompson, Scott M.

    2015-05-01

    A series of experiments were conducted to investigate and characterize the concept of ferrofluidic induction - a process for generating electrical power via cyclic oscillation of ferrofluid (iron-based nanofluid) through a solenoid. Experimental parameters include: number of bias magnets, magnet spacing, solenoid core, fluid pulse frequency and ferrofluid-particle diameter. A peristaltic pump was used to cyclically drive two aqueous ferrofluids, consisting of 7-10 nm iron-oxide particles and commercially-available hydroxyl-coated magnetic beads (~800 nm), respectively. The solutions were pulsated at 3, 6, and 10 Hz through 3.2 mm internal diameter Tygon tubing. A 1000 turn copper-wire solenoid was placed around the tube 45 cm away from the pump. The experimental results indicate that the ferrofluid is capable of inducing a maximum electric potential of approximately +/- 20 μV across the solenoid during its cyclic passage. As the frequency of the pulsating flow increased, the ferro-nanoparticle diameter increased, or the bias magnet separation decreased, the induced voltage increased. The type of solenoid core material (copper or plastic) did not have a discernible effect on induction. These results demonstrate the feasibility of ferrofluidic induction and provide insight into its dependence on fluid/flow parameters. Such fluidic/magneto-coupling can be exploited for energy harvesting and/or conversion system design for a variety of applications.

  4. Thermal Energy Harvesting from Wildlife

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woias, P.; Schule, F.; Bäumke, E.; Mehne, P.; Kroener, M.

    2014-11-01

    In this paper we present the measurement of temperature differences between the ambient air and the body temperature of a sheep (Heidschnucke) and its applicability for thermoelectric energy harvesting from livestock, demonstrated via the test of a specially tailored TEG system in a real-life experiment. In three measurement campaigns average temperature differences were found between 2.5 K and 3.5 K. Analytical models and FEM simulations were carried out to determine the actual thermal resistance of the sheep's fur from comparisons with the temperature measurements. With these data a thermoelectric (TEG) generator was built in a thermally optimized housing with adapted heats sink. The whole TEG system was mounted to a collar, including a data logger for recording temperature and TEG voltage. First measurements at the neck of a sheep were accomplished, with a calculated maximal average power output of 173 μW at the TEG. Taking the necessity of a low-voltage step-up converter into account, an electric output power of 54 μW is available which comes close to the power consumption of a low-power VHF tracking system.

  5. Harvesting renewable energy from Earth's mid-infrared emissions.

    PubMed

    Byrnes, Steven J; Blanchard, Romain; Capasso, Federico

    2014-03-18

    It is possible to harvest energy from Earth's thermal infrared emission into outer space. We calculate the thermodynamic limit for the amount of power available, and as a case study, we plot how this limit varies daily and seasonally in a location in Oklahoma. We discuss two possible ways to make such an emissive energy harvester (EEH): A thermal EEH (analogous to solar thermal power generation) and an optoelectronic EEH (analogous to photovoltaic power generation). For the latter, we propose using an infrared-frequency rectifying antenna, and we discuss its operating principles, efficiency limits, system design considerations, and possible technological implementations. PMID:24591604

  6. Cooperative energy harvesting for long-endurance autonomous vehicle teams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Page, S. F.; Rogers, J. D.; May, K.; Myatt, D. R.; Hickman, D.; Smith, M. I.

    2010-04-01

    This paper considers the exploitation of energy harvesting technologies for teams of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs). Traditionally, the optimisation of information gathering tasks such as searching for and tracking new objects, and platform level power management, are only integrated at a mission-management level. In order to truly exploit new energy harvesting technologies which are emerging in both the commercial and military domains (for example the 'EATR' robot and next-generation solar panels), the sensor management and power management processes must be directly coupled. This paper presents a novel non-myopic sensor management framework which addresses this issue through the use of a predictive platform energy model. Energy harvesting opportunities are modelled using a dynamic spatial-temporal energy map and sensor and platform actions are optimised according to global team utility. The framework allows the assessment of a variety of different energy harvesting technologies and perceptive tasks. In this paper, two representative scenarios are used to parameterise the model with specific efficiency and energy abundance figures. Simulation results indicate that the integration of intelligent power management with traditional sensor management processes can significantly increase operational endurance and, in some cases, simultaneously improve surveillance or tracking performance. Furthermore, the framework is used to assess the potential impact of energy harvesting technologies at various efficiency levels. This provides important insight into the potential benefits that intelligent power management can offer in relation to improving system performance and reducing the dependency on fossil fuels and logistical support.

  7. Implementation of a piezoelectric energy harvester in railway health monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jingcheng; Jang, Shinae; Tang, Jiong

    2014-03-01

    With development of wireless sensor technology, wireless sensor network has shown a great potential for railway health monitoring. However, how to supply continuous power to the wireless sensor nodes is one of the critical issues in long-term full-scale deployment of the wireless smart sensors. Some energy harvesting methodologies have been available including solar, vibration, wind, etc; among them, vibration-based energy harvester using piezoelectric material showed the potential for converting ambient vibration energy to electric energy in railway health monitoring even for underground subway systems. However, the piezoelectric energy harvester has two major problems including that it could only generate small amount of energy, and that it should match the exact narrow band natural frequency with the excitation frequency. To overcome these problems, a wide band piezoelectric energy harvester, which could generate more power on various frequencies regions, has been designed and validated with experimental test. Then it was applied to a full-scale field test using actual railway train. The power generation of the wide band piezoelectric array has been compared to a narrow-band, resonant-based, piezoelectric energy harvester.

  8. Synthesis and characterization of porphyrin nanotubes/rods for solar radiation harvesting and solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mongwaketsi, N.; Khamlich, S.; Klumperman, B.; Sparrow, R.; Maaza, M.

    2012-05-01

    Energy transfer and electron transfer events as they occur between well arranged light harvesting antenna molecules, the reaction center and other factors determine the function of natural photosynthesis. The overall small reorganization energy and the well-balanced electronic coupling between each component bear key characters for the unique efficiency of natural photosynthesis. Such aspects permit the design and assembly of artificial systems that efficiently process solar energy, replicating the natural processes. The rich and extensive transitions seen in porphyrin-based materials hold great expectation as light harvesting building blocks in the construction of molecular architectures, allowing an efficient use of the solar spectrum. Hence in this study porphyrin nanorods are synthesized and characterized for future application in the construction of the artificial light harvesting system. Understanding the sizes and growth mechanism of porphyrins nanorods by self-assembly and molecular recognition is essential for their successful implementation in nanodevices. Spectroscopic and microscopic studies were carried out to investigate the effect that time, concentration and solvents have on the fabrication of porphyrin nanorods by ionic self-assembly of two oppositely charged porphyrins. We investigate in details the heteroaggregate behavior formation of [H4TPPS4]2- and [SnTPyP]2+ mixture by means of the UV-vis spectroscopy and aggregates structure and morphology by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). This study demonstrates the potential for using different concentrations and solvents to influence the physical and optical properties of porphyrin based nanorods.

  9. Harvesting Vibrational Energy Using Material Work Functions

    PubMed Central

    Varpula, Aapo; Laakso, Sampo J.; Havia, Tahvo; Kyynäräinen, Jukka; Prunnila, Mika

    2014-01-01

    Vibration energy harvesters scavenge energy from mechanical vibrations to energise low power electronic devices. In this work, we report on vibration energy harvesting scheme based on the charging phenomenon occurring naturally between two bodies with different work functions. Such work function energy harvester (WFEH) is similar to electrostatic energy harvester with the fundamental distinction that neither external power supplies nor electrets are needed. A theoretical model and description of different operation modes of WFEHs are presented. The WFEH concept is tested with macroscopic experiments, which agree well with the model. The feasibility of miniaturizing WFEHs is shown by simulating a realistic MEMS device. The WFEH can be operated as a charge pump that pushes charge and energy into an energy storage element. We show that such an operation mode is highly desirable for applications and that it can be realised with either a charge shuttle or with switches. The WFEH is shown to give equal or better output power in comparison to traditional electrostatic harvesters. Our findings indicate that WFEH has great potential in energy harvesting applications. PMID:25348004

  10. Harvesting Vibrational Energy Using Material Work Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varpula, Aapo; Laakso, Sampo J.; Havia, Tahvo; Kyynäräinen, Jukka; Prunnila, Mika

    2014-10-01

    Vibration energy harvesters scavenge energy from mechanical vibrations to energise low power electronic devices. In this work, we report on vibration energy harvesting scheme based on the charging phenomenon occurring naturally between two bodies with different work functions. Such work function energy harvester (WFEH) is similar to electrostatic energy harvester with the fundamental distinction that neither external power supplies nor electrets are needed. A theoretical model and description of different operation modes of WFEHs are presented. The WFEH concept is tested with macroscopic experiments, which agree well with the model. The feasibility of miniaturizing WFEHs is shown by simulating a realistic MEMS device. The WFEH can be operated as a charge pump that pushes charge and energy into an energy storage element. We show that such an operation mode is highly desirable for applications and that it can be realised with either a charge shuttle or with switches. The WFEH is shown to give equal or better output power in comparison to traditional electrostatic harvesters. Our findings indicate that WFEH has great potential in energy harvesting applications.

  11. A novel miniature thermomagnetic energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Chin-Chung; Chung, Tien-Kan; Cheng, Chi-Cheng; Tseng, Chia-Yuan

    2014-03-01

    Nowadays, thermal-energy-harvesting is an important research topic for powering wireless sensors. Among numerous thermal-energy-harvesting approaches, some researchers demonstrated novel thermomagnetic-energy harvesters to convert a thermal-energy from an ambient temperature-difference to an electrical-output to power the sensors. However, the harvesters are too bulky to be integrated with the sensors embedded in tiny mechanical-structures for some structuralhealth- monitoring applications. Therefore, miniaturized harvesters are needed. Hence, we demonstrate a miniature thermomagnetic-energy harvester. The harvester consists of CuBe-beams, PZT-piezoelectric-sheet, Gd-soft-magnet, NdFeB-hard-magnet, and mechanical-frame. The piezoelectric-sheet and soft-magnet is bounded at fixed-end and freeend of the beams, respectively. The mechanical-frame assembles the beams and hard-magnet. The length×width×thickness of the harvester is 2.5cm×1.7cm×1.5cm. According to this, our harvester is 20-times smaller than the other harvesters. In the initial-state of the energy-harvesting, the beams' free-end is near the cold-side. Thus, the soft-magnet is cooled lower than its curie temperature (Tc) and consequently changed from paramagnetic to ferromagnetic. Therefore, a magnetic-attractive force is produced between the soft-magnet and hard-magnet. Consequently, the beams/soft-magnet are down-pulled toward the hard-magnet fixed on the hot-side. The soft-magnet closing to the hot-side is heated higher than its Tc and subsequently changed to paramagnetic. Consequently, the magnetic-force is eliminated thus the beams are rebounded to the initial-state. Hence, when the harvester is under a temperature-difference, the beams' pulling-down/back process is cyclic. Due to the piezoelectric effect, the piezoelectric-sheet fixed on the beams continuously produces voltage-response. Under the temperature-difference of 29°C, the voltage-response of the harvester is 30.4 mV with an oscillating

  12. Energy harvesting and wireless energy transmission for embedded sensor nodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farinholt, Kevin; Taylor, Stuart; Miller, Nathan; Sifuentes, Wilfredo; Moro, Erik; Park, Gyuhae; Farrar, Charles; Flynn, Eric; Mascarenas, David; Todd, Michael

    2009-03-01

    In this paper, we present experimental investigations using energy harvesting and wireless energy transmission to operate embedded structural health monitoring sensor nodes. The goal of this study is to develop sensing systems that can be permanently embedded within a host structure without the need for an on-board power source. With this approach the required energy will be harvested from the ambient environment, or periodically delivered by a RF energy source to supplement conventional harvesting approaches. This approach combines several transducer types to harvest energy from multiple sources, providing a more robust solution that does not rely on a single energy source. Both piezoelectric and thermoelectric transducers are considered as energy harvesters to extract the ambient energy commonly available on civil structures such as bridges. Methods of increasing the efficiency, energy storage medium, target applications and the integrated use of energy harvesting sources with wireless energy transmission will be discussed.

  13. Solar Energy: Solar System Economics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapp, Henry H., III

    This module on solar system economics is one of six in a series intended for use as supplements to currently available materials on solar energy and energy conservation. Together with the recommended texts and references (sources are identified), these modules provide an effective introduction to energy conservation and solar energy technologies.…

  14. Light-harvesting materials: Soft support for energy conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Stolley, Ryan M.; Helm, Monte L.

    2014-11-10

    To convert solar energy into viable fuel sources, coupling light-harvesting materials to catalysts is a critical challenge. Now, coupling between an organic supramolecular hydrogel and a non precious metal catalyst has been demonstrated to be effective for photocatalytic H2 production. Ryan M. Stolley and Monte L. Helm are at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA, USA 99352. PNNL is operated by Battelle for the US Department of Energy. e-mail: Monte.Helm@pnnl.gov

  15. Internal resonance for nonlinear vibration energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, D. X.; Leadenham, S.; Erturk, A.

    2015-11-01

    The transformation of waste vibration energy into low-power electricity has been heavily researched over the last decade to enable self-sustained wireless electronic components. Monostable and bistable nonlinear oscillators have been explored by several research groups in an effort to enhance the frequency bandwidth of operation. Linear two-degree-of-freedom (2-DOF) configurations as well as the combination of a nonlinear single-DOF harvester with a linear oscillator to constitute a nonlinear 2-DOF harvester have also been explored to develop broadband energy harvesters. In the present work, the concept of nonlinear internal resonance in a continuous frame structure is explored for broadband energy harvesting. The L-shaped beam-mass structure with quadratic nonlinearity was formerly studied in the nonlinear dynamics literature to demonstrate modal energy exchange and the saturation phenomenon when carefully tuned for two-to-one internal resonance. In the current effort, piezoelectric coupling and an electrical load are introduced, and electromechanical equations of the L-shaped energy harvester are employed to explore primary resonance behaviors around the first and the second linear natural frequencies for bandwidth enhancement. Simulations using approximate analytical frequency response equations as well as numerical solutions reveal significant bandwidth enhancement as compared to a typical linear 2-DOF counterpart. Vibration and voltage responses are explored, and the effects of various system parameters on the overall dynamics of the internal resonance-based energy harvesting system are reported.

  16. Collecting Solar Energy. Solar Energy Education Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Brien, Alexander

    This solar energy learning module for use with junior high school students offers a list of activities, a pre-post test, job titles, basic solar energy vocabulary, and diagrams of solar energy collectors and installations. The purpose is to familiarize students with applications of solar energy and titles of jobs where this knowledge could be…

  17. Triboelectric Nanogenerators for Blue Energy Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Khan, Usman; Kim, Sang-Woo

    2016-07-26

    Blue energy in the form of ocean waves offers an enormous energy resource. However, it has yet to be fully exploited in order to make it available for the use of mankind. Blue energy harvesting is a challenging task as the kinetic energy from ocean waves is irregular in amplitude and is at low frequencies. Though electromagnetic generators (EMGs) are well-known for harvesting mechanical kinetic energies, they have a crucial limitation for blue energy conversion. Indeed, the output voltage of EMGs can be impractically low at the low frequencies of ocean waves. In contrast, triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) are highly suitable for blue energy harvesting as they can effectively harvest mechanical energies from low frequencies (<1 Hz) to relatively high frequencies (∼kHz) and are also low-cost, lightweight, and easy to fabricate. Several important steps have been taken by Wang's group to develop TENG technology for blue energy harvesting. In this Perspective, we describe some of the recent progress and also address concerns related to durable packaging of TENGs in consideration of harsh marine environments and power management for an efficient power transfer and distribution for commercial applications. PMID:27408982

  18. Enhanced energy harvesting in commercial ferroelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patel, Satyanarayan; Chauhan, Aditya; Vaish, Rahul

    2014-04-01

    Ferroelectric materials are used in a number of applications ranging from simple sensors and actuators to ferroelectric random access memories (FRAMs), transducers, health monitoring system and microelectronics. The multiphysical coupling ability possessed by these materials has been established to be useful for energy harvesting applications. However, conventional energy harvesting techniques employing ferroelectric materials possess low energy density. This has prevented the successful commercialization of ferroelectric based energy harvesting systems. In this context, the present study aims at proposing a novel approach for enhanced energy harvesting using commercially available ferroelectric materials. This technique was simulated to be used for two commercially available piezoelectric materials namely PKI-552 and APCI-840, soft and hard lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) pervoskite ceramics, respectively. It was observed that a maximum energy density of 348 kJm-3cycle-1 can be obtained for cycle parameters of (0-1 ton compressive stress and 1-25 kV.cm-1 electric field) using APCI-840. The reported energy density is several hundred times larger than the maximum energy density reported in the literature for vibration harvesting systems.

  19. MEMS electromagnetic energy harvesters with multiple resonances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelatury, Sudarshan R.; Gray, Robert

    2014-06-01

    There is going on a flurry of research activity in the development of effcient energy harvesters from all branches of energy conversion. The need for developing self-powered wireless sensors and actuators to be employed in unmanned combat vehicles also seems to grow steadily. These vehicles are inducted into perilous war zones for silent watch missions. Energy management is sometimes carried out using misson-aware energy expenditure strategies. Also, when there is a requirement for constant monitoring of events, the sensors and the subsystems of combat vehicles require energy harvesters that can operate over a discrete set of spot frequencies. This paper attempts to review some of the recent techniques and the energy harvesting devices based on electromagnetic and electromechanical principles. In particular, we shall discuss the design and performance of a MEMS-harvester that exhibits multiple resonances. Frequency response of a simulated electromagnetic harvester is plotted. It has three dominant peaks at three different resonant frequencies. Variation in the load power in the normalized units as a function of load is found, which determines the matched load resistance.

