MSI & VINATech - Free Energy Harvesting

MSI & VINATech - Free Energy Harvesting

Free energy harvesting application case study

Energy harvesting is taking energy that exists in the environment and converting it to power.
The most common forms of energy that are harvested consists of solar power, wind power and hydroelectric power.

Power can be harvested from radio frequencies or vibrations.
Below, we explain how the MSRFIF Radio Frequency Front End IC can be used to harvest energy from radio frequencies or vibrations to charge a VINATech Lithium Hybrid Supercapacitor.

The application requires minimal external components.
A means of capturing the frequency, a Piezo device, etc
A diode (D1) may be needed on the VDDA output to prevent any leakage current on the VDDA pin to drain the VPC supercapacitor and a 3.8V Zener diode (D2) to ensure that the maximum voltage to the VPC supercapacitor is 3.8V.

The MSRFIF generates a voltage on the VDDA output to trickle charge the Vinatech VPC series supercapacitor.

The MSRFIF is an ideal solution for applications where on-board components require less than 4V and 200uA.

  • Never needs any power (ie battery or charger)
  • Can be placed in remote areas (maybe windy to generate the charge)
  • At End Of Life the Supercaps can be placed in land fill, batteries cannot
  • Can be fitted underground (no need to replenish a battery).
  • Longevity of design
  • ECO design
  • Low cost solution

MSRFIF Block Diagram
The primary path used in the energy harvesting application is from the RF input to the VDD output as highlighted in the diagram below.

Some examples of potential sources connected to the RF input pin are Piezoelectric devices, transducers, and any other device that can convert energy from vibrations or motion to an electrical signal.

The MSRFIF can accept a 50Hz to 250MHz RF signal at the RF input which is then converted to a DC voltage via the internal charge pump.

The DC level of the VDD output pin will range from 2.4V to 4V (200uA typical) when a valid signal is present on the RF input.