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EP/H013458/1 - Energy Harvesting Network Proposal

Research Perspectives grant details from EPSRC portfolio

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Professor SP Beeby EP/H013458/1 - Energy Harvesting Network Proposal

Principal Investigator - Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton

Other Investigators

Dr G Merrett, Co InvestigatorDr G Merrett

Scheme

Network

Research Areas

Energy Networks Energy Networks

Non CMOS Device Technology Non CMOS Device Technology

Start Date

03/2010

End Date

03/2013

Value

£112,278

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Grant Description

Summary and Description of the grant

Energy harvesting (EH) is a means of powering wireless electronic devices by scavenging many low grade ambient energy sources such as environmental vibrations, human power, thermal and solar and their conversion into useable electrical energy. EH devices are therefore potentially attractive as replacements for primary batteries in low power wireless sensor nodes. They also hold the promise of one day enabling the powering of a range of devices not currently possible including implantable and wearable medical devices. A recent study which drew on the inputs of those currently involved in or seeking to use EH technology [Kompis & Aliwell, 2008] highlighted the inherently multidisciplinary nature of EH work and the world leading position of Europe in this area. In the UK there are a number of prominent academic groups and a world leading company with commercial EH products. Europe is widely recognised (even in the USA) as having led the commercialisation of EH technology and being at the forefront of research efforts. It also recommended a challenge-led approach to drive R&D. A major finding that was reinforced during discussions with EPSRC (20th Oct 2008) was that the academic community is diverse but fragmented and also in need of new research challenges beyond just miniaturisation of current macro-scale devices. The application focus characteristic of the field needs to move on to the more challenging scenarios to realise the full potential of EH and this will take the involvement of new players and new approaches.A number of challenges remain and it is generally believed that so far it is only the low hanging fruit that have been addressed in development EH technology. Currently all commercial offerings are macro in scale and restricted in application to industrial condition monitoring or building control applications. For the true potential of EH to be realised in enabling the next generation of wireless devices e.g. medical implantables and embedded sensors there are a number of particularly difficult challenges to be met. This goes beyond current efforts at miniaturisation of devices. Despite the current multidisciplinary approach which includes expertise in MEMS fabrication, electronics design, systems level optimisation and transducer design, the teams of today will not be adequate to address many of these challenges. What is required is that the researchers reach out for skills and inspiration in other academic disciplines, not currently involved in EH research, and find applications challenges in more demanding sectors. This proposed network will seek to achieve this by defining and progressing the new research challenges and by engaging the full range of potential end users more broadly in dissemination on the current and future capabilities of EH technology. This is vital if Europe and UK within in are to maintain their world lead in this vital enabling technology.

Structured Data / Microdata


Grant Event Details:
Name: Energy Harvesting Network Proposal - EP/H013458/1
Start Date: 2010-03-01T00:00:00+00:00
End Date: 2013-03-31T00:00:00+00:00

Organization: University of Southampton

Description: Energy harvesting (EH) is a means of powering wireless electronic devices by scavenging many low grade ambient energy sources such as environmental vibrations, human power, thermal and solar and their conversion into useable electrical energy. EH devices a ...