  20. Practical implementation of piezoelectric energy harvesting synchronized switching schemes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlichting, Alexander D.; Phadke, Ajay; Garcia, Ephrahim

    2013-04-01

    Many closed-loop control methods for increasing the power output from piezoelectric energy harvesters have been investigated over the past decade. Initial work started with the application of Maximum Power Point Tracking techniques (MPPT) developed for solar power. More recent schemes have focused on taking advantage of the capacitive nature of piezoelectric harvesters to manipulate the transfer of energy from the piezoelectric to the storage element. There have been a couple of main techniques investigated in the literature: Synchronous Charge Extraction (SCE), Synchronized Switching and Discharging to a Capacitor through an Inductor (SSDCI), Synchronized Switch Harvesting on an Inductor (SSHI), and Piezoelectric Pre-Biasing (PPB). While significant increases in harvested power are seen both theoretically and experimentally using powerful external control systems, the applicability of these methods depends highly on the performance and efficiency of the system which implements the synchronized switching. Many piezoelectric energy harvesting systems are used to power devices controlled by a microcontroller (MCU), making them readily available for switching control methods. This work focuses on the practical questions which dictate the applicability of synchronized switching techniques using MCU-based switching control.

  1. Energy harvesting from an autoparametric vibration absorber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Zhimiao; Hajj, Muhammad R.

    2015-11-01

    The combined control and energy harvesting characteristics of an autoparametric vibration absorber consisting of a base structure subjected to the external force and a cantilever beam with a tip mass are investigated. The piezoelectric sheets are attached to the cantilever beam to convert the vibrations of the base structure into electrical energy. The coupled nonlinear representative model is developed by using the extended Hamiton’s principle. The effects of the electrical load resistance on the frequency and damping ratio of the cantilever beam are analyzed. The impacts of the external force and load resistance on the structural displacements of the base structure and the beam and on the level of harvested energy are determined. The results show that the initial conditions have a significant impact on the system’s response. The relatively high level of energy harvesting is not necessarily accompanied with the minimum displacements of the base structure.

  2. A self-adaptive energy harvesting system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffmann, D.; Willmann, A.; Hehn, T.; Folkmer, B.; Manoli, Y.

    2016-03-01

    This paper reports on a self-adaptive energy harvesting system, which is able to adapt its eigenfrequency to the operating conditions of power units. The power required for frequency tuning is delivered by the energy harvester itself. The tuning mechanism is based on a magnetic concept and incorporates a circular tuning magnet and a coupling magnet. In this manner, both coupling modes (attractive and repulsive) can be utilized for tuning the eigenfrequency of the energy harvester. The tuning range and its center frequency can be tailored to the application by careful design of the spring stiffness and the gap between tuning magnet and coupling magnet. Experimental results demonstrate that, in contrast to a conventional non-tunable vibration energy harvester, the net power can be significantly increased if a self-adaptive system is utilized, although additional power is required for regular adjustments of the eigenfrequency. The outcome confirms that active tuning is a real and practical option to extend the operational frequency range and to increase the net power of a conventional vibration energy harvester.

  3. A novel bistable energy harvesting concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarselli, G.; Nicassio, F.; Pinto, F.; Ciampa, F.; Iervolino, O.; Meo, M.

    2016-05-01

    Bistable energy harvesting has become a major field of research due to some unique features for converting mechanical energy into electrical power. When properly loaded, bistable structures snap-through from one stable configuration to another, causing large strains and consequently power generation. Moreover, bistable structures can harvest energy across a broad-frequency bandwidth due to their nonlinear characteristics. Despite the fact that snap-through may be triggered regardless of the form or frequency of exciting vibration, the external force must reach a specific snap-through activation threshold value to trigger the transition from one stable state to another. This aspect is a limiting factor for realistic vibration energy harvesting application with bistable devices. This paper presents a novel power harvesting concept for bistable composites based on a ‘lever effect’ aimed at minimising the activation force to cause the snap through by choosing properly the bistable structures’ constraints. The concept was demonstrated with the help of numerical simulation and experimental testing. The results showed that the actuation force is one order of magnitude smaller (3%-6%) than the activation force of conventionally constrained bistable devices. In addition, it was shown that the output voltage was higher than the conventional configuration, leading to a significant increase in power generation. This novel concept could lead to a new generation of more efficient bistable energy harvesters for realistic vibration environments.

  4. Solar energy collector

    DOEpatents

    Brin, Raymond L.; Pace, Thomas L.

    1978-01-01

    The invention relates to a solar energy collector comprising solar energy absorbing material within chamber having a transparent wall, solar energy being transmitted through the transparent wall, and efficiently absorbed by the absorbing material, for transfer to a heat transfer fluid. The solar energy absorbing material, of generally foraminous nature, absorbs and transmits the solar energy with improved efficiency.

  5. Solar Energy and You.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conservation and Renewable Energy Inquiry and Referral Service (DOE), Silver Spring, MD.

    This booklet provides an introduction to solar energy by discussing: (1) how a home is heated; (2) how solar energy can help in the heating process; (3) the characteristics of passive solar houses; (4) the characteristics of active solar houses; (5) how solar heat is stored; and (6) other uses of solar energy. Also provided are 10 questions to…

  6. Optimal Energy Transfer in Light-Harvesting Systems.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lipeng; Shenai, Prathamesh; Zheng, Fulu; Somoza, Alejandro; Zhao, Yang

    2015-01-01

    Photosynthesis is one of the most essential biological processes in which specialized pigment-protein complexes absorb solar photons, and with a remarkably high efficiency, guide the photo-induced excitation energy toward the reaction center to subsequently trigger its conversion to chemical energy. In this work, we review the principles of optimal energy transfer in various natural and artificial light harvesting systems. We begin by presenting the guiding principles for optimizing the energy transfer efficiency in systems connected to dissipative environments, with particular attention paid to the potential role of quantum coherence in light harvesting systems. We will comment briefly on photo-protective mechanisms in natural systems that ensure optimal functionality under varying ambient conditions. For completeness, we will also present an overview of the charge separation and electron transfer pathways in reaction centers. Finally, recent theoretical and experimental progress on excitation energy transfer, charge separation, and charge transport in artificial light harvesting systems is delineated, with organic solar cells taken as prime examples. PMID:26307957

  7. Intense red-emitting multi-rare-earth doped nanoparticles of YVO4 for spectrum conversion towards improved energy harvesting by solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Vineet; Khan, A. F.; Chawla, Santa

    2013-09-01

    Yttrium vanadate nano-particles doped with single and multi ions (Sm3+, Eu3+, Bi3+) have been successfully synthesized at room temperature by optimized co-precipitation method. Doped orthovanadate forms monophasic nanocrystals in the 10-50 nm size range. Photoluminescence (PL) excitation shows broad band in the range 250-350 nm due to vanadate absorption and sharp peaks in the range of 390-470 nm due to f-f transitions of Sm3+/Eu3+ and emission in intense red/orange (614, 645, 699 nm). The nanoparticles can efficiently convert UV and blue photons (250-470 nm) to intense red and orange light that can be harnessed by both Si and dye sensitized solar cells for photovoltaic conversion. PL and time-resolved decay suggest that excitation and charge transfer between host, dopant and co-dopants play a profound role in the photophysical processes of multi-ion doped yttrium vanadate nanophosphor. Thin films of such nanophosphor exhibit 80-90% transparency in the visible range. Nanophosphor films convert UV to visible leading to better photon harvesting by solar cells.

  8. Plucked piezoelectric bimorphs for energy harvesting applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pozzi, Michele; Zhu, Meiling

    2011-06-01

    The modern drive towards mobility and wireless devices is motivating intense research in energy harvesting (EH) technologies. In an effort to reduce the battery burden of people, we are investigating a novel piezoelectric wearable energy harvester. As piezoelectric EH is significantly more effective at high frequencies, in opposition to the characteristically low-frequency human activities, we propose the use of an up-conversion strategy analogous to the pizzicato musical technique. In order to guide the design of such harvester, we have modelled with Finite Elements (FE) the response and power generation of a piezoelectric bimorph while it is "plucked", i.e. deflected, then released and permitted to vibrate freely. An experimental rig has been devised and set up to reproduce the action of the bimorph in the harvester. Measurements of the voltage output and the energy dissipated across a series resistor are reported and compared with the FE predictions. As the novel harvester will feature a number of bimorphs, each plucked tens of times per step, we predict a total power output of several mW, with imperceptible effect on the wearer's gait.

  9. Double synchronized switch harvesting (DSSH): a new energy harvesting scheme for efficient energy extraction.

    PubMed

    Lallart, Mickaël; Garbuio, Lauric; Petit, Lionel; Richard, Claude; Guyomar, Daniel

    2008-10-01

    This paper presents a new technique for optimized energy harvesting using piezoelectric microgenerators called double synchronized switch harvesting (DSSH). This technique consists of a nonlinear treatment of the output voltage of the piezoelectric element. It also integrates an intermediate switching stage that ensures an optimal harvested power whatever the load connected to the microgenerator. Theoretical developments are presented considering either constant vibration magnitude, constant driving force, or independent extraction. Then experimental measurements are carried out to validate the theoretical predictions. This technique exhibits a constant output power for a wide range of load connected to the microgenerator. In addition, the extracted power obtained using such a technique allows a gain up to 500% in terms of maximal power output compared with the standard energy harvesting method. It is also shown that such a technique allows a fine-tuning of the trade-off between vibration damping and energy harvesting. PMID:18986861

  10. An Energy Aware Adaptive Sampling Algorithm for Energy Harvesting WSN with Energy Hungry Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Srbinovski, Bruno; Magno, Michele; Edwards-Murphy, Fiona; Pakrashi, Vikram; Popovici, Emanuel

    2016-01-01

    Wireless sensor nodes have a limited power budget, though they are often expected to be functional in the field once deployed for extended periods of time. Therefore, minimization of energy consumption and energy harvesting technology in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are key tools for maximizing network lifetime, and achieving self-sustainability. This paper proposes an energy aware Adaptive Sampling Algorithm (ASA) for WSN with power hungry sensors and harvesting capabilities, an energy management technique that can be implemented on any WSN platform with enough processing power to execute the proposed algorithm. An existing state-of-the-art ASA developed for wireless sensor networks with power hungry sensors is optimized and enhanced to adapt the sampling frequency according to the available energy of the node. The proposed algorithm is evaluated using two in-field testbeds that are supplied by two different energy harvesting sources (solar and wind). Simulation and comparison between the state-of-the-art ASA and the proposed energy aware ASA (EASA) in terms of energy durability are carried out using in-field measured harvested energy (using both wind and solar sources) and power hungry sensors (ultrasonic wind sensor and gas sensors). The simulation results demonstrate that using ASA in combination with an energy aware function on the nodes can drastically increase the lifetime of a WSN node and enable self-sustainability. In fact, the proposed EASA in conjunction with energy harvesting capability can lead towards perpetual WSN operation and significantly outperform the state-of-the-art ASA. PMID:27043559

  11. An Energy Aware Adaptive Sampling Algorithm for Energy Harvesting WSN with Energy Hungry Sensors.

    PubMed

    Srbinovski, Bruno; Magno, Michele; Edwards-Murphy, Fiona; Pakrashi, Vikram; Popovici, Emanuel

    2016-01-01

    Wireless sensor nodes have a limited power budget, though they are often expected to be functional in the field once deployed for extended periods of time. Therefore, minimization of energy consumption and energy harvesting technology in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are key tools for maximizing network lifetime, and achieving self-sustainability. This paper proposes an energy aware Adaptive Sampling Algorithm (ASA) for WSN with power hungry sensors and harvesting capabilities, an energy management technique that can be implemented on any WSN platform with enough processing power to execute the proposed algorithm. An existing state-of-the-art ASA developed for wireless sensor networks with power hungry sensors is optimized and enhanced to adapt the sampling frequency according to the available energy of the node. The proposed algorithm is evaluated using two in-field testbeds that are supplied by two different energy harvesting sources (solar and wind). Simulation and comparison between the state-of-the-art ASA and the proposed energy aware ASA (EASA) in terms of energy durability are carried out using in-field measured harvested energy (using both wind and solar sources) and power hungry sensors (ultrasonic wind sensor and gas sensors). The simulation results demonstrate that using ASA in combination with an energy aware function on the nodes can drastically increase the lifetime of a WSN node and enable self-sustainability. In fact, the proposed EASA in conjunction with energy harvesting capability can lead towards perpetual WSN operation and significantly outperform the state-of-the-art ASA. PMID:27043559

  12. Subwavelength resonant antennas enhancing electromagnetic energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oumbe Tekam, Gabin; Ginis, Vincent; Seetharamdoo, Divitha; Danckaert, Jan

    2016-04-01

    In this work, an electromagnetic energy harvester operating at microwave frequencies is designed based on a cut- wire metasurface. This metamaterial is known to contain a quasistatic electric dipole resonator leading to a strong resonant electric response when illuminated by electromagnetic fields.1 Starting from an equivalent electrical circuit, we analytically design the parameters of the system to tune the resonance frequency of the harvester at the desired frequency band. Subsequently, we compare these results with numerical simulations, which have been obtained using finite elements numerical simulations. Finally, we optimize the design by investigating the best arrangement for energy harvesting by coupling in parallel and in series many single layers of cut-wire metasurfaces. We also discuss the implementation of different geometries and sizes of the cut-wire metasurface for achieving different center frequencies and bandwidths.

  13. Piezoelectric energy harvesting from raised crosswalk devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ticali, Dario; Denaro, Mario; Barracco, Alessandro; Guerrieri, Marco

    2015-03-01

    This paper presents the main characteristics of an experimental energy harvesting device that can be used to recover energy from the vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The use of a piezoelectric bender devices leads to a innovative approach to Henergy Harvesting. The study focuses on the definition and specification of a mechanical configuration able to transfer the vibration from the main box to the piezoelectric transducer. The piezoelectric devices tested is the commonly used monolithic piezoceramic material lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT). The experimental results estimate the efficiency of this device tested and identify the feasibility of their use in real world applications. The results presented in this paper show the potential of piezoelectric materials for use in power harvesting applications.

  14. Piezoelectric monolayers as nonlinear energy harvesters.

    PubMed

    López-Suárez, Miquel; Pruneda, Miguel; Abadal, Gabriel; Rurali, Riccardo

    2014-05-01

    We study the dynamics of h-BN monolayers by first performing ab-initio calculations of the deformation potential energy and then solving numerically a Langevine-type equation to explore their use in nonlinear vibration energy harvesting devices. An applied compressive strain is used to drive the system into a nonlinear bistable regime, where quasi-harmonic vibrations are combined with low-frequency swings between the minima of a double-well potential. Due to its intrinsic piezoelectric response, the nonlinear mechanical harvester naturally provides an electrical power that is readily available or can be stored by simply contacting the monolayer at its ends. Engineering the induced nonlinearity, a 20 nm2 device is predicted to harvest an electrical power of up to 0.18 pW for a noisy vibration of 5 pN. PMID:24722065

  15. Cyclic energy harvesting from pyroelectric materials.

    PubMed

    Mane, Poorna; Xie, Jingsi; Leang, Kam K; Mossi, Karla

    2011-01-01

    A method of continuously harvesting energy from pyroelectric materials is demonstrated using an innovative cyclic heating scheme. In traditional pyroelectric energy harvesting methods, static heating sources are used, and most of the available energy has to be harvested at once. A cyclic heating system is developed such that the temperature varies between hot and cold regions. Although the energy harvested during each period of the heating cycle is small, the accumulated total energy over time may exceed traditional methods. Three materials are studied: a commonly available soft lead zirconate titanate (PZT), a pre-stressed PZT composite, and single-crystal PMN-30PT. Radiation heating and natural cooling are used such that, at smaller cyclic frequencies, the temporal rate of change in temperature is large enough to produce high power densities. The maximum power density of 8.64 μW/cm3 is generated with a PMN-30PT single crystal at an angular velocity of 0.64 rad/s with a rate of 8.5°C/s. The pre-stressed PZT composite generated a power density of 6.31 μW/cm(3), which is 40% larger than the density of 4.48 μW/cm3 obtained from standard PZT. PMID:21244970

  16. A hybrid indoor ambient light and vibration energy harvester for wireless sensor nodes.

    PubMed

    Yu, Hua; Yue, Qiuqin; Zhou, Jielin; Wang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    To take advantage of applications where both light and vibration energy are available, a hybrid indoor ambient light and vibration energy harvesting scheme is proposed in this paper. This scheme uses only one power conditioning circuit to condition the combined output power harvested from both energy sources so as to reduce the power dissipation. In order to more accurately predict the instantaneous power harvested from the solar panel, an improved five-parameter model for small-scale solar panel applying in low light illumination is presented. The output voltage is increased by using the MEMS piezoelectric cantilever arrays architecture. It overcomes the disadvantage of traditional MEMS vibration energy harvester with low voltage output. The implementation of the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) for indoor ambient light is implemented using analog discrete components, which improves the whole harvester efficiency significantly compared to the digital signal processor. The output power of the vibration energy harvester is improved by using the impedance matching technique. An efficient mechanism of energy accumulation and bleed-off is also discussed. Experiment results obtained from an amorphous-silicon (a-Si) solar panel of 4.8 × 2.0 cm2 and a fabricated piezoelectric MEMS generator of 11 × 12.4 mm2 show that the hybrid energy harvester achieves a maximum efficiency around 76.7%. PMID:24854054

  17. Energy Harvesting From Low Frequency Applications Using Piezoelectric Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Huidong; Tian, Chuan; Deng, Zhiqun

    2014-11-06

    This paper reviewed the state of research on piezoelectric energy harvesters. Various types of harvester configurations, piezoelectric materials, and techniques used to improve the mechanical-to-electrical energy conversion efficiency were discussed. Most of the piezoelectric energy harvesters studied today have focused on scavenging mechanical energy from vibration sources due to their abundance in both natural and industrial environments. Cantilever beams have been the most studied structure for piezoelectric energy harvester to date because of the high responsiveness to small vibrations.

