Energy Micro, Linear Technology, and Würth Elektronik offer energy-harvesting kit to go

Date
10/06/2012

Categories:
Energy Harvesting, Evaluation & Development Kits

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Click image to enlarge: Energy Harvesting to Go kit

Energy Micro, Linear Technology, and Würth Elektronik present the development platform Energy Harvesting To Go. The Kit provides easy access to energy-harvesting technologies, which helps developers apply them in future battery-less products. ?Developers receive complete facilities for energy-harvesting, -management, and -storage to the specific application. The transfer of these capabilities to the development of a battery-less product is made easy by providing the selection of the right components, schematics, and software examples. The application of the highly efficient components allows them to use the precious harvested energy for the application.

Two basic kit parts are the energy-harvesting board and a Giant Gecko starter kit. There are four voltage converters from Linear Technology on the multi-source energy-harvesting board. These are optimized for the different energy sources: solar-, piezo-electric-, electromagnetic-, and thermal-energy converters. The energy harvesting board offers two integrated energy sources to start the evaluation immediately: A 32- x 50-mm solar cell and a 40- x 40 mm thermo-generator. In addition you can add further external energy sources to the board. Linear Technology offers the LTC3588 for AC sources up to 20 V for piezo-electric- and inductive-energy generators. The company's LTC3108 supports very small input voltages of a few mV, supplied, for example, by TEGs (thermo-electric generators). Solar cells use the LTC3105, because this IC provides MPPC (maximum-power-point control). The LTC3459 combined with the LTC2935 harvest energy from small solar cells with interior light. The user can select the appropriate energy converter on the energy harvesting board by setting a jumper. Optional capacitors are selectable if the energy harvesting cannot be performed well continuously.

The Giant Gecko Starter Kit is the second part of this development kit. The board contains an energy-friendly microcontroller EFM32 Giant Gecko with a comprehensive feature set: ARM Cortex M3, 48 MHz, 1024 kB Flash, 128 kB RAM, USB, LCD Control, and Low-Energy Sense. The EFM32GG990F1024 performs complex tasks in Deep Sleep Mode on a few ?A and consumes only 200 ?A/MHz in active mode. Features of the starter kit include 160-segment LCD display, 2 programmable buttons, a touch slider, ambient light sensor, an inductive-capacitive metal sensor, 32 MB NAND Flash, a 0.03F super capacitor to evaluate the integrated backup-power domain. Programming and debugging of the on-board MCU is support by the integrated Segger J-Link interface. All necessary development tools, code examples, software libraries, and application notes are available in Energy Micro's Simplicity Studio. One part of the Simplicity Studio is the energyAware Profiler. The Profiler helps to display the current consumption and to create an energy profile of each software function by getting data from the on-board Advanced Energy Monitor and the Segger debugger. Thus energy bugs of the application can be found easily. The Giant Gecko Starter Kit can be connected by a 20-pin expansion header to the energy harvesting board. You can connect all starter kits of the EFM32 family—which consist of 240 compatible parts (4 to1024 kB flash, 24 to 120 pins)—to the energy harvesting board through this expansion header. The highly efficient passive components from Würth Elektronik are integrated on the energy-harvesting board as well as on the Giant Gecko Starter Kit including the coupled power inductors, WE-EHPI. These components provide high efficiency based on their low winding resistances and a core especially developed for a rugged environment. In addition a very efficient EMI suppression is realized by adding SMD ferrites at each plug contacts. Würth Elektronik's tact switches survive at least 1 million use cycles. The LED series WE-SMCW displays the current status with an angle of radiation of 140° and a brightness of 110 mcd. The microcontroller is preprogrammed with one example. This helps to experience quickly how easy it is to realize a design with energy harvesting thanks to the availability of innovative standard products. Energy harvested from a small solar cell in a room or by the heat of your palm is sufficient enough to run an application. The Energy Harvesting To Go kit is available from Würth Elektronik for €199. Experience the Energy Harvesting To Go kit live during Electronica, 13 through 16 November in Munich at the stands of Energy Micro (A4-442), Linear Technology (A4-538) and Würth Elektronik (B6-404). Energy Micro Linear Technology Würth Elektronik Energy Harvesting to Go kit deeplink

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