  18. Energy harvesting through wind excitation of a piezoelectric flag-like harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truitt, Andrew

    This study seeks to propose a novel approach to wind-based piezoelectric energy harvesting. A brief literature review of energy harvesting followed by a discussion of piezoelectric system dynamics is offered. Biomedical applications for piezoelectric energy harvesting are then presented offering a segue into fluid based energy harvesting. Fluid based energy harvesting is a relatively young subfield within piezoelectric energy harvesting, but it is increasingly pursued due to the ubiquitous nature of the excitation source as well as the strong correlation with other types of excitation. Vortex-induced vibrations (VIV), as well as vibrations induced by bluff bodies, and the effect of their shape on potential gains have been investigated. The interactions of VIVs on a flag-like membrane form the foundation for the piezoelectric energy harvester in this study. Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) piezoelectric energy harvesters are chosen due to their desirable flexibility. Modeling of flag-like systems is review followed by system modeling of a PVDF piezoelectric flag. Numerical and experimental results from the PVDF flag-like piezoelectric energy harvester are generated and compared. A maximum power output of 1.5 mW is achieved with the flag-like system which is competitive when compared to power output and energy density levels of other studies. The power output of this system provides concrete evidence for the effective use of not only this type of energy harvester system model but also for the use of PVDFs in wind-based applications.

  19. Tree-inspired piezoelectric energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobbs, William B.; Hu, David L.

    2012-01-01

    We design and test micro-watt energy-harvesters inspired by tree trunks swaying in the wind. A uniform flow vibrates a linear array of four cylinders affixed to piezoelectric energy transducers. Particular attention is paid to measuring the energy generated as a function of cylinder spacing, flow speed, and relative position of the cylinder within the array. Peak power is generated using cylinder center-to-center spacings of 3.3 diameters and flow speeds in which the vortex shedding frequency is 1.6 times the natural frequency of the cylinders. Using these flow speeds and spacings, the power generated by downstream cylinders can exceed that of leading cylinders by more than an order of magnitude. We visualize the flow in this system by studying the behavior of a dynamically matched flowing soap film with imbedded styrofoam disks. Our qualitative visualizations suggest that peak energy harvesting occurs under conditions in which vortices have fully detached from the leading cylinder.

  20. Two degrees of freedom piezoelectric vibration energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wei; Liu, Shengsheng; Cao, Junyi; Zhou, Shengxi; Lin, Jing

    2016-04-01

    Recently, vibration energy harvesting from surrounding environments to power wearable devices and wireless sensors in structure health monitoring has received considerable interest. Piezoelectric conversion mechanism has been employed to develop many successful energy harvesting devices due to its simple structure, long life span, high harvesting efficiency and so on. However, there are many difficulties of microscale cantilever configurations in energy harvesting from low frequency ambient. In order to improve the adaptability of energy harvesting from ambient vibrations, a two degrees of freedom (2-DOF) magnetic-coupled piezoelectric energy harvester is proposed in this paper. The electromechanical governing models of the cantilever and clamped hybrid energy harvester are derived to describe the dynamic characteristics for 2-DOF magnetic-coupled piezoelectric vibration energy harvester. Numerical simulations based on Matlab and ANSYS software show that the proposed magnetically coupled energy harvester can enhance the effective operating frequency bandwidth and increase the energy density. The experimental voltage responses of 2-DOF harvester under different structure parameters are acquired to demonstrate the effectiveness of the lumped parameter model for low frequency excitations. Moreover, the proposed energy harvester can enhance the energy harvesting performance over a wider bandwidth of low frequencies and has a great potential for broadband vibration energy harvesting.

  1. Energy-harvesting at the Nanoscale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, Andrew; Sothmann, Björn; Sánchez, Rafael; Büttiker, Markus

    2013-03-01

    Energy harvesting is the process by which energy is taken from the environment and transformed to provide power for electronics. Specifically, the conversion of thermal energy into electrical power, or thermoelectrics, can play a crucial role in future developments of alternative sources of energy. Unfortunately, present thermoelectrics have low efficiency. Therefore, an important task in condensed matter physics is to find new ways to harvest ambient thermal energy, particularly at the smallest length scales where electronics operate. To achieve this goal, there is on one hand the miniaturizing of electrical devices, and on the other, the maximization of either efficiency or power the devices produce. We will present the theory of nano heat engines able to efficiently convert heat into electrical power. We propose a resonant tunneling quantum dot engine that can be operated either in the Carnot efficient mode, or maximal power mode. The ability to scale the power by putting many such engines in a ``Swiss cheese sandwich'' geometry gives a paradigmatic system for harvesting thermal energy at the nanoscale. This work was supported by the US NSF Grant No. DMR-0844899, the Swiss NSF, the NCCR MaNEP and QSIT, the European STREP project Nanopower, the CSIC and FSE JAE-Doc program, the Spanish MAT2011-24331 and the ITN Grant 234970 (EU)

  2. Piezoelectric energy harvesting from hybrid vibrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Zhimiao; Abdelkefi, Abdessattar; Hajj, Muhammad R.

    2014-02-01

    The concept of harvesting energy from ambient and galloping vibrations of a bluff body with a triangular cross-section geometry is investigated. A piezoelectric transducer is attached to the transverse degree of freedom of the body in order to convert these vibrations to electrical energy. A coupled nonlinear distributed-parameter model is developed that takes into consideration the galloping force and moment nonlinearities and the base excitation effects. The aerodynamic loads are modeled using the quasi-steady approximation. Linear analysis is performed to determine the effects of the electrical load resistance and wind speed on the global damping and frequency of the harvester as well as on the onset of instability. Then, nonlinear analysis is performed to investigate the impact of the base acceleration, wind speed, and electrical load resistance on the performance of the harvester and the associated nonlinear phenomena that take place. The results show that, depending on the interaction between the base and galloping excitations, and the considered values of the wind speed, base acceleration, and electrical load resistance, different nonlinear phenomena arise while others disappear. Short- and open-circuit configurations for different wind speeds and base accelerations are assessed. The results show that the maximum levels of harvested power are accompanied by a minimum transverse displacement when varying the electrical load resistance.

  3. Energy harvesting in high voltage measuring techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Żyłka, Pawel; Doliński, Marcin

    2016-02-01

    The paper discusses selected problems related to application of energy harvesting (that is, generating electricity from surplus energy present in the environment) to supply autonomous ultra-low-power measurement systems applicable in high voltage engineering. As a practical example of such implementation a laboratory model of a remote temperature sensor is presented, which is self-powered by heat generated in a current-carrying busbar in HV- switchgear. Presented system exploits a thermoelectric harvester based on a passively cooled Peltier module supplying micro-power low-voltage dc-dc converter driving energy-efficient temperature sensor, microcontroller and a fibre-optic transmitter. Performance of the model in laboratory simulated conditions are presented and discussed.

  4. Vibration energy harvesting with polyphase AC transducers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCullagh, James J.; Scruggs, Jeffrey T.; Asai, Takehiko

    2016-04-01

    Three-phase transduction affords certain advantages in the efficient electromechanical conversion of energy, especially at higher power scales. This paper considers the use of a three-phase electric machine for harvesting energy from vibrations. We consider the use of vector control techniques, which are common in the area of industrial electronics, for optimizing the feedback loops in a stochastically-excited energy harvesting system. To do this, we decompose the problem into two separate feedback loops for direct and quadrature current components, and illustrate how each might be separately optimized to maximize power output. In a simple analytical example, we illustrate how these techniques might be used to gain insight into the tradeoffs in the design of the electronic hardware and the choice of bus voltage.

  5. Opportunities for energy harvesting in automobile factories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adegoke, E. I.; Edwards, R. M.; Whittow, Will; Bindel, Axel; Peca, Marco

    2016-04-01

    This paper investigates the opportunities of deploying distributed sensors within the manufacturing environment of a large scale automobile plant using energy harvesting techniques. Measurements were taken in three domains at the plant in order to characterize ambient energy. Due to the location of the plant, the RF power density for radio access technologies present varied between -127 dBm/cm2 and -113 dBm/cm2. The maximum temperature difference measured within accessible distance from machine parts on the production lines surveyed was 10°C. Indoor lighting was dominant at the plant via fluorescent tubes, with average irradiance of 1 W/m2. The results obtained from this measurement campaign showed that indoor lighting was the most suitable ambient source for energy harvesting.

  6. Improving an energy harvesting device for railroad safety applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pourghodrat, Abolfazl; Nelson, Carl A.; Phillips, Kyle J.; Fateh, Mahmood

    2011-03-01

    Due to hundreds of fatalities annually at unprotected railroad crossings (mostly because of collisions with passenger vehicles and derailments resulting from improperly maintained tracks and mechanical failures), supplying a reliable source of electrical energy to power crossing lights and distributed sensor networks is essential to improve safety. With regard to the high cost of electrical infrastructure for railroad crossings in remote areas and the lack of reliability and robustness of solar and wind energy solutions, development of alternative energy harvesting devices is of interest. In this paper, improvements to a mechanical energy harvesting device are presented. The device scavenges electrical energy from deflection of railroad track due to passing railcar traffic. It is mounted to and spans two rail ties and converts and magnifies the track's entire upward and downward displacement into rotational motion of a PMDC generator. The major improvements to the new prototype include: harvesting power from upward displacement in addition to downward, changing the gearing and generator in order to maximize power production capacity for the same shaft speed, and improving the way the system is stabilized for minimizing lost motion. The improved prototype was built, and simulations and tests were conducted to quantify the effects of the improvements.

  7. A nonlinear energy sink with an energy harvester: Transient responses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kremer, Daniel; Liu, Kefu

    2014-09-01

    This paper investigates energy harvesting using nonlinear energy sink. First a novel apparatus is described in detail outlining how the essential nonlinearity and energy harvesting are achieved. Then the system modeling is addressed, including the equations of motion for the mechanical system and the electromechanical system, and a formula for the transduction factor. The experimental identification is conducted to determine several key parameters and relationships. Using the established models, a computer simulation is carried out to investigate the apparatuss performance under transient responses in terms of vibration absorption and energy harvesting. Finally experiments are conducted to validate the simulation results. It is shown that the system performs well, being capable of energy localization as well as broad band vibration absorption. The system is also shown to be capable of harvesting energy.

  8. Light harvesting of silicon nanostructure for solar cells application.

    PubMed

    Li, Yingfeng; Yue, Luo; Luo, Younan; Liu, Wenjian; Li, Meicheng

    2016-07-11

    Silicon nanostructures have light-harvesting effects for enhancing the performance of solar cells. Based on theoretical investigations on the optical properties of silicon nanowire (Si NW), the influencing laws of the size of Si NW on its light-harvesting effect are proposed. For the first time, we reveal that the resonant wavelength of Si NW predicted by the leaky mode theory does not correspond to the actual resonant wavelength calculated by the discrete dipole approximation method, but exactly coincides with the leftmost wavelength of the resonance peak. Then, the size dependency of the resonant intensity and width of Si NW is different from that of spherical nanoparticles, which can be deduced from the Mie theory. The size dependencies of resonant intensity and width are also applicative for silver/silicon composite nanowires. In addition, it is found that the harvested light by the Si and Ag/Si NW both show significant radial locality feature. The insight in this work is fundamental for the design and fabrication of efficient light -harvesting nanostructures for photovoltaic devices. PMID:27410895

  9. Conversion of solar energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semenov, N. N.; Shilov, A. E.

    The papers presented in this volume provide an overview of current theoretical and experimental research related to the conversion and practical utilization of solar energy. Topics discussed include semiconductor photovoltaic cells, orbital solar power stations, chemical and biological methods of solar energy conversion, and solar energy applications. Papers are included on new theoretical models of solar cells and prospects for increasing their efficiency, metrology and optical studies of solar cells, and some problems related to the thermally induced deformations of large space structures.

  10. Flexible piezoelectric energy harvesting from jaw movements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delnavaz, Aidin; Voix, Jérémie

    2014-10-01

    Piezoelectric fiber composites (PFC) represent an interesting subset of smart materials that can function as sensor, actuator and energy converter. Despite their excellent potential for energy harvesting, very few PFC mechanisms have been developed to capture the human body power and convert it into an electric current to power wearable electronic devices. This paper provides a proof of concept for a head-mounted device with a PFC chin strap capable of harvesting energy from jaw movements. An electromechanical model based on the bond graph method is developed to predict the power output of the energy harvesting system. The optimum resistance value of the load and the best stretch ratio in the strap are also determined. A prototype was developed and tested and its performances were compared to the analytical model predictions. The proposed piezoelectric strap mechanism can be added to all types of head-mounted devices to power small-scale electronic devices such as hearing aids, electronic hearing protectors and communication earpieces.

  11. Heat to electricity conversion by cold carrier emissive energy harvesters

    SciTech Connect

    Strandberg, Rune

    2015-12-07

    This paper suggests a method to convert heat to electricity by the use of devices called cold carrier emissive energy harvesters (cold carrier EEHs). The working principle of such converters is explained and theoretical power densities and efficiencies are calculated for ideal devices. Cold carrier EEHs are based on the same device structure as hot carrier solar cells, but works in an opposite way. Whereas a hot carrier solar cell receives net radiation from the sun and converts some of this radiative heat flow into electricity, a cold carrier EEH sustains a net outflux of radiation to the surroundings while converting some of the energy supplied to it into electricity. It is shown that the most basic type of cold carrier EEHs have the same theoretical efficiency as the ideal emissive energy harvesters described earlier by Byrnes et al. In the present work, it is also shown that if the emission from the cold carrier EEH originates from electron transitions across an energy gap where a difference in the chemical potential of the electrons above and below the energy gap is sustained, power densities slightly higher than those given by Byrnes et al. can be achieved.

  12. Heat to electricity conversion by cold carrier emissive energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strandberg, Rune

    2015-12-01

    This paper suggests a method to convert heat to electricity by the use of devices called cold carrier emissive energy harvesters (cold carrier EEHs). The working principle of such converters is explained and theoretical power densities and efficiencies are calculated for ideal devices. Cold carrier EEHs are based on the same device structure as hot carrier solar cells, but works in an opposite way. Whereas a hot carrier solar cell receives net radiation from the sun and converts some of this radiative heat flow into electricity, a cold carrier EEH sustains a net outflux of radiation to the surroundings while converting some of the energy supplied to it into electricity. It is shown that the most basic type of cold carrier EEHs have the same theoretical efficiency as the ideal emissive energy harvesters described earlier by Byrnes et al. In the present work, it is also shown that if the emission from the cold carrier EEH originates from electron transitions across an energy gap where a difference in the chemical potential of the electrons above and below the energy gap is sustained, power densities slightly higher than those given by Byrnes et al. can be achieved.

  13. Human Motion Energy Harvesting for AAL Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ylli, K.; Hoffmann, D.; Becker, P.; Willmann, A.; Folkmer, B.; Manoli, Y.

    2014-11-01

    Research and development into the topic of ambient assisted living has led to an increasing range of devices that facilitate a person's life. The issue of the power supply of these modern mobile systems however has not been solved satisfactorily yet. In this paper a flat inductive multi-coil harvester for integration into the shoe sole is presented. The device is designed for ambient assisted living (AAL) applications and particularly to power a self-lacing shoe. The harvester exploits the horizontal swing motion of the foot to generate energy. Stacks of opposing magnets move through a number of equally spaced coils to induce a voltage. The requirement of a flat structure which can be integrated into the shoe sole is met by a reduced form factor of the magnet stack. In order to exploit the full width of the shoe sole, supporting structures are used to parallelize the harvester and therefore increase the number of active elements, i.e. magnets and coils. The development and characterization of different harvester variations is presented with the best tested design generating an average power of up to 2.14 mW at a compact device size of 75 × 41.5 × 15 mm3 including housing.

  14. Solar Energy Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    Calibrated in kilowatt hours per square meter, the solar counter produced by Dodge Products, Inc. provides a numerical count of the solar energy that has accumulated on a surface. Solar energy sensing, measuring and recording devices in corporate solar cell technology developed by Lewis Research Center. Customers for their various devices include architects, engineers and others engaged in construction and operation of solar energy facilities; manufacturers of solar systems or solar related products, such as glare reducing windows; and solar energy planners in federal and state government agencies.

  15. On thermoelectric and pyroelectric energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebald, Gael; Guyomar, Daniel; Agbossou, Amen

    2009-12-01

    This paper deals with small-power energy harvesting from heat. It can be achieved using both thermoelectric and pyroelectric effects. In the first case, temperature gradients are necessary. The main difficulty of thermoelectric energy harvesting is imposing a large temperature gradient. This requires huge heat flows because of the limited surface heat exchanges and the large heat conductivity of thermoelectric materials. This results in a drastic decrease of power and the efficiency of conversion. In case of pyroelectric energy harvesting, a time varying temperature is necessary. Although such a temperature time profile is hard to find, the overall optimization is easier than the thermoelectric strategy. Indeed, it depends much less on heat exchange between the sample and the outer medium, than on heat capacity that dimensions optimization may easily compensate. As a consequence, it is shown that the efficiency and output power may be much larger using pyroelectric energy harvesting than thermoelectric methods. For instance, using a limited temperature gradient due to the limited heat exchange, a maximum efficiency of 1.7% of Carnot efficiency can be expected using a thermoelectric module. On the contrary, a pyroelectric device may reach an efficiency up to 50% of Carnot efficiency. Finally, an illustration shows an estimation of the output power that could be expected from natural time variations of temperature of a wearable device. Power peaks up to 0.2 mW cm-3 were found and a mean power of 1 µW cm-3 on average was determined within 24 h testing.

  16. Recent Advancements in Nanogenerators for Energy Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Hu, Fei; Cai, Qian; Liao, Fan; Shao, Mingwang; Lee, Shuit-Tong

    2015-11-11

    Nanomaterial-based generators are a highly promising power supply for micro/nanoscale devices, capable of directly harvesting energy from ambient sources without the need for batteries. These generators have been designed within four main types: piezoelectric, triboelectric, thermoelectric, and electret effects, and consist of ZnO-based, silicon-based, ferroelectric-material-based, polymer-based, and graphene-based examples. The representative achievements, current challenges, and future prospects of these nanogenerators are discussed. PMID:26378993

  17. Analysis of Bright Harvest Remote Analysis for Residential Solar Installations

    SciTech Connect

    Nangle, John; Simon, Joseph

    2015-06-17

    Bright Harvest provides remote shading analysis and design products for residential PV system installers. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) through the NREL Commercialization Assistance Program, completed comparative assessments between on-site measurements and remotely calculated values to validate the accuracy of Bright Harvest’s remote shading and power generation.

  18. A Solar Energy Bibliography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guthrie, David L.; Riley, Robert A.

    This document contains 5,000 references to literature through 1976 dealing with various aspects of solar energy. Categories are established according to area of solar research. These categories include: (1) overview; (2) measurement; (3) low-range solar energy collection (below 120 degrees C); (4) intermediate-range solar energy collection (120…

  19. Energy harvesting with coupled magnetostrictive resonators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naik, Suketu; Phipps, Alex; In, Visarath; Cavaroc, Peyton; Matus-Vargas, Antonio; Palacios, Antonio; Gonzalez-Hernandez, H. G.

    2014-03-01

    We report the investigation of an energy harvesting system composed of coupled resonators with the magnetostrictive material Galfenol (FeGa). A coupled system of meso-scale (1-10 cm) cantilever beams for harvesting vibration energy is described for powering and aiding the performance of low-power wireless sensor nodes. Galfenol is chosen in this work for its durability, compared to the brittleness often encountered with piezoelectric materials, and high magnetomechanical coupling. A lumped model, which captures both the mechanical and electrical behavior of the individual transducers, is first developed. The values of the lumped element parameters are then derived empirically from fabricated beams in order to compare the model to experimental measurements. The governing equations of the coupled system lead to a system of differential equations with all-to-all coupling between transducers. An analysis of the system equations reveals different patterns of collective oscillations. Among the many different patterns, a synchronous state appears to yield the maximum energy that can be harvested by the system. Experiments on coupled system shows that the coupled system exhibits synchronization and an increment in the output power. Discussion of the required power converters is also included.

  20. Energy harvesting in the nonlinear electromagnetic system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kucab, K.; Górski, G.; Mizia, J.

    2015-11-01

    We examine the electrical response of electromagnetic device working both in the linear and nonlinear domain. The harvester is consisted of small magnet moving in isolating tube surrounded by the coil attached to the electrical circuit. In the nonlinear case the magnet vibrates in between two fixed magnets attached to the both ends of the tube. Additionally we use two springs which limit the movement of the small magnet. The linear case is when the moving magnet is attached to the repelling springs, and the static magnets have been replaced by the non-magnetic material. The potentials and forces were calculated using both the analytical expressions and the finite elements method. We compare the results for energy harvesting obtained in these two cases. The generated output power in the linear case reaches the peak value 80 mW near the resonance frequency ω0 for maximum base acceleration considered by us, whereas in the non-linear case the corresponding outpot power has the peak value 95 mW and additionally relatively high values in the excitation frequencies range up to ω = 1.2ω0. The numerical results also show that the power efficiency in the nonlinear case exceeds the corresponding efficiency in the linear case at relatively high values of base accelerations greater than 5 g. The results show the increase of harvested energy in the broad band of excitation frequencies in the nonlinear case.

  1. Environmental effects of harvesting forests for energy

    SciTech Connect

    Van Hook, R. I.; Johnson, D. W.; West, D. C.; Mann, L. K.

    1980-01-01

    Present interest in decreasing US dependence on foreign oil by increasing the use of wood for energy may bring about a change in our forest utilization policies. In the past, forests have been removed in areas believed to be suited for agriculture, or sawtimber and pulp have been the only woody material removed in any quantity from land not generally considered tillable. The new demands on wood for energy are effecting a trend toward (1) removing all woody biomass from harvested areas, (2) increasing the frequency of harvesting second growth forests, and (3) increasing production with biomass plantations. Considering the marginal quality of much of the remaining forested land, the impacts of these modes of production could be significant. For example, it is anticipated that increased losses of nutrients and carbon will occur by direct forest removal and through erosion losses accelerated by forest clearing. There are, however, control measures that can be utilized in minimizing both direct and indirect effects of forest harvesting while maximizing woody biomass production.

  2. Piezoelectric diaphragm for vibration energy harvesting.

    PubMed

    Minazara, E; Vasic, D; Costa, F; Poulin, G

    2006-12-22

    This paper presents a technique of electric energy generation using a mechanically excited unimorph piezoelectric membrane transducer. The electrical characteristics of the piezoelectric power generator are investigated under dynamic conditions. The electromechanical model of the generator is presented and used to predict its electrical performances. The experiments was performed with a piezoelectric actuator (shaker) moving a macroscopic 25 mm diameter piezoelectric membrane. A power of 0.65 mW was generated at the resonance frequency (1.71 kHz) across a 5.6 kOmega optimal resistor and for a 80 N force. A special electronic circuit has been conceived in order to increase the power harvested by the piezoelectric transducer. This electrical converter applies the SSHI (synchronized switch harvesting on inductor) technique, and leads to remarkable results: under the same actuation conditions the generated power reaches 1.7 mW, which is sufficient to supply a large range of low consumption sensors. PMID:16814837

  3. Solar energy: principles and possibilities.

    PubMed

    Rhodes, Christopher J

    2010-01-01

    As the world faces an impending dearth of fossil fuels, most immediately oil, alternative sources of energy must be found. 174 PW worth of energy falls onto the top of the Earth's atmosphere in the form of sunlight which is almost 10,000 times the total amount of energy used by humans on Earth, as taken from all sources, oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric power combined. If even a fraction of this could be harvested efficiently, the energy crunch could in principle be averted. Various means for garnering energy from the Sun are presented, including photovoltaics (PV), thin film solar cells, quantum dot cells, concentrating PV and thermal solar power stations, which are more efficient in practical terms. Finally the prospects of space based (satellite) solar power are considered. The caveat is that even if the entire world electricity budget could be met using solar energy, the remaining 80% of energy which is not used as electricity but thermal power (heat) still needs to be found in the absence of fossil fuels. Most pressingly, the decline of cheap plentiful crude oil (peak oil) will not find a substitution via solar unless a mainly electrified transportation system is devised and it is debatable that there is sufficient time and conventional energy remaining to accomplish this. The inevitable contraction of transportation will default a deconstruction of the globalised world economy into that of a system of localised communities. PMID:20222355

  4. Nonlinearities in energy-harvesting media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, David L.; Jenkins, Robert D.

    2001-07-01

    Both in natural photosynthetic systems and also their molecularly engineered mimics, energy is generally transferred to the sites of its chemical storage from other sites of primary optical excitation. This migration process generally entails a number of steps, frequently involving intermediary chromophore units, with each step characterised by high efficiency and rapidity. Energy thereby accrues at reaction centres where its chemical storage occurs. At high levels of irradiation, energy harvesting material can exhibit novel forms of optical nonlinearity. Such behaviour is associated with the direct pooling of excitation energy, enabling secondary acceptors to undergo transitions to states whose energy equals that of two or more input photons, subject to decay losses. Observations of this kind have now been made on a variety of materials, ranging from photoactive dyes, through fullerene derivatives, to lanthanide doped crystals. Recently developed theory has established the underlying principles and links between the modes of operation of these systems. Key factors include the chromophore layout and geometry, electronic structure and optical selection rules. Mesoscopic symmetry, especially in photosynthetic pigment arrays and also in their dendrimeric mimics, is here linked to the transient establishment of excitons. The involvement of excitons in energy harvesting is nonetheless substantially compromised by local disorder. The interplay of these factors in photoactive materials design is discussed in the context of new materials for operation with intense laser light.

  5. Bio-Photoelectrochemical Solar Cells Incorporating Reaction Center and Reaction Center Plus Light Harvesting Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaghoubi, Houman

    Harvesting solar energy can potentially be a promising solution to the energy crisis now and in the future. However, material and processing costs continue to be the most important limitations for the commercial devices. A key solution to these problems might lie within the development of bio-hybrid solar cells that seeks to mimic photosynthesis to harvest solar energy and to take advantage of the low material costs, negative carbon footprint, and material abundance. The bio-photoelectrochemical cell technologies exploit biomimetic means of energy conversion by utilizing plant-derived photosystems which can be inexpensive and ultimately the most sustainable alternative. Plants and photosynthetic bacteria harvest light, through special proteins called reaction centers (RCs), with high efficiency and convert it into electrochemical energy. In theory, photosynthetic RCs can be used in a device to harvest solar energy and generate 1.1 V open circuit voltage and ~1 mA cm-2 short circuit photocurrent. Considering the nearly perfect quantum yield of photo-induced charge separation, efficiency of a protein-based solar cell might exceed 20%. In practice, the efficiency of fabricated devices has been limited mainly due to the challenges in the electron transfer between the protein complex and the device electrodes as well as limited light absorption. The overarching goal of this work is to increase the power conversion efficiency in protein-based solar cells by addressing those issues (i.e. electron transfer and light absorption). This work presents several approaches to increase the charge transfer rate between the photosynthetic RC and underlying electrode as well as increasing the light absorption to eventually enhance the external quantum efficiency (EQE) of bio-hybrid solar cells. The first approach is to decrease the electron transfer distance between one of the redox active sites in the RC and the underlying electrode by direct attachment of the of protein complex

  6. Piezoelectric energy harvesting with a nonlinear energy sink

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yu; Liu, Kefu; Tang, Lihua

    2015-04-01

    A novel piezoelectric energy harvesting device is presented in this paper. Different from the existing designs, the proposed apparatus is based on the principle of nonlinear energy sink (NES) in order to achieve broadband energy harvesting. First, the concept of the proposed design is described. Then the system modeling and parameter identification are addressed. The transient responses and voltage output performance of the apparatus are examined through an experimental study. The study shows that the proposed apparatus behaves similarly as the NES with the following features: initial energy dependence, 1:1 resonance, targeted energy transfer, etc. Broadband voltage output is achieved when NES is activated.

  7. Alternatives in solar energy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schueler, D. G.

    1978-01-01

    Although solar energy has the potential of providing a significant source of clean and renewable energy for a variety of applications, it is expected to penetrate the nation's energy economy very slowly. The alternative solar energy technologies which employ direct collection and conversion of solar radiation as briefly described.

  8. Ferrofluid based micro-electrical energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purohit, Viswas; Mazumder, Baishakhi; Jena, Grishma; Mishra, Madhusha; Materials Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA93106 Collaboration

    2013-03-01

    Innovations in energy harvesting have seen a quantum leap in the last decade. With the introduction of low energy devices in the market, micro energy harvesting units are being explored with much vigor. One of the recent areas of micro energy scavenging is the exploitation of existing vibrational energy and the use of various mechanical motions for the same, useful for low power consumption devices. Ferrofluids are liquids containing magnetic materials having nano-scale permanent magnetic dipoles. The present work explores the possibility of the use of this property for generation of electricity. Since the power generation is through a liquid material, it can take any shape as well as response to small acceleration levels. In this work, an electromagnet-based micropower generator is proposed to utilize the sloshing of the ferrofluid within a controlled chamber which moves to different low frequencies. As compared to permanent magnet units researched previously, ferrofluids can be placed in the smallest of containers of different shapes, thereby giving an output in response to the slightest change in motion. Mechanical motion from 1- 20 Hz was able to give an output voltage in mV's. In this paper, the efficiency and feasibility of such a system is demonstrated.

  9. Development of a biomechanical energy harvester

    PubMed Central

    Li, Qingguo; Naing, Veronica; Donelan, J Maxwell

    2009-01-01

    Background Biomechanical energy harvesting–generating electricity from people during daily activities–is a promising alternative to batteries for powering increasingly sophisticated portable devices. We recently developed a wearable knee-mounted energy harvesting device that generated electricity during human walking. In this methods-focused paper, we explain the physiological principles that guided our design process and present a detailed description of our device design with an emphasis on new analyses. Methods Effectively harvesting energy from walking requires a small lightweight device that efficiently converts intermittent, bi-directional, low speed and high torque mechanical power to electricity, and selectively engages power generation to assist muscles in performing negative mechanical work. To achieve this, our device used a one-way clutch to transmit only knee extension motions, a spur gear transmission to amplify the angular speed, a brushless DC rotary magnetic generator to convert the mechanical power into electrical power, a control system to determine when to open and close the power generation circuit based on measurements of knee angle, and a customized orthopaedic knee brace to distribute the device reaction torque over a large leg surface area. Results The device selectively engaged power generation towards the end of swing extension, assisting knee flexor muscles by producing substantial flexion torque (6.4 Nm), and efficiently converted the input mechanical power into electricity (54.6%). Consequently, six subjects walking at 1.5 m/s generated 4.8 ± 0.8 W of electrical power with only a 5.0 ± 21 W increase in metabolic cost. Conclusion Biomechanical energy harvesting is capable of generating substantial amounts of electrical power from walking with little additional user effort making future versions of this technology particularly promising for charging portable medical devices. PMID:19549313

  10. Models for 31-mode PVDF energy harvester for wearable applications.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jingjing; You, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Currently, wearable electronics are increasingly widely used, leading to an increasing need of portable power supply. As a clean and renewable power source, piezoelectric energy harvester can transfer mechanical energy into electric energy directly, and the energy harvester based on polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) operating in 31-mode is appropriate to harvest energy from human motion. This paper established a series of theoretical models to predict the performance of 31-mode PVDF energy harvester. Among them, the energy storage one can predict the collected energy accurately during the operation of the harvester. Based on theoretical study and experiments investigation, two approaches to improve the energy harvesting performance have been found. Furthermore, experiment results demonstrate the high accuracies of the models, which are better than 95%. PMID:25114981

  11. Models for 31-Mode PVDF Energy Harvester for Wearable Applications

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jingjing; You, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Currently, wearable electronics are increasingly widely used, leading to an increasing need of portable power supply. As a clean and renewable power source, piezoelectric energy harvester can transfer mechanical energy into electric energy directly, and the energy harvester based on polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) operating in 31-mode is appropriate to harvest energy from human motion. This paper established a series of theoretical models to predict the performance of 31-mode PVDF energy harvester. Among them, the energy storage one can predict the collected energy accurately during the operation of the harvester. Based on theoretical study and experiments investigation, two approaches to improve the energy harvesting performance have been found. Furthermore, experiment results demonstrate the high accuracies of the models, which are better than 95%. PMID:25114981

  12. Green grasses as light harvesters in dye sensitized solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shanmugam, Vinoth; Manoharan, Subbaiah; Sharafali, A.; Anandan, Sambandam; Murugan, Ramaswamy

    2015-01-01

    Chlorophylls, the major pigments presented in plants are responsible for the process of photosynthesis. The working principle of dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is analogous to natural photosynthesis in light-harvesting and charge separation. In a similar way, natural dyes extracted from three types of grasses viz. Hierochloe Odorata (HO), Torulinium Odoratum (TO) and Dactyloctenium Aegyptium (DA) were used as light harvesters in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) were used to characterize the dyes. The electron transport mechanism and internal resistance of the DSSCs were investigated by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The performance of the cells fabricated with the grass extract shows comparable efficiencies with the reported natural dyes. Among the three types of grasses, the DSSC fabricated with the dye extracted from Hierochloe Odorata (HO) exhibited the maximum efficiency. LC-MS investigations indicated that the dominant pigment present in HO dye was pheophytin a (Pheo a).

  13. Graphene-Based Integrated Photovoltaic Energy Harvesting/Storage Device.

    PubMed

    Chien, Chih-Tao; Hiralal, Pritesh; Wang, Di-Yan; Huang, I-Sheng; Chen, Chia-Chun; Chen, Chun-Wei; Amaratunga, Gehan A J

    2015-06-24

    Energy scavenging has become a fundamental part of ubiquitous sensor networks. Of all the scavenging technologies, solar has the highest power density available. However, the energy source is erratic. Integrating energy conversion and storage devices is a viable route to obtain self-powered electronic systems which have long-term maintenance-free operation. In this work, we demonstrate an integrated-power-sheet, consisting of a string of series connected organic photovoltaic cells (OPCs) and graphene supercapacitors on a single substrate, using graphene as a common platform. This results in lighter and more flexible power packs. Graphene is used in different forms and qualities for different functions. Chemical vapor deposition grown high quality graphene is used as a transparent conductor, while solution exfoliated graphene pastes are used as supercapacitor electrodes. Solution-based coating techniques are used to deposit the separate components onto a single substrate, making the process compatible with roll-to-roll manufacture. Eight series connected OPCs based on poly(3-hexylthiophene)(P3HT):phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PC60 BM) bulk-heterojunction cells with aluminum electrodes, resulting in a ≈5 V open-circuit voltage, provide the energy harvesting capability. Supercapacitors based on graphene ink with ≈2.5 mF cm(-2) capacitance provide the energy storage capability. The integrated-power-sheet with photovoltaic (PV) energy harvesting and storage functions had a mass of 0.35 g plus the substrate. PMID:25703342

  14. Jumping-droplet electrostatic energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miljkovic, Nenad; Preston, Daniel J.; Enright, Ryan; Wang, Evelyn N.

    2014-07-01

    Micro- and nanoscale wetting phenomena have been an active area of research due to its potential for improving engineered system performance involving phase change. With the recent advancements in micro/nanofabrication techniques, structured surfaces can now be designed to allow condensing coalesced droplets to spontaneously jump off the surface due to the conversion of excess surface energy into kinetic energy. In addition to being removed at micrometric length scales (˜10 μm), jumping water droplets also attain a positive electrostatic charge (˜10-100 fC) from the hydrophobic coating/condensate interaction. In this work, we take advantage of this droplet charging to demonstrate jumping-droplet electrostatic energy harvesting. The charged droplets jump between superhydrophobic copper oxide and hydrophilic copper surfaces to create an electrostatic potential and generate power during formation of atmospheric dew. We demonstrated power densities of ˜15 pW/cm2, which, in the near term, can be improved to ˜1 μW/cm2. This work demonstrates a surface engineered platform that promises to be low cost and scalable for atmospheric energy harvesting and electric power generation.

  15. Towards doubling solar harvests using wide-angle, broad-band microfluidic beam steering arrays.

    PubMed

    DiDomenico, Leo D

    2015-11-30

    This paper introduces Microfluidic Beam Steering (MBS), which is a new technique for electronically steering light having multiple octaves of bandwidth, any polarization state and incidence from any direction of the sky without significant restrictions due to physical area, optical loss and power handling capacity. It is based on optical elements comprising both transparent solids and electronically controllable fluids to control Total Internal Reflection (TIR), refraction and/or diffraction from micro-structured surfaces within a transparent solid. A TIR-based MBS is discussed in the context of solar energy and its potential to significantly increase annual energy harvests from solar arrays situated on fixed areas like roofs. The advantages and challenges associated with analog and digital MBS systems are discussed and early-stage MBS hardware is demonstrated. Finally, an analytic model of sun-tracking is provided to formally establish the potential for MBS to increase annual solar energy harvests by approximately 45% more than conventional 0-Degree Of Freedom (0-DOF) solar arrays, 62% more than 1-DOF arrays and 233% more than 2-DOF arrays, all at 20% atmospheric aerosol scattering. PMID:26698790

  16. Energy harvesting from a backpack instrumented with piezoelectric shoulder straps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granstrom, Jonathan; Feenstra, Joel; Sodano, Henry A.; Farinholt, Kevin

    2007-10-01

    Over the past few decades the use of portable and wearable electronics has grown steadily. These devices are becoming increasingly more powerful. However, the gains that have been made in the device performance have resulted in the need for significantly higher power to operate the electronics. This issue has been further complicated due to the stagnant growth of battery technology over the past decade. In order to increase the life of these electronics, researchers have begun investigating methods of generating energy from ambient sources such that the life of the electronics can be prolonged. Recent developments in the field have led to the design of a number of mechanisms that can be used to generate electrical energy, from a variety of sources including thermal, solar, strain, inertia, etc. Many of these energy sources are available for use with humans, but their use must be carefully considered such that parasitic effects that could disrupt the user's gait or endurance are avoided. These issues have arisen from previous attempts to integrate power harvesting mechanisms into a shoe such that the energy released during a heal strike could be harvested. This study develops a novel energy harvesting backpack that can generate electrical energy from the differential forces between the wearer and the pack. The goal of this system is to make the energy harvesting device transparent to the wearer such that his or her endurance and dexterity is not compromised. This will be accomplished by replacing the traditional strap of the backpack with one made of the piezoelectric polymer polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). Piezoelectric materials have a structure such that an applied electrical potential results in a mechanical strain. Conversely, an applied stress results in the generation of an electrical charge, which makes the material useful for power harvesting applications. PVDF is highly flexible and has a high strength, allowing it to effectively act as the load bearing

  17. Enhanced vibration energy harvesting using nonlinear oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, Emily; Wei, Jiaying; Lee, Christopher L.

    2015-05-01

    Results for the design and testing of an electromagnetic device that converts ambient mechanical vibration into electricity are presented. The design of the device is based on an L-shaped beam structure which is tuned so that the first two natural frequencies have a near two-to-one ratio which is referred to as an internal resonance or autoparametic condition. It is shown that in contrast to single degree-of-freedom, linear-dynamics-based vibration harvesters which convert energy in a very narrow frequency band the prototype can generate power over an extended frequency range when subject to harmonic, base displacement excitation.

  18. Energy harvesting using a thermoelectric material

    SciTech Connect

    Nersessian, Nersesse; Carman, Gregory P.; Radousky, Harry B.

    2008-07-08

    A novel energy harvesting system and method utilizing a thermoelectric having a material exhibiting a large thermally induced strain (TIS) due to a phase transformation and a material exhibiting a stress induced electric field is introduced. A material that exhibits such a phase transformation exhibits a large increase in the coefficient of thermal expansion over an incremental temperature range (typically several degrees Kelvin). When such a material is arranged in a geometric configuration, such as, for a example, a laminate with a material that exhibits a stress induced electric field (e.g. a piezoelectric material) the thermally induced strain is converted to an electric field.

  19. System for harvesting water wave energy

    DOEpatents

    Wang, Zhong Lin; Su, Yanjie; Zhu, Guang; Chen, Jun

    2016-07-19

    A generator for harvesting energy from water in motion includes a sheet of a hydrophobic material, having a first side and an opposite second side, that is triboelectrically more negative than water. A first electrode sheet is disposed on the second side of the sheet of a hydrophobic material. A second electrode sheet is disposed on the second side of the sheet of a hydrophobic material and is spaced apart from the first electrode sheet. Movement of the water across the first side induces an electrical potential imbalance between the first electrode sheet and the second electrode sheet.

  20. Thermoelectric energy harvesting with quantum dots.

    PubMed

    Sothmann, Björn; Sánchez, Rafael; Jordan, Andrew N

    2015-01-21

    We review recent theoretical work on thermoelectric energy harvesting in multi-terminal quantum-dot setups. We first discuss several examples of nanoscale heat engines based on Coulomb-coupled conductors. In particular, we focus on quantum dots in the Coulomb-blockade regime, chaotic cavities and resonant tunneling through quantum dots and wells. We then turn toward quantum-dot heat engines that are driven by bosonic degrees of freedom such as phonons, magnons and microwave photons. These systems provide interesting connections to spin caloritronics and circuit quantum electrodynamics. PMID:25549281

  1. Flow Energy Piezoelectric Bimorph Nozzle Harvester

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sherrit, Stewart; Lee, Hyeong Jae; Kim, Namhyo; Sun, Kai; Corbett, Gary; Walkemeyer, Phillip; Hasenoehrl, Jennifer; Hall, Jeffery L.; Colonius, Tim; Tosi, Luis Phillipe; Arrazola, Alvaro

    2014-01-01

    There is a need for a long-life power generation scheme that could be used downhole in an oil well to produce 1 Watt average power. There are a variety of existing or proposed energy harvesting schemes that could be used in this environment but each of these has its own limitations. The vibrating piezoelectric structure is in principle capable of operating for very long lifetimes (decades) thereby possibly overcoming a principle limitation of existing technology based on rotating turbo-machinery. In order to determine the feasibility of using piezoelectrics to produce suitable flow energy harvesting, we surveyed experimentally a variety of nozzle configurations that could be used to excite a vibrating piezoelectric structure in such a way as to enable conversion of flow energy into useful amounts of electrical power. These included reed structures, spring mass-structures, drag and lift bluff bodies and a variety of nozzles with varying flow profiles. Although not an exhaustive survey we identified a spline nozzle/piezoelectric bimorph system that experimentally produced up to 3.4 mW per bimorph. This paper will discuss these results and present our initial analyses of the device using dimensional analysis and constitutive electromechanical modeling. The analysis suggests that an order-of-magnitude improvement in power generation from the current design is possible.

  2. Flow energy piezoelectric bimorph nozzle harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherrit, Stewart; Lee, Hyeong Jae; Walkemeyer, Phillip; Hasenoehrl, Jennifer; Hall, Jeffrey L.; Colonius, Tim; Tosi, Luis Phillipe; Arrazola, Alvaro; Kim, Namhyo; Sun, Kai; Corbett, Gary

    2014-04-01

    There is a need for a long-life power generation scheme that could be used downhole in an oil well to produce 1 Watt average power. There are a variety of existing or proposed energy harvesting schemes that could be used in this environment but each of these has its own limitations. The vibrating piezoelectric structure is in principle capable of operating for very long lifetimes (decades) thereby possibly overcoming a principle limitation of existing technology based on rotating turbo-machinery. In order to determine the feasibility of using piezoelectrics to produce suitable flow energy harvesting, we surveyed experimentally a variety of nozzle configurations that could be used to excite a vibrating piezoelectric structure in such a way as to enable conversion of flow energy into useful amounts of electrical power. These included reed structures, spring mass-structures, drag and lift bluff bodies and a variety of nozzles with varying flow profiles. Although not an exhaustive survey we identified a spline nozzle/piezoelectric bimorph system that experimentally produced up to 3.4 mW per bimorph. This paper will discuss these results and present our initial analyses of the device using dimensional analysis and constitutive electromechanical modeling. The analysis suggests that an order-of-magnitude improvement in power generation from the current design is possible.

  3. Solar Energy Usage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crank, Ron

    This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with solar energy use. Its objective is for the student to be able to discuss the broad aspects of solar energy use and to explain the general operation of solar systems. Some topics covered are availability and economics of solar…

  4. The potential for harvesting energy from the movement of trees.

    PubMed

    McGarry, Scott; Knight, Chris

    2011-01-01

    Over the last decade, wireless devices have decreased in size and power requirements. These devices generally use batteries as a power source but can employ additional means of power, such as solar, thermal or wind energy. However, sensor networks are often deployed in conditions of minimal lighting and thermal gradient such as densely wooded environments, where even normal wind energy harvesting is limited. In these cases a possible source of energy is from the motion of the trees themselves. We investigated the amount of energy and power available from the motion of a tree in a sheltered position, during Beaufort 4 winds. We measured the work performed by the tree to lift a mass, we measured horizontal acceleration of free movement, and we determined the angular deflection of the movement of the tree trunk, to determine the energy and power available to various types of harvesting devices. We found that the amount of power available from the tree, as demonstrated by lifting a mass, compares favourably with the power required to run a wireless sensor node. PMID:22163695

  5. The Potential for Harvesting Energy from the Movement of Trees

    PubMed Central

    McGarry, Scott; Knight, Chris

    2011-01-01

    Over the last decade, wireless devices have decreased in size and power requirements. These devices generally use batteries as a power source but can employ additional means of power, such as solar, thermal or wind energy. However, sensor networks are often deployed in conditions of minimal lighting and thermal gradient such as densely wooded environments, where even normal wind energy harvesting is limited. In these cases a possible source of energy is from the motion of the trees themselves. We investigated the amount of energy and power available from the motion of a tree in a sheltered position, during Beaufort 4 winds. We measured the work performed by the tree to lift a mass, we measured horizontal acceleration of free movement, and we determined the angular deflection of the movement of the tree trunk, to determine the energy and power available to various types of harvesting devices. We found that the amount of power available from the tree, as demonstrated by lifting a mass, compares favourably with the power required to run a wireless sensor node. PMID:22163695

  6. Flexible Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting from Mouse Click Motions

    PubMed Central

    Cha, Youngsu; Hong, Jin; Lee, Jaemin; Park, Jung-Min; Kim, Keehoon

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we study energy harvesting from the mouse click motions of a robot finger and a human index finger using a piezoelectric material. The feasibility of energy harvesting from mouse click motions is experimentally and theoretically assessed. The fingers wear a glove with a pocket for including the piezoelectric material. We model the energy harvesting system through the inverse kinematic framework of parallel joints in a finger and the electromechanical coupling equations of the piezoelectric material. The model is validated through energy harvesting experiments in the robot and human fingers with the systematically varying load resistance. We find that energy harvesting is maximized at the matched load resistance to the impedance of the piezoelectric material, and the harvested energy level is tens of nJ. PMID:27399705

  7. Flexible Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting from Mouse Click Motions.

    PubMed

    Cha, Youngsu; Hong, Jin; Lee, Jaemin; Park, Jung-Min; Kim, Keehoon

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we study energy harvesting from the mouse click motions of a robot finger and a human index finger using a piezoelectric material. The feasibility of energy harvesting from mouse click motions is experimentally and theoretically assessed. The fingers wear a glove with a pocket for including the piezoelectric material. We model the energy harvesting system through the inverse kinematic framework of parallel joints in a finger and the electromechanical coupling equations of the piezoelectric material. The model is validated through energy harvesting experiments in the robot and human fingers with the systematically varying load resistance. We find that energy harvesting is maximized at the matched load resistance to the impedance of the piezoelectric material, and the harvested energy level is tens of nJ. PMID:27399705

  8. Solar hydrogen: harvesting light and heat from sun (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Liejin; Jing, Dengwei

    2015-09-01

    My research group in the State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Flow in Power Engineering (SKLMF), Xi'an Jiaotong University has been focusing on renewable energy, especially solar hydrogen, for about 20 years. In this presentation, I will present the most recent progress in our group on solar hydrogen production using light and heat. Firstly, "cheap" photoelectrochemical and photocatalytic water splitting, including both nanostructured materials and pilot-scale demonstration in our group for light-driven solar hydrogen (artificial photosynthesis) will be introduced. Then I will make a deep introduction to the achievements on the thermal-driven solar hydrogen, i.e., biomass/coal gasification in supercritical water for large-scale and low-cost hydrogen production using concentrated solar light.

  9. Solar Energy Technician/Installer

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Pam

    2007-01-01

    Solar power (also known as solar energy) is solar radiation emitted from the sun. Large panels that absorb the sun's energy as the sun beats down on them gather solar power. The energy in the rays can be used for heat (solar thermal energy) or converted to electricity (photovoltaic energy). Each solar energy project, from conception to…

  10. Piezoelectric energy harvesting: State-of-the-art and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toprak, Alperen; Tigli, Onur

    2014-09-01

    Piezoelectric energy harvesting has attracted wide attention from researchers especially in the last decade due to its advantages such as high power density, architectural simplicity, and scalability. As a result, the number of studies on piezoelectric energy harvesting published in the last 5 years is more than twice the sum of publications on its electromagnetic and electrostatic counterparts. This paper presents a comprehensive review on the history and current state-of-the art of piezoelectric energy harvesting. A brief theory section presents the basic principles of piezoelectric energy conversion and introduces the most commonly used mechanical architectures. The theory section is followed by a literature survey on piezoelectric energy harvesters, which are classified into three groups: (i) macro- and mesoscale, (ii) MEMS scale, and (iii) nanoscale. The size of a piezoelectric energy harvester affects a variety of parameters such as its weight, fabrication method, achievable power output level, and potential application areas. Consequently, size-based classification provides a reliable and effective basis to study various piezoelectric energy harvesters. The literature survey on each scale group is concluded with a summary, potential application areas, and future directions. In a separate section, the most prominent challenges in piezoelectric energy harvesting and the studies focusing on these challenges are discussed. The conclusion part summarizes the current standing of piezoelectric energy harvesters as possible candidates for various applications and discusses the issues that need to be addressed for realization of practical piezoelectric energy harvesting devices.

  11. Solar energy emplacement developer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mortensen, Michael; Sauls, Bob

    1991-01-01

    A preliminary design was developed for a Lunar Power System (LPS) composed of photovoltaic arrays and microwave reflectors fabricated from lunar materials. The LPS will collect solar energy on the surface of the Moon, transform it into microwave energy, and beam it back to Earth where it will be converted into usable energy. The Solar Energy Emplacement Developer (SEED) proposed will use a similar sort of solar energy collection and dispersement to power the systems that will construct the LPS.

  12. Energy harvesting with piezoelectric applied on shoes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camilloni, Enrico; Carloni, Mirko; Giammarini, Marco; Conti, Massimo

    2013-05-01

    In the last few years the continuous demand of energy saving has brought continuous research on low-power devices, energy storage and new sources of energy. Energy harvesting is an interesting solution that captures the energy from the environment that would otherwise be wasted. This work presents an electric-mechanical model of a piezoelectric transducer in a cantilever configuration. The model has been characterized measuring the acceleration and the open circuit voltage of a piezoelectric cantilever subjected to a sinusoidal force with different values frequency and subject to an impulsive force. The model has been used to identify the optimal position in which the piezoelectric cantilever has to be placed on a shoe in order to obtain the maximum energy while walking or running. As a second step we designed the DC-DC converter with an hysteresis comparator. The circuit is able to give energy to switch on a microprocessor for the amount of time long enough to capture and store the information required. The complete system has been implemented, installed on a shoe and used in a 10 Km running competition.

  13. Piezomagnetoelastic broadband energy harvester: Nonlinear modeling and characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aravind Kumar, K.; Ali, S. F.; Arockiarajan, A.

    2015-11-01

    Piezomagnetoelastic energy harvesters are one among the widely explored configurations to improve the broadband characteristics of vibration energy harvesters. Such nonlinear harvesters follow a Moon beam model with two magnets at the base and one at the tip of the beam. The present article develops a geometric nonlinear mathematical model for the broadband piezomagnetoelastic energy harvester. The electromechanical coupling and the nonlinear magnetic potential equations are developed from the dimensional system parameters to describe the nonlinear dynamics exhibited by the system. The developed model is capable of characterizing the monostable, bistable and tristable operating regimes of the piezomagnetoelastic energy harvester, which are not explicit in the Duffing representation of the system. Bifurcations and attractor motions are analyzed as nonlinear functions of the distance between base magnets and the field strength of the tip magnet. The model is further used to characterize the potential wells and stable states, with due focus on the performance of the system in broadband energy harvesting.

  14. Parametrization of ambient energy harvesters for complementary balanced electronic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbelen, Yannick; Braeken, An; Touhafi, Abdellah

    2013-05-01

    The specific technical challenges associated with the design of an ambient energy powered electronic system currently requires thorough knowledge of the environment of deployment, energy harvester characteristics and power path management. In this work, a novel flexible model for ambient energy harvesters is presented that allows decoupling of the harvester's physical principles and electrical behavior using a three dimensional function. The model can be adapted to all existing harvesters, resulting in a design methodology for generic ambient energy powered systems using the presented model. Concrete examples are included to demonstrate the versatility of the presented design in the development of electronic appliances on system level.

  15. A piezoelectric bistable plate for nonlinear broadband energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arrieta, A. F.; Hagedorn, P.; Erturk, A.; Inman, D. J.

    2010-09-01

    Recently, the idea of using nonlinearity to enhance the performance of vibration-based energy harvesters has been investigated. Nonlinear energy harvesting devices have been shown to be capable of operating over wider frequency ranges delivering more power than their linear counterparts, rendering them more suitable for real applications. In this paper, we propose to exploit the rich nonlinear behavior of a bistable composite plate with bonded piezoelectric patches for broadband nonlinear energy harvesting. The response of the structure is experimentally investigated revealing different large amplitude oscillations. Substantially large power is extracted over a wide frequency range achieving broadband nonlinear energy harvesting.

  16. Experimenting with Solar Energy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roman, Harry T.

    2004-01-01

    Over the past 25 years, the author has had the opportunity to study the subject of solar energy and to get involved with the installation, operation, and testing of solar energy systems. His work has taken him all over the United States and put him in contact with solar experts from around the world. He has also had the good fortune of seeing some…

  17. Piezoelectric energy harvesting in internal fluid flow.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyeong Jae; Sherrit, Stewart; Tosi, Luis Phillipe; Walkemeyer, Phillip; Colonius, Tim

    2015-01-01

    We consider piezoelectric flow energy harvesting in an internal flow environment with the ultimate goal powering systems such as sensors in deep oil well applications. Fluid motion is coupled to structural vibration via a cantilever beam placed in a converging-diverging flow channel. Two designs were considered for the electromechanical coupling: first; the cantilever itself is a piezoelectric bimorph; second; the cantilever is mounted on a pair of flextensional actuators. We experimentally investigated varying the geometry of the flow passage and the flow rate. Experimental results revealed that the power generated from both designs was similar; producing as much as 20 mW at a flow rate of 20 L/min. The bimorph designs were prone to failure at the extremes of flow rates tested. Finite element analysis (FEA) showed fatigue failure was imminent due to stress concentrations near the bimorph's clamped region; and that robustness could be improved with a stepped-joint mounting design. A similar FEA model showed the flextensional-based harvester had a resonant frequency of around 375 Hz and an electromechanical coupling of 0.23 between the cantilever and flextensional actuators in a vacuum. These values; along with the power levels demonstrated; are significant steps toward building a system design that can eventually deliver power in the Watts range to devices down within a well. PMID:26473879

  18. Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting in Internal Fluid Flow

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hyeong Jae; Sherrit, Stewart; Tosi, Luis Phillipe; Walkemeyer, Phillip; Colonius, Tim

    2015-01-01

    We consider piezoelectric flow energy harvesting in an internal flow environment with the ultimate goal powering systems such as sensors in deep oil well applications. Fluid motion is coupled to structural vibration via a cantilever beam placed in a converging-diverging flow channel. Two designs were considered for the electromechanical coupling: first; the cantilever itself is a piezoelectric bimorph; second; the cantilever is mounted on a pair of flextensional actuators. We experimentally investigated varying the geometry of the flow passage and the flow rate. Experimental results revealed that the power generated from both designs was similar; producing as much as 20 mW at a flow rate of 20 L/min. The bimorph designs were prone to failure at the extremes of flow rates tested. Finite element analysis (FEA) showed fatigue failure was imminent due to stress concentrations near the bimorph’s clamped region; and that robustness could be improved with a stepped-joint mounting design. A similar FEA model showed the flextensional-based harvester had a resonant frequency of around 375 Hz and an electromechanical coupling of 0.23 between the cantilever and flextensional actuators in a vacuum. These values; along with the power levels demonstrated; are significant steps toward building a system design that can eventually deliver power in the Watts range to devices down within a well. PMID:26473879

  19. Multiple cell configuration electromagnetic vibration energy harvester

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marin, Anthony; Bressers, Scott; Priya, Shashank

    2011-07-01

    This paper reports the design of an electromagnetic vibration energy harvester that doubles the magnitude of output power generated by the prior four-bar magnet configuration. This enhancement was achieved with minor increase in volume by 23% and mass by 30%. The new 'double cell' design utilizes an additional pair of magnets to create a secondary air gap, or cell, for a second coil to vibrate within. To further reduce the dimensions of the device, two coils were attached to one common cantilever beam. These unique features lead to improvements of 66% in output power per unit volume (power density) and 27% increase in output power per unit volume and mass (specific power density), from 0.1 to 0.17 mW cm-3 and 0.41 to 0.51 mW cm-3 kg-1 respectively. Using the ANSYS multiphysics analysis, it was determined that for the double cell harvester, adding one additional pair of magnets created a small magnetic gradient between air gaps of 0.001 T which is insignificant in terms of electromagnetic damping. An analytical model was developed to optimize the magnitude of transformation factor and magnetic field gradient within the gap.

  20. Solar energy modulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hale, R. R. (Inventor); Mcdougal, A. R.

    1984-01-01

    A module is described with a receiver having a solar energy acceptance opening and supported by a mounting ring along the optic axis of a parabolic mirror in coaxial alignment for receiving solar energy from the mirror, and a solar flux modulator plate for varying the quantity of solar energy flux received by the acceptance opening of the module. The modulator plate is characterized by an annular, plate-like body, the internal diameter of which is equal to or slightly greater than the diameter of the solar energy acceptance opening of the receiver. Slave cylinders are connected to the modulator plate for supporting the plate for axial displacement along the axis of the mirror, therby shading the opening with respect to solar energy flux reflected from the surface of the mirror to the solar energy acceptance opening.

  1. Harvesting

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Since the introduction of the first successful mechanical harvester, mechanized cotton harvest has continued to decrease the cost and man hours required to produce a bale of cotton. Cotton harvesting in the US is completely mechanized and is accomplished by two primary machines, the spindle picker a...

  2. Broadband energy harvesting using nonlinear 2-DOF configuration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Hao; Tang, Lihua; Avvari, Panduranga Vittal; Yang, Yaowen; Soh, Chee Kiong

    2013-04-01

    Vibration energy harvesting using piezoelectric material has received great research interest in the recent years. To enhance the performance of piezoelectric energy harvesters, one important concern is to increase their operating bandwidth. Various techniques have been proposed for broadband energy harvesting, such as the resonance tuning approach, the frequency up-conversion technique, the multi-modal harvesting and the nonlinear technique. Usually, a nonlinear piezoelectric energy harvester can be easily developed by introducing a magnetic field. Either mono-stable or bi-stable response can be achieved using different magnetic configurations. However, most of the research work for nonlinear piezoelectric energy harvesting has focused on the SDOF cantilever beam. A recently reported linear 2-DOF harvester can achieve two close resonant frequencies with significant power outputs. However, for this linear configuration, although a broader bandwidth can be achieved, there exists a deep valley in-between the two response peaks. The presence of the valley will greatly deteriorate the performance of the energy harvester. To overcome this limitation, a nonlinear 2-DOF piezoelectric energy harvester is proposed in this article. This nonlinear harvester is developed from its linear counterpart by incorporating a magnetic field using a pair of magnets. Experimental parametric study is carried out to investigate the behavior of such harvester. With different configurations, both mono-stable and bi-stable behaviors are observed and studied. An optimal configuration of the nonlinear harvester is thus obtained, which can achieve significantly wider bandwidth than the linear 2-DOF harvester and at the same time overcome its limitation.

  3. Harvesting Broad Frequency Band Blue Energy by a Triboelectric-Electromagnetic Hybrid Nanogenerator.

    PubMed

    Wen, Zhen; Guo, Hengyu; Zi, Yunlong; Yeh, Min-Hsin; Wang, Xin; Deng, Jianan; Wang, Jie; Li, Shengming; Hu, Chenguo; Zhu, Liping; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2016-07-26

    Ocean wave associated energy is huge, but it has little use toward world energy. Although such blue energy is capable of meeting all of our energy needs, there is no effective way to harvest it due to its low frequency and irregular amplitude, which may restrict the application of traditional power generators. In this work, we report a hybrid nanogenerator that consists of a spiral-interdigitated-electrode triboelectric nanogenerator (S-TENG) and a wrap-around electromagnetic generator (W-EMG) for harvesting ocean energy. In this design, the S-TENG can be fully isolated from the external environment through packaging and indirectly driven by the noncontact attractive forces between pairs of magnets, and W-EMG can be easily hybridized. Notably, the hybrid nanogenerator could generate electricity under either rotation mode or fluctuation mode to collect energy in ocean tide, current, and wave energy due to the unique structural design. In addition, the characteristics and advantages of outputs indicate that the S-TENG is irreplaceable for harvesting low rotation speeds (<100 rpm) or motion frequencies (<2 Hz) energy, which fits the frequency range for most of the water wave based blue energy, while W-EMG is able to produce larger output at high frequencies (>10 Hz). The complementary output can be maximized and hybridized for harvesting energy in a broad frequency range. Finally, a single hybrid nanogenerator unit was demonstrated to harvest blue energy as a practical power source to drive several LEDs under different simulated water wave conditions. We also proposed a blue energy harvesting system floating on the ocean surface that could simultaneously harvest wind, solar, and wave energy. The proposed hybrid nanogenerator renders an effective and sustainable progress in practical applications of the hybrid nanogenerator toward harvesting water wave energy offered by nature. PMID:27267558

  4. Mechanics of flexible and stretchable piezoelectrics for energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Ying; Lu, BingWei; Ou, DaPeng; Feng, Xue

    2015-09-01

    As rapid development in wearable/implantable electronic devices benefit human life in daily health monitoring and disease treatment medically, all kinds of flexible and/or stretchable electronic devices are booming, together with which is the demanding of energy supply with similar mechanical property. Due to its ability in converting mechanical energy lying in human body into electric energy, energy harvesters based on piezoelectric materials are promising for applications in wearable/ implantable device's energy supply in a renewable, clean and life-long way. Here the mechanics of traditional piezoelectrics in energy harvesting is reviewed, including why piezoelectricity is the choice for minor energy harvesting to power the implantable/wearable electronics and how. Different kinds of up to date flexible piezoelectric devices for energy harvesting are introduced, such as nanogenerators based on ZnO and thin and conformal energy harvester based on PZT. A detailed theoretical model of the flexible thin film energy harvester based on PZT nanoribbons is summarized, together with the in vivo demonstration of energy harvesting by integrating it with swine heart. Then the initial researches on stretchable energy harvesters based on piezoelectric material in wavy or serpentine configuration are introduced as well.

  5. Metamaterial electromagnetic energy harvester with high selective harvesting for left- and right-handed circularly polarized waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shang, Shuai; Yang, Shizhong; Liu, Jing; Shan, Meng; Cao, Hailin

    2016-07-01

    In this paper, a metamaterial electromagnetic energy harvester constructed via the capacitive loading of metal circular split rings is presented. Each energy-harvesting cell is loaded with a resistance that imitates the input impedance of a rectifier circuit. Specifically, the metamaterial energy harvester has high selective harvesting for left- and right-handed circularly polarized waves. Here, the energy absorption is mostly induced by the resistive load; thus, effective energy harvesting can be achieved. Moreover, the proposed energy harvester exhibits a high-efficiency harvesting for right-handed circularly polarized waves over a wide range of incident angles. Further, a transmission line model is adopted to interpret the energy harvesting mechanism, which shows that a good impedance matching and low dielectric loss can further enhance the harvesting efficiency. To demonstrate the design, a 15 × 15 unit-cell prototype is fabricated and measured, and the measured results reasonably agree with the simulated ones.

  6. Solar Energy: Heat Transfer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapp, Henry H., III

    This module on heat transfer is one of six in a series intended for use as supplements to currently available materials on solar energy and energy conservation. Together with the recommended texts and references (sources are identified), these modules provide an effective introduction to energy conservation and solar energy technologies. The…

  7. Solar Energy: Heat Storage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapp, Henry H., III

    This module on heat storage is one of six in a series intended for use as supplements to currently available materials on solar energy and energy conservation. Together with the recommended texts and references (sources are identified), these modules provide an effective introduction to energy conservation and solar energy technologies. The module…

  8. Solar Energy: Home Heating.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapp, Henry H., III

    This module on home heating is one of six in a series intended for use as supplements to currently available materials on solar energy and energy conservation. Together with the recommended texts and references (sources are identified), these modules provide an effective introduction to energy conservation and solar energy technologies. The module…

  9. Investigations of biomimetic light energy harvesting pigments

    SciTech Connect

    Van Patten, P.G.; Donohoe, R.J.; Lindsey, J.S.; Bocian, D.F.

    1998-12-01

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Nature uses chlorophyll and other porphyrinic pigments to capture and transfer light energy as a preliminary step in photosynthesis. The design of synthetic assemblies of light harvesting and energy directing pigments has been explored through synthesis and characterization of porphyrin oligomers. In this project, pigment electronic and vibrational structures have been explored by electrochemistry and dynamic and static optical measurements. Transient absorption data reveal energy transfer between pigments with lifetimes on the order of 20--200 picoseconds, while Raman data reveal that the basic porphyrin core structure is unperturbed relative to the individual monomer units. These two findings, along with an extensive series of experiments on the oxidized oligomers, reveal that coupling between the pigments is fundamentally weak, but sufficient to allow facile energy transfer as the predominant excited state process. Modeling of the expected quantum yields for energy transfer within a variety of arrays was accomplished, thereby providing a tool to guide synthetic goals.

  10. Harvesting dissipated energy with a mesoscopic ratchet.

    PubMed

    Roche, B; Roulleau, P; Jullien, T; Jompol, Y; Farrer, I; Ritchie, D A; Glattli, D C

    2015-01-01

    The search for new efficient thermoelectric devices converting waste heat into electrical energy is of major importance. The physics of mesoscopic electronic transport offers the possibility to develop a new generation of nanoengines with high efficiency. Here we describe an all-electrical heat engine harvesting and converting dissipated power into an electrical current. Two capacitively coupled mesoscopic conductors realized in a two-dimensional conductor form the hot source and the cold converter of our device. In the former, controlled Joule heating generated by a voltage-biased quantum point contact results in thermal voltage fluctuations. By capacitive coupling the latter creates electric potential fluctuations in a cold chaotic cavity connected to external leads by two quantum point contacts. For unequal quantum point contact transmissions, a net electrical current is observed proportional to the heat produced. PMID:25828578

  11. Nonlinear modeling of MEMS piezoelectric energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y. C.; Huang, T. W.; Shu, Y. C.; Lin, S. C.; Wu, W. J.

    2016-04-01

    This article presents the modeling of nonlinear response of micro piezoelectric energy harvesters under amplified base excitation. The micro transducer is a composite cantilever beam made of the PZT thick film deposited on the stainless-steel substrate. The model is developed based on the Euler-Bernoulli beam theory considering geometric and inertia nonlinearities, and the reduced formulation is derived based on the Hamiltonian variational principle. The harmonic balance method is used to simulate the nonlinear frequency response under various magnitudes of excitation and electric loads. The hardening type of nonlinearity is predicted and is found to be in good agreement with experiment. However, the softening response is also observed in different samples fabricated under different conditions. Such disagreement is under investigation.

  12. MEMS based pyroelectric thermal energy harvester

    SciTech Connect

    Hunter, Scott R; Datskos, Panagiotis G

    2013-08-27

    A pyroelectric thermal energy harvesting apparatus for generating an electric current includes a cantilevered layered pyroelectric capacitor extending between a first surface and a second surface, where the first surface includes a temperature difference from the second surface. The layered pyroelectric capacitor includes a conductive, bimetal top electrode layer, an intermediate pyroelectric dielectric layer and a conductive bottom electrode layer. In addition, a pair of proof masses is affixed at a distal end of the layered pyroelectric capacitor to face the first surface and the second surface, wherein the proof masses oscillate between the first surface and the second surface such that a pyroelectric current is generated in the pyroelectric capacitor due to temperature cycling when the proof masses alternately contact the first surface and the second surface.

  13. Energy Harvesting Using PVDF Piezoelectric Nanofabric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafii, Chakameh Shafii

    Energy harvesting using piezoelectric nanomaterial provides an opportunity for advancement towards self-powered electronics. The fabrication complexities and limited power output of these nano/micro generators have hindered these advancements thus far. This thesis presents a fabrication technique with electrospinning using a grounded cylinder as the collector. This method addresses the difficulties with the production and scalability of the nanogenerators. The non-aligned nanofibers are woven into a textile form onto the cylindrical drum that can be easily removed. The electrical poling and mechanical stretching induced by the electric field and the drum rotation increase the concentration of the piezoelectric beta phase in the PVDF nanofabric. The nanofabric is placed between two layers of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) that have interdigitated electrodes painted on them with silver paint. Applying continuous load onto the flexible PVDF nanofabric at 35Hz produces a peak voltage of 320 mV and maximum power of 2200 pW/(cm2) .

  14. Harvesting dissipated energy with a mesoscopic ratchet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roche, B.; Roulleau, P.; Jullien, T.; Jompol, Y.; Farrer, I.; Ritchie, D. A.; Glattli, D. C.

    2015-04-01

    The search for new efficient thermoelectric devices converting waste heat into electrical energy is of major importance. The physics of mesoscopic electronic transport offers the possibility to develop a new generation of nanoengines with high efficiency. Here we describe an all-electrical heat engine harvesting and converting dissipated power into an electrical current. Two capacitively coupled mesoscopic conductors realized in a two-dimensional conductor form the hot source and the cold converter of our device. In the former, controlled Joule heating generated by a voltage-biased quantum point contact results in thermal voltage fluctuations. By capacitive coupling the latter creates electric potential fluctuations in a cold chaotic cavity connected to external leads by two quantum point contacts. For unequal quantum point contact transmissions, a net electrical current is observed proportional to the heat produced.

  15. Ecological impacts of energy-wood harvests: lessons from whole-tree harvesting and natural disturbance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berger, Alaina L.; Palik, Brian; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Fraver, Shawn; Bradford, John B.; Nislow, Keith H.; King, David; Brooks, Robert T.

    2013-01-01

    Recent interest in using forest residues and small-diameter material for biofuels is generating a renewed focus on harvesting impacts and forest sustainability. The rich legacy of research from whole-tree harvesting studies can be examined in light of this interest. Although this research largely focused on consequences for forest productivity, in particular carbon and nutrient pools, it also has relevance for examining potential consequences for biodiversity and aquatic ecosystems. This review is framed within a context of contrasting ecosystem impacts from whole-tree harvesting because it represents a high level of biomass removal. Although whole-tree harvesting does not fully use the nonmerchantable biomass available, it indicates the likely direction and magnitude of impacts that can occur through energy-wood harvesting compared with less-intensive conventional harvesting and to dynamics associated with various natural disturbances. The intent of this comparison is to gauge the degree of departure of energy-wood harvesting from less intensive conventional harvesting. The review of the literature found a gradient of increasing departure in residual structural conditions that remained in the forest when conventional and whole-tree harvesting was compared with stand-replacing natural disturbance. Important stand- and landscape-level processes were related to these structural conditions. The consequence of this departure may be especially potent because future energy-wood harvests may more completely use a greater range of forest biomass at potentially shortened rotations, creating a great need for research that explores the largely unknown scale of disturbance that may apply to our forest ecosystems.

  16. A vibration energy harvesting device with bidirectional resonance frequency tunability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Challa, Vinod R.; Prasad, M. G.; Shi, Yong; Fisher, Frank T.

    2008-02-01

    Vibration energy harvesting is an attractive technique for potential powering of wireless sensors and low power devices. While the technique can be employed to harvest energy from vibrations and vibrating structures, a general requirement independent of the energy transfer mechanism is that the vibration energy harvesting device operate in resonance at the excitation frequency. Most energy harvesting devices developed to date are single resonance frequency based, and while recent efforts have been made to broaden the frequency range of energy harvesting devices, what is lacking is a robust tunable energy harvesting technique. In this paper, the design and testing of a resonance frequency tunable energy harvesting device using a magnetic force technique is presented. This technique enabled resonance tuning to ± 20% of the untuned resonant frequency. In particular, this magnetic-based approach enables either an increase or decrease in the tuned resonant frequency. A piezoelectric cantilever beam with a natural frequency of 26 Hz is used as the energy harvesting cantilever, which is successfully tuned over a frequency range of 22-32 Hz to enable a continuous power output 240-280 µW over the entire frequency range tested. A theoretical model using variable damping is presented, whose results agree closely with the experimental results. The magnetic force applied for resonance frequency tuning and its effect on damping and load resistance have been experimentally determined.

  17. An electromechanical model of ferroelectret for energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Zhenhua; Zhu, Dibin; Beeby, Steve

    2016-04-01

    A ferroelectret is a cellular polymer foam that is able to convert compressive and bending forces into electrical signals, which can be used for both sensing and energy harvesting. In the past several research groups have proposed theoretical models that relate the output voltage of a ferroelectret to its mechanical deformation. This is particularly useful for sensing applications where the signal-to-noise ratio is important. However, for energy harvesting applications, a theoretical model needs to include both the voltage across a resistive load and the duration of the electrical signal as energy is an integral of power over time. In this work, we propose a theoretical model that explains the behavior of a ferroelectret when used as an energy harvester. This model can be used to predict the energy output of a ferroelectret by knowing its parameters, and therefore optimize the harvester design for specific energy harvesting application.

  18. Enhanced PVDF film for multi energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karunarathna, Ranmunige Nadeeka

    PVDF is a very important piezoelectric polymer material which has a promising range of applications in a variety of fields such as acoustic sensors and transducers, electrical switches, medical instrumentation, artificial sensitive skin in robotics, automotive detection on roads, nondestructive testing, structural health monitoring and as a biocampatible material. In this research cantilever based multi energy harvester was developed to maximize the power output of PVDF sensor. Nano mixture containing ferrofluid (FF) and ZnO nano particles were used to enhance the piezoelectric output of the sensor. The samples were tested under different energy conditions to observe the behavior of nano coated PVDF film under multi energy conditions. Composition of the ZnO and FF nano particles were changed by weight, in order to achieve the optimal composition of the nano mixture. Light energy, vibration energy, combined effect of light and vibration energy, and magnetic effect were used to explore the behavior of the sensor. The sensor with 60% ZnO and 40% FF achieved a maximum power output of 10.7 microwatts when it is under the combined effect of light and vibration energy. Which is nearly 16 times more power output than PVDF sensor. When the magnetic effect is considered the sensor with 100% FF showed the highest power output of 11.2 microwatts which is nearly 17 times more power output than pure PVDF. The effective piezoelctric volume of the sensor was 0.017 cm3. In order to explore the effect of magnetic flux, cone patterns were created on the sensor by means of a external magnetic field. Stability of the cones generated on the sensor played a major role in generated power output.

  19. On energy harvesting module for scalable cognitive autonomous nondestructive sensing network (SCANSn) system for bridge health monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, John; Cartwright, Justin; Ha, Dong Sam; Zhang, David; Banerjee, Sourav

    2011-04-01

    The SCANSn is a structural health monitoring (SHM) system is being developed by Acellent Technologies to monitor steel bridges. The required voltage of the system is 14.4 V for active scanning, and the power consumption is approximately 8 W. The investigated energy harvesting from both solar and thermal sources to recharge the lithium-ion battery of the system. A solar panel and a Thermal Electric Generator (TEG) are used to harvest ambient energy. The thermoelectric device is placed in a Fresnel dome to maximize the temperature gradient of the TEG. During shading of the solar panel, the TEG continues to supply power to the battery charger. Since the output voltages and currents of the solar and thermal energy harvesters vary significantly, the energy harvesting module is constructed by two buck-boost converters operating in parallel. Maximal Power Point Tracking (MPPT) is employed for the buck-boost converter for the solar panel, while a fixed duty cycle converter is used for the TEG due to substantially lower power compared with the solar panel. The system design and measured results of a prototype system are presented. Our prototype system successfully demonstrates that the SCANSn system can be powered by the energy harvested from solar and thermal.

  20. Solar ADEPT: Efficient Solar Energy Systems

    SciTech Connect

    2011-01-01

    Solar ADEPT Project: The 7 projects that make up ARPA-E's Solar ADEPT program, short for 'Solar Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology,' aim to improve the performance of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy systems, which convert the sun's rays into electricity. Solar ADEPT projects are integrating advanced electrical components into PV systems to make the process of converting solar energy to electricity more efficient.

  1. Power-amplifying strategy in vibration-powered energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Pyung Sik; Kim, Jae Eun; Kim, Yoon Young

    2010-04-01

    A new cantilevered piezoelectric energy harvester (PEH) of which the additional lumped mass is connected to a harmonically oscillating base through an elastic foundation is proposed for maximizing generated power and enlarging its frequency bandwidth. The base motion is assumed to provide a given acceleration level. Earlier, a similar energy harvester employing the concept of the dynamic vibration absorber was developed but the mechanism of the present energy harvester is new because it incorporates a mass-spring system in addition to a conventional cantilevered piezoelectric energy harvesting beam with or without a tip mass. Consequently, the proposed energy harvester actually forms a two-degree-of-freedom system. It will be theoretically shown that the output power can be indeed substantially improved if the fundamental resonant frequencies of each of the two systems in the proposed energy harvester are simultaneously tuned as closely as possible to the input excitation frequency and also if the mass ratio of a piezoelectric energy harvesting beam to the lumped mass is adjusted below a certain value. The performance of the proposed energy harvester is checked by numerical simulation.

  2. Energy harvesting for human wearable and implantable bio-sensors.

    PubMed

    Mitcheson, Paul D

    2010-01-01

    There are clear trade-offs between functionality, battery lifetime and battery volume for wearable and implantable wireless-biosensors which energy harvesting devices may be able to overcome. Reliable energy harvesting has now become a reality for machine condition monitoring and is finding applications in chemical process plants, refineries and water treatment works. However, practical miniature devices that can harvest sufficient energy from the human body to power a wireless bio-sensor are still in their infancy. This paper reviews the options for human energy harvesting in order to determine power availability for harvester-powered body sensor networks. The main competing technologies for energy harvesting from the human body are inertial kinetic energy harvesting devices and thermoelectric devices. These devices are advantageous to some other types as they can be hermetically sealed. In this paper the fundamental limit to the power output of these devices is compared as a function of generator volume when attached to a human whilst walking and running. It is shown that the kinetic energy devices have the highest fundamental power limits in both cases. However, when a comparison is made between the devices using device effectivenesses figures from previously demonstrated prototypes presented in the literature, the thermal device is competitive with the kinetic energy harvesting device when the subject is running and achieves the highest power density when the subject is walking. PMID:21097254

  3. Energy harvesting from sea waves with consideration of airy and JONSWAP theory and optimization of energy harvester parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mirab, Hadi; Fathi, Reza; Jahangiri, Vahid; Ettefagh, Mir Mohammad; Hassannejad, Reza

    2015-12-01

    One of the new methods for powering low-power electronic devices at sea is a wave energy harvesting system. In this method, piezoelectric material is employed to convert the mechanical energy of sea waves into electrical energy. The advantage of this method is based on avoiding a battery charging system. Studies have been done on energy harvesting from sea waves, however, considering energy harvesting with random JONSWAP wave theory, then determining the optimum values of energy harvested is new. This paper does that by implementing the JONSWAP wave model, calculating produced power, and realistically showing that output power is decreased in comparison with the more simple airy wave model. In addition, parameters of the energy harvester system are optimized using a simulated annealing algorithm, yielding increased produced power.

  4. Solar Energy Development Progresses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chemical and Engineering News, 1975

    1975-01-01

    Discusses an engineering conference at which participants agreed that solar energy is a feasible energy source, although costs of such technology are presently very high. Also describes recent developments in solar energy research, and estimates the costs of this technology. (MLH)

  5. Pyroelectric nanogenerators for harvesting thermoelectric energy.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ya; Guo, Wenxi; Pradel, Ken C; Zhu, Guang; Zhou, Yusheng; Zhang, Yan; Hu, Youfan; Lin, Long; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2012-06-13

    Harvesting thermoelectric energy mainly relies on the Seebeck effect that utilizes a temperature difference between two ends of the device for driving the diffusion of charge carriers. However, in an environment that the temperature is spatially uniform without a gradient, the pyroelectric effect has to be the choice, which is based on the spontaneous polarization in certain anisotropic solids due to a time-dependent temperature variation. Using this effect, we experimentally demonstrate the first application of pyroelectric ZnO nanowire arrays for converting heat energy into electricity. The coupling of the pyroelectric and semiconducting properties in ZnO creates a polarization electric field and charge separation along the ZnO nanowire as a result of the time-dependent change in temperature. The fabricated nanogenerator has a good stability, and the characteristic coefficient of heat flow conversion into electricity is estimated to be ∼0.05-0.08 Vm(2)/W. Our study has the potential of using pyroelectric nanowires to convert wasted energy into electricity for powering nanodevices. PMID:22545631

  6. Highly transparent triboelectric nanogenerator for harvesting water-related energy reinforced by antireflection coating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Qijie; Yan, Xiaoqin; Gu, Yousong; Zhang, Kui; Liang, Mengyuan; Lu, Shengnan; Zheng, Xin; Zhang, Yue

    2015-03-01

    Water-related energy is an inexhaustible and renewable energy resource in our environment, which has huge amount of energy and is not largely dictated by daytime and sunlight. The transparent characteristic plays a key role in practical applications for some devices designed for harvesting water-related energy. In this paper, a highly transparent triboelectric nanogenerator (T-TENG) was designed to harvest the electrostatic energy from flowing water. The instantaneous output power density of the T-TENG is 11.56 mW/m2. Moreover, with the PTFE film acting as an antireflection coating, the maximum transmittance of the fabricated T-TENG is 87.4%, which is larger than that of individual glass substrate. The T-TENG can be integrated with silicon-based solar cell, building glass and car glass, which demonstrates its potential applications for harvesting waste water energy in our living environment and on smart home system and smart car system.

  7. Power conditioning for low-voltage piezoelectric stack energy harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skow, E.; Leadenham, S.; Cunefare, K. A.; Erturk, A.

    2016-04-01

    Low-power vibration and acoustic energy harvesting scenarios typically require a storage component to be charged to enable wireless sensor networks, which necessitates power conditioning of the AC output. Piezoelectric beam-type bending mode energy harvesters or other devices that operate using a piezoelectric element at resonance produce high voltage levels, for which AC-DC converters and step-down DC-DC converters have been previously investigated. However, for piezoelectric stack energy harvesters operating off-resonance and producing low voltage outputs, a step-up circuit is required for power conditioning, such as seen in electromagnetic vibration energy scavengers, RF communications, and MEMS harvesters. This paper theoretically and experimentally investigates power conditioning of a low-voltage piezoelectric stack energy harvester.

  8. A dimensionless model of impact piezoelectric energy harvesting with dissipation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Xinlei; Liao, Wei-Hsin

    2016-04-01

    Impact excitation is common in the environment. Impact piezoelectric energy harvesting could realize frequency up-conversion. However, the dissipation mechanism in impact piezoelectric energy harvesting has not been investigated so far. There is no comprehensive model to be able to analyze the impact piezoelectric energy harvesting thoroughly. This paper is aimed to develop a generalized model that considers dissipation mechanism of impact piezoelectric energy harvesting. In this electromechanical model, Hertzian contact theory and impact dissipation mechanism are identified as constitutive mechanisms. The impact force is compared and the energy distribution is analyzed so that input energy corresponds to impact dissipated energy, structural damping dissipated energy and harvested electrical energy. We then nondimensionalize the developed model and define five dimensionless parameters with attributed physical meanings, including dimensionless parameters of impact dissipation, mass ratio, structural damping, electromechanical coupling, and electrical load. We conclude it is more accurate to consider impact dissipation mechanism to predict impact force and harvested energy. The guideline for improving harvested energy based on parametric studies of dimensionless model is to increase mass ratio, to minimize structural damping, to maximize electromechanical coupling, to use optimal load resistance for impedance matching, and to choose proper impact velocity .

  9. Vibration energy harvesting from random force and motion excitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Xiudong; Zuo, Lei

    2012-07-01

    A vibration energy harvester is typically composed of a spring-mass system with an electromagnetic or piezoelectric transducer connected in parallel with a spring. This configuration has been well studied and optimized for harmonic vibration sources. Recently, a dual-mass harvester, where two masses are connected in series by the energy transducer and a spring, has been proposed. The dual-mass vibration energy harvester is proved to be able to harvest more power and has a broader bandwidth than the single-mass configuration, when the parameters are optimized and the excitation is harmonic. In fact, some dual-mass vibration energy harvesters, such as regenerative vehicle suspensions and buildings with regenerative tuned mass dampers (TMDs), are subjected to random excitations. This paper is to investigate the dual-mass and single-mass vibration harvesters under random excitations using spectrum integration and the residue theorem. The output powers for these two types of vibration energy harvesters, when subjected to different random excitations, namely force, displacement, velocity and acceleration, are obtained analytically with closed-form expressions. It is also very interesting to find that the output power of the vibration energy harvesters under random excitations depends on only a few parameters in very simple and elegant forms. This paper also draws some important conclusions on regenerative vehicle suspensions and buildings with regenerative TMDs, which can be modeled as dual-mass vibration energy harvesters. It is found that, under white-noise random velocity excitation from road irregularity, the harvesting power from vehicle suspensions is proportional to the tire stiffness and road vertical excitation spectrum only. It is independent of the chassis mass, tire-wheel mass, suspension stiffness and damping coefficient. Under random wind force excitation, the power harvested from buildings with regenerative TMD will depends on the building mass only, not

  10. The case for energy harvesting on wildlife in flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafer, Michael W.; MacCurdy, Robert; Shipley, J. Ryan; Winkler, David; Guglielmo, Christopher G.; Garcia, Ephrahim

    2015-02-01

    The confluence of advancements in microelectronic components and vibrational energy harvesting has opened the possibility of remote sensor units powered solely from the motion of their hosts. There are numerous applications of such systems, including the development of modern wildlife tracking/data-logging devices. These ‘bio-logging’ devices are typically mass-constrained because they must be carried by an animal. Thus, they have historically traded scientific capability for operational longevity due to restrictions on battery size. Recently, the precipitous decrease in the power requirements of microelectronics has been accompanied by advancements in the area of piezoelectric vibrational energy harvesting. These energy harvesting devices are now capable of powering the type of microelectronic circuits used in bio-logging devices. In this paper we consider the feasibility of employing these vibrational energy harvesters on flying vertebrates for the purpose of powering a bio-logging device. We show that the excess energy available from birds and bats could be harvested without adversely affecting their overall energy budget. We then present acceleration measurements taken on flying birds in a flight tunnel to understand modulation of flapping frequency during steady flight. Finally, we use a recently developed method of estimating the maximum power output from a piezoelectric energy harvester to determine the amount of power that could be practically harvested from a flying bird. The results of this analysis show that the average power output of a piezoelectric energy harvester mounted to a bird or bat could produce more than enough power to run a bio-logging device. We compare the power harvesting capabilities to the energy requirements of an example system and conclude that vibrational energy harvesting on flying birds and bats is viable and warrants further study, including testing.

  11. Solar Energy: Solar and the Weather.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapp, Henry H., III

    This module on solar and the weather is one of six in a series intended for use as supplements to currently available materials on solar energy and energy conservation. Together with the recommended texts and references (sources are identified), these modules provide an effective introduction to energy conservation and solar energy technologies.…

  12. A new piezoelectric energy harvesting design concept: multimodal energy harvesting skin.

    PubMed

    Lee, Soobum; Youn, Byeng D

    2011-03-01

    This paper presents an advanced design concept for a piezoelectric energy harvesting (EH), referred to as multimodal EH skin. This EH design facilitates the use of multimodal vibration and enhances power harvesting efficiency. The multimodal EH skin is an extension of our previous work, EH skin, which was an innovative design paradigm for a piezoelectric energy harvester: a vibrating skin structure and an additional thin piezoelectric layer in one device. A computational (finite element) model of the multilayered assembly - the vibrating skin structure and piezoelectric layer - is constructed and the optimal topology and/or shape of the piezoelectric layer is found for maximum power generation from multiple vibration modes. A design rationale for the multimodal EH skin was proposed: designing a piezoelectric material distribution and external resistors. In the material design step, the piezoelectric material is segmented by inflection lines from multiple vibration modes of interests to minimize voltage cancellation. The inflection lines are detected using the voltage phase. In the external resistor design step, the resistor values are found for each segment to maximize power output. The presented design concept, which can be applied to any engineering system with multimodal harmonic-vibrating skins, was applied to two case studies: an aircraft skin and a power transformer panel. The excellent performance of multimodal EH skin was demonstrated, showing larger power generation than EH skin without segmentation or unimodal EH skin. PMID:21429855

  13. Performance modeling of unmanned aerial vehicles with on-board energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anton, Steven R.; Inman, Daniel J.

    2011-03-01

    The concept of energy harvesting in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has received much attention in recent years. Solar powered flight of small aircraft dates back to the 1970s when the first fully solar flight of an unmanned aircraft took place. Currently, research has begun to investigate harvesting ambient vibration energy during the flight of UAVs. The authors have recently developed multifunctional piezoelectric self-charging structures in which piezoelectric devices are combined with thin-film lithium batteries and a substrate layer in order to simultaneously harvest energy, store energy, and carry structural load. When integrated into mass and volume critical applications, such as unmanned aircraft, multifunctional devices can provide great benefit over conventional harvesting systems. A critical aspect of integrating any energy harvesting system into a UAV, however, is the potential effect that the additional system has on the performance of the aircraft. Added mass and increased drag can significantly degrade the flight performance of an aircraft, therefore, it is important to ensure that the addition of an energy harvesting system does not adversely affect the efficiency of a host aircraft. In this work, a system level approach is taken to examine the effects of adding both solar and piezoelectric vibration harvesting to a UAV test platform. A formulation recently presented in the literature is applied to describe the changes to the flight endurance of a UAV based on the power available from added harvesters and the mass of the harvesters. Details of the derivation of the flight endurance model are reviewed and the formulation is applied to an EasyGlider remote control foam hobbyist airplane, which is selected as the test platform for this study. A theoretical study is performed in which the normalized change in flight endurance is calculated based on the addition of flexible thin-film solar panels to the upper surface of the wings, as well as the addition

  14. Stability-Aware Geographic Routing in Energy Harvesting Wireless Sensor Networks.

    PubMed

    Hieu, Tran Dinh; Dung, Le The; Kim, Byung-Seo

    2016-01-01

    A new generation of wireless sensor networks that harvest energy from environmental sources such as solar, vibration, and thermoelectric to power sensor nodes is emerging to solve the problem of energy limitation. Based on the photo-voltaic model, this research proposes a stability-aware geographic routing for reliable data transmissions in energy-harvesting wireless sensor networks (EH-WSNs) to provide a reliable routes selection method and potentially achieve an unlimited network lifetime. Specifically, the influences of link quality, represented by the estimated packet reception rate, on network performance is investigated. Simulation results show that the proposed method outperforms an energy-harvesting-aware method in terms of energy consumption, the average number of hops, and the packet delivery ratio. PMID:27187414

  15. Stability-Aware Geographic Routing in Energy Harvesting Wireless Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

    Hieu, Tran Dinh; Dung, Le The; Kim, Byung-Seo

    2016-01-01

    A new generation of wireless sensor networks that harvest energy from environmental sources such as solar, vibration, and thermoelectric to power sensor nodes is emerging to solve the problem of energy limitation. Based on the photo-voltaic model, this research proposes a stability-aware geographic routing for reliable data transmissions in energy-harvesting wireless sensor networks (EH-WSNs) to provide a reliable routes selection method and potentially achieve an unlimited network lifetime. Specifically, the influences of link quality, represented by the estimated packet reception rate, on network performance is investigated. Simulation results show that the proposed method outperforms an energy-harvesting-aware method in terms of energy consumption, the average number of hops, and the packet delivery ratio. PMID:27187414

  16. Hybrid energy harvesting/transmission system for embedded devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hehr, Adam; Park, Gyuhae; Farinholt, Kevin

    2012-04-01

    In most energy harvesting applications the need for a reliable long-term energy supply is essential in powering embedded sensing and control electronics. The goal of many harvesters is to extract energy from the ambient environment to power hardware; however in some applications there may be conditions in which the harvester's performance cannot meet all of the demands of the embedded electronics. One method for addressing this shortfall is to supplement harvested power through the transmission of wireless energy, a concept that has successfully been demonstrated by the authors in previous studies. In this paper we present our findings on the use of a single electromagnetic coil to harvest kinetic energy in a solenoid configuration, as well as background and directed wireless energy in the 2.4 GHz radio frequency (RF) bands commonly used in WiFi and cellular phone applications. The motivation for this study is to develop a compact energy harvester / receiver that conserves physical volume, while providing multi-modal energy harvesting capabilities. As with most hybrid systems there are performance trade-offs that must be considered when capturing energy from different physical sources. As part of this paper, many of the issues related to power transmission, physical design, and potential applications are addressed for this device.

  17. Energy Harvesting Chip and the Chip Based Power Supply Development for a Wireless Sensor Network

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Dasheng

    2008-01-01

    In this study, an energy harvesting chip was developed to scavenge energy from artificial light to charge a wireless sensor node. The chip core is a miniature transformer with a nano-ferrofluid magnetic core. The chip embedded transformer can convert harvested energy from its solar cell to variable voltage output for driving multiple loads. This chip system yields a simple, small, and more importantly, a battery-less power supply solution. The sensor node is equipped with multiple sensors that can be enabled by the energy harvesting power supply to collect information about the human body comfort degree. Compared with lab instruments, the nodes with temperature, humidity and photosensors driven by harvested energy had variation coefficient measurement precision of less than 6% deviation under low environmental light of 240 lux. The thermal comfort was affected by the air speed. A flow sensor equipped on the sensor node was used to detect airflow speed. Due to its high power consumption, this sensor node provided 15% less accuracy than the instruments, but it still can meet the requirement of analysis for predicted mean votes (PMV) measurement. The energy harvesting wireless sensor network (WSN) was deployed in a 24-hour convenience store to detect thermal comfort degree from the air conditioning control. During one year operation, the sensor network powered by the energy harvesting chip retained normal functions to collect the PMV index of the store. According to the one month statistics of communication status, the packet loss rate (PLR) is 2.3%, which is as good as the presented results of those WSNs powered by battery. Referring to the electric power records, almost 54% energy can be saved by the feedback control of an energy harvesting sensor network. These results illustrate that, scavenging energy not only creates a reliable power source for electronic devices, such as wireless sensor nodes, but can also be an energy source by building an energy efficient

  18. A piezoelectric energy-harvesting shoe system for podiatric sensing.

    PubMed

    Meier, Rich; Kelly, Nicholas; Almog, Omri; Chiang, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    This paper provides an energy-harvesting, shoe-mounted system for medical sensing using piezoelectric transducers for generating power. The electronics are integrated inside a conventional consumer shoe, measuring the pressure of the wearer's foot exerted on the sole at six locations. The electronics are completely powered by the harvested energy from walking or running, generating 10-20 μJ of energy per step that is then consumed by capturing and storing the force sensor data. The overall shoe system demonstrates that wearable sensor electronics can be adequately powered through piezoelectric energy-harvesting. PMID:25570036

  19. Coupling analysis of linear vibration energy harvesting systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xu; Liang, Xingyu; Shu, Gequn; Watkins, Simon

    2016-03-01

    This paper has disclosed the relationship of vibration energy harvester performance with dimensionless force factor. Numerical ranges of the dimensionless force factor have been defined for cases of weak, moderate and strong coupling. The relationships of coupling loss factor, dimensionless force factor, critical coupling strength, coupling quotient, electro-mechanical coupling factor, damping loss factor and modal densities have been established in linear vibration energy harvester systems. The new contribution of this paper is to determine a frequency range where the vibration energy harvesting systems are in a weak coupling and the statistical energy analysis is applicable.

  20. Acoustic energy harvesting based on a planar acoustic metamaterial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Shuibao; Oudich, Mourad; Li, Yong; Assouar, Badreddine

    2016-06-01

    We theoretically report on an innovative and practical acoustic energy harvester based on a defected acoustic metamaterial (AMM) with piezoelectric material. The idea is to create suitable resonant defects in an AMM to confine the strain energy originating from an acoustic incidence. This scavenged energy is converted into electrical energy by attaching a structured piezoelectric material into the defect area of the AMM. We show an acoustic energy harvester based on a meta-structure capable of producing electrical power from an acoustic pressure. Numerical simulations are provided to analyze and elucidate the principles and the performances of the proposed system. A maximum output voltage of 1.3 V and a power density of 0.54 μW/cm3 are obtained at a frequency of 2257.5 Hz. The proposed concept should have broad applications on energy harvesting as well as on low-frequency sound isolation, since this system acts as both acoustic insulator and energy harvester.

  1. Harvesting under transient conditions: harvested energy as a proxy for optimal resonance frequency detuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hynds, Taylor D.; Kauffman, Jeffrey L.

    2015-04-01

    Piezoelectric-based vibration energy harvesting is of interest in a wide range of applications, and a number of harvesting schemes have been proposed and studied { primarily when operating under steady state conditions. However, energy harvesting behavior is rarely studied in systems with transient excitations. This paper will work to develop an understanding of this behavior within the context of a particular vibration reduction technique, resonance frequency detuning. Resonance frequency detuning provides a method of reducing mechanical response at structural resonances as the excitation frequency sweeps through a given range. This technique relies on switching the stiffness state of a structure at optimal times to detune its resonance frequency from that of the excitation. This paper examines how this optimal switch may be triggered in terms of the energy harvested, developing a normalized optimal switch energy that is independent of the open- and short-circuit resistances. Here the open- and short-circuit shunt resistances refer to imposed conditions that approximate the open- and short-circuit conditions, via high and low resistance shunts. These conditions are practically necessary to harvest the small amounts of power needed to switch stiffness states, as open-circuit and closed-circuit refer to infinite resistance and zero resistance, respectively, and therefore no energy passes through the harvesting circuit. The limiting stiffness states are then defined by these open- and short-circuit resistances. The optimal switch energy is studied over a range of sweep rates, damping ratios, and coupling coefficients; it is found to increase with the coupling coefficient and decrease as the sweep rate and damping ratio increase, behavior which is intuitive. Higher coupling means more energy is converted by the piezoelectric material, and therefore more energy is harvested in a given time; an increased sweep rate means resonance is reached sooner, and there will less

  2. Solar energy collection system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Selcuk, M. K. (Inventor)

    1977-01-01

    An improved solar energy collection system, having enhanced energy collection and conversion capabilities, is delineated. The system is characterized by a plurality of receivers suspended above a heliostat field comprising a multiplicity of reflector surfaces, each being adapted to direct a concentrated beam of solar energy to illuminate a target surface for a given receiver. A magnitude of efficiency, suitable for effectively competing with systems employed in collecting and converting energy extracted from fossil fuels, is indicated.

  3. Wideband electromagnetic energy harvesting from ambient vibrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mallick, Dhiman; Podder, Pranay; Roy, Saibal

    2015-06-01

    Different bandwidth widening schemes of electromagnetic energy harvesters have been reported in this work. The devices are fabricated on FR4 substrate using laser micromachining techniques. The linear device operate in a narrow band around the resonance; in order to tune resonant frequency of the device electrically, two different types of complex load topologies are adopted. Using capacitive load, the resonant frequency is tuned in the low frequency direction whereas using inductive load, the resonant frequency is tuned in the high frequency direction. An overall tuning range of ˜2.4 Hz is obtained at 0.3g though the output power dropped significantly over the tuning range. In order to improve the off-resonance performance, nonlinear oscillation based systems are adopted. A specially designed spring arm with fixed-guided configuration produced single well nonlinear monostable configuration. With increasing input acceleration, wider bandwidth is obtained with such a system as large displacement, stretching nonlinearity comes into play and 9.55 Hz bandwidth is obtained at 0.5g. The repulsive force between one static and one vibrating oppositely polarized magnets are used to generate bistable nonlinear potential system. The distance between the mentioned magnets is varied between 4 to 10 mm to produce tunable nonlinearity with a maximum half power bandwidth over 3 Hz at 0.5g.

  4. High temperature energy harvester for wireless sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Köhler, J. E.; Heijl, R.; Staaf, L. G. H.; Zenkic, S.; Svenman, E.; Lindblom, A.; Palmqvist, A. E. C.; Enoksson, P.

    2014-09-01

    Implementing energy harvesters and wireless sensors in jet engines will simplify development and decrease costs by reducing the need for cables. Such a device could include a small thermoelectric generator placed in the cooling channels of the jet engine where the temperature is between 500-900 °C. This paper covers the synthesis of suitable thermoelectric materials, design of module and proof of concept tests of a thermoelectric module. The materials and other design variables were chosen based on an analytic model and numerical analysis. The module was optimized for 600-800 °C with the thermoelectric materials n-type Ba8Ga16Ge30 and p-type La-doped Yb14MnSb11, both with among the highest reported figure-of-merit values, zT, for bulk materials in this region. The materials were synthesized and their structures confirmed by x-ray diffraction. Proof of concept modules containing only two thermoelectric legs were built and tested at high temperatures and under high temperature gradients. The modules were designed to survive an ambient temperature gradient of up to 200 °C. The first measurements at low temperature showed that the thermoelectric legs could withstand a temperature gradient of 123 °C and still be functional. The high temperature measurement with 800 °C on the hot side showed that the module remained functional at this temperature.

  5. Fabrication of Scalable Indoor Light Energy Harvester and Study for Agricultural IoT Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, M.; Nakamura, A.; Kunii, A.; Kusano, K.; Futagawa, M.

    2015-12-01

    A scalable indoor light energy harvester was fabricated by microelectromechanical system (MEMS) and printing hybrid technology and evaluated for agricultural IoT applications under different environmental input power density conditions, such as outdoor farming under the sun, greenhouse farming under scattered lighting, and a plant factory under LEDs. We fabricated and evaluated a dye- sensitized-type solar cell (DSC) as a low cost and “scalable” optical harvester device. We developed a transparent conductive oxide (TCO)-less process with a honeycomb metal mesh substrate fabricated by MEMS technology. In terms of the electrical and optical properties, we achieved scalable harvester output power by cell area sizing. Second, we evaluated the dependence of the input power scalable characteristics on the input light intensity, spectrum distribution, and light inlet direction angle, because harvested environmental input power is unstable. The TiO2 fabrication relied on nanoimprint technology, which was designed for optical optimization and fabrication, and we confirmed that the harvesters are robust to a variety of environments. Finally, we studied optical energy harvesting applications for agricultural IoT systems. These scalable indoor light harvesters could be used in many applications and situations in smart agriculture.

  6. Solar Energy: Solar System Design Fundamentals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapp, Henry H., III

    This module on solar system design fundamentals is one of six in a series intended for use as supplements to currently available materials on solar energy and energy conservation. Together with the recommended texts and references (sources are identified), these modules provide an effective introduction to energy conservation and solar energy…

  7. Harvesting renewable energy from Earth’s mid-infrared emissions

    PubMed Central

    Byrnes, Steven J.; Blanchard, Romain; Capasso, Federico

    2014-01-01

    It is possible to harvest energy from Earth's thermal infrared emission into outer space. We calculate the thermodynamic limit for the amount of power available, and as a case study, we plot how this limit varies daily and seasonally in a location in Oklahoma. We discuss two possible ways to make such an emissive energy harvester (EEH): A thermal EEH (analogous to solar thermal power generation) and an optoelectronic EEH (analogous to photovoltaic power generation). For the latter, we propose using an infrared-frequency rectifying antenna, and we discuss its operating principles, efficiency limits, system design considerations, and possible technological implementations. PMID:24591604

  8. Solar Renewable Energy. Teaching Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buchanan, Marion; And Others

    This unit develops the concept of solar energy as a renewable resource. It includes: (1) an introductory section (developing understandings of photosynthesis and impact of solar energy); (2) information on solar energy use (including applications and geographic limitations of solar energy use); and (3) future considerations of solar energy…

  9. Enhanced Charge Separation and FRET at Heterojunctions between Semiconductor Nanoparticles and Conducting Polymer Nanofibers for Efficient Solar Light Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Sardar, Samim; Kar, Prasenjit; Remita, Hynd; Liu, Bo; Lemmens, Peter; Kumar Pal, Samir; Ghosh, Srabanti

    2015-01-01

    Energy harvesting from solar light employing nanostructured materials offer an economic way to resolve energy and environmental issues. We have developed an efficient light harvesting heterostructure based on poly(diphenylbutadiyne) (PDPB) nanofibers and ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) via a solution phase synthetic route. ZnO NPs (~20 nm) were homogeneously loaded onto the PDPB nanofibers as evident from several analytical and spectroscopic techniques. The photoinduced electron transfer from PDPB nanofibers to ZnO NPs has been confirmed by steady state and picosecond-resolved photoluminescence studies. The co-sensitization for multiple photon harvesting (with different energies) at the heterojunction has been achieved via a systematic extension of conjugation from monomeric to polymeric diphenyl butadiyne moiety in the proximity of the ZnO NPs. On the other hand, energy transfer from the surface defects of ZnO NPs (~5 nm) to PDPB nanofibers through Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) confirms the close proximity with molecular resolution. The manifestation of efficient charge separation has been realized with ~5 fold increase in photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants in comparison to polymer nanofibers counterpart under visible light irradiation. Our results provide a novel approach for the development of nanoheterojunctions for efficient light harvesting which will be helpful in designing future solar devices. PMID:26611253

  10. Enhanced Charge Separation and FRET at Heterojunctions between Semiconductor Nanoparticles and Conducting Polymer Nanofibers for Efficient Solar Light Harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Sardar, Samim; Kar, Prasenjit; Remita, Hynd; Liu, Bo; Lemmens, Peter; Kumar Pal, Samir; Ghosh, Srabanti

    2015-01-01

    Energy harvesting from solar light employing nanostructured materials offer an economic way to resolve energy and environmental issues. We have developed an efficient light harvesting heterostructure based on poly(diphenylbutadiyne) (PDPB) nanofibers and ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) via a solution phase synthetic route. ZnO NPs (~20 nm) were homogeneously loaded onto the PDPB nanofibers as evident from several analytical and spectroscopic techniques. The photoinduced electron transfer from PDPB nanofibers to ZnO NPs has been confirmed by steady state and picosecond-resolved photoluminescence studies. The co-sensitization for multiple photon harvesting (with different energies) at the heterojunction has been achieved via a systematic extension of conjugation from monomeric to polymeric diphenyl butadiyne moiety in the proximity of the ZnO NPs. On the other hand, energy transfer from the surface defects of ZnO NPs (~5 nm) to PDPB nanofibers through Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) confirms the close proximity with molecular resolution. The manifestation of efficient charge separation has been realized with ~5 fold increase in photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants in comparison to polymer nanofibers counterpart under visible light irradiation. Our results provide a novel approach for the development of nanoheterojunctions for efficient light harvesting which will be helpful in designing future solar devices. PMID:26